Here are some of the questions we are most often asked, and our responses to them...
Q: Where do most of your rescues come from?
A: The vast majority are from private homes and are turned in due to changes in their owners lives or because of a lack of fit between the dog and family (i.e. elderly owner and young, active puppy). We also take in dogs from shelters, breeders, and other rescue groups.
Q: I need to find a new home for my Cavalier. Can you help?
A: We are happy to help. Just call the contact person for your area, let them know about your dog, and they will get the ball rolling from there. We ask that you provide the dog's medical records, their food so their tummy's don't get upset when their foster family transitions them to a new food, and any of their belongings that will help them to adjust more easily to a new home, like their toys or bed. We always take foster dogs to our vets, even if they are up to date medically, so if you can give a donation to help with the cost of caring for your dog while in foster care and to support the program, we'd be grateful. Either way, we will assist with your dog and find them a great new home, just give us a call.
Q: Do many of the dogs you take in have problems?
A: Most are healthy for their age and have the typical sweet and endearing Cavalier temperament. That said, we are seeing an increase in dogs with medical issues, such as knees that need surgical correction, and are also seeing more dogs who need behavior rehabilitation, typically for issues like food guarding. Again though, these are in the minority.
Q: What kind of medical care does Cavalier Rescue USA do before a dog is adopted to a new family?
A: All dogs are seen by our veterinarians for a physical examination, are brought up to date on vaccines, heartworm tested, and altered if needed. Additionally, if a dog needs dental work, treatment for heartworm/lymes or other diseases, needs to see a specialist (i.e. cardiologist, neurologist), or requires surgery (i.e. knee surgery being the most common), this is done while the dog is in rescue too. We try to ensure that all dogs are fully vetted before they are adopted to a new family, and we let you know the dog’s health status, including if the dog requires medication or has a condition not resolvable in rescue (i.e. a heart murmur).
Q: How much does it cost to adopt a Cavalier from you?
A: Adoption donations vary based on the age and health of the rescued dog, as well the cost of their medical care, but generally range from $100-650. Most donations are in the lower to middle end of the range since the majority of dogs we have in our program are adults. If your first question about a dog or our process is "What is the fee", please know that this is likely not the group or breed for you. Please see www.cavalierhealth.org for information about health concerns in the breed. We want people who are applying to adopt because they are good hearted and looking to help a dog in need of a loving home, versus they don't want to pay a high fee to a breeder. Also, the breed is apt to develop heart issues down the line which can be costly to treat, so that's important to consider. Unlike municipal shelters, we receive no government funding, so additional and ongoing contributions are always needed and most welcome. After you adopt from us, please consider an annual gift, perhaps for the holidays, or to recognize your dog's "gotcha" day.
Q: I completed the online application. Now what?
A: Keep an eye on the website, especially the section for your region, and call the contact person listed when a dog is posted who you might want to adopt and whose stated needs or requirements your family meets. If it looks like you’ll be the best match for the dog, then the process normally proceeds with 1-2 informal telephone interviews, a vet reference check, a visit with the foster family, and a home visit, which is the point where the adoption normally occurs. It sounds like a long process, but once a great match is identified, matters usually progress pretty quickly (i.e. within a week or two).
Q: I live too far away to get the Cavalier I want. Will you ship him to me?
A: No. We believe it is very important for families to meet the dog they are potentially adopting and to spend enough time to know that a good match is being made, both for the dog and themselves. We only rarely adopt a dog outside of the region in which he or she is being fostered, and we require that the potential new family go to the foster home so that they can meet the dog in an environment to which they’ve been acclimated.
Q: What do you look for in a family for one of your rescues?
A: This varies based on the individual dog and his or her needs. In general though, families are more likely to get a dog from our group if they have the time and love to give a dog, a good history of having taken great care of a pet with solid practices in feeding/training/exercise, ability and willingness to care for the dogs medical needs should health issues arise, and a stable lifestyle. People open to older dogs have a greater chance of rescuing from us because most dogs we take in are adults and younger dogs get far more applications.
Q: Do you adopt to families with children?
A: Yes, but generally the children are school aged or older. Cavaliers are usually wonderful with well behaved, gentle children and enjoy their company. We don’t often adopt to families where children are under the age of 5 though, especially if there is more than one young child and if the family is not dog experienced. Additionally, we wouldn't adopt a puppy to a family where any children were under the age of 5 or 6.
Q: Can I sponsor a specific dog?
A: If you'd like to contribute to a specific dog's care, versus a general donation, you are welcome to do so. We almost always have dogs in our program who are undergoing costly procedures or whose vet bills are extraordinary. Please note, while we keep track of dog specific donations as best we can, on occasion a dog will get more donations than the final cost of their vet bills. Extra donations go towards other dogs in need, so let us know if that is not your wish for your contribution.
Q: Is Cavalier Rescue USA a charity?
A: Yes, we are a non-profit organization and are registered with the IRS as such. Our tax id number is 01-0856114. Approximately 96-98% of donations go directly towards the care of the dogs in our program. The remaining 2-4% covers things like bookkeeping services, tax preparation, website expenses, insurance, postage, and office supplies. For the year 2015, we spent over $350K on the dogs, and our admin costs were slightly under 3%, which is amazingly low, so please know your donations are well spent:).
Q: What is Cavalier Rescue USA's relationship to the original breed club, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, USA (www.ckcsc.org)?
A: While we are a separate organization, we have a long and supportive history with the club and regularly refer people looking for puppies to breeders associated with the club. Additionally, we are proud to note that several of our Coordinators and two of our Board members are club breeders. We encourage everyone with an interest in and love for our breed to become members of the club.
Q: I’m thinking about volunteering and am especially interested in fostering dogs. What do you look for in a volunteer?
A: Much of what we look for in a volunteer is the same as what we look for in a new family for one of our rescues (see above). Beyond that though, we look for people who can balance their heart and head and, very important, who are positive team players who communicate with and play well with others, much like a Cavalier:). Volunteers foster dogs, but they also help with picking up rescues from owners and shelters, doing home visits with prospective families when the foster family is not able to do this, and assisting with fundraising. If you are interested in volunteering, please go to our Volunteer page, complete the online volunteer application, and then contact the representative for your state so he or she knows of your interest.
Q: Does Cavalier Rescue USA have regional or state subsidiaries?
A: No, we are a national network of dedicated volunteers who work together to help our beloved breed. We have been a formal 501c3 charity for 10 years and have rescued well over 4000 Cavaliers. We are organized by state and region, but are one national group, operating as Cavalier Rescue USA. You may see groups online who identify themselves as Cavalier Rescue by a specific state or as a group rescuing this breed in general, but please know that these are separate groups, not associated with us, some reputable and others not, so please do your homework, especially before donating.