General Guidelines

Every member will treat every other member with courtesy and respect his/her legitimate right to be part of discussions and decision making. This means that all members/participants in meetings will have the opportunity to speak and be listened to without interruptions.

Every member will be truthful and honest.

Every member 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.

There will be no personal attacks on anyone; disagreements will focus on issues, not upon individuals.

Once decisions are made, every member of the group will support the decision, regardless of his/her personal position.

Information presented in confidence will be held in confidence and not discussed outside the meeting.

Every member will speak positively about ART in public; problems will be addressed within the group.

Any member who feels s/he cannot support the mission, goals, strategies, programs, and/or leadership of the planning body as agreed upon by the members should resign from ART.

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.

No member may speak or publish materials, or provide endorsements on behalf of or represent ART without the express permission of the President or Board of Directors.

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 conduct our rescue on a voluntary basis, receiving no compensation for 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.

Fostered Animal Care

To house rescue animals in our care, under sanitary conditions which meet or exceed all minimum standards as defined by local health and sanitation authorities.

To provide appropriate routine veterinary care for fostered animals including regular inoculations, heartworm testing, and the administration of heartworm preventative.

To make adequate provision to ensure that rescue animals are free of parasitic infestations.

To provide appropriate food, clean water, and shelter.

To temperament test each animal and exercise good judgment to assure its suitability for placement. Members will not knowingly place a vicious or otherwise seriously temperamentally unsound animal in an adoptive home.

Rescue animals deemed unadoptable for reasons of health or temperament, will be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian and properly disposed of.

Adoption Procedures

To utilize a written Animal Resources of Tidewater Adoption Contract for every animal adopted.

To thoroughly interview potential adopters 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.

To educate potential adopters about issues regarding the adopted animal and it’s care, i.e. temperament, health, training and care.

To require sterilization for all rescue animals. Rescue group will use a written sterilization contract or have a clause in their adoption agreement if the spay/neuter is not performed before adoption. If it is not performed before adoption, a security deposit will be utilized. Rescue group will follow up on all sterilization contracts, making every effort to reclaim unsterilized pets within 3 months of contract sterilization date. The only exception to this requirement is a veterinarian’s written certification that sterilization should not be performed due to advanced age or health problems.

To review the current veterinary records of all other pets in the prospective adopter’s home prior to placement of the rescued pet. This can be done on the phone as well, with their veterinarian’s office.

To obtain landlord approval for prospective adopters who rent or lease their residence.

To require that adopters be at least 21 years of age.

The points on the adoption contract should be 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 dog may incur. The rescue group 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.

If an adopted animal is returned or taken back by the sponsor, refund of adoption fee is at the discretion of the sponsor, subject to ART’s policies.

To 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.

To read the adoption procedures and comply.

Interorganizational / Interpersonal Relations

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

To return phone calls to agencies/private owners with pets to place, promptly. If member is unable to return calls promptly, 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.

To 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.

To educate the public regarding our purpose and scope of our activities.

The Surrender Process

All animals entering ART, as an owner surrender, should be accompanied by a intake form.

The intake form should include the dog’s name, age, sex, physical condition and description, health and veterinary history, and reason the animal was surrendered. A brief summary of animal’s habits is also needed.

Intake forms should be signed and dated by surrendering owner as well as the rescue representative.

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

Member shall educate surrendering owners to prevent the animal from being turned in to rescue.

The Animals

No animal should be made available for adoption until an appropriate veterinary exam, as well as a temperament evaluation, is completed.

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.

A animal’s age, sex, or previously known habits, and behavioral and medical history should never be withheld from potential adoptive homes.

Records of each animal adopted should be kept with the rescue group. This may include rabies tag number, microchip, or tattoo identification in case animal is found at large.


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