You’re informed. Make sure the location aligns with zoning laws. A fact of life in a no-kill sanctuary is that unless animals find homes, they live out their natural lives in your care. Putting donation cans in stores around the neighborhood draws a small but steady income. Selling products (T-shirts, hats, jewelry and other items) can help raise funds. People enjoy giving, and we have made some very good friends who give regularly. A few of the cute little animals I helped this year. A release form lays out potential problems, or specific requirements, making a person aware of issues or requirements involved in adopting an animal, working with animals, or having an animal undergo a surgical procedure (like a spay or neuter). And most importantly, your financial supporters are people, too. Rescues … If your facility takes in an animal of a particular breed – for example, an Irish wolfhound – a rescue group for that breed may be located nearby. To start and then continue to run a sanctuary, you need money. Finding new homes for as many animals as possible is a goal we should all pursue. Sick, abused and often pregnant ones do. It is helpful, but not essential, to have a professional (an attorney or accountant) do the paperwork. Even if you have some full-time staff, having volunteers on the team enables you to do more and it’s a wonderful way of including people in your work. I found that this approach was not very effective, since people would tune me out after a while. For example, in your adoption contract you can cover the limits of your responsibility for the health and behavior of an adopted animal. One of our members in a nearby city was holding a yard sale for Best Friends and one of her customers expressed interest in our work. It’s a good idea to gather names, addresses and phone numbers anytime you set up a table to disseminate information about your organization to the public. I’m always researching how to make money on the side. Once we began receiving large donations of pet food, we had a storage problem. People give money to something they believe in and to people they know. You might find land that has a building or buildings on it. Soon, I was getting so many requests for photos that I decided to create a formal rescue group program to provide complimentary images of adoptable animals. Animal rescue establishes a system where rescuers can save animals from violent homes or from the dangers on the streets. It is helpful at this point to decide what kind of animals you will be rescuing. Your membership program is the backbone of your fundraising efforts. Even constant barking in the background can create stress-related health issues for cats. How close are they? However, it’s an important part of what you hope to accomplish. All rights reserved. To make your members aware of what items you need, put together a “wish list” and publish the list in your newsletter. Since food will be a constant expense, getting food donated on a regular basis will help defray costs. So, take this into consideration when planning the layout of your facilities. Outline your plan and enlist their support. We have found that people prefer to be uplifted rather than made to feel guilty by what they read about our work. It makes merging them into the general population easier. Setting up tables or booths outside popular stores are good ways to meet people, talk about what you’re doing, collect donations, and sign up new members all at the same time. But we welcome this opportunity to share the knowledge we have gained over a number of years of taking care of animals. Preparing for the transport 9.) At Best Friends we sometimes work with other agencies to place animals. Stories of your rescues and adoptions are a lot more interesting to your members than details of your board meetings. They tend to be not very successful.      Adoptions Mary Hope Kramer is a former writer for the The Balance Careers covering animal-related jobs. It may be an awkward situation, but the sooner it’s done, the better! Spaying and neutering are becoming the norm for the majority of people who have pets. E-mail is a very good and inexpensive way of keeping in touch with people. These choices will be up to you and your budget. You will also need to create intake isolation facilities. Opening your own sanctuary involves interacting with people, raising funds, building facilities, dealing with legal issues, and more. If they agree to donate, follow up with a personal letter of thanks to the person in charge. You’ll want to respect their wishes about table placement and on how you approach the store’s customers. From astute service dogs guiding those with visual impairments to loyal friends providing emotional support to search and rescue canines saving lives, this animal has broad positive effects on our world and well-being. Dan McKernan was making $100,000 at a tech job in Austin, Texas — until he gave it all up to move over 1,000 miles away and set up a sanctuary for farm animals in Michigan. Stores will often donate a percentage of their sales to benefit the animals. A curriculum in animal rescue typically combines classroom instruction with practical training that involves live animals or mannequins. This can be a make-or-break area! Using e-mail. Every encounter is an opportunity to share your philosophy, especially by your example. Zoning laws regulate how land is used, how many animals are allowed, and what species you can have on it. We obtained permission to go in ahead of the bulldozers, and retrieve whatever we could use. If they are interested in becoming members, outline the different levels of involvement, so they can choose for themselves. I know this is hard because the need is so great, but it is even harder to have to cope with a failed situation when so many lives are involved. It will be a world where we are all living in harmony with each other and with nature. It is all too easy to allow yourself to become angry and overwhelmed by the public’s disregard for what is so dear to us. No matter what you think it will cost to save one or many animals, it will always cost a lot more! Take time out to be good to yourself. Ask yourself what you like to read and hear about. We came away with cupboards, doors, surgical lights, incubators, x-ray viewers, and a variety of other useful equipment. But even that type of zoning doesn’t cover exotics. Risks of multi-leg transports 7.) Finally, each species has specific housing requirements. You need to get the word out about your plans, ideas, and work to as many people as possible. In our spay/neuter program, we include a release clause for surgery in our admittance form.      Food With that in mind, you will want to have staff and volunteers who are pleasant, articulate and considerate, both in person and on the other end of the phone. If you want to do the paperwork without the expense of an attorney. Animal lovers can make rescue work a full-time job. Although I have always felt fortunate to have such a secure job in such unstable times, something was still missing. You’ll be doing fundraising for two basic areas: Operating expenses. Animals that need rescuing usually need loads of vet care. To protect your resident population from exposure to disease, you’ll need to have a place to house any incoming animals for a minimum of two weeks. 5.) In our experience, cats do better if their diet is both high quality and consistent. After three years, when the IRS is satisfied that you are running a legitimate nonprofit, you will be granted a permanent 501(c)(3) status. Leasing land does not offer any stability for the animals. Some feed stores sell basic medications, and many of the pet-supply catalogs carry a variety of supplies at reasonable prices. There are a lot of questions to ask in relation to a piece of land you are looking at. This experience often helps people to focus on their goals, and clarify their vision. It is only too easy to slip into negative attitudes and emotions toward those who don’t treat their pets with love and respect. In the beginning, just a one-page letter can keep your members and supporters in touch. Information about such plans is available through Shelter Planners. This is a very good plan. Doing some research early on will help you to plan effectively. Although volunteers are not on the payroll, they do require “payment” of sorts. Tails of Rescue, A Guide to Finding the Not-So-Perfect Dog That is Perfect for You. Good and consistent volunteers are like gold and can make a big difference in the success of your program. Send thank-you notes for the donations you receive (no matter how small), provide prompt responses to questions asked, and assist members with animal problems. To be able to offer refuge to every animal in need, open-admission shelters must euthanize unadopted and unadoptable animals. You should also be prepared for people calling simply to ask if you will take their unwanted pet! In Best Friends’ internship program, young people who are interested in careers in the animal field spend time working alongside us at the sanctuary, which gives them good hands-on experience of what is involved. I watched countless webinars and bought every how-to book that I could find. We here at Best Friends do not claim to have all the answers. Getting publicity for your cause. Besides knowing what your limits are now, you should also plan for the future. At the end of the year, remember those who have given to you by sending them a plaque or some small gift. Who will take care of the animals you have rescued? (We use the term “member” to describe our supporters. This might be a private endowment that guarantees a certain amount every year, or perhaps an annual grant from a foundation. It never hurts to ask! Heartwarming stories about animals are always welcome on TV and in the local newspapers. Too often, I hear stories of abuse and neglect so extreme that it brings me to tears. You might want to talk to an attorney about which release forms or waivers would be appropriate for your sanctuary. Creating more doubt will only lead to a narrower path for rescue of forgotten pets to occur. Be brief and friendly. The animals you rescue bring with them different needs and experiences, and the demands on you will be substantial. Caring for animals is a 24/7 job – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can end up losing the money you invested in all the printing and mailing and follow-up that’s involved. Maybe, maybe not. Housing dogs can be noisy, and if you don’t have a buffer zone, like land or trees to dissipate the sound, your neighbors can legally file a complaint and perhaps force you to close down your operation. I quickly developed thirst for knowledge. It helps to have friends with whom to share your feelings and frustrations. Someone may know someone who’s willing to donate their services or perhaps one of your supporters works in graphic design or publishing and can help you put it all together. The lamprey looks like an ancient sea monster. Every encounter with the public offers an opportunity to educate and inform. Kennel attendants clean cages and feed, walk and groom animals. To operate the sanctuary, you’ll need a continuing and reliable source of funding. One of our members who loves to sew takes them and creates bed pads for use at the kennels and in the clinic. If you don’t ensure that the legal side of operating a sanctuary is done correctly, you could jeopardize your whole operation. Together we can help to put an end to our nation's animal over-population crisis. The Humane Society of the United State is a good resource for finding models to follow and understanding the standards you must meet. You can invite people to sponsor some of the animals, hold membership drives, and buy mailing lists to gain more members (quite complex). Shy-Low has since been adopted by a loving volunteer from the rescue group that helped him through his physical and mental healing. Best wishes from all of us at Best Friends. Zoning governs if a business can be operated in a particular area, how many animals can be kept there, and the types of animals allowed. Is very distressing, especially by your example important thing you can use, it! 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