How can I get involved with a dog rescue?

Question by Natalia: How can I get involved with a dog ?
I would love to house/rehabilitate dogs and be part of a dog rescue (either or preferably), but I don't know how to get started. What kind of certifications do you need to go through to house rescue dogs? Do you get any help financially with their medical bills? How do you work as a ? I'm new to this, but it's something I would really love to do.

Best answer:

Answer by skye_blue_05
My suggestion, go to or call the closest shelter to you and just ask. They will steer you in the right direction.

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    • anne b
    • March 9, 2012

    Thanks for considering doing this-we need all the help we can get! I don’t know where you live, but our local Lab rescue group had to close down because they had NO foster homes. How sad is that? They have also stopped coming to the rescue events, which are important for monetary support and to get the word out.
    My rescue group has a volunteer application on their website. I filled it out and was contacted by a volunteer who did a home visit with me, to meet everyone in the house and all my dogs. They also checked personal and vet references to make sure I was up to date on all my dogs shots, etc.
    After I was approved, I was allowed to foster slowly until I got the hang of it. Now I am fostering two at a time, and have had some successful adoptions as well. I also do the home visits for my fosters and all the paperwork that is involved.
    All medical expenses for the dogs have to be approved by our RC. I pay the bill up front and the organization cuts me a check within a week. I donate food, love, exercise and training.
    It’s a great feeling.

    • walyank
    • March 9, 2012

    google “(the breed) rescue” and you will come up with a bunch of rescues for that breed. If none are close to you call the closest, explain that you are interested in volunteering and ask if they know of one closer to you.

    If you google “dog forums” you will find places to get the same kind of help. Good dog forums will also regularly post help wanted ads. As in, I need to get this rescued dog from point A to point B (to its new parents), can you help with one leg of the trip? Beware though, dog forums are addictive!

    But don’t forget your local shelter. They need help as much as rescues do.

    And if you end up with a herd, you may want to think about becoming a rep for a smaller quality pet food company. For us it was a way of cutting our food bill down a bit while feeding our 5 dogs good food. If you’re a salesperson and in a good area, you can even make money with it and help more dogs…

    Also remember that the first thing you can do to help the dog population is to educate people around you about neutering, backyard breeders, designer breeds (mutts with a high price), etc, etc

    No matter which way you go, you can’t help but have some fun even if there are heartaches along the way. Good luck.

    • pugpillow
    • March 9, 2012

    First find a local rescue organization for the breed(s) you are interested in. You can do this by searching online, asking neighbourhood vets or the local shelter.

    Then contact the rescue org and tell them you’d like to help. They will probably welcome you with open arms because most rescue orgs are short-staffed. Every one that I know is run strictly by volunteers. That means it is unpaid and so the people that are there usually have busy lives with their real jobs too. They will tell you what type of help they need the most.

    Here are some of the jobs needed:
    Foster homes
    Application review and contact
    Administration – recordkeeping, treasurer
    Board positions – decision making

    There are no formal certifications needed, and the amount of experience you have with the breed may affect what they ask you to do. You may have to fill out an application just like you would if you were wanting to adopt a dog from them, so they know that dogs in your foster care will be properly looked after.

    Generally, while you are fostering a dog (between when they come into rescue and get adopted out), the rescue org will foot the vet bills. Other costs such as food, toys, leashes etc. will be your responsibility.

    It is hard work and can be emotionally draining but the payback in knowing you are helping is worth so much more than money. Good luck.

    • jim w
    • March 9, 2012

    you set up a web site and you contact the spca ask them to report any labs to you that that have in the spca there are many full breed labs at our spca here in virginia the drs that work for the spca check them out very well before they get adopted. second you go adopt tell them you rescue and they will help you out. they like rescue people but most citys wont let you have more than 4 at a time you just need to adopt them out fast at least youre not letting them go under the needle . if you have a established rescue the spca turns the dogs over free of charge to you.

    • Deb R
    • March 9, 2012

    My friend did a search for local rescue and then e-mailed for applications. The org will generally tell you what it provides and expects of you. Ask a lot of questions. Just remember…there is no such thing as a stupid question !

    • Gophier
    • March 9, 2012

    Each rescue organization runs things a little different.. The first thing you should do is contact one that you would like to volunteer for, they will be glad to give you all the information that you want. is a great web site to find rescue organizations in all areas of the country.. Just remember it is hard work but well worth the love and companionship you get back from all the doggy’s you are able to help

    • kala w
    • March 9, 2012

    i dunno on labs and goldies but on pit bulls, and please think about this, go to
    these dogs really need adoption or some help.

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