The Rescue Express was founded on the following principles. While we cannot monitor the everyday lives of our dogs while in foster care, we do require that all of our foster families adhere to these values.
Health and Wellness
The Rescue Express provides all necessary medical care from the time a dog is pulled from a shelter to the time they are adopted into their forever home. This includes preventative care as well as treatment for any illness or injury that they arrive with or incur while in our care.
We provide any age appropriate vaccinations and when applicable spay and neuter surgeries. If we are unable to spay and neuter a pet before adoption, the adopters are contractually obligated to provide proof of alteration within a reasonable time period when considering the animal’s age and medical condition. All foster families and adopters are required to have all resident animals altered before an animal will be placed with them.
When possible, we will also microchip our foster dogs before adoption. When not possible, we require all adopters to do so and send us a copy of the microchip information. All of our foster animals are on flea, tick and heartworm preventative.
We require all of our foster families to feed a commercially available, nutritionally complete diet. We do not feed raw or homemade diets. While most if not all of our foster families use food rewards for training, we encourage the use of healthy, low fat treats. We discourage our foster families from feeding table scraps, and provide a list of dangerous foods that are to be avoided at all costs.
While we recommend our fosters to provide rubber chew toys, and nylon or natural bones for chewing, we do allow rawhide bones to be provided under guidelines and supervision.
Training and Socialization
The Rescue Express works with positive reinforcement trainers ONLY. We do not condone or encourage dominance theory and will not adopt to those who do. The general consensus among veterinary behaviorists, dog trainers and canine cognitive scientists is that dominance theory is based on outdated, faulty pseudoscience and is not as affective as positive reinforcement based training. Worse, dominance theory is often paired with cruel, punishment-based techniques that work against our beliefs. It has been proven, through numerous studies by well-regarded universities and organizations, that positive reinforcement training provides quicker acquisition of behaviors, a more reliably trained dog and a better relationship between dogs and their owners.
In addition to basic obedience and dealing with problem behaviors, we consulted with a trainer, our staff veterinary technician and a veterinarian to establish a program of early socialization for any and all puppies that go through our organization. We feel that early and constant socialization is the best way to prevent the development of future behavioral problems.
If you are interested in learning more about why we, and the general animal community, are against dominance theory, we encourage you to check out the following links.