General Guidelines

Members will exhibit courtesy and respect to each other during meetings, discussions and all organization events.

Members will encourage verbal participation and the sharing of different perspectives and opinions.

Members will demonstrate truthfulness and honesty in interactions associated with this organization.

Members will honor commitments and be prepared for all ART work.

A member who is a potential vendor shall identify him/herself as such when participating in ART discussion relevant to his/her service.

Members will be cognizant of the fact that disagreements should focus on issues, not individuals and behave accordingly.

Members should abide by the decisions agreed upon by the organization and support those decisions in the organizational activities.

Members will respect the confidentiality of information presented during meetings.

Members will present a positive image of ART in all public discussions. Problems should be addressed within the group.

Members should support the mission, goals, strategies, programs and/or leadership of the planning body as agreed upon by the entire membership.

Every member will take responsibility not only for abiding by these rules of conduct personally, but also for speaking out to assure that all members abide by them.

Members should gain the express permission of the President or the Board of Directors prior to speaking, publishing materials or providing endorsements on behalf of ART.

ART promotes rescue as a non-profit endeavor, whether our group is an organization recognized by the state and/or federal government, or the work of one or more private individuals.

Members shall uphold the principle of ART as a non-profit organization, therefore no member should make a profit from rescue work.

Members shall be aware of local animal control laws and shall be personally responsible for obeying those laws. If a member disobeys such laws s/he acknowledges that ART, as an organization, shall not support the member in any police or judicial action.

Animal Care

Prior to rescuing an animal, the ART member agrees to be responsible for the care of any returned animal, even if the return occurs when the rescuer is no longer an active ART member. In this case, the former member will be allowed to display the animal on the ART website and show the animal at ART adoption events without rejoining ART provided the rescuer abides by ART’s general adoption guidelines.

When housing and transporting animals, all care shall be taken to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the rescue animal and resident animals.

Any unaltered animal shall be kept separate from any other unaltered animal of the opposite sex. Likewise, potentially contagious animals shall be separated from healthy ones.

Animals in our care will be housed under sanitary conditions which meet or exceed all minimum standards as defined by local health and sanitation authorities.

ART members shall thoroughly interview potential fosters, including conducting a home visit and doing a vet reference check on any animal/s currently residing in the potential foster’s home, prior to placing the rescued animal in the potential foster’s home.

ART members are required to have a signed foster agreement with every foster home in which they place animals for fostering.

Whenever a sponsor is out of town or similarly unavailable, the sponsor will supply his/her foster home/s with the name and contact number of another ART member who has agreed to be the substitute sponsor during the primary sponsor’s absence.

Routine veterinary care will be provided for animals in our care, including regular inoculations, heartworm testing, and the administration of heartworm preventative.

Adequate provisions will be made to ensure that animals in our care are free of parasitic infestations.

Appropriate food, clean water, and shelter will be provided to animals in our care.

Rescue animals deemed unadoptable for reasons of health or temperament will be humanely euthanized and properly disposed of. If an ART animal is euthanized for reasons of temperament, two ART members’ signatures are required on the euthanizing agency’s form. A copy of the form will be submitted to the Secretary for permanent filing.

No ART member shall ever surrender any animal in their care to a shelter without first exhausting all other options. If an animal is surrendered to a shelter, two ART members’ signatures are required on the shelter’s surrender form. A copy of the shelter’s surrender form will be submitted to the Secretary for permanent filing.

Adoption Procedures

Members shall utilize a written Animal Rescue of Tidewater Adoption Contract for every animal adopted.

Potential adopters shall be interviewed using two or more methods (i.e. written application, phone interview, face-to-face interview) plus a home visit with the goal of placing all rescue animals in homes that are breed-appropriate and specifically appropriate to each individual animal.

Potential adopters shall be educated about issues regarding the adopted animal and its care, i.e. temperament, health, training and care.


Current veterinary records of all other pets in the prospective adopter’s home shall be reviewed prior to placement of the rescued pet. This can be done on the phone with their veterinarian’s office.

Members shall obtain proof of landlord approval for prospective adopters who rent or lease from their residence.

Adopters must be at least 18 years of age.

The adoption contract should be fully discussed with the adoptive home to insure full understanding. A signed copy of the contract must be provided to each party involved.

Periodic follow-up checks with the new owners are encouraged to ease adjustment problems. The members should endeavor to help the new owner in every reasonable way. Fenced yards and crates should be recommended. All animals adopted through ART must be living primarily in the domicile of the family, as a household pet and companion.

Members shall maintain a waiting list of interested adopters when requests to adopt exceed available animals.

In order to prevent their unlawful use, sponsor will not release the original registration papers of any rescue animal to adopter, even if the animal is sterilized.

Interorganizational / Interpersonal Relations

Members shall abide by all written contracts entered into with a releasing agency or person.

Members agree to promptly return ART and animal-related phone calls. If a member is unable to return calls promptly, the member will make alternative provisions to have calls handled by another rescue representative, or if none is available, to leave information on the phone answering system as to when calls will be returned.

Members shall pay agreed-upon fees to releasing agencies for rescue pets and agreed-upon expenses to private individuals who assist with the acquisition, transportation, or temporary care of rescue pets.

Members shall educate the public regarding our purpose and scope of our activities.

Members shall behave in a professional manner when dealing with a releasing agency or member of the public.

The Surrender Process

All animals entering ART, as an owner surrender must be accompanied by ART’s intake form, which must be signed and dated by the surrendering owner as well as the ART member/sponsor.

All animals entering ART from local animal shelters should be accompanied by formal paperwork indicating that the animal has been “officially” surrendered to ART.

Member shall educate surrendering owners in an attempt to avert a recurrence.

The Animals

No animal should be made available for adoption until an appropriate veterinary exam, as well as a temperament evaluation, is completed. ART members should temperament test each animal and exercise good judgment to assure its suitability for placement.

An appropriate veterinary exam should include a basic physical and fecal check, with the animal receiving appropriate vaccines. When a veterinary record is available and current, no further veterinary care is necessary unless required by an unresolved medical problem. Any known medical problems should be treated before release.

Records of each animal should be maintained by the sponsor.

No animal shall be exposed to other animals at ART activities, such as adoption events, until the animal has had age-appropriate vaccinations.