Dog overpopulation and irresponsible breeders are a big problem, too often leading to cruel actions like destroying puppies in city and country shelters. Fortunately, there are no-kill rescues across the country, with connections to rural areas and small towns that invest all their time and energy in promoting adoptions and giving them a chance at life.
One of them is Lifeline puppy rescue, a volunteer organization, operating throughout the New Mexico ? Kansas ? Rocky Mountains area, which works to rescue puppies during the week and opens for adoptions during the weekends.
The organization was created in 1993 and, since then, it has intermediated the adoption of 27,000 puppies.
How can you adopt a ?Lifeline? puppy?
Prospective adoptive parents must be aged 18+. They have to contact Lifeline (the contact options are listed on the organization`s website), make a personal visit to the rescue, complete a qualifying questionnaire and sign a contract. A neuter/ spay agreement is also required, as well as an adoption fee, typically ranging from $75-$225.
Payment options are cash, Visa and Master Card. Lifeline cannot accept checks.
About ?Lifeline? puppies
Lifeline saves about 20-30 puppies every week, of 8-16 weeks old. They come from city and county shelters. The organization lists all of them on its adoption page, and provides them care and attention until they are adopted, which means puppy shots, deworming and kennel cough vaccine.
Puppies adopted at Lifeline benefit of free health care insurance and free examination at the vet, for 30 days, and they also receive a gift package containing gifts and useful information. The organization also has experts who counsel adopters about early puppy care and other useful aspects.
Prospective adoptive parents should know that Lifeline does not take requests for a certain type of puppy, does no reservation and has no waiting list.
The organization has also opened an Adopt-by-owner page, where pet owners that can no longer take care of their companions can add a free pet profile and offer their pets another chance, making sure that they do not end up in a shelter that euthanizes animals. In this Adopt-by-owner page, prospective adoptive parents can find not just puppies, but dogs of different ages and breeds, up for adoption by owner. Database is updated weekly, with information and photos.
How can you help Lifeline puppy rescue?
Besides adopting a lovely puppy, people who are 16+ years old (or over 13 years old with an adult by their side) and interested in volunteering have different options. The organization needs people for many tasks, during every day of the week, as well as for special events, like the adoptions organized in weekends, and for fostering. Volunteers are those who get the puppies ready for adoption by bathing them, spraying against flea and tick, vaccinating them and providing them medication when they are sick. Some of them also need to clean up after the puppies, feed them, providing them fresh water until they are adopted. Volunteers also do and update the paperwork, learn how to make contracts, adoption speeches and treatment records.
Pet Fostering - What You Need to Know Before Becoming a Foster Parent
Foster programs are very important for rescue groups and shelters. Due to overpopulation issues and without foster programs, more cats and dogs would be euthanized. Foster programs really help animals at risk at the shelter because they are old, sick or need special treatment, giving them a chance to be rehabilitated and adopted.
Any loving individual meeting the basic conditions can contribute to improve an animal`s fragile situation.
Fostering a cat or a dog from a local shelter is very fulfilling for many animal lovers, because they help a little life going through a difficult period. But it is not enough to love an animal. There is a time commitment, you may be asked to foster an animal for a couple of weeks or a couple of months, so you may have to postpone some other plans, once you accept a job.
Foster parents are needed for kittens or puppies, adult cats or dogs, animal in need of special medical care, animals with behavioral issues etc.
People who want to become foster parents are not required to deal with all these situations and nobody will force them to take an animal that they cannot properly care for. Some may only want to foster kittens, while others may have experience to deal with more complicated situations and that is great, because foster parents are needed in any of these categories.
Once you decided to foster pets, you will receive instructions and guidance from the shelter. You will be informed about all the special requirements of any case and you will decide if you can deal with them or not.
Common special requirements
- Housetraining, as well as special training (breaking bad habits, separation anxiety treatment)
- Nursing a cat or a dog back to health (giving them medication, bathing them periodically etc.)
Pet fostering concerns
Many foster parents fall in love with the pet in their care. This is definitely not a problem, though it can become one, if the person already has one or more pets and already reached the limit of the household. Pets can melt your heart and you may want to keep them and help their little lives, but you should not have them if you cannot afford them, if you are not able to provide for them on a daily basis, or if you do not have enough time to pay attention to them and to any sign or illness or worsening symptoms.
You should also consider that if you have reached the limit of household, you will not be able to foster anymore, so you should ask yourself if this is really what you want.
About the financial commitment
Typically, shelters pay for veterinary care, medication and other supplies such as ID tag, dog dishes, bedding etc. However, the situation is different from shelter to shelter and, in some cases, foster parents may have some financial responsibilities too.
Before becoming a foster parent, talk with the shelter's representatives and ask about all your responsibilities.