DAR&E is a Maryland-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to serving the growing needs of unwanted and homeless Dobermans in Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia and eastern West Virginia areas.
Our primary directives are to educate the public about Dobermans, to assist owners in placing unwanted Dobermans, to provide foster homes and veterinary care for rescued and relinquished Dobermans, and to place Dobermans into loving homes through our adoption program. Our primary concern is the health and well-being of the Dobermans, and as such we provide support, consultation, and camaraderie to the adoptive families--not only through the adoption process but also throughout the lives of our Dobermans.
Dobermans will enter the rescue program in one of three ways. First, is through a variety of local animal control agencies. DAR&E will contact and develop good working relationships with as many Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia based animal control agencies as possible. Examples of these agencies include pounds, shelters, humane societies -- both public and private. DAR&E will request that the Dog Intake Coordinator be contacted if a Doberman Pinscher should appear in their facility. DAR&E will verbally tell these agencies about the work that we have committed to do and will follow up with a letter requesting their cooperation, if necessary. It is suggested that the Doberman Assistance, Rescue, and Education charter, standard adoption application and adoption agreements be included in the letter.
DAR&E will request that all Doberman Pinschers be released to the Dog Intake Coordinator as quickly as possible. There is usually a holding period for a stray, but dogs turned in by their owners may often be turned over immediately. When DAR&E receives a call from an animal control agency, the Dog Intake Coordinator should ensure that the following steps are completed:
The second way Dobermans enter the rescue program is through owner turn-ins. As DAR&E continues to expand and becomes established in our service area communities, many more Dobermans will enter the rescue program as the result of direct contact with owners. These owners no longer wishing to keep their dogs will relinquish their ownership to DAR&E for placement in a new adoptive home. In these cases, the Doberman Assistance, Rescue, and Education Owner Release Agreement would be used to transfer ownership from the original owner to DAR&E.
DAR&E maintains the position that shelter animals should be given priority over those turned in by their owners. Those animals that are in immediate danger of being euthanized must be given priority over a dog whose owner no longer wants him. While animal shelters are less inclined to negotiate an extension on a shelter dog's life, DAR&E representatives may be able to reach a compromise with owners to keep their dogs a bit longer until adequate foster homes are available. DAR&E will also list altered Dobermans on the "Available Dog List" for an owner looking to rehome a dog.
Stray dogs entering the DAR&E rescue program is the third way dogs are taken in. As DAR&E becomes more well known, people who find a Doberman Pinscher will seek us out for help. Often, local municipalities will require that "found" dogs must be advertised in the local newspapers (these ads are often free). If no claim or identification is made within five days, the dog then belongs to the finder. The Dog Intake Coordinator will familiarize him/herself with laws in the area in which the dog was found and ensure that proper procedure is followed before entering the found dog into the rescue program. During the waiting time, only emergency veterinary care should be provided to the found dog within the five day waiting period. If the owner claims the dog within the 5 day waiting period, DAR&E will request reimbursement for any emergency care veterinary bills. If the dog is reclaimed after the normal waiting period, DAR&E will require reimbursement of all veterinary and general care expenses before releasing the dog to the owner.
Not all Doberman Pinschers are adoptable. DAR&E does not wish to promote the current fear of "dangerous dogs" infecting this country by placing dogs with bad temperaments, who have not been properly socialized or are, due to unfortunate breeding or treatment practices, just plain vicious. It is a sad fact that the most common causes for euthanasia for younger Dobermans are bad behaviors or bad temperament. The Dog Intake Coordinator must be prepared to evaluate incoming dogs and, when necessary, exercise proper judgment and make the difficult decisions that may need to be made. It is not reasonable or responsible to place a mentally unsound Doberman Pinscher in a home and hope that its personality will change when so many wonderful, good tempered dogs will die waiting for their homes. Veterinary Services for Incoming Dobermans
All incoming Dobermans must be taken to a veterinarian and completely checked over. DAR&E maintains that each dog be tested first for heartworms. In most cases DAR&E will attempt to treat a heartworm postitive dog, but in some severe cases, it may require that the dog be euthanized. If the dog checks out negative for heartworms, it would be checked for any other parasites or general health problems. The dog would then be brought up-to-date on all vaccinations (DA2PL, Parvo, rabies and so forth). Lastly, neutering and microchipping would be performed if the dog is in good health.
If the dog is too emaciated to undergo neutering, it will remain in a DAR&E foster home or boarding until the veterinarian feels this procedure can be performed safely. In cases where a rescued puppy which is too young to be altered, a clause has been written into the adoption agreement requiring neutering as soon as the veterinarian feels is appropriate. A follow up with the new owner involved, as well as, the veterinarian to confirm that the surgery has been completed will be required.
DAR&E will actively recruit as many foster homes as possible from breed clubs, references and volunteers. All foster parents must become a DAR&E volunteer and sign the general Foster Care Home Agreement to become a DAR&E foster home.
Because foster homes generally have their own dogs, DAR&E must take into account all aspects of the dog requiring a foster home. Occasionally, a dog will display temperament problems after it goes to a foster home. Sometimes the problem will not show up until several weeks later. This so-called "honeymoon period" can be deceptive; if the foster parent identifies a serious behavioral problem, the Foster Home Coordinator should investigate the complaint and, if necessary, place the dog into a new foster home.
DAR&E will search for adoptive parents in a variety of ways: via the internet (with the DAR&E website, Petfinder.com, etc.), referrals from the Metropolitan Baltimore Doberman Pinscher Club, promotions through the Doberman, Assistance, Rescue & Education newsletters, information booths at dog shows or pet supply stores, advertisements in local newspapers, notices in vets' offices and so forth. All applicants will complete the Doberman, Assistance, Rescue & Education adoption questionnaire. Each applicant will be asked to provide a vet reference (current or previous) as well as two other references. Home visits are conducted and approval made prior to adoption.
Adoption fees should not be viewed as payments, but as contributions to the rehabilitation and the care of the dogs. Fees can vary from $150 to $350, depending upon the age of the dog. No dog should be given away except in cases of exceptional circumstances, such as a healthy "oldster" who might otherwise simply be euthanized. The top priority is not to make a profit of any kind; placement of the dog in a good home is the priority.
An Owner Release Agreement must be filled out and signed by anyone who turns a Doberman Pinscher over to DAR&E. Be sure a health record and all information relating to the dog's temperament, likes, dislikes, quirks, eating habits, history with other animals, etc., are made available. Shelters usually have their own releases or forms; DAR&E will attempt to obtain as much information as possible from the shelter personnel when the dog is picked up.
As stated in the Foster Home section, potential foster home care providers should sign the Foster Home Agreement. Copies of the agreement should be left with the foster care provider and a signed copy should be retained in the DAR&E files. Adoption Agreements should be filled out in duplicate, one for the new owner and one for the Rescue group.
DAR&E's own fundraising efforts and adoption fees make up the bulk of our operating funds. It is critical that DAR&E remain financially self-reliant. Fund raising is an absolute necessity. There are many suggested ways to raise funds, such as bumper stickers with a rescue slogan, raffles, greeting cards, Chinese auctions, solicitation (where permitted), Canine Good Citizenship events and so forth. The Fund Raising Coordinator will manage this aspect of DAR&E's needs.
An important element of ongoing success for DAR&E is public education and awareness of pet overpopulation. Whenever possible, DAR&E should cooperate with breed and obedience clubs to provide mini-seminars, information booths, handouts and informational flyers concerning the importance of spaying or neutering of pets, obedience training, housebreaking, crate training and so forth. Information about Doberman Pinschers and their unique behavioral characteristics should be shared with the general public as well as shelter personnel. This will help to ensure that shelter personnel are aware of the characteristics of Dobermans and allow them to pass the information along to potential owners in those cases where the shelters allow the public to adopt Dobermans directly rather than through the rescue program.
DAR&E volunteers may be recruited from the local breed or obedience clubs. Volunteers may respond to posts to the Internet or they may be adopters who have opted to give back to the rescue by donating their time or homes as foster parents. Wherever volunteers come from, they are the most important part of Doberman Assistance, Rescue, and Education. The newsletter coordinator will ensure that volunteers are kept apprised of DAR&E's ongoing rescue efforts and how they can help, whether the help is financial, food, supplies or time.