When three Chicago families recently decided to add a puppy to the family, they reached out to a rescue and fell in love with three cute puppies recently rescued from Chicago Animal Care and Control by a rescue organization. Within a couple of hours after going home, all three puppies became very sick with parvovirus. When the families reached out to the rescue, it not only refused to help, it closed up shop, leaving the families holding the bag for high veterinary bills.
The dogs were quickly treated by a veterinarian for parvovirus and despite the severity in the early days, they are recovering. One of the dogs has gone home. Now, the families are asking for help as they pay of high veterinary bills for Izzy Belle, Peanut and Henley. The families are committed to keeping, caring for and raising the puppies but are now raising funds for veterinary bills that have exceeded $10,000.
Learn more at their GoFundMe. The families that adopted Peanut (who is now home), Izzy Belle and Henley will be donating any excess funds raised to rescues to help defray veterinary costs.
I've done a lot of posts about families that purchase pets from pet stores only to end up with very sick puppies within hours or days of bringing the dog home. However, if you don't do your homework when rescuing, situations like this may also happen. Here are a few tips to consider when working with a shelter or rescue on a pet adoption:
Research the rescue - There are many great shelters and rescues in the Chicago-area. Ask around for recommendations and do your homework about any group before you adopt from them. New groups start up all the time and some close up shop quickly. If it's a new group, ask about their experience and what other rescues they've been affiliated with. You also should find out if the organization has a license with Illinois' department of agriculture to do business. Research their non-profit status as well (501(3)C).
Pet's history - In the case of owner surrenders, the groups may have background information and veterinary records for that pet. Usually that is not the case and there is little information. Under the pet disclosure act, rescues, shelters (and pet stores) do need to tell you where they got the pet (stray, owner surrender, animal control) and pass along what information they do have.
Veterinary records - Before you take home a puppy, kitten, cat or dog, they should be up-to-date on age appropriate vaccinations and they should be spayed or neutered. If there is a health issue preventing vaccinations and spay/neuter, you should be made aware of that as well.
Quarantine time - Many groups pull dogs and cats from animal controls and rescue strays from off the street. However, the good rescues do not want to risk the health of other animals or further compromise the health of the pet they just rescued by adopting out too quickly. Many groups hold pets in isolation for 2 to 3 weeks to make sure parvo or other illnesses have not been developing. There are also groups that will pull a dog in the morning and adopt out in 24 hours before that animal spends anytime in isolation.
Due diligence - While it's vital for you do do your own due diligence, the rescue or shelter should also be doing the same. You should fill out an application and be asked to prove if you can have a pet where you live. A good rescue won't rush to get you out the door with a dog or cat. They will ask you questions and also spend time talking about caring for your pet and start open communication on pet care.
Forever home? - Not all adoptions work out. A good shelter or rescue will require you to sign a contract that states they will take your pet back under any circumstances.
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