The Poop : Questions & Answers
Q: Where does GARD get it's dogs? A: A small percentage of our dogs come from owner surrenders (the previous owners are required to sign an owner surrender form). However, most of our dogs are rescued by us from high kill shelters because they are at risk of euthanasia. We DO NOT obtain dogs from "free to a good home" ads in the paper. Our mission is to save dogs who are at risk of euthanasia and give them a second chance at life.
Q: Does GARD sell dogs? A: No, GARD does not sell dogs. We charge an adoption fee when a dog is placed to help cover a fraction of the expense to vet and board the dog, and the upkeep of the shelter.
Q: Does GARD make money off of the shelter and rescue organization? A: No, GARD is a licensed non-profit organization and shelter. Even though it is legal for someone to draw a salary in a non-profit organization, no one at GARD is paid for their work (except of course the satisfaction of saving a dog's life). All donations and adoption fees go towards the vetting and care of the dogs, and upkeep of the shelter. In the few times that we do collect "extra" funds, they are saved for special projects such as expansion and improvements to the facility. We have devoted our lives to saving dogs and have sacrificed a lot personally to be able to live out a dream we have long held - to make a positive difference in how companion animals are treated.
Q: What do I get for my adoption fee? A: For your adoption fee you get, first and foremost, a new best friend who will be devoted to you for the rest of their life and thankful to you for saving their life. Secondly, the dog will be up-to-date on all shots, wormed, and spayed or neutered. On the rare occasion that an animal is adopted out unaltered (such as a puppy that is too young, or a dog that has only been at the shelter a short time), we have begun selling mandatory spay/neuter vouchers with the adoption of the animal for use at the Spay/Neuter Alliance Clinic (SNAC). SNAC then bills GARD back for the cost of the surgery. If we adopt out to someone who lives too far away to use SNAC, we charge a $75 refundable deposit and require the adoptive owner to sign a mandatory Sterilization Contract . Once proof of sterilization is provided to GARD, the deposit is refunded.
Q: Why does your adoption fee vary between dogs? A: Our adoption fee is higher for the more highly sought after dogs such as small fluffy dogs and pure breds. This enables us to save the lives of less desirable dogs that are considered harder to adopt, such as large mixed breeds or dogs who have been abused and need someone to work with them, or have medical conditions. GARD does not charge as high of an adoption fee for these type dogs even though the cost to vet and board them is usually higher due in part to the fact that they stay longer at the shelter. It is a balancing act and common practice among many rescue groups.
Q: Isn't the shelter a stressful environment for the dogs? A: While a shelter environment is obviously not as ideal as someone's home for a dog, at least our dogs are safe from euthanasia and have a second chance at life. They have plenty of food, clean water, shelter from the elements, excellent medical care, and of course the TLC of the GARD volunteers. And, living in the shelter is only temporary as we work extremely hard to get them all adopted. We are able to save many more dogs by having a no-kill shelter rather than using only foster homes. We do not "pick and choose" only the cute, fluffy, or pure bred dogs that are considered "highly adoptable" like some rescue groups. We do not discriminate against dogs because of their size, color , or breed. If a dog has been at our shelter for a greater length of time, we try to get them placed in a foster home so they can become more socialized and be freed from the kennel environment. We have adopted many previous GARD dogs as our own due to the fact they had been at the shelter too long. They now enjoy happy lives in our own home.
Q: Why do you send some of your dogs up north? A: In the Northeast portion of the U.S. the pet over population problem is not as severe as it is in the Southeast. We have partnered with a few rescue groups and Humane Societies in the Northeast at times in the past to take some of our dogs and adopt them out through their organizations. We do not sell these dogs to them, nor do we ask for any fees other than partial reimbursement for our costs. The dogs are transported fully vetted and according to Department of Agriculture requirements. This enables us to save many more dogs' lives here in our area. We are extremely grateful to those groups up North that have helped us in the past. It is refreshing to see other folks in rescue who are willing to help and work together for the betterment of the animals.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
- Sir Winston Churchill