Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Help Us Help Them

Do you love GSPs? Do you want to make a difference, and help in saving a precious life? Have you considered volunteering, but you're not sure what is involved, or what type of time commitment is necessary? Well, you may be surprised to find that if you only have a few hours to spare now and then, you CAN help rescue. Although foster homes are always desperately needed, you do NOT have to foster to volunteer for rescue. There are many other things you can do, and all tasks are an important part of the rescue puzzle.

Here's a breakdown of some volunteer tasks, along with the time commitment for each. If you want more information about volunteering for a GSP Rescue group, here's a link to our state and regional rescues: http://www.gspca.org/Rescue/regional.html


Do you have a few hours to spare now and then? Do you love GSPs and have knowledge of the breed? Do you enjoy meeting compassionate people? If so, becoming a German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue volunteer may be right for you.

How Much Time Will You Have To Dedicate?

It's really up to you. You can spend as little or as much time as you are able. Since we are all volunteers, we have busy lives outside of rescue. Often just a few hours of "help" makes a big difference. We always welcome new additions to our rescue family!

What Will You Be Asked To Do?

There are many tasks associated with rescue. Some require a larger time commitment, others only a few hours per month (or less) Here are some examples:

Be a Foster Parent:

Accept a GSP into your home. You provide food, love, modest training (if needed). Rescue pays for all veterinary expenses, and you will be mentored by a seasoned foster home, to answer any questions you have along the way. Many say they don't wish to foster, as they fear they will become attached, and it will be hard to say goodbye. Of course you get attached! But, dogs are completely selfless in their love for us and their dedication to us. Shouldn't we also be selfless enough to endure a few tears, all in the name of saving a life? And, you not only see the dog happy and joyful in their new home, but you get to share the joy of their new family as well.

Time commitment: Fostering can be short-term (a few weeks) to longer-term (a few months). It depends on the dog's overall health, the level of training they may require, and/or their age.

Visit a GSP in a shelter:

Confirm the dog is a GSP, evaluate their temperament, interaction with you, general manners, knowledge of basic commands and how well they behave on lead and take photos.

Time commitment: Depending on the location of the shelter, this task can take under an hour.

Call a vet for a reference:

We must have a veterinarian's reference for each applicant. We simply need to know if any current/past pets are current on vaccines and receive regular veterinary care. Determine if there are any glaring concerns. Time commitment: These calls generally take 5 minutes.

Evaluate a new surrender:

When we get a call from an owner who wishes to surrender their GSP for adoption, we sometimes need a volunteer to "visit" the family and evaluate the dog, take photos, etc.

Time commitment: Depending on location, this may take a few hours at the most.

Contact a potential adopter/screen applications:

When we receive a new application from someone wishing to adopt a GSP, we review the application carefully. We speak with them to get a feel for their knowledge of the breed, their family dynamic, their experience with dog ownership, etc. We ask questions about fencing, other animals in residence and cover any "red flags" that appear in the application.

Time commitment: The length of each call will vary.

Home visits:

Visit the home of a potential adopter. Meet the family members and any current pets in residence. Evaluate fencing, lifestyle, proximity to a busy street, confirm all family members are on board, etc. Essentially, you are simply trying to determine whether this is a home in which you would place your own dog.

Time commitment: Depending on location, this may take a few hours at the most.


If we accept a GSP into foster care from a shelter, they often need to be removed from the shelter and transported to their foster home.

Time commitment: Depending on location, this may take a few hours at the most.