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Opening a dog shelter?

This is a forum to discuss legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of dogs. Please remember to counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice and responses.

  
Scout

1175338
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 11, '12 11:50am PST 
Hi all,

So I was wondering if anyone could give me info on how one would go about creating a dog shelter. I'm 18 right now, but my dream is to - in the not sooo distant future - open up a no-kill dog shelter.

The way I picture it right now, is being built on a large piece of farmland out in the countryside, but not so far from a city that it would take too long to drive. I think I would focus mainly on building relations with kill-shelters where they would notify me when they are about to euthanize a dog and I would get that dog, or network with other no-kill shelters to get it.

I would like any kind of info anyone could give, such as permits I would need, how to obtain funding, if would vets give good discounts if we use them regularly, etc.

Thanks bunches smile
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Turner - Gone Too- Soon

Hi I'm Turner- Wanna Smell My- Butt?
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 11, '12 12:43pm PST 
If you decide to go non-profit you need to register a business name with the state; acquire an FEI number; apply for non-profit approval; set up a bank account. Then you need to have a location - check with local zoning ordances about kennels/rescues and such. Then you need to build kennels, complete with water/power and sewer. Most areas require a separate sewer for animal waste. There are plans available on-line for building designs or you can design one yourself. Sometimes out of city limits permits are not required. That means you can build kennels/polebarns/buildings without power/water without permits.
There are loads of ideas for fundraisers and grants for non-profit companies all over the web and in books. And all of this before you "rescue" a single dog! It is alot of work, requires total commitment and dedication. There are alot of letdowns along the way, but there are also loads of rewards. flowersflowers
Good luck! balloons
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Scout

1175338
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 11, '12 12:57pm PST 
I know there will be a lot of work, but I'm willing to go through the heartache if I can save just a few animal's lives. *sigh* My two passions, musical theater and animals, just happen to both be full time commitments. If I'm giving up a future acting career for this, I'll make it work!
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Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 11, '12 4:24pm PST 
Not to be a debbie downer, but many people who start successful animal rescues have an independent source of income, such as an inheritance, spouse to support them, lifetime of savings, etc. If you don't, you're always living on the brink of financial collapse (because you have to rely on donations... what if no one donates that month, or a major donor you thought you could count on pulls out?) I've heard about and read SO many cases of people who started out with good intentions, but end up in bad situations because of money trouble. Animal rescue is about so much more than loving animals- you need to have a a good business acumen and deep pockets as well.

Because of money troubles, I've heard of animals starving, animals not getting needed medical treatment (or substituting botched home treatments that leave them worse off) animals breeding because they couldn't afford neutering, animals getting out because they couldn't afford fence repair... (Those last two work together. frown ) It pains me to see rescues begging for food donations for their animals... why did they take in animals they couldn't afford to feed? Is that really better than wherever they were before?

While some high-profile rescue groups are indeed started by people with little capital and big dreams, if they are successful they usually also have a strong social network and good luck/skills at attracting donors.

Other people who rescue on a small budget "fly under the radar" and only take in a handful of dogs at a time, keep them in their own home until they're adopted, and avoid dogs with costly medical issues or serious behavior problems. But then you have to learn iron control of your emotions (and finances) in picking the most "saveable" dogs to take in, and turning others away. It's hard. I couldn't do it.
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Turner - Gone Too- Soon

Hi I'm Turner- Wanna Smell My- Butt?
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 11, '12 5:56pm PST 
I had a shelter in Florida for years. I relied on donations. Luckily I had a wonderful base of people to support me. I had to shut down when we had 3 hurricanes in 6 weeks. So many animals in need, every rescue was busting at the seams. Because there was sooo much damage to homes the donations dropped to next to nothing. And, yes, I did run out of funding. And then came Hurricane Katrina cry, Then Hurricane Rita cry Then Hurricane Ikecry see what I mean??
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 11, '12 7:56pm PST 
We are not a registered rescue, I don't like rules. I rely on friends with deep pockets who are dog lovers. Without them I would be screwed. We never make enough on the adptions to cover the costs. And there are always more dogs then room.
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