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Rescue group policies and practices

Help your rescue group make the greatest impact for pets and people. Discover advice and guidance on every aspect of rescue work, from incorporating your organization to setting the highest standards of care for every animal you help.

  • Rescue Group Best Practices Guide

    Brought to you by The HSUS and PetSmart Charities, the Rescue Group Best Practices Guide provides advice and guidance on every aspect of rescue work, from the ins and outs of incorporating to setting the highest standards of care for each and every animal you help.

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  • Rescue group program assessment

    Without a highly effective volunteer program, rescues can’t operate at their full life-saving potential. RGPA is a free, online tool that assesses a rescue’s volunteer program and provides concrete steps to improve the organization’s effectiveness.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Rescue group policies and practices

  • Blog Post

    Rescuers to the rescue

    Rescue and shelter partnerships growing beyond adoption

    The animal sheltering field has changed. We can see it in the decline in the euthanasia rate for companion animals nationwide, the increase in adoption rates in animal shelters and the “community animal welfare center” role that many animal shelters are shifting to. Working to keep pets in homes through behavior assistance, affordable and accessible medical care and food pantries are all common in the portfolio of services offered by a large number of animal shelters in 2018.

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  • Magazine Article

    Put it in writing

    Written agreements were key to rescue efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and helped ensure that partnering organizations were pulling in the same direction.

    Good written agreements make for better relationships, in disasters and everyday shelter work

    Twelve years ago, Hurricane Katrina left chaos in its wake. Animal welfare agencies across the country hustled to get animals to safety, but the scope of such a massive response made it difficult to coordinate efforts. Sometimes it was hard to tell who was in charge of what, who had the authority to make decisions, or where animals had gone post-evacuation. 

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  • Magazine Article

    When love isn’t enough

    Rescue isn’t all heartwarming success stories, and sometimes hard cases call for tough decisions

    With his wagging tail and happy demeanor, the golden retriever-spaniel mix looks like a friendly, approachable dog. And for a brief moment, he is.

    “You can pet him for about two seconds, and then he’ll nail you,” says Karen Deeds, a trainer and certified dog behavior consultant in Fort Worth, Texas.

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