The BC SPCA does not certify or recommend other rescue groups.
What makes a shelter or rescue reputable?
They assess the animal’s behaviour
- An adoption matching process helps to ensure the animal is the right match for you and your lifestyle.
- The animal has had a behavioural assessment or close behaviour monitoring to learn about what they need and identify any behavioural problems. They can provide a record of it.
- Ideally, they know if the animal is a good fit for a household with cats, dogs and young children.
They consider the animal’s health
- The rescue provides adequate veterinary care prior to your adoption. You should expect a cat or dog to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, de-wormed and given permanent identification. Rabbits should be spayed or neutered.
- Health and medical records provided show an ongoing relationships with a veterinarian or veterinarians.
- The rescue does not exceed its capacity to provide humane care for animals. All animals receive proper care, cleaning, feeding, exercise and enrichment.
- Housing for the animals is clean and sanitary, with space to move around and act naturally.
They address the adopter’s concerns
- A return policy states they are willing to accept the animal back at any time if the adoption does not work out and this is clearly written somewhere.
- The rescue is transparent about medical and behavioural problems and expected future needs.
Questions to ask before you foster or adopt an animal through a rescue
- What is the animal’s history?
- What are his or her medical and behavioural issues? Does he or she have separation anxiety or aggression?
- Is the animal house trained?
- What happens if it doesn’t work out?
If the animal is from another country, ask what diseases and parasites he or she has been tested for. Be sure to reach out to a veterinarian and discuss the risks for the animal itself and the animals they might come in contact with in your home or in public.
If fostering, ask:
- How long am I expected to foster for?
- What do you provide and what am I expected to pay for?
- What do I do if there is a medical emergency? If I have a problem, who do I contact?