Many animal lovers love the idea of starting their animal rescue group, but I wonder how many realize just how hard it can be to do so. Certainly, the saying ‘Mighty Oaks From Small Acorns Grow’ is very true, but it is no good just jumping in blindly. There are many issues to consider such as funding, shelter, staffing and legal issues. However, all that said, some shelters begin simply by one person taking a rescued animal into their home. So here are a few basics for setting up an animal rescue group:-
TYPE OF GROUP
Decide if you want to set up a fully fledged rescue, animal shelter or, perhaps, a simple steering group that will work at fundraising, and the like, for an established animal shelter. This second option can be great for those who cannot give the twenty-four seven commitment often needed for animal shelters. If you are establishing a steering group advertise for responsible and trustworthy members and then elect your chairperson, secretary, and treasurer.
ANIMAL RESCUE POINTS TO NOTE
One of our local dog rescue charities is run very effectively from someone’s front room. However, in this case, you will need to bear in mind:-
- Your home will never be your own.
- You will no doubt be on call all day and night, every day of the year, although you can rotate this with other volunteers.
- You may often have more animals than you can handle in your home. This will be when unwanted pets are thrust upon you and until you can find temporary or permanent accommodation.
- You may suffer injuries as not all rescue animals are all sweetness and light, and neither are their owners.
- You may find yourself out of your comfort zone on a regular basis.
- It will be a constant struggle to raise funds.
- You must be aware of current legislation and abide by the law.
Now, these are only a few of the possible issues that you must consider before setting up an animal rescue group, especially one that is run from your home. Of course, running such a group from your home does minimize costs.
STARTING THE GROUP
You may have to find premises unless your group is home-based. If you do remember that many local councils offer reduced rates for charities.
Get as many hands on board as you can. If you have a large circle of like-minded friends, this will be a good place to start. Otherwise ask around for volunteers but remember to choose wisely. Honesty, reliability and a love of animals is a must.