Volunteering to help give purebred dogs a second chance can be as rewarding for you as it is for the pooches that are rescued. Find out all the ways you can help man's best friend.
- TIP: Consider fundraising if you don't have the space or ability to foster a dog.
- Step 1: Use your profession to help rescue groups. If you own a boarding kennel, make room available for a few foster dogs. Dog trainers can volunteer to work with rescues. And public relations professionals can contact the media, arrange for public appearances, and line up veterinarians and other professionals to provide reduced rates for rescues.
- Step 2: Beware of the burnout that often plagues rescue groups. Realize you can't save every animal and learn to say no. Allow time for yourself and enjoy the fact that you're making a difference.
- FACT: President George Washington was also the founding father of one of the oldest American breeds, the American Foxhound, which he bred and maintained.
- Step 3: Raise money for rescue operations. Fundraisers solicit donations from local businesses to host dinners, auctions, raffles, or other events that will bring in cash.
- Step 4: Consider becoming a transporter, who are needed to pick up dogs from shelters, take dogs to the vet or groomer, and participate in long-distance rescues.
- TIP: Visit the American Kennel Club website at akc.org for rescue group contact information covering nearly every breed.
- Step 5: Provide a foster home for a dog. Many dogs need temporary homes while they are being evaluated or are recovering from surgery, injury, or heartworm treatment. Foster owners help train the dog and test a dog's reaction to various stimuli, including other people, animals, and children.
- Step 6: Become a dog spotter, checking local shelters for dogs of a specific breed and arranging for foster care. Spotters should be skilled in developing positive relationships with shelter staff in order to facilitate the best outcome for the dog.
- TIP: Avoid emotional outbursts or confrontations with shelter workers, who control the dog's fate.
- Step 7: Start slowly if you are considering getting involved in dog rescue. Adopt a dog of the breed you're interested in helping and stay in touch with the rescue group over the course of one year before taking on some responsibilities.