Policy and Guidelines for Afghan Rescue
The mission and purpose of Afghan Hound Rescue:
Provide for and
promote the welfare, protection and humane treatment of Afghan
owners to retain their hounds rather than give them up, and
offer advice, training and support to attain that end whenever
Assist Afghan hound
owners who must give up their Hounds in returning them to the
responsible breeder or finding suitable new homes when possible.
assistance to Afghan hounds given up by their owners, found
stray, in distress, or in animal shelters.
Return strays to the
owners or breeders if they can be found and are willing and able
to take them back.
Find good homes for
the remainder where they may live out their lives as pets.
Educate people about
Afghan hounds, their unique qualities and their proper care.
physical, mental and emotional support to all Afghan hound
Always coordinate with the
AHCA Rescue Chairman
these are only general, recommended guidelines. Every rescue
situation is unique and the AHCA Rescue Chairman has absolute
authority and discretion in every rescue. Coordinate your efforts
with the Rescue Chairman to be certain your actions are consistent
with current rescue policy and to determine what veterinary care
expenses might be eligible for reimbursement.
1. You and Shelters:
Administratively, the easiest rescues are those that you acquire
from an animal shelter or pound. With these dogs, no owner has come
to recover the dog, nor is there an
identifiable breeder. Nevertheless, there are things to consider.
Develop an openly honest, friendly and working relationship with
Animal shelters, city pounds and local
humane societies. Become a facility is a "kill" or "no kill"
operation, and what their track record is in working with rescue
groups. When dealing with a "kill" shelter, speed is essential in
getting a dog out before its "clock" runs
out too. Comply with their requirements, and obtain whatever
records and information they can or will provide with the hound, and
always thank them for supporting you.
the shelter staff if the dog was checked for a tattoo or microchip.
Find out what medical care the animal received while at the
shelter. You may need to take the dog to a veterinarian for
microchip scanning or inoculations if not already received while in
the shelter, or follow-up care if required. If the hound is
intact, spaying or neutering will follow after any other medical
problems are taken care of and you've had a chance to evaluate the
If an Afghan hound is
found stray and turned over to you instead of animal control, comply
with state and local laws on holding strays. Time requirements vary
from none to up to 90 days, according to the circumstances and local
laws. In the meanwhile, have the Afghan hound vetted but do not spay
or neuter until you have legal control of the dog. Ask your vet to
microchips and check for tattoos. If there is no identification
tag, tattoo, or microchip, proceed as you would with an Afghan hound
from a shelter (see above) after the required "holding" time is
up. You may want to run "found dog" ads in the local newspapers or
social media sites while in the holding period. In some locales, law
requires this. If you acquire a stray whose owner can be identified
through tag, tattoo or microchip, make every effort to return the
Afghan hound to the owner. Most people do want their Afghan hounds
back. If the owner declines to take the Afghan hound back, obtain a
release form if possible and follow the procedures in Paragraph 4
below, or document the conversation declining to take the Afghan
hound back and proceed as you would with an Afghan hound from the
shelter. The AHCA Rescue Chair may suggest you coordinate with a
local attorney on required documentation.
3. Owner Releases:
accepting an owner turn in, ask if the owners have papers on the
Afghan hound and
are required to contact the breeder in case of returns, based on the
their purchase contract.
If so, ask them to contact the breeder about return policies. You
may wish to follow up with the breeder to be certain they were
contacted, and see if the breeder would like any help from Rescue in
reclaiming the dog. If the breeder cannot be found or is unable or
unwilling to take the Afghan hound back, there are no impediments to
treating this as a rescue. Always get a release from the former
owner giving complete ownership and control of the Afghan hound to
you. A sample release form is attached. You may wish to review the
sample document to see if it complies with the statutes of your
municipality and state. Some people may have lost the sales
documents on the dog or purchased the Afghan hound without a
contract. If so, obtain a signed release form from the owner which
permanently gives you ownership and total control of the Afghan
hound. Get medical records, shot records, medications if the dog is
taking any, bedding, crates, toys and anything else that may ease
the transition for the Afghan hound. Items from "home" frequently
ease a dog's anxiety in an owner release situation. Then proceed
with vetting, rehabilitation and rehoming.
If a breeder is involved with an owner release that comes to you,
and cannot or will not take an Afghan hound back, talk to the
breeder if possible, and find out why. Inform the Rescue Chairman
and the Breeder Liaison so appropriate written notification can be
sent to the breeder from the Club.
(Aside) The situation may
be permanent or temporary. If possible, cultivate a good working
relationship with breeders and explain what rescue does, and
how. Breeders can be a real asset to rescue when they learn that we
are part of the same family of Afghan Hound Fanciers as they are.
You can develop relations with breeders who may provide future
transport, fostering, and other help for rescues as a "thank you"
for your assistance to them. If a breeder is involved who can and
will take an Afghan hound back from the surrendering owner, that is
part of the agreement between the owner and the breeder. You can
offer to assist, but remember, you are not a party to the contract.
If you know the breeder and have a waiting home for the dog: Call
the breeder, tell the breeder you have the dog and also a good home
for the dog, and ask permission from the breeder to place this dog
in the good home.
The AHCA will reimburse Afghan hound rescuers for required shelter
fees (if the shelter does not offer reciprocity) and
imminently necessary medical treatment that is reasonably priced;
which may include, but is not limited to:
Initial physical examinations
Fecal examinations and initial deworming
Blood screening for heartworm
Spaying / neutering when deemed medically safe (and necessary for
the placement of the dog, as determined by the AHCA Rescue
Such expenses may be reimbursed up to a maximum expenditure of
$400.00 per dog as of the date of this document. No expenses are
eligible for reimbursement, regardless of medical necessity or prior
approval; if it is determined other funds are/were available to
mitigate the expenses. Excluded expenses include but are not
limited to routine dental cleaning or treatment. Rescue will always
be secondary to any other source, be it donated monies, regional
club funds, adoption fees, or others. If funds from another source
become available after AHCA Rescue has paid expenses, AHCA Rescue
must be reimbursed for the amount it already paid, to the extent
allowed by the amount of funds received from that source.
Medical procedures should be determined jointly between the rescuer,
the veterinary staff, and the AHCA Rescue Chairman.
The AHCA Rescue Chairman has sole discretion when determining the
eligibility of expenses for reimbursement.
If it appears that expenses bulleted at the beginning of this
section (4,) may exceed the $400.00 per dog limit, contact the
Rescue Chairman immediately to determine if the Afghan hound in
question qualifies as a special needs case (allowing for certain
medically necessary expenses in excess of the cap, as determined by
the AHCA Rescue Chairman).
5. Special Needs Cases:
An Afghan hound may
be considered for special needs status
depending on a variety of factors which include but are not limited
to the rescuer’s personal assessment of the Afghan hound, its age,
general physical condition, the hound’s temperament and any
behavioral issues, nature of the illness or injury, and willingness
and ability of the rescuer and his or her regional club to conduct
and participate in special fundraisers for the Afghan hound. Such
cases will be presented on the website as stand-alone or joint
special fundraising events if there are two or more Afghan hound's
involved at the same time. Final decision on AHCA funding for a
special needs case rests with the Rescue Chairman.
6. Regional Clubs:
Regional Club rescue chairpersons should
be active in rescue and in fundraising for their programs. Afghan
hound rescuers are encouraged to join regional Afghan hound breed
clubs and participate actively in their rescue activities. Regional
clubs provide a vital source of manpower and money and publicity for
local rescue programs. Rescue programs, in turn, are valuable public
relations assets for the clubs that can garner much favorable
publicity for the Club's activities. If you are in a local club, go
to the meetings, make friends, and be useful to the Club. The level
of cooperation and enthusiasm for rescue will rise proportionately
to your positive involvement with other Club activities.
7. Selecting the Right Home:
your most difficult jobs is determining the right home for a
specific Hound, for either permanent
placement or as a foster home. Are there children? What
ages? Other pets? The list
of actors to consider is almost endless. To this end, a copy of a
general pre-adoption questionnaire is provided for your use and
modification as you see fit for
your specific location. Check the information provided by the
prospective adoptive or fostering family. Call the references
provided and, most importantly, make a home visit, or have an
experienced Afghan hound person visit on your behalf to make sure
that reality matches what is on the form. The questionnaire coupled
with a home visit and much discussion will screen out
most unsuitable circumstances.
The adoption contract
attached to these guidelines is provided for your use if you do not
already have one. Please note that there is a mandatory "return to
clause in the
contract. This is a key clause for both rescuer and adopter and is
binding on both. You may wish to have this contract reviewed by a
local attorney to ensure that it meets the requirements
of your city and state.
adoptive families know that you are available at any time as their
mentor on all matters pertaining to their Afghan Hound, it's
behavior, health, demeanor, training,
feeding, etc. Ask them to contact you weekly with "progress reports"
during the first month. Afterwards, it is recommended that you
contact them at least every six months. Proper follow-up
can result in
a potential second adoption or future foster home for your program.
should cover your average shelter fees and medical costs involved in
bringing an Afghan hound into the system. A nation-wide survey
conducted in 2001 revealed that the average costs for a combination
of shelter fees, medical evaluation, laboratory tests and
spaying/neutering for our rescued Afghan hounds exceeded $250.00,
hence a cap on expenditures that has been updated by the Rescue
Chair for the increasing cost of medical care. Some Afghan hounds
will come to us in good health, already altered, and up to date on
their shots. Others will not. The age of the hound may be a factor
in considering a lower adoption donation. You are in the best
position to determine at what level your local donations should be.
Remember, if you used AHCA Rescue funds for a particular Hound, you
are responsible to share the adoption donation with AHCA Rescue, up
to and including, but not to exceed, the amount provided by Rescue
toward that dog’s care.
11. Working with Others:
Afghan hound rescuers find themselves working alone to cover large
geographic areas. Unfortunately there simply aren't enough rescuers
for the number of
abandoned Afghan hounds, nation-wide. There are solutions to this
problem, however. Get acquainted with your nearest AHCA Rescue
volunteers by phone, email or in person, and support
them in any way you can. Sure, the nearest other Afghan hound
rescuer may be 300 miles away, but she, or he, is a part of our
nation-wide network of rescuers. If they need help, offer it.
Split transportation runs, share
ideas, trade home visits and just be there for them! We all need a
shoulder to lean on or a hand up from time to time. This is very
stressful work and to succeed at
it, we have to operate as a team. Throughout the United States
there are a large number of other breed-specific and all-breed or
all-species rescue groups. They can be your greatest assets in
getting the job done. Get acquainted with them. Introduce yourself,
offer to help them (then do it) and you will begin to develop the
network you need to cover far more territory than you can alone.
Certainly, you may find yourself picking up or fostering a Borzoi,
Irish Wolfhound or a Greyhound occasionally, but the amount of help
you receive in return will be worth the small effort expended. Link
up with an organization that develops and executes all-volunteer
rescue transportation runs from one end of the country to the other.
Check the websites for other National Breed Clubs, visit your local
shelters or go to the Adopt-A-Pet section of your nearest large pet
store and introduce yourself as a rescuer to the staff and
volunteers. It works! Cultivate the people in your club and those
who have adopted Afghan hounds from you. They are always a valuable
resource to both promote your program and provide help in numerous
other ways; picking up from shelters, making home visits, fostering,
transporting, fundraising. The possibilities are endless and limited
only by your own initiative.
12. General Comments: The Afghan Hound Club of America
supports the rescue program through fundraising efforts, voluntary
club donations, and individual contributions. It should be
the goal of each rescue group or, if not affiliated with a regional
club, individual rescuer to become self-sustaining. There is no
guarantee that there will be sufficient donations in a given
support the demands placed upon the system. You can help. Raise
funds for your own program first. Then, help raise funds for the
National program by encouraging club donations and
sales of fund raising items from the AHCA Rescue Website.