According to Miriam-Webster Dictionary, rescue means “to free from confinement, danger, or evil.” Although this is true of animal rescue, it does not tell the whole story. Rescue is a volunteer job. Finding new homes for displaced rescue dogs and educating the public about their chosen breeds are two of rescue’s purposes. Great Dane Rescue of Southeast Texas was formed to fill a void of the Greater Houston area; an organization to assist Danes in need.
- A reputable rescue has a contract, screens every potential adopter with a MANDATORY home visit before a pet is placed there, incl. foster/temporary basis and requires references.
- A reputable rescue follows through on contacts and references and investigates each thing completely.
- A reputable rescue has references from shelters in their area and works with those shelters.
- A reputable rescue checks on the care of the previous or current pets with the vet, to ensure future pets will have proper medical attention.
- A reputable rescue spays/neuters all pets before placement.
- A reputable rescue makes sure animals are up to date on all vaccines, and microchips where appropriate to ensure all pets are healthy, up to date on all shots, heartworm tested/on prevention, and received necessary vet care before placement.
- A reputable rescue always takes its adopted animals back if the placement isn’t successful.
- A reputable rescue keeps animals in foster care, or in situations where the animal was at a shelter, works with shelter staff for a short period of time before placing them, to screen for health or behavior problems.
- A reputable rescue helps educate new adopters, and may require adopters to participate in training courses to assist in a good adoption.
- A reputable rescue always returns calls or emails in a timely fashion.
- A reputable rescue works carefully to match up the right forever home with the right pet, based on the pet’s needs/personality/etc.
- A reputable rescue will help adopters make decisions about which animal is a good fit for their home, and will offer advice and assistance on meeting the correct animal for the adopter.
- A reputable rescue may ask that all family members and resident pets meet the new animal before an adoption is finalized. Where breed appropriate, several meetings may be required.
- A reputable rescue will never ask an adopter to take an animal “sight unseen” or take an animal arriving in on a transport right to a new home.
- A reputable rescue makes an effort to work in harmony with the shelters, humane societies and animal control facilities in their own area or state.
- A reputable rescue will have a cordial and informed relationship with other rescues.
- A reputable rescue is not for profit, and works on adoptions, not sales.
- A reputable rescue takes responsibility for the animals adopted through them for the span of each animal’s life, not “just” for the span of foster care or transport.
- A reputable rescue carefully screens incoming animals for temperament and health, and has met and interacted with animals being offered for adoption.
- A reputable rescue does not offer animals to be used for breeding, and should not promote animals with unstable or unknown temperaments.
- A reputable rescue never places an animal as a surprise to the intended adopter.
- A reputable rescue never places an animal as a gift to the intended adopter. The rescue will always involve the recipient in the decision to adopt as well as the application, home visit, and selection of the pet.
- A reputable rescue places the welfare and happiness of the animal first, and screens the homes to ensure that the placement is a sound one for that animal.
- A reputable rescue will never “hurry up” a process, or waive requirements simply for the convenience of the adopter.
- A reputable rescue requires an application form and adoption contract.
- A reputable rescue requires an adoption contract which includes a legal clause to have the pet returned to this rescue if the new adopter relinquishes it.
- A reputable rescue prioritizes working with shelters and owner-surrenders from within its own state first.
- A reputable rescue prioritizes rescue animals from its own geographical area whenever possible.
- A reputable rescue requires a legal release form for owner-surrenders.
- A reputable rescue understands the limits of its resources; does not accept more animals than it has legal authority or space/time to care for.
- A reputable rescue is recommended as a “good breed rescue group” by at least two established non-profit shelters in its own state.
- A reputable rescue operates as a not-for-profit entity.
*information courtesy of Ohio Great Dane Rescue
Where do rescue Danes come from?
Rescue Danes come from a variety of circumstances and places. Some are from shelters, having arrived as strays or owner-surrenders. The reasons the owner-surrenders need new homes vary, but often we hear statements such as:
“We have no time for a dog.”
“A family member is allergic to the dog.”
“We didn’t realize how big the dog was going to be.”
The majority of rescue Danes are between 2 and 5 years of age. Puppies are SOMETIMES available, as are older dogs.
What does a GDRST do when they are called to rescue a Dane?
First, the rescue contacts the place or person where the potential rescue Dane is located. After discussing the dog’s traits and personality, the rescue may agree they can help this dog, and transportation & foster home is arranged. Upon entering rescue, the dog’s temperament is assessed. GDRST utilizes the MYM (Meet Your Match) Safer techniques. Then it is taken to a vet for a check-up, shots, heartworm test, and is spayed/neutered. From here the dog is placed with it’s foster home where the dog will receive a bath, grooming, on going temperament examination, and basic training. Dogs are introduced to other dogs, cats, and people to see how they react around different things in a normal environment. After assessment, the rescue looks over their adoption applications and closely matches this dog to a potential adoptive family. A member of the rescue then performs a home evaluation; this is NOT to see how clean your house is, but rather to see if what you said on the application is indeed what your living situation is like. After the home visit, rescue will bring the dog to meet your family and any other pets you may have. If this is a successful meeting, rescue will give you an adoption contract to sign, and the dog moves in with you.
Where are the dogs located?
All of our Danes are placed in foster care so that we can better assess their temperament and character. We do not have our own kennel facility where dogs are kept.
How do you know the dogs are healthy and will make good pets?
All our rescue dogs are temperamentally and medically screened to insure placing of only sound, healthy dogs at the time they’re placed.
Aren’t rescue dogs usually abused or neglected, making them dangerous?
Most rescue dogs are the result of bad decisions, being acquired with insufficient preparation and research. As for those that have been abused or neglected, many new owners tell us the dogs seem to understand their good fortune and respond by demonstrating an especially attentive and loving attitude.
What happens if I adopt a dog, but can’t keep it?
GDRST takes the time and effort to very carefully match people with dogs, usually resulting in lifelong placements. If a dog does not work out in his new home, the dog MUST be returned to the rescue. All rescues require the new family to sign legal paperwork that addresses their commitment to keeping the dog, or returning it to the rescue if the placement doesn’t work out.
How much does it cost to adopt a rescue dog?
GDRST’s cost to spay/neuter a dog, fully vaccinate it, and test/treat for heartworm can be several hundred dollars. However, adoption fees are not based on how much the dog has cost the rescue. In general, a dog adopted from a rescue will cost more than a dog adopted from a shelter. That’s because we have taken on the extra expense to FULLY vet the dog, FULLY temperament assess the dog, housebreak it, and begin obedience training with it.
Our adoption fees are based on the age of the animal and noted on each available Dane’s profile.
Why can’t I breed my rescue dog?
The fact that there are dogs for us to rescue, and more perfectly adoptable dogs being put to sleep daily in shelters across this nation, attests that there are too many dogs already being bred. This is why all the dogs in our program are already spayed/neutered prior to placement. Leave the breeding to the professional breeders; they already have homes for the pups well in advance of breeding their female dogs, and they know what kind of pre- and post-natal care to provide (and what to do in case of emergency!)
How do I adopt a rescue dog?
The first step is to fill out an Adoption Application.
After your application is reviewed and approved, you will be notified when an appropriate dog is available. You will be asked to sign a contract when you adopt a dog from GDRST.