Rescues can quickly become very complicated. Here is a list of dos and don'ts that my keep you out of trouble should you ever be called on to rescue a Kerry. You should always work in teams and through a rescue coordinator. This list applies specifically to animal shelters rescues.
- Get positive confirmation that the dog is a Kerry. (Most aren't.)
- Get the dog OUT OF THERE as quickly as possible. (It's a disease-ridden place, often traumatic to the dog.)
- Take the dog to a vet immediately for examination, shots and worming, and any medical treatment required.
- Get the dog cleaned up, de-fleaed, and groomed--either do it yourself or take it to a groomer.
- Place the dog with a foster family or in a boarding kennel. (Every Kerry Club should have identified these locations in advance.)
- Make every effort to locate the breeder or owner. A responsible breeder will reimburse all rescue expenses, obtain the dog, and screen potential new families. If this doesn't happen, the rest is up to you.
- Advertise the rescue dog and begin screening potential homes. By this time you will know the dog's temperament, habits (good and bad), and other characteristics that will help you place the dog with the right family.
- Have the dog spayed or neutered BEFORE the dog goes to its new home.
- Require the new family to sign an adoption contract and pay a reasonable fee or make a donation to the rescue fund. (No dog should ever be free.)
- Follow up with the new owners and help with any questions or problems that come up.
- Send a thank-you note to the shelter personnel who first alerted you that they had a Kerry. They are our first line of defense in stopping a cycle of abuse or neglect of our beloved Kerries.
- Divulge the location or existence of the rescue Kerry until it is owned by you or the Club and in your possession. And NEVER send a potential family directly to the shelter to see the dog.
- Be late in getting to the shelter on adoption day. You may never see the dog again.
- Take the dog home before visiting a vet. The dog may have a contagious disease and infect your own dogs.
- Sell the dog intact or without a contract.
Every Kerry Club needs some sort of system in place, however informal, to handle a rescue and the financing it requires. Many vets, kennels, and groomers offer discounts for rescue dogs. Identify them now. When the need arises, you won't have time.
And if there is anyone out there who would prefer not to get involved, I ask: IF NOT YOU, WHO?