HOW WE STARTED...
STBTR was born in July of 2016 with a vision and as an additional resource for Boston Terriers, and other brachycephalic breeds, that need rehabilitation, rehoming, medical treatment, and any other TLC including hospice care, in the Houston and greater Gulf Coast areas of Texas. We have expanded outreach to dogs in Austin, San Antonio, Laredo, Del Rio and other areas with the help of a volunteer base that now stretches state wide and into south Louisiana. We are strictly a foster based rescue – we have no facility. All of our dogs are housed in foster homes for vet treatment and evaluation.
EVALUATION & VETTING PROCESS
In order to determine the perfect fit for the dog, we evaluate the dog in several areas:
(1) temperament around other dogs, cats and children;
(2) assess the medical needs of the dog;
(3) assess the training level of the dog (housetrained, crate trained, uses a doggy door, needs a fenced yard, etc.);
(4) determine if there are any red flags or triggers that need to be dealt with in training;
(5) obtain vaccines, heartworm test, spay/neuter, and any other medical needs that are apparent that require immediate treatment/surgery (ear infections, skin infections, surgery to remove lumps or bumps, major issues involving the legs that prohibit the dog from using a limb properly); and,
(6) If the dog is heartworm positive, we start a slow kill protocol under a vet’s supervision.
This evaluation and vetting process can take from a few days to a month or so. Our goal is to fit the dog to the family after we have assessed what a perfect family situation would be for the dog based on all the above criteria.
Once you apply to adopt, the process will generally take approximately two to three weeks. We have a non-refundable application fee of $20 – should you ultimately adopt from us, that application fee will be applied to your adoption fee. We will no longer process applications without the payment of the fee. We spend several hours generally screening each application, and this is the criteria required to adopt from us:
(1) All pets in the household currently must be up to date on vaccines and annual exam, including a heartworm test;
(2) All pets in the household currently must be spayed/neutered (unless your vet has determined that it would be detrimental to your pet to undergo this procedure and that will be verified by calling your vet);
(3) All pets in the household currently must be on a heartworm and flea prevention regimen;
(4) A fence is not a requirement but is a definite plus; and,
(5) Your vet and personal references will be called.
If you have requested a certain dog on your application, you will be put on a list for that dog. If, after evaluation, that dog is deemed a fit for your family, then any apps for that dog will be given the opportunity to meet that dog in the order the apps were received.
ONCE YOU ARE APPROVED
The final step in our approval process is a phone interview with the applicant. At this point, everything else has been reviewed and approved. During this interview, we will tell you which dogs we have available that might be a fit for your family. You will have the opportunity at that time to schedule a meet and greet with those dogs.
If we do not have a suitable match for you once you are approved, you remain approved for the next possible fit and you move to the head of the line for that dog.
MEET & GREETS
It is imperative that when we have a dog ready that you want to meet, that you are able to, within reason, schedule that meet and greet. We understand prior obligations, work schedules, distance involved, etc. would prohibit possible meetings with little notice. Timely scheduling of meet and greets a) gets our dog into its forever home as quickly as possible and, b) frees up that foster for the next dog that needs a place to land. If you cannot schedule the meet and greet timely, then we will move on to the next approved applicant that is a fit for that dog. Many times a meet and greet can be scheduled at a pre-determined meeting place between the foster and adopter (should the distance between you and the dog be great), but only as we have transport available.
We require any other dogs in the household to attend the meet and greet to insure that the dogs are compatible.
FOSTER & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITES
Our volunteers are the backbone of STBTR. Some of our volunteer opportunities are as follows:
Fosters: We have volunteers that foster our dogs, many at a moment’s notice. We call when we pick up a new dog, who may have medical issues, mange, may not be housetrained, may be filthy, and these guys and gals always extend an invitation for that dog to come in. Typically, the first thing required is a good bath and assessment of any bumps, lumps, hair loss, discharge from the ears (or other orifices), limps, vision problems – the list goes on and on. One perk of fostering for STBTR is that if you foster a dog and fall in love with that dog, you have the first option to adopt ahead of everyone else!
Transporters: On any given day, we have dogs that need to be picked up from shelters and delivered to a foster home, picked up and taken to vet appointments, picked up from one location and delivered to a foster in another area, sometimes it’s just meeting a dog coming in on a transport in your area and driving it a few miles to another transporter or another location. These transports, because of the area we cover, are vital to our operation. It’s simply impossible for our directors who have jobs and families – and are all volunteers ourselves – to be able to cover all the needs of the rescue without the network we have in place.
Application Processing: When we get an influx of new dogs in, that usually means an influx of applications. We have volunteers that have agreed to pull the applications, do the vet checks, home checks and talk to the personal references before handing the viable applications back to a director for final interview and approval.
Website/Technical Issues: We have been blessed with several volunteers that keep our website up to date and are able to fix any issues that may occur – our directors are not tech savvy! This is an area we can always use help in to better our rescue and streamline the man hours it takes to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Since we are a 501c3 rescue, all donations made to STBTR are tax deductible.
Our donors are vital to STBTR. Some people just don’t have the ability to foster, a reliable vehicle to help with transport, or simply don’t have the time to help any other way than financially. We frequently have fundraisers when we have particularly heavy vetting needs.
Amazon and Amazon Smile: We maintain a wish list on Amazon of supplies that we use, and are frequently surprised with boxes that are delivered from Amazon.
If you are an Amazon shopper (and who isn’t these days, right), please consider switching your account to AmazonSmile and designate South Texas Boston Terrier Rescue as your beneficiary! For most purchases on AmazonSmile, STBTR will receive a small percentage from your purchase, and it costs you nothing extra!
Most frequent questions and answers
All of our income comes from donations and adoption fees and is used directly to pay vetting on our rescues and for supplies needed while they are fostering with us (i.e. heartworm and flea prevention, wormer, crates, beds, collars, leashes, dog food, microchips and postage to get needed supplies to fosters).
As all of our workers are volunteers, we never seem to have enough for the work required to run this rescue. It typically takes between 2-3 weeks for your application to be screened. Our care of the rescue dogs comes first – if we are moving dogs between fosters, picking up dogs, vetting dogs, etc., those things are ALWAYS going to take precedence over processing of applications and answering emails, etc.
The last step in our screening process is a telephone interview with one of our directors or volunteers. At the conclusion of that interview, you will know whether you have been approved to adopt.
We try to keep our website (stbtr.org) and Facebook pages updated with the dogs that are coming in as well as those who are ready for adoption. Sometimes if we are intaking several dogs at once, finding transports, fosters and getting the vetting started, there may be a lag in getting them posted. Our website is also maintained by a volunteer who has a family and a job!