Rescue Prevention Committee
Duties and Responsibilities
This committee was formed in 2001 by the Newfoundland Club of America Board to address the growing needs of Newfoundlands for the Rescue lifeline. Its purpose is proactive, to apply the creative resources of its members to "address the issue of rescue proactively by finding ways to educate breeders and the buying public and to develop an arsenal of weapons and strategies to combat the ruthlessness of puppy mills and other forms of indiscriminant breeding."
Newfoundlands enter the Rescue program through different avenues. Dogs may enter this program because their owners cared about their future but were no longer able to provide a home for the dogs. Some of the Newfs who have entered the Rescue program have been found wandering as strays or have been transferred from a shelter. Others who enter the program have been acquired from from pet stores when the puppy was unable to be sold or from commercial breeders when the dogs are no longer useful for breeding.
This committee seeks to understand the factors that underlie those situations which lead to a Newfoundland needing the support of Rescue, as part of the effort to proactively support more successful placements between Newfoundlands and their owners. In the event that the outcome is not successful, we hope to have done all that we can to ensure that Rescue is an option for the dog.
It is our goal to work progressively and proactively to assure that ALL newfoundlands have the care and good quality of life that they deserve. An important means of achieving this is by helping new and prospective owners and owner families become better prepared for sourcing, rearing and caring for a Newf. By learning what to expect and what is needed, new owners can avoid self-created pitfalls and unintentional cruelty, making life with their Newfoundland a good experience for both.
History & Board Actions
The Rescue Prevention Committee launched the LifeStages newsletter series in May 2013. These newsletters are available to anyone who signs up electronically for the subscription. Each issue is written to provide information that is age-appropriate, along with articles that are intended to generate interest and goals for activities with adults. The distribution is based on the age of the puppy for ages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 12 months.
For all of the effort and the devotion to the success of this project, the Rescue Prevention Committee would like to take this opportunity to publicly and generously thank all of the talented and generous contributors:
Our writers: Jack Voller, Mary Lou Roberts, Maredith Reggie, Marylou Zimmerman, Jenny Zablotny, Mary Burch (AKC), Suzi Bidwell, Sandee Lovett and Xavier Grahn .
Our photographers and videographers: Jack Voller, Marie Acosta, Cissy Sullivan & Connie Bonczek.
And, for other contributions such as layout, advice, dog-lending and “performance art”: Karyn Carpenter, Sue Zinetara, Jean McAdams, Andy Zinsmeyer and Marylou Zimmerman. In addition, we would like to thank the members of the Board for their review and feedback, along with all of the other authors whose work is published online for the extended use of their materials.
Finally a special thanks to our Idea Captain: Lori Littleford, who developed the idea and organized the groundwork, a major undertaking in itself.
Rescue Prevention Learning Tools - Visit the pages
Abandoned Pets and Home Foreclosure by Patti Emmerling
The trend of pets being turned loose, abandoned in rural areas or left in vacant homes has put animal welfare officials on notice that financially-strapped pet owners are in critical need of help.
As a way to help educate current and prospective pet owners, here are a few suggestions that you may offer to help them keep their pet.
If you have a friend, relative or neighbor who would be willing to take over the care of your pet until your financial situation is better, that option would relieve the distress of having to part with the dog on you, your family and the dog. The more normalcy and consistency you can provide to all involved, the better.
In some areas, there have been programs started for families that lose their homes to foreclosures. As a part of the program, some of these groups will get a pet into foster care for as long as it takes for the family to get back on its feet, or if the family sees no way to take the pet back, they will get the animal into its adoption program and will assure a good life for the pet. (Contact your local breed-specific Rescue group, veterinarian or animal Shelter to check on availability of similar programs).
If you can’t find someone to foster your Newfoundland, contact Newfoundland Rescue at email@example.com and ask about its Rescue Program.
Don’t Leave a Pet Behind when you Move Out
– If you need a place to live, contact your local housing authority for a list of pet-friendly housing. In some areas, local shelters may also have a similar list.
– For those on solid financial footing, be proactive. Take your animals in for regular exams. A small health issue won’t become a big one if it’s caught early. Get pet insurance.
– Put aside a little money out of each paycheck, to have just in case the bad economy jumps up and bites you, your family and your pet.
– If you absolutely must give up your pet, don’t turn it loose. Contact the appropriate breed rescue or, as a last resort, the shelter. Just don’t let it run off or abandon it. Abandoning an animal to fend for itself after it has been domesticated is cruel treatment to the animal.
Where there’s an eviction or a foreclosure, families will sometimes leave a pile of food and some water; most often nothing is left for the pet. By law the banks can’t come in right away, and the landlords can’t come in right away either... so they don’t. It can take weeks or months before the banks or landlords actually enter the property. It’s a terribly cruel situation because pets are found in horrific conditions or dead due to starvation/dehydration.
Don’t wait until foreclosure is eminent. Plan ahead and make necessary arrangements for your pets BEFORE eviction.
Our next initiative, an online tutorial for new buyers, is presently under final Board review. This has been a lengthy and involved committee activity, with approximately 120 topics organized into 20 topic groups, and will require several months for review. Launch is anticipated in 2016.
In 2015, RPC was assigned responsibilities for Public Education. To better maintain communications with respect to different areas of the committee work and collaboration, liaison roles were established and assignment was accepted by these committee members:
AKC Public Education Liaison - Kayte Judice
Regional Clubs Liaison - Brooke Elkan-Moore
Rescue Liaison - Chris Owen
Rescue Prevention Committee (formerly REACt)
Committee purpose: “to address the address the issue of rescue proactively by finding ways to educate breeders and the buying public and to develop an arsenal of weapons and strategies to combat the ruthlessness of puppy mills and other forms of indiscriminant breeding.
2011 RPC Activities Highlights:
This year, committee membership was too low to address new initiatives, although some ideas were discussed with plans to implement in 2012. We continued the Newf Tide coupon offer that is included on an insert in a puppy’s registration packet, and it was approved by the Board as a permanent project.
Status of objectives and activities:
• RPC New Buyer Project
− Newf Tide Coupon: The AKC registration packet contains a flyer from NCA about the Newfoundland breed and RPC has added a coupon to offer a copy of Newf Tide to new buyers. A summary of information on requests is below:
2011 - - 164
2010 - - 145
2011 - - 158
2010 - - 141
# of US States
2011 - - 41
2010 - - 33
2011 - - 2
2010 - - 3
Requests represent approximately 8% of buyers for all Newfs registered, or about one owner in every 5 litters.
− LifeStages newsletters – This project is a major interest to RPC, but with the loss of our idea champion and the requirement for revision of several documents, it was placed on hold early this year. A subcommittee has been formed to begin the process of document revisions. Once critical revisions are addressed, we expect to open the invitation to subscribers for an informational newsletter related to the puppy’s age.
• Understanding Rescue Trends – The Sharepoint site is available for any NCA regional club Rescue operation to allow them to manage their own data, with a common interface page for discussions. It is a simple-to-use format that overcomes the need for volunteers to have specific software installed on their computers. It allows Rescue operations to collect and share information from their members online or publish information about Newfs available for adoption. This service has also been set up to allow coupon requests to be submitted online.
• RPC Web Pages – For 2011, we began tracking usage of the RPC web pages. We plan to begin working on changes in 2012 and use this data as a benchmark to assess the effectiveness of changes.
• Committee Name Change – In the past year, members would sometimes ask “What does REACt [Rescue Education and Awareness Committee] do?” As RPC, there had been some confusion about the difference between RPC and REACt. RPC was formed in 2001 with the goal of identifying proactive measures that could be taken to reduce the need of Newfoundlands for Rescue support. We began to realize that the name change from RPC to REACt countered our effort to convey clearly what we do in our committee name, and in 2011 the Board decided to change our name back to Rescue Prevention Committee (RPC).
One continuing challenge for our committee is volunteer resources, those NCA members who would be willing to support specific activities for our committee, either on a short-term or long-term basis, or on a project-specific basis. We need support from members with skills in the areas of education, computer or internet skills, statistical analysis, and Newf experience in general. Enthusiasm for the breed and commitment to task are the primary requirements!
We will continue to look for new ways to better meet our challenges in 2012.