25 Facts About Pet Rescue and Adoption

SANDPOINT, Idaho — A new book called “Publicity to the Rescue”  (ISBN: 978-1-61038-004-1; LCCN: 2011914679) explains how animal rescue groups can raise awareness about their organizations to increase donations, recruit more volunteers, and boost pet adoptions.

Author Susan Daffron, the Founder of the National Association of Pet Rescue Professionals offers up 25 Facts About Pet Rescue and Adoption:

1. Animal rescue groups offer an alternative way for people to adopt a homeless animal if they don’t want to go to an animal shelter or don’t have one in their community.

2. Rescue groups work with shelters and “pull” animals out of the animal shelter environment. Most rescues work with both no-kill and open admission shelters.

3. After the rescue group has taken an animal out of a shelter, they work with a network of “foster” families who care for the animal in their homes until the pet is adopted.

4. Rescue animals in foster care enjoy a more home-like environment, more time to find a new home, veterinary care, and often behavior modification or training.

5. Rescue groups often focus on one breed or type of animal. Rescues exist for virtually every breed of purebred dog, cats, rats, ferrets, horses, rabbits and more.

6. Many rescues post their pets on or other online pet adoption Web sites.

7. According to the Humane Society of the United States, up to 25% of dogs entering shelters are purebreds. Animal shelters working with purebred dog rescues often direct prospective adopters to rescue if they want a specific breed.

8. Most rescues are 501c3 nonprofit organizations, and many are small grass-roots organizations with only a few volunteers.

9. Many rescues are started because of love for a type of animal. Some are associated with breed clubs.

10. Rescues may require a “home-check” and ask a lot of questions about the ability of people to care for the pet for its entire life.

11. Some rescues have been criticized for adoption policies so strict that almost no one can qualify. (Prospective adopters have been quoted as saying it’s easier to adopt a human baby than it is to adopt a dog.)

12. Some pet rescue groups will adopt animals long-distance and some can help with transport to the new home. They may ask for photographs or videos of the new home in lieu of an in-person home visit.

13. Many rescues operate as more of a hobby and the founders have little business knowledge. They fail to market and promote animals effectively and although they have the best intentions, in the worst cases rescues can turn into hoarding situations or simply shut down.

14. Statistically, only about 20% of US pets are adopted from animal shelters and rescues. If more people adopted pets, animals stop dying in shelters. No-kill advocate Nathan Winograd claims that if only 3 percent more people adopted pets, all savable pets would have homes.

15. Rescues are in a unique position to help end the killing of homeless animals. When rescues pull an animal out of an animal shelter, it frees up space. The shelter then doesn’t have to euthanize a healthy animal for “space reasons.”

16. Homeless pets have an image problem. People think that animals in rescue must be “damaged goods.” Overcoming that long-standing stigma is an issue rescues and animal shelters face daily. Better marketing and increased awareness is key.

17. Rescues, shelters, and the humane community suffer from infighting and divisiveness, even though in the end they are all working toward the same goal (to save homeless pets).

18. People bring animals into shelters and rescues for many reasons. Many of the most popular excuses have nothing to do with the pet, such as moving, (alleged) allergies, new baby, failure to train the pet, or unreasonable expectations, such as discovering that dogs shed.

19. Rescue groups often have more detailed knowledge of special needs and care related to their particular breed of dog or pet. They are in a position to educate prospective adopters.

20. Because many rescues are small, understaffed, and under-funded, they contend with customer-service issues. Complaints about failure to return calls and email negatively affect adoptions.

21. All reputable rescue groups spay and neuter pets before they are adopted and will take the animal back into rescue if the new home doesn’t work out.

22. Because so many small rescues exist, many suffer from obscurity. Better marketing and publicity can help differentiate them from other shelters, rescues and animal groups.

23. More pet stores are working with rescue groups and animal shelters for off-site adoptions, instead of selling puppy mill puppies. When the public stops purchasing animals from puppy mills the market dries up and the millers will go away, moving on to something more profitable.

24. Many rescues underestimate the costs of veterinary care, resulting in financial disaster and/or closure. Although many veterinarians offer discounted rates to rescues, because people in rescue often aren’t business-minded, they don’t keep track of their financial information or “run the numbers.”

25. Although some areas of the US enjoy great adoption rates and are lowering euthanasia statistics dramatically, many areas still have shelters with 90% (or higher) kill rates. Some shelters and rescues are working together to transport animals from high-risk shelters to locations that are adopting more animals.

About the Book:

“Publicity to the Rescue” is $19.99 and is available on or directly from the publisher at:

Media Contact:

Susan Daffron, President
of Logical Expressions, Inc.

Email Contact