When it comes to adopting a furry friend, you have so many options to choose from in Houston. There are over 100 rescue groups all across town. Animal rescues are the backbone of animal welfare. They help alleviate the heavy burden of county and city animal shelters. If you decide to adopt from a rescue group, how do you know if they are reputable? With so many options, it can be tricky to navigate.  We will help you with pet adoption and how to choose a reputable rescue.

Why Choosing a Reputable Rescue is Important 

A reputable rescue organization will help you find the perfect match for your family. These groups not only provide excellent care for pets in their rescue, but they also make efforts to ensure the right pet goes to the right family. By choosing to adopt from a respected group, you will avoid potentially enabling groups that do not care for their animals like hoarders or puppy-mill types of situations. Just like all organizations, there are vast differences in the way one rescue group operates to another.  

Things to Look for When Choosing a Rescue to Adopt From 

Reputable rescues often have high expectations and a vetting process for potential new homes for adoptable pets. Most quality rescues will have most of the following things in place, but we encourage you to also make your own list of criteria.  

•Require an adoption application for all adoptions. 

•Complete a home visit with potential adopters. 

•Check the veterinary care history of current pets of potential adopters to ensure the adopted pet will also receive proper care.  

•Provide basic veterinary care for animals brought into rescue like vaccines, a heartworm test, and a checkup. 

•Spay or neuter all animals. 

•Share medical history with potential adopters and provide records upon adoption. 

•Discuss breed-related important topics when necessary. For example, a new Great Dane owner needs to know about proper feeding, signs of bloat, and joint health supplements. 

•Allow for an introduction to current pets to ensure the new pet will fit in. Some may also allow time for the new pet to get accustomed to the home before finalizing adoption. This is called “foster to adopt” and lasts around two weeks. 

•Ask for a reasonable rehoming fee. The fee may fluctuate depending on the age of the pet and breed. For example, giant breeds like Great Danes have more expenses than small breeds of dogs. 

•Most quality rescues have a charitable 501(c)(3) status with solid business practices in place and show good stewardship of donations.  

•Require an adoption contract. These contracts will have key items in place so all parties understand expectations.  

Finally, use your best judgment. You want a rescue that will spend time answering your questions and concerns. When choosing a rescue, choose one that has high, yet reasonable, expectations for potential adopters and provides excellent care for pets in their program. We hope we helped you with pet adoption and how to choose a reputable rescue.

By Steffani Martin, www.saveadane.org