Finding a Rescue Home or Breeder

The internet has made it incredibly easy to find almost anything you want, including animal rescue organizations or animal breeders. Unfortunately, it has also made it easier for scams and fraudulent activities. There are several steps you can take to find a reputable and honest rescue home or breeder.

The first step is to find potential candidates:

  • Don’t use sites such as Craig’s List or Hoobly. These are the internet version of the newspaper classifieds and anyone can place an ad. Visit several species-specific online forums. Classified ads are restricted to members, and while this does not entirely eliminate scammers, it is a help. You can search for information about a rescue home or breeder here. One word of caution: these are opinions of various people and you should not take
  • Don’t use sites such as Craig’s List or Hoobly. These are the internet version of the newspaper classifieds and anyone can place an ad. Visit several species-specific online forums. Classified ads are restricted to members, and while this does not entirely eliminate scammers, it is a help. You can search for information about a rescue home or breeder here. One word of caution: these are opinions of various people and you should not take
  • RESCUE ORGANIZATIONS ONLY: Most reputable rescue organizations will have established working relationships with other animal shelters and veterinarians. Call your local humane society, veterinarian or wildlife care facility and ask if they know of a rescue home. Having a 501(c)(3) non-profit exemption doesn’t give a reference on how the animals are cared for, but it does show the organization has taken the time and expense to file and maintain necessary paperwork.

Once you’ve located a few options, contact them and ask questions. Any reputable rescue organization or breeder should be able and willing to answer the following questions:

  • How many species to you work with?
  • How long have you been a rescue home or breeder?
  • How many animals or breeding pairs do you currently have?
  • Do you handle all the animals personally or do you have staff or volunteers?
  • Who is your vet?
  • How often are your animals seen by your vet?
  • What are your criteria for adoption or sale?
  • Do you have an adoption or sales contract?
  • How are your animals housed? (cage/enclosure size)
  • Are you USDA licensed?
    A special note on licensing: laws are different from state to state. Not all
    breeders or rescue homes are required to be licensed. USDA will usually
    not license any home with less than 3 breeding females. In some areas,
    there are no types of licenses available for certain species-specific rescues.

You should interview any potential rescue home or breeder. If they are not willing or able to answer basic questions such as those above, look elsewhere.

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