Does ARC actually go pick up stays if they are reported to you?
Absolutely not. That’s the job of the Animal Control Officers in whatever jurisdiction the animals are found. We have gone to the scene of one or two cases that were reported to us, but in those instances, the animals were in some kind of danger and we communicated with ACOs from the start. Misunderstanding ARC’s role and function has caused more than one conflict with people who think we are animal control or a humane society. We are neither. We’re a rescue.
What are the requirements to get an animal into your program?
This depends on the situation. In the case of owner surrenders, the animal absolutely must be up to date on shots and spayed or neutered. We are not the neighborhood cleanup crew for irresponsible people looking for someone to bail them out of trouble. We DO accept owner surrenders when we have space available—IF it’s clear the owner has taken excellent care of their pet, but is facing a situation they simply cannot do anything about. Telling us: “I’ve had this fifteen year old dog since he was a pup and now I have grandkids so I have to get rid of him, and naw, he ain’t never been fixed and ain’t had no shots” is a surefire way to get zero help from Tazewell ARC.
If a stray has wandered onto someone’s property and that person needs our help to keep the animal from going to the pound, we do what we can. Sometimes we aren’t able to take the animal immediately because of space issues, so if the person can foster for a few weeks, that always helps. We generally try to find sponsors to help with the cost of vetting the animal once it comes into rescue.
How do you decide which dogs to rescue or not to rescue?
Many factors go into this decision. First, if we feel sure we can place the dog we are more likely to commit. Secondly, the circumstances it’s coming from affect our decision (see FAQ above and our answer about owner surrenders.) Most importantly—do we have space for it. We seldom accept pit bulls because we can’t place them. We almost always accept small housedogs because all five of the northern rescues we work with will take them. We seldom accept hounds because once they come in—they’re stuck. We have started working with a rescue that will take an occasional hound, so hopefully these two will get to go on transport soon. Any time one of our volunteers or donors finds a stray or a dog needing rescue, we’ll bend over backward to get that dog in. Most of the time people who have worked with us previously know the drill and will offer to sponsor the dog’s vetting and transport costs, as well as offer to foster until we have space available. Those dogs will almost always get in no matter what, except for pit bulls.
Do you turn away dogs that are not vaccinated?
If they are owner surrenders, quite possibly we will turn them away if they haven’t had the proper vetting. If they are strays, we are prepared to quarantine, but that’s a rough fourteen days for a dog to spend and we avoid putting an animal through that whenever possible. All the shelters we pull from vaccinate and deworm at the bare minimum. We stress owner responsibility and will never knowingly enable anyone to dump an unvaccinated, unsterilized animal on us just because they can.
Why does the ARC property look so run-down?
This property was purchased as-is in early 2014 for the specific purpose of establishing a permanent home for the rescue. We own seven acres, with a great deal of road frontage, a creek, and a livable house on the property. The bones of the house are actually in very good condition. Otherwise, it needs modernization: new wiring, plumbing, etc., and a facelift wouldn’t hurt. It’s our goal to save animal lives in a quantity that will help us qualify for substantial grants to convert the house to a public adoption center, build a dog park, and turn our eyesore into a resource Tazewell County can be proud of. We are always on the lookout for electricians, plumbers, construction experts, and heavy equipment owner/operators who love animals and would be willing to donate some time and labor. We are a 501c3 organization, so all contributions are tax deductible.