As we try to normalize our operations, I am looking for a form to provide as a template for city animal control/shelters to release/transfer animals to our non-profit rescue. Yup, that small but mighty sheet of paper that memorializes the transfer of the animal, and the decision-making for that animal's medical treatment, custodial care, and placement. It's time!
This is a new thing, Im looking for simple, as our couple of shelters are probably going to apprehensive about signing anything, lol. Thanks so much! If the form is available as an easily editable file (word doc), that is appreciated!
Gratefully,H (The Underground Dog)
No form for you but thought I'd give you input. One of our transport Coalition members pulls cats from several area municipal shelters. They don't use a standard form and can't get the different shelters to provide much information except for the kennel cards produced in their various shelter system. One shelter won't 'transfer' the animals, but will 'adopt' them out to the rescue! The rescue also pulls the medical cases and young kittens and mom/baby sets soon after intake, so the shelters have very little information on them. In essence, the rescue intakes within hours of arrival at the municipal shelters, with all vetting provided by the rescue.
Many of the shelters around us don't have them, but I require any shelter we work with to sign OURS. I won't pull from them if they won't -- it conveys ownership to us, pure and simple. You could easily adapt it to from the shelter's perspective -- like this:
___________________________________________ (Name of Shelter) hereby transfers ownership and custody of the dog identified below to ___________________[Rescue Name], a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. This shelter has the lawful authority to dispose of this animal. This shelter has provided this animal's medical records to the rescue and confirms this animal has no known bite history.Animal Impound Number / Name: ____________________________________________________________Animal Description: _________________________________________________________________________Microchip Number (if any): __________________________________________________________________Transfer approved by:Shelter Representative Signature: _____________________________________________________________Print Name: ____________________________________ Date: ___________________________
Transfer accepted by:
Rescue Representative Signature: _____________________________________________________________
Print Name____________________________________ Date: ____________________________
I work at a county shelter, and this is the agreement that I have our rescues sign annually. They also sign a basic "Transfer Out" Contract through our Pet Point software each time they pull from us, but I need to update that contract text since it's from past management and doesn't make much sense tbh LOL
Hope this helps give you some ideas in creating yours! I actually created mine from the form I saw another county shelter use and they agreed to let me basically copy it haha so you're also welcome to take it and make it your own :)
Catherine, as a rescue that pulls a lot of dogs from public shelters, I wouldn't sign that contract. I would walk away from your shelter instead of pulling a dog.
First, there is no universe in which I'd sign an indemnification agreement with a shelter I'm trying to help by pulling a dog. Those have to be disclosed to our insurance carrier -- and that's true of every rescue, by the way. They increase the cost of the rescue's insurance, and it's already hard enough to find an affordable policy. You're basically trying to put your rescue partners out of business by making them uninsurable. I would put your shelter on a "do not ever pull from those guys" list over that.
Also, I won't work with shelters that demand secrecy, NDAs, etc. -- and if you have a "social media policy" about what we can say, I am out. We're super supportive of lots of shelters on social media, but the principle of the matter is that I don't work with shelters that hide their shady sheenanigans behind these sorts of policies. You say "rumors" and "inaccurate statements," but my experience is that folks often don't agree what those are. THE ONLY SHELTERS WHO USE SOCIAL MEDIA RESTRICTIONS IN CONTRACTS WITH RESCUES ARE SHELTERS WHO HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE.
I'm at a point where I won't sign any restrictions on what I'm allowed to say -- and if the shelter receives public funds, I'll send any NDA-like contracts to the state AG and ask if it violates state open records laws. I'm totally over shelter staff trying to hide shady stuff and muzzle the community from talking openly. If you do your stuff properly, you can be transparent -- if your shelter needs secrecy agreements, interrogate why. If your community has an adversarial relationship with your shelter, again, interrogate why -- and what can be done to change that.
Although a bit aggressive, I do greatly appreciate that feedback! Again, I pulled this from another county shelter and I didn't even consider the points you made regarding those sections of the agreement, just figured they were in there for a reason. But now that I know those areas are being so negatively received, I will go through and remove and/or adjust these. Our shelter absolutely used to be one of secrecy, shady practices, and lies from former management and we are working extremely hard to remove that negative image left behind from the past. Our current staff now is very open and transparent, so I would hate for this agreement to make it appear as if we are not. Again, thank you for your constructive feedback!!
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