10 Rules Of Helping Stray Animals: How To Take Some Of The "Ruffness" Out Of Rescue

Posted on: 5 September 2017

While animal rescue is a noble effort, it can also be a chaotic, expensive and even dangerous effort. To make it less "ruff" on you and your household, as well as to increase your success rate, consider the following 10 rules of helping stray animals.

1. Don't Plan On Taking In Every Stray

As much as your heart may ache for each animal left unattended by caring human hands, if you allow your heart to dictate your actions, you're likely to take rescuing to such an extreme that it could negatively affect your life. Create some sort of plan that fits your home, family, resources and budget, to allow yourself to continue to do all you can to help.

2. Put Funds For The Animals You Will Help

Although there's really no way to always anticipate the funds you may need to help stray animals, it's a good idea to keep a fund, separate from your other expenses, and refill it after it's been exhausted by your rescue efforts. Also, set a rule for yourself that you're never going to go into your own personal funds to save an animal, no matter how much that may hurt.

3. Keep A Quarantine Area Set Up On Your Property

Even the friendliest stray animals who may look ideal in health could be harboring a number of different ailments you don't want to expose humans or other animals (or your home) to. Have an area a safe distance away, where you can inspect for fleas, worms and other unpleasantries, or a place where you keep a stray until it can be seen by a vet.

4. Discuss A Treatment/Payment Plan With Your Local Vet

Since you're likely going to be one of the biggest customers your local vet has, talk to them about potential volume discounts, as well as an offset in the price you pay for services, simply due to the fact that you're rescuing these helpless, often hapless animals from what could otherwise be disastrous fates. The vet themselves could be a rescuer of sorts, so they'll probably understand and work with your predicament. Even if you don't get a discount of any sort, inform a vet of your intention to rescue animals, so they know how to prepare for any furry friend you may bring in.

5. Never Skip A Vaccination

No matter what the circumstances under which you rescue or take in an animal, make vaccinations a top priority. You really never know where an animal has been or how it was (or wasn't) looked after medically. Diseases like canine parvovirus are devastating and despite wanting to help a dog left out in the elements, you can't risk contaminating other animals in your life. Cats and kittens, too, can carry a number of diseases, some contagious, that must be kept in check, for the benefit of animals everywhere. Legally, too, you are likely required to meet the rabies vaccination criteria for any animal in your care; thus giving you even more reasons to never skip a vaccination with your rescued animals.

6. Connect Your Cause To A Helpful Community

Having a Facebook or other social media account could keep you in contact with other awesome humans who might offer a home to the animals you save. Community awareness could also create a funding source for you, especially when times get tough, but the number of animals in need of rescue doesn't diminish. Have a presence on local social media or set up a website where would-be adopters can contact you, along with giving the general public a quick and secure way of donating to your cause.

7. Take Plenty Of Pictures Of Your Rescued Animals

Before and after pics are a great way to demonstrate the power of rescuing, along with helping you to possibly obtain useful resources, such as donations of money and supplies. Great photographs can also help get your strays adopted, so always take pics as the different animals come into your life.

8. Understand How Your Family Is Affected By Animals Coming And Going

Unless you're single and nobody else in the household is going to be affected by the animals you're rescuing, it's important that they're able to handle both the chaos and the emotional impact. Kids especially can quickly attach to an animal, but if they're going to have to say "Goodbye" soon thereafter, it could be difficult. Make sure you explain the arrangements ahead of time and that nobody in your home is being adversely affected by your rescue operation.

9. Save All Your Receipts For Animal Care, For Possible Tax Deductions

In some cases, you don't actually have to be an official, registered charity to deduct your animal rescue expenses, partly or wholly. This area of taxation can be tricky and since you don't want to ever get into trouble with the Internal Revenue Service, make sure this aspect of your mission is handled professionally.

10. Consider Documenting Your Adventures For A How-To Guide

Because animal rescue is something many people have a tendency toward, you may want to document your adventures in this area and present them to the world in the form of a "how-to" eBook, website or other publication. You'd be helping others avoid some of the trials and tribulations you've faced, along with encouraging people to act responsibly when it comes to taking in strays, making vaccinations a priority and of course, spaying and neutering, to avoid unwanted litters that will simply turn into more strays to save.

Don't let your noble efforts at animal rescue be hindered by unnecessary complications, as it's likely to be a hard enough challenge with the unavoidable pitfalls. Treat it like an actual tactical operation, which, ultimately, it is, so you can have the greatest chance of success. For more information, contact a business such as 1st Pet Veterinary Centers.