How to Choose an Animal Rescue Service


There are approximately 10,000 puppy mills active in the United States. These facilities put profit over the well-being of dog breeds and offer poor living conditions. Adopting from these facilities perpetuates animal abuse.

But how can you tell the difference between a puppy mill and a reputable animal rescue service?

In this article, we discuss these differences as well as the signs of quality rescue shelters. Continue reading if you want to find a new family member while also contributing to the well-being of kennel dogs. 

Rescue shelters vs. Breeders vs. Pet Stores

It’s important to understand the different types of adoption facilities. Rescue shelters find homes for pets who’ve been abandoned or forcibly removed from a home. They may be publicly funded or rely on donations.

Breeders and pet stores are for-profit organizations. They supply customers with puppies through breeding. Without proper research, adopting from breeders or pet stores risks contributing to harmful puppy mills.

Signs of a Quality Animal Rescue Service

If you want to rescue animals from a reputable rescue service, you need to do your research. A reputable dog shelter will be happy to discuss their practices with you. There are also a few signs you can watch for. 

Quality Living Conditions

Rescues and shelters tend not to operate with an endless amount of money, so while the living conditions of their dogs aren’t perfect, they should be comfortable. Some may even consider the needs of specific dog breeds.

They should have room to stand, turn around, and lay down. They should also have some kind of bedding and heated sleeping areas to keep them warm during cold weather. Always ask to see their living conditions.

Attention to Cleanliness

Kennel dogs are at a higher risk of illness due to the large number of animals that come and go. To keep their rescue animals healthy, a dog shelter should take cleanliness seriously. 

This means floors clear of urine and feces, communal areas cleaned regularly, and sick pet protocols in place. It’s also helpful if they have hand sanitizer or hand washing stations available when visiting multiple pets.

Transparent Operations

Another important feature of a reputable animal rescue service is its transparency. They should be willing to discuss their non-profit or tax status with you as well as their process for taking in and caring for kennel dogs.

You can also tell a lot about rescue shelters from the vibe they give off. Consider whether the volunteers seem kind and patient with the animals.

Team Knowledge

A dog shelter that relies on volunteers may not have a surplus of experts in dog breeds and behaviors. However, it’s important that they have a commitment to learning and using best practices. 

For example, if you go to an Irish Wolfhound rescue, you want to be sure they know how to work with Irish Wolfhounds. Not all dog breeds have the same needs and pet owners should understand this before adopting. 

Available Information and Education

When you rescue animals from a dog shelter, you should be offered additional information and/or education. Quality shelters offer basic information on a pet’s health, background, and temperament. 

Some shelters may even have certain requirements before adoption such as home visits and meetings between housemates. While inconvenient, this is a strong sign that a shelter is reputable and cares for its pets. 

Find the Right Animal Rescue Service

To promote the best care for rescue animals and avoid contributing to harmful practices, it’s important to do your research on animal rescue services. Be comfortable asking questions to learn as much as you can before adopting. 

For more helpful guides and recommendations, visit our blog. 

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