ITV thought people might have questions about how we operate. In an attempt to be transparent, we have come up with some questions that provide insight to our operations. None of these questions or answers reflect in anyway a statement on how other rescues or shelters choose to operate, they are merely intended to provide ITV supporters with insight and information on how ITV operates. We believe rescues and shelters may have different philosophies on the best way to operate, and still do their best to help homeless animals. If you have a question about our operations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add your question to the list. Thank you.
WHAT DOES ITV MEAN WHEN IT CALLS ITSELF “NO-KILL”?
We work very hard to give every dog the time, love and care needed to find a permanent home. No-Kill means that we never euthanize for time or space purposes. None of our animals have a “time limit” to be adopted. We have cared for some dogs for years before finding a forever home. We are proud of this and view it as an accomplishment that we do not give up on some dogs, even though they take a little longer to adopt. One of our greatest accomplishments is a dog named Toki who was a high energy dog. She was in a loving foster home while we looked for another home for her. We sent her to training and it took us over 4 years to find her a home, but we did! She has spent the last 3 years living in a home that adores her because we never gave up on her!
We only perform humane euthanasia in the event of extreme, untreatable illness, as recommended by our vet, or severe aggression which risks the safety of the community. If a dog is aggressive to humans, we will not let it live its life at the ITV Rescue Center as we do not believe that is a good quality of life. We will not keep an “unadoptable aggressive” dog at the ITV Rescue Center for the rest of its life because it risks the safety of ITV volunteers and kennel techs and we believe it is an injustice to all the other dogs who are dying every day in shelters. Therefore, although rare, we will make the difficult decision to euthanize a dog. It is always an extremely difficult decision for us and we make it after many prayers and over many tears. We always consider the quality of life for the dog, the safety of our community and the future of our rescue. The ones we can’t save always weigh heavily on us. We try to remember, however, in 7 years, we have sent over 3000 animals to forever homes! Each week, we help 10-25 dogs on their path to forever homes. A very good article about the no-kill movement from our partner rescue, Best Friends, is at //blogs.bestfriends.org/index.php/2015/02/11/confused-about-what-no-kill-means-and-doesnt-mean/.
WHAT IS ITV’S EUTHANSIA RATE?
If we are forced to euthanize a dog, we never take the dog to a shelter to do it. After consulting with one of our vets, the dog is euthanized by our vet with one or more ITV representatives present. We provide the dog with the dignity of crossing the rainbow bridge being loved on by someone he or she knows. In seven years of operations, our euthanasia rate is less than .01%. Each year, we average less than 5 dogs/year requiring euthanasia due to medical reasons or aggression to people.
DOES ITV EUTHANIZE SICK DOGS?
No, not unless medically necessary to prevent suffering. Puppies who test positive for parvo are immediately hospitalized. Because of this, we have a very high success rate of saving parvo puppies. Many times, we take in sick animals who face euthanasia at other shelters or rescues. However, it comes at a high cost and each parvo puppy we save is a financial “loss” to our rescue. The standard adoption fee of $185 is not sufficient to cover the hundreds to thousands of dollars it costs to save a litter of puppies who test positive for parvo.
We also test all adult dogs for heartworms and will not euthanize a dog who tests positive. We treat all heartworm positive dogs at the cost of $400 to $700 each. In 2015, we treated 32 heartworm positive dogs. In 2016, we treated 22 heartworm positive dogs. On average, we collectively spend at least $10,000 (and usually much more) helping heartworm positive dogs.
Further, we have gone through intensive therapy for several dogs to help them recover from injuries, including birth defects, broken bones, paralysis, disease, and many other ailments. Just one of the many examples of dogs we have helped – we took in puppies who were born with birth defects and we spent over $2000 helping them. We have taken dogs to specialists both locally and to Louisville, Nashville and Purdue University.
DOES ITV RETURN DOGS TO SHELTERS?
No. We make a lifetime commitment to all our dogs. Our adoption contract requires adopters to return the dog to ITV if they are not able to keep the dog. On occasion, an adopter will return a dog to the shelter or to another rescue and we always reclaim the dog.
DO YOU HELP CATS OR OTHER ANIMALS?
Yes, occasionally. We love other animals also, but our facility can only accommodate dogs at this time. Over the years we have helped some other animals in a limited capacity, but our expertise is in helping dogs. We would like to expand to help other animals, but we simply do not have space at the ITV Rescue Center at this time. If we have the opportunity to expand our facility in the future, it will include space for other animals. Our long-term goal is a facility that can accommodate cats and other small animals, but for now, we can only take other animals if we have a foster family available.
HOW DOES ITV GET MONEY?
We do not receive any government funding. Our money comes from donations, fundraisers and grants. Sometimes we make a small amount from adoption fees, but generally the adoption fees are only enough to cover the vetting for the dog. Many, many times the vet bills for the dog exceed the adoption fee.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO OPERATE ITV?
Including vet bills and operating costs, it takes $18,000 to $20,000 each month to continue ITV operations.
WHERE DOES ITV GET DOGS?
We rescue dogs from individuals, other rescues, other shelters and those who come to us as strays. Our mission is “To work as one in helping homeless dogs irrespective of breed, location or circumstance.” We believe that an animal in need is an animal in need, regardless of its breed, where it finds itself or any conditions the animal has may have. We take in many owner surrenders every week, thereby keeping countless animals out of area government shelters. Many times, we are the first call when someone needs to surrender an animal and we try to help if we have space. We generally help animals in our region of Southwestern Indiana and Northwestern Kentucky. We are surrounded by many rural shelters who have extremely high euthanasia rates and very few, if any, rescues groups helping them. We are one of the “go to” rescue groups for rural shelters in our area and do not refuse to help simply because the shelter is not within our county. We occasionally help animals outside of our region, but we are kept very busy helping animals in our region so the majority of animals we help come from Evansville and the surrounding areas. We believe that God sees no boundaries for who is worthy of help and neither do we.
DOES ITV ADOPT DOGS OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTY WHERE IT IS LOCATED?
Yes. We have adopted dogs to adopters as far away as the East Coast and California. Due to social media and modern transport allowing for easier animal transports, the trend in the rescue community, we believe, is for animals not to be limited by county or even state lines. As is the case with essentially every other rescue group, we allow animals to be adopted outside of our area. Basically, we do not see county lines regarding rescue intake or outgoing adoptions. If we allow animals to be sent outside of our county through adoption, then it would be disingenuous for us not to also allow animals to be taken in from outside our county.
DOES ITV TRANSFER DOGS TO OTHER GROUPS?
Yes, once. In 2016, we responded to a request by a rescue group to participate in an adoption event and we transferred 9 dogs to the rescue. Some of the dogs were returned after being adopted at the event so we took them back into our care. Because we make a lifetime commitment to our dogs, it is a difficult decision for us to transfer dogs to other groups. We have a very successful adoption program and provide the highest level of care we can to our dogs so we, generally, do not transfer dogs to other rescues or groups. We will evaluate on a case-by-case basis future requests to transfer dogs outside of our care.
DOES ITV RESCUE WHOLE FAMILIES?
Yes. We will never leave a mom behind if we are rescuing a litter of puppies. If we commit to taking the puppies, we also commit to taking the mom. If we are aware of other family members needing rescue, we will take the entire family. If we are working with an individual who does not want to surrender the mother of a litter, we will offer to pay to have the mother of the litter spayed so she does not have any more unwanted puppy litters in the future.
WHERE DOES ITV KEEP THE DOGS IT RESCUES?
We operate a facility at 1417 N. Stockwell Road, Evansville, Indiana. The majority of our dogs, however, are kept in volunteer foster homes. We prefer our dogs to be in foster homes to give the dog time to relax and find his or her true personality. Our foster families give us invaluable insight regarding the behaviors, temperament and personality of the individual dog.
HOW MANY DOGS DOES ITV HAVE AT ANY GIVEN TIME?
The number of dogs we are responsible for vary at any given time, but we usually have at least 100 dogs in our care and, at times, as many as 140 dogs. The number of dogs we care for is only limited by the number of foster homes we have available. We have a finite number of kennels at the ITV Rescue Center, but foster homes are limitless. The more foster homes we have, the more dogs we can rescue.
WHAT DOES ITV DO FOR EACH DOG?
ITV has adopted a mandatory spay and neuter policy for all animals prior to adoption. All dogs and puppies shall be spayed or neutered upon veterinarian recommendation unless the health of the animal would be compromised by the surgical procedure. In such cases, spay/neuter surgery will take place as soon as the health of the animal permits. ITV provides at least one 5-way vaccinations for all dogs over one year old. For all dogs under one year old, a second 5-way vaccination is given. Up to three 5-way vaccinations are given to puppies. For dogs over six months old, a heartworm test is given. All dogs are also given a bordatella vaccination, de-worming and microchip. Any health issues discovered during examination or testing are treated.
WHEN IS ITV OPEN?
Our rescue center (located at 1417 N. Stockwell Road) is open Tuesdays 12-5 pm; Wednesdays 12-7 pm; Thursdays 12-5 pm; Fridays 12-5 pm; Saturdays 12-5 pm. Furthermore, we are often at community events on Saturdays, Sundays and other times throughout the week.
HOW MANY EMPLOYEES DOES ITV PAY?
ITV has 2 full-time employees and 7 part-time employees. The employees are primarily responsible for taking care of the dogs at the ITV Rescue Center. The dogs at the rescue center are cared for from 7 a.m. to 9-10 p.m., seven days a week, 365 days of the year. Everyone else helping ITV are volunteers and we depend heavily on volunteers to continue operations.
DOES ITV KEEP OPEN KENNELS?
No. We do not keep open kennels at the rescue center “just in case.” ITV’s kennels are always full because we do not believe that we should have empty kennels when so many dogs are dying every day, every hour at area shelters. When a dog is adopted from an ITV foster home or from the rescue center, there are always many more dogs waiting to fill the empty spot.
HOW DO I SURRENDER A DOG TO ITV?
We ask that people who are surrendering dogs provide us advance notice so we can make arrangements for a place for the dog. People often believe that because we have a physical location that we have an open kennel for a dog they just want to drop off. That is almost never the case. While we understand that emergencies arise, it provides added stress to our people and dogs when people just show up with a dog (in the case of an adopter returning an ITV adopted dog, for example). Therefore, we ask that people who want surrender a dog, email us at email@example.com in advance so that we can schedule a surrender time and make arrangements for the dog.
IS ITV AN “OPEN INTAKE” FACILITY?
No. Unfortunately, we are limited by the number of kennels and foster homes we have available. We receive daily requests for help and we help when we can, but we are not required to take a dog into ITV. Many times we work with individuals to schedule an intake date. We operate at capacity almost daily and we know our limits. Once a kennel is opened up by an adoption or a dog going to foster, there is always another dog immediately waiting for the kennel. We post on our Facebook page every Sunday our adoptions for the week. But, if we post on Sunday that we had 15 adoptions for the week, it does not mean we now have 15 kennels open. Instead, it means that fosters have adopted their foster dog and will not take another and/or we probably have already lined up many more dogs to fill any empty kennels at the ITV Rescue Center.
DOES ITV “TEMPERMENT TEST” DOGS UPON INTAKE?
We work very hard to learn about individual dogs upon intake by getting as much of the dog’s history as possible. When a dog is new to us, we find that many times he or she is very scared and we believe it is unfair to put the dog through a test during one of the most vulnerable times in the dog’s life. We learn about our dogs through reports from foster families, kennel techs and volunteers. We have a volunteer trainer who we also consult with when necessary. When possible, adopters meet the foster family during the adoption process where they can ask questions about the dog. If the dog is living at the ITV Rescue Center, ITV provides as much information as we know to a potential adopter.
We strive to get to know individual dogs and we do not judge dogs by how they act when they first arrive at our rescue. In fact, recent studies show that doing temperament tests upon intake to a shelter environment are not accurate predictors of the dog’s behavior in a home.
“The tests are artificial and contrived,” said Dr. Gary J. Patronek, an adjunct professor at the veterinary medicine school at Tufts, who published an analysis concluding that the tests have no more positive predictive value for aggression than a coin toss.
“During the most stressful time of a dog’s life, you’re exposing it to deliberate attempts to provoke a reaction,” Dr. Patronek said. “And then the dog does something it wouldn’t do in a family situation. So you euthanize it?” //www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878(16)30069-7/pdf See also: //mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/31/science/dogs-shelters-adoption-behavior-tests.html?referer=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com
WHAT OTHER PROGRAMS DOES ITV HAVE TO HELP THE COMMUNITY?
On a case-by-case basis, we make every attempt to help community members in an effort to try to avoid another homeless pet. For example, if a community member needs help with medical treatment, flea preventative, food or needs a crate, we will work with the person to try to service their needs, assuming our resources allow for it. Almost daily, ITV is quietly helping community members in need. Not only do we offer help to the pet in need, but on many occasions we have helped the person also. We do not do it for “glory” and do not “advertise” the help we provide to community members out of respect for their privacy.
We are often at community events. We try to get as much exposure for our dogs and our mission as possible. As such, we try to attend as many events as our volunteer manpower allows. We are also involved with disadvantaged youths in our community and we have participated in programs where we take dogs to schools or the juvenile detention center. We think it is important to be active in the community and share the plight of homeless animals in our community.
Every year, ITV co-hosts a fundraiser for Evansville Animal Care and Control’s Spirit Medical Fund. ITV is also one of the founding members of the Evansville Partnership for Animal Welfare, where rescues work together to improve the lives of animals in our community. EPAW was responsible for passing an ordinance allowing for Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) of community cats.
Finally, ITV Board Members are very active in the local animal welfare community. ITV President and Attorney Susan Odoyo is very active in helping with animal cruelty and neglect cases in our area. She is a founding member of the Animal Cruelty Task Force and served on the Task Force for 3 years as a volunteer. ITV Board Member Missy Mosby started the “Hoosiers Unite for Animal Rights” Group and is a passionate animal advocate as President of Evansville’s City Council. ITV Board Member Neal Anderson, along with Susan Odoyo, serve as volunteer attorneys for a currently pending animal welfare civil case. The ITV Board is an “active board” in that you will see essentially every board member at community events or at the ITV Rescue Center on a weekly basis.
WHAT IS ITV’S HISTORY?
Our name comes from an African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. We believe that it also takes a village to save an animal. We cannot do this alone. We need the support of our community to save as many animals at possible. We formed in 2010 when a small group of people saw a need to help animals at regional shelters. One of our co-founders, Brie Stafford, believed strongly in the quote that “Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” (Quote by Karen Davidson). ITV operates following this motto and we do our best to change the world forever, one dog at a time.
ITV opened our rescue center on July 21, 2012 after we won a $25,000 grant from Pepsi. Each year, we continue to expand and increase the number of homeless animals we help. In 2016, we helped over 700 animals find forever homes! We expect this number to continue to grow as ITV grows.
DOES ITV PARTNER WITH OTHER RESCUES?
Yes. Nationally, ITV is a network partner to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. We are also regional and local partners to several other rescue groups. You will often see ITV representatives at events and fundraisers for other rescue groups. We make a purposeful effort to attend other events as a show of support for our rescue brothers and sisters. We strive to help other groups who may request help with dogs, without belittling any other rescue group. While there still needs to be improvements in the rescue community, we have seen great strides in the rescue community working together. We hope to lead by example a change in the once common approach of rescues attacking other groups in order to get limited donation dollars from supporters. You will never see ITV publically criticize another rescue, because we believe everyone tries to do the best they can to help animals – they may just have a different approach than we do. On the contrary, we help other rescues when we can and have a good working relationship with many other rescues across the country.
HOW CAN YOU HELP ITV?
Please explore our website at itvrescue.org for ways to help. To continue operations, we need monetary donations, product donations, volunteers and foster homes. Our website is set up to take reoccurring monthly donations at itvrescue.org/donate. Even if you can commit to just $20 a month, it will help us save so many lives. If you cannot make a monthly monetary commitment, you can drop off bleach, treats, trash bags, etc. to help our dogs. There is a drop box right outside our door (1417 N. Stockwell Road) where products can be dropped off at any time. Our wish list items are posted on our website. We generally do not need food donations as we keep our dogs on a consistent diet of the same food. We get our food from the Rescue Bank in Louisville, Kentucky at a significantly discounted rate. If you want to donate food, donating money instead will allow us to purchase significantly more food than an individual can buy at a local store. We do not, however, turn down food. The bags of donated food are given to foster families or community members in need. In the case of high quality or specialty food, we will use it for dogs in our care who may need the specialty food (i.e. weight loss food will be given to an overweight dog).
You can also help by volunteering! To volunteer, complete a volunteer application online at ITVrescue.org and you will receive an email with further instruction. We have a Facebook group where we post our volunteer opportunities. //www.facebook.com/groups/1507237419536761/
We welcome younger volunteers. For the safety of our dogs and everyone involved, teenagers 14-15 years old must have an adult present while volunteering at the rescue center. Teenagers 16-17 years old may volunteer, but everyone under 18 years old must have their legal guardian sign a permission slip/release. We are sorry, but we generally cannot accept volunteers under 14 years old at the rescue center.
Finally, we are always in desperate need of fosters. We have posted FAQs about fostering, our foster handbook and a brief foster application on our website at ITVrescue.org.
WHY DIDN’T YOU ANSWER MY QUESTION?
We are always happy to answer questions! If you have a question that we did not answer, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always try to operate in the best interest of animals and be believe spreading rumors and gossip about something you have heard only hurts animals. We would much rather you simply ask us and we will happily answer any questions you have regarding ITV operations. Thank you for taking the time to learn about us!