Each canine rescue organization will do things their own way, but this article hopes to answer the most common questions about rescues, shelters, and adoptions, and how Steele Away Home does things.
Can you come take my neighbors dog away from them?
No. A rescue agency is not legally empowered to trespass on private property or to confiscate anyone’s animal. What we can do is to go talk to the animals owner and try to convince them that it is in everyone’s best interest (especially the animal) to let us take it and care for it.
If that does not work and you are certain an animal is being abused, call the local Animal Control office. These officers are part of the police force and are empowered to investigate and do whatever is necessary to alleviate an abusive situation. Animal abuse is now a felony offense and abusers can go to prison.
I can’t keep my dog anymore, will you take it?
Yes. As long as you are the legal owner of the dog and will sign a release form assigning ownership to Steele Away Home, we will accept most owner surrendered dogs. The primary exception is a dog that is viscous/aggressive. We do not have a “facility” in which to incarcerate a dog that will attack and bite people. Take that dog to the local animal shelter.
Acceptance of an owner surrender dog also depends on whether we have space to accommodate another dog. Steele Away Home is an all in-home foster based rescue. We can take in only as many dogs as our foster homes can care for properly.
I found a stray dog, will you take it?
Yes. A report needs to be made and a reasonable attempt made to find the dog’s owner, but if no owner steps forward Steele Away Home will accept the stray for rehoming — provided we have space.
If I give you my dog, can I get it back if I change my mind?
Generally, no. But that depends on the situation: we’re not heartless. However, if you want to reclaim a dog who was surrendered to us you will be expected to reimburse us for medical care and other direct costs we have paid for that dog.
Do you adopt dogs out?
No. Well … mostly, no. To be responsible about adoptions, a rescue must have the personnel and resources to do a home inspection, interview a prospective adopter’s veterinarian, and check references. If these are not done, the dogs we’ve worked so hard to save and rehabilitate may go back into abusive, neglectful situations.
On a rare occasion, someone we know well (usually one of our foster homes) will ask to adopt a dog in our care. We can do that as long as the dog has not already been accepted by another rescue.
Do you send your dogs straight to their forever homes?
Normally, no. As was mentioned above, we do not do adoptions. When the dogs we’ve rescued leave here, they go to a larger rescue or a no-kill shelter in an area with a higher demand for good dogs. That rescue or shelter will then match the dogs up with suitable forever families.
What is this “claimed by a rescue” business?
Steele Away Home works with large rescues in areas in need of good dogs. This requires a good, trusting relationship between us and them. They need to know that dogs they get from us are healthy and temperamentally fit for immediate adoption.
When they see a dog in our listing and agree to accept it into their program, they have “claimed” that dog and we remove it from the listing even if it won’t be leaving for a while. It is important that we do not renege on that agreement because that agency will begin trying to find a forever home for that dog even before it arrives. In some cases, the adoptive family has met the transport van to claim their new family member. If that dog does not arrive, trust is broken and our ability to rescue lives in the future is diminished.
Do you take dogs from local animal shelters?
Yes. When we have room for more dogs we do work with local animal shelters and Newport Animal Control. We do have minimum standards concerning the medical care of dogs we accept from these entities: basic inoculations and worming need to have been properly done so we aren’t taking an infected dog into our population.
Do you provide medical care for the dogs you take in?
Yes. Parvo, Bordatella, and Distemper boosters are given on schedule to be sure the animals are protected. Any other injury or disease is addressed with our veterinarian. Flea & Tick and Heartworm preventatives are given monthly. Each animal is given rabies vaccine and is micro-chipped when it is spayed or neutered. Each dog’s health and well being is a high priority.
Do you sell the dogs you send out?
No. While we do ask for a donation from the rescue accepting each dog, the amount of that donation doesn’t come even close to covering the cost of medical care, preventatives, spay/neuter surgery, transportation costs, food and equipment put into each dog. Canine Rescue is NOT a profitable venture. We depend heavily on donors and fund-raisers to pay the remaining costs.
Do you euthanize dogs?
No! With the exception of a dog that it terminally ill and suffering or so injured that there is no hope of its survival, we never euthanize.
Why do you send all these dogs to other states?
Here in the south our leaders have allowed lax spay and neuter regulations to remain and as a result owners allow their dogs to breed indiscriminately. The result is overpopulation of dogs.
Other parts of the country require owners (except licensed breeders) to sterilize their pets to control animal population. Because of this there is actually a demand for good dogs as family pets in those areas. Rescues like Steele Away Home move dogs from areas of overpopulation to areas of need. By doing this we save thousands of dogs from being killed in shelters because they are unwanted or become a nuisance.
Does your leadership receive a salary?
No. Steele Away Home – Canine Foster and Rescue is an all-volunteer organization. Every penny donated to Steele Away Home is used to provide care and transportation to the dogs.