Thursday, October 3, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Getting Started in Rescue

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday I have decided to go back to the beginning of my canine rescuing campaign :). It's hard to find a good group to volunteer with because sadly there is a lot of drama in rescue. Everyone thinks they know best and a lot of people aren't open to other viewpoints if they are different. We are all working towards the same goal but that tends to get lost in the daily struggle.

I got involved with Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus back in May 2007 and I am extremely proud to call myself one of their volunteers. That seems like forever ago even though it's only been a little over 6 years :). I was a rescue newbie and had no idea what I was getting into, but I had decided that I would like to foster Dobermans. At that point Bourbon had been a part of my life for a year and a half and I was getting more interested in the Doberman breed in general. Plus I know that if I volunteered with a pitbull group I wouldn't be able to let any of them go!

I got lucky as IDR+ is really a top notch group filled with compassionate people that communicate respectfully. And that my friends, is the kicker. In the rescue community you have to have respectful communication or you get nowhere fast and everyone ends up offended. I could write a whole blog post on that, but let's not get sidetracked :).

Back to getting started...every rescue group will have different qualifiers for its volunteers, so get familiar with their processes. At IDR+ in order to foster you have to go through the application process - which means have your application approved, get a positive vet check, and have a home visit. At each of those points of contact the group learns a bit more about the applicant - that is always a good thing! The home visit is nice because you get to sit down and share expectations - what the applicant should expect from the rescue and what the rescue expects from the applicant. Of course if you are not interested in fostering you don't have to go through the whole rigmarole, you just have to sign up!

Obviously, I was in it to foster so I submitted my application, they checked with my vet to make sure I took care of my animals, and I had a home visit scheduled. This was actually easier than I had envisioned because I was all the way out in the middle of Iowa and the rescue is based in the suburbs of Chicago. Luckily, a group member that lived around the Quad Cities volunteered to come out and visit my home. Then presto change-o, I am an approved foster home!

I was ready to welcome a new foster, but was I REALLY ready? I was nervous and excited, that was for sure. So I planned a trip to pick up my first foster dog and hoped I was making the right decision. Check back next Thursday for the Throwback story of my first foster.

This beautiful face was behind the start of my fostering escapades!

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