GSRTX POSITION STATEMENTS
ANIMAL WELFARE TOPICS WE SUPPORT
Every dog deserves to be comfortable and safe in their crate. While some dogs suffer from crate anxiety in the beginning, most can be taught to relax and enjoy their safe space. Crates protect dogs from ingesting items they shouldn't, damaging the interior of your home when you are away, having accidents inside the house, and more. Many of the behavioral problems that motivate families to surrender their pets could be completely avoided if these pets were happily crate trained!
Any time you bring an animal into a new setting, they should be allowed to decompress from the stress of transport or the shelter before being introduced to new animals or people. Dogs should be given a minimum of 2-3 days of decompression time. Ideally, they should be allowed a minimum of a week to relax and grow accustomed to the scents and sounds of any new setting.
SERVICE ANIMALS/EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS (ESA)
While we fully believe it is possible to have a rescue dog become a Service, ESA, or even a working dog like S&R or Police work. We highly discourage individuals that are coming to adopt a dog specifically for that reason. In the 100s and 100s of dogs we have met in shelters and evaluated less the 5% probably qualify. It takes a very special dog to do this kind of work. Rescuing a dog should be reserved for giving a dog a 2nd chance at a good life and loving home. If it is capable of becoming your Service Animal or ESA that should be a bonus not a primary reason for adoption.
GIVING PETS AS GIFTS
Pets are a long term commitment. Humans should be prepared to care for pets for their entire lifetime. Giving pets as gifts is not a responsible practice unless both the gift giver and recipient has discussed the decision at length and decided together that they are prepared to responsibly adopt a pet and care for the pet for the duration of his or her life.
MOTHER DOGS AND THEIR BABIES IN SHELTERS
Mama dogs should never be left behind in a shelter by any rescue. It is GSRTX policy that every mama dog is rescued alongside her babies, and placed in a foster home with them until the babies have weaned and are ready for individual foster homes. Each mama dog is then medically and behaviorally prepared for adoption.
Pet owners should microchip their animal AND have their animal scanned annually to be sure the chip is easily found with a scanner. Additionally, owners should ensure that the information registered to microchips stays up to date at all times.
RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP
It is the responsibility of pet owners everywhere to provide their animals with medical care and to ensure their pet is well-behaved. Good behavior allows your pet to be an ambassador for pets everywhere and allows your pet, your family, and the public to coexist happily and safely. Each person should consider their personal finances and lifestyle, including time constraints before adopting a pet to ensure they can provide for a pet responsibly.
SPAY AND NEUTER
Spay and neuter is essential to achieving a no-kill state. Altering your pet is key to responsible pet ownership, as it reduces the homeless pet population, reduces health risks, and encourages positive behaviors. We will not adopt to you if your current pets are unaltered.
If you find a stray animal, you should NEVER assume the animal was abandoned or dumped. Even if you believe you witnessed an animal being dumped, they may have been stolen from their home and have a loving family missing them. It is imperative that any stray animal be scanned for a microchip and reported to the local shelter or ACO so that the shelter can hold them for the mandatory "stray hold" before networking the animal for a rescue or adopter. We DO NOT take strays for any reason as we do not have the resources to properly track down if there is an owner looking for them.
Obedience training is crucial. When you train with your dog, you strengthen your bond with your pet, build your pet's confidence, and provide them mental stimulation and physical exercise. With sufficient training, your pet is a positive ambassador for companion animals everywhere, and may inspire your friend or neighbor to adopt a pet, saving a life and enriching their own.
Vaccines are a crucial part of responsible pet ownership. Puppies should receive their vaccines in a timely manner, and vaccines should be kept up to date throughout a dog's life.