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Firstly, thank you for choosing (or at least considering) to adopt!
While West Coast Animal Advocates occasionally has a small number of dogs or cats available to adopt, we really do not run as a rescue ourselves. We will take in animals in emergent situations, if we have the resources and room available to provide them care. Follow our Facebook Page to be notified when we have any adoptables in our care.
We regularly help to network and facilitate local adoptions, and provide any guidance or assistance needed to those who are in the position where they need to re-home their pet.
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With so many new rescue groups popping up, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the process, or even left with a sour taste about adopting in general after a negative experience. Please understand that the "rescue world" is unregulated, and sadly that means there will be people involved who although may have great intentions, don't always operate in the best interest of the very dogs they are "rescuing". Unfortunately, while rescue can be extremely rewarding, it can also attract organizations or individuals who may just be looking to benefit financially. Always do your due diligence when inquiring about an animal for adoption. West Coast Animal Advocates is passionate about supporting reputable rescue groups, so we have made a little list of things to look for, things to ask, and some red flags too. Of course there can be exceptions with certain situations, but this is a great way to get the conversation started.
Thoughts to consider -
What are the rescue's mission and values? Do you agree with them?
Visit them at an adoption event or an outing and see how they interact with the animals, public and their volunteers.
It's always great to ask around about a rescue organization. Keep in mind that many people have strong opinions and SUCH varied perceptions about how a rescue "should" operate. Try to look at the facts, rather than the feelings!
Do a quick internet search of the organization and the person(s) who run it. Remember, some of the information online can be extremely biased and emotionally fueled - but you should be able to tell if there is pattern, positive or negative.
Don't be fooled by some of the vocabulary used by groups, meant to grab your attention and hit you right in the feels. "High-Kill", "Meat Dog", "Abused", "Bait Dog". Many, many dogs who are rescued, do in fact come from these terrible situations. Unfortunately, it's becoming common to see groups advertising their dogs with these titles to get attention, when they really have no idea of the dog's past.
If the rescue brings in animals from areas outside of the province, do they also help with local owner surrenders?
Does the rescue have an application process that they follow? Do they do home checks? Will they stand behind the animal if something does not work out in your home?
Found a specific dog/cat/critter you want to adopt? Great!
Has the rescue provided the animal with proper medical care, by a licensed veterinarian prior to adoption? (Health check - including dental, deworming, flea treatment, required vaccinations, microchip)
Does the rescue know the animals medical history prior to coming in to their care? Are they willing and able to provide you with the details?
If the animal does have medical issues, are they forthcoming with the information?
Is the rescue honest about the animal's temperament? Do they have a training plan to implement if there are behavioral areas to improve on?
TRUST YOUR GUT. If you have a bad feeling, listen to it. Reputable rescues won't become defensive by your inquiries. Also consider that many rescue organizations are ran by volunteers - please be patient with them.
Have a question? Send us a message! We are always happy to help.
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