New Mexico's Pet Resource SPRING 2003



PETroglyphs will feature a rescue group in each issue to highlight the work that so many in New Mexico do to help animals. The PETroglyphs staff will select various groups to participate. Each group will provide answers to the same questions so that readers can learn what the group does and what its policies are. We hope you enjoy this new feature.

Q. What is your group's mission? R. Our mission is pretty straightforward. We work to place unwanted Golden Retrievers in homes where they are loved and valued. We put a lot of energy into making sure we get the right dog to the right family.

Q. What is the history of your group?
R. This group started in 2002, when we set up an official non-profit. Prior to that Golden Retriever Rescue was done through the Golden Retriever Club and by a number of very dedicated individuals. Currently, there are 10 of us who do different jobs. Golden Retriever Rescue may be contacted by calling Patty Dubrille at (505) 375-9481.

Q. If your group is a breed rescue, why that particular breed?
R. We work with Goldens because we adore them. The people in our organization are all unabashed Golden Retriever lovers. Most of us have our own dogs and simply want to serve the breed we have.

Q. Approximately how many animals does your group take in every year?
R. Last year we accepted and placed about 50 dogs.

Q. How many animals do you place each year?
R. Almost all of the dogs we get, we place. We generally have a waiting list.

Q. What are your requirements for the intake and adoption of animals?
R. Generally speaking, if they are Goldens, we accept them. We do not take animals who are biters. But this happens very infrequently in Goldens. If the dog is turned in by the owner, we go through a thorough interview to establish the history and nature of the dog. Most of the animals we get have been abandoned or found running loose. In these instances, the dog stays with a foster family long enough for us to determine the dog's nature and needs.

In placing animals, we look for people who have a realistic understanding of what taking a rescue dog means. Our dogs may be tubby, have quirks and look a little different from the breed standard. As a group, they tend to be loving, grateful, and joyful at having their own home. We have a very successful placement program because we work hard to match the right dog to the right family. We would not place a couch potato dog in a family of runners or give an older, quiet person a wild teenager. The right dog in the right family means a permanent home and everyone is happy.

Q. Do you make follow-up home visits or phone calls to adopters?
R. Yes. We keep in touch with the people who have our dogs. We want adopters to feel supported and know that we are available to help. And we want to make sure that the dog and family are doing okay. There have been a few situations where the adopter did not honor our agreement for the care of the dog, (i.e. the dog was allowed to run loose in the neighborhood,) and we took the dog back.

Q. What is your adoption fee and what does that cover?
R. We ask people to give us a donation. The donations run from $20 to $500. We also raise money to pay for other costs.

Q. What are your provisions for the return of animals if they aren't compatible with their adopters?
R. Anyone who gets a dog from us agrees to return the dog to us if it is not a good fit. Because we are so careful up front, this almost never happens.

Q. Do you accept puppy mill animals? If so, what is your policy toward the probable medical expenses and toward providing spay or neuter for them?
R. We accept any Golden Retriever. We take care of medical expenses. Animals are spayed or neutered before placement unless we feel the prospective owner will responsibly follow through with this. All animals we place must be spayed or neutered.

Q. What is your policy concerning euthanasia?
R. If an animal is aggressive and cannot be rehabilitated, we follow through with euthanasia. If an animal has health concerns which cause pain and suffering or the medical problem is beyond reasonable health intervention, we accept responsibility for humane and caring euthanasia.

Q. Do you use a foster-based system or do you have a physical building to house animals?
R. We have a system of well-trained and loving foster homes.

Q. How is the group financed?
R. By the generous donations of the people we serve and folks who adore Golden Retrievers.

Q. What do you need in terms of volunteers, goods, services, etc.?
R. We are always looking for people who will provide foster homes. The home needs to have a fenced-in yard, and the people need to have had prior experience working with Goldens.

PETroglyphs thanks Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D. of Golden Retriever Rescue for providing this information. You may contact Golden Retriever rescue at (505) 375-9481 or at (505) 345-3737.

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