A rescue group or rescue organization takes unwanted or
and attempts to find new, caring homes for them. Most rescue groups are
created by and run by volunteers, who take the animals into their homes
and care for them—including training, loving, playing, handling medical
issues, and solving behavior problems—until a suitable permanent home
can be found.
Rescue groups exist for most types of pet—for example, rabbit rescue.
For animals with many breed types, many rescue groups specialize in specific
breeds or groups of breeds. For example, for
dogs, there might be
Golden Retriever rescue groups,
dog rescue groups, large-dog rescue groups, and generic dog rescue groups.
Animal shelters often work closely with rescue groups, because shelters who
have difficulty placing otherwise healthy and pet-worth animals would usually
rather have the animal placed in a home than
euthanized; while the shelters might run out of room, rescue groups can
often find more volunteers with space in their homes for temporary placement.
In the UK, both shelter and rescue organisations are described using the
blanket term 'rescue', whether they have their own premises, buy in
accommodation from commercial kennels, or operate a network of foster homes.
Kennels that have a council contract to take in stray dogs are usually
referred to as dog pounds. Some dog pounds also carry out rescue and rehoming
work and are effectively rescue groups that operate a pound service. Some rescue
groups work with pounds to move dogs to rescues. By law, a dog handed in as a
stray to a UK pound must be held for 7 days before it can be rehomed or
Adopting through a rescue group
Most rescue groups have strict adoption procedures that can include
completing an application to adopt, checking a veterinary reference, conducting
a phone interview, and conducting a home visit. Rescues are all volunteer
organizations and survive on donations. They charge an adoption fee, which might
seem high to some people; however, most rescue groups are staffed entirely by
volunteers, who must travel to pick up a dog in need, give it any medical care
it may need, give it any training necessary, and feed it. The adoption fee helps
them to save another animal's life.
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