As part of a recent interview with shelter veterinarian Dr. Jyothi Robertson on the subject of animal hoarding, Clinician's Brief took a look at the questions veterinarians and others can ask before working with a specific rescue ogranization:
- General population data:
- How many pets does the rescue take in annually?
- How many pets do they adopt out yearly/monthly?
- What is the average length-of-stay, median length-of-stay, and longest length-of-stay for their population?
- General business questions:
- Is the rescue a 501(c)(3)?
- Do they have a current 990 form?
- What is their mission statement?
- Do they have a board of directors? Who sits on the board?
- Can I visit the organization?
- The veterinarian should be able to drop by unannounced in legitimate situations.
- Is the organization foster or shelter based?
- If shelter based, how many employees are staffed?
- If foster based, how many foster homes are available?
- How are members selected for foster?
- Is there a screening process involved?
- Very importantly, what is the adoption process?
- Many hoarders that have rescue organizations start out adopting animals but eventually make the process so difficult that no one is able to pass their screening. Although they claim to adopt out animals, there may, in fact, be no one that fits the criteria to adopt.
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