What is Rescue A Golden of Arizona?
Rescue A Golden of Arizona, RAGofAZ, is an all-volunteer, non-profit, charitable 501(c)(3) organization which is dedicated to maintaining a rescue program for abandoned, mistreated or unwanted Golden Retrievers.
How long have you been in business?
RAGofAZ was incorporated on October 15, 1998, with 15 members. Membership is now over 800, and we have rescued over 2600 Golden Retrievers.
What area do you cover? RAGofAZ rescue efforts are throughout Arizona. Most of our adoptors are from the Phoenix area; however, we have an active group in Tucson, as well as members in northern Arizona and in Yuma, Lake Havasu City and Kingman. We currently are not adopting Goldens out of Arizona.
How do people contact RAGofAZ?
How can I become a member?
Membership is open to anyone desiring to support our rescue efforts. Membership dues are $35 per individual, $50 for a famiyl or $10 for a student; memberships are good for one year. Membership application forms can be obtained by calling or e-mailing us or by downloading one from our website. Anyone who desires to adopt a dog from RAGofAZ must be a member.
As a member, how can I help RAGofAZ?
Members can help with any of the various committees: Intake, Transport, Placement, Follow-up, Fundraising, Membership, Publications, Shelterwalking, and the Vet Team. "Wish List" donations and financial contributions are tax-deductible and are gratefully accepted!
What activities are available for members?
Members of RAGofAZ have done gift wrapping at Barnes & Noble Bookstores during the holidays. This is a fun and profitable event with many opportunities for public education. We have regularly participated in Scottsdale's Parada del Sol, the Glendale Firemen's Parade, the Phoenix St. Patrick's Day Parade & Irish Faire and in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl Parade. We have had educational booths at numerous all-breed dog shows, at AJ's Fine Foods, at the Paws in the Park event in Fountain Hills, and at the AZ Family Women's Expo and Big Boys & Their Toys events at the Phoenix Convention Center and Westworld. We have also had information booths at the Flagstaff Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Show and at several different venues in Tucson, including the SAHBA Home Show and the AZ Animal Fair. The Dogtober Fest is held on the Court House Square every Fall in downtown Prescott. We also participate in PACC911 adopt-a-thons and in their annual Bowl-a-Rama. In January, we have an annual members' (and dogs, of course!) picnic and fun day called Bark in the Park; our Tucson contingent hosts a similar event in November. We have sponsored special raffles to raise money to pay for the significant medical costs of several of our rescue dogs. We have appeared at Chase Field and US Airways Plaza. Some of our members have even been on TV discussing an upcoming RAGofAZ event or educating the public about our Rescue. All in all there is a little bit of everything for everyone and every dog.
How can I learn about what RAGofAZ is doing?
Members receive a quarterly news letter, Golden Tales, regular e-mail messages, telephone calls, and meeting Minutes upon request. An Events calendar and our Golden Shoppe items are featured on our website.
What groups or clubs is RAGofAZ associated with?
Some of our members belong to the Golden Retriever Club of America. We cooperate with Maricopa Animal Care and Control Services, Pima and Yavapai Animal Care & Control, the Arizona Animal Welfare League, the Arizona Humane Society, and other shelters around the state. Because of the Golden temperament, many of our rescued dogs are used in hospitals for pet therapy. Many of our members also belong to the Companion Animal Association of Arizona and to Therapy Dogs International.
Where do you get your Goldens?
About 70% of the Goldens that we rescue come from private owner turn-ins; 21% are rescued from county shelters or from the Humane Society. A few have come to us through veterinary referrals, others from Good Samaritans who have found wandering dogs.
Why would anyone need to "rescue" a Golden Retriever? I thought everyone loved these dogs.
There are numerous reasons why some Golden owners give up their dogs. The least common reason is that the dog has become aggressive, which is good, because RAGofAZ will not knowingly take an aggressive dog into Rescue. Sometimes it’s because the dog is sick or too old. People move and can’t take their pets with them. The list is never-ending.
Are all rescued Goldens healthy?
No. When first accepted by RAGofAZ, each dog is given a medical examination by a licensed veterinarian. If the dog's vaccines are due, or if the vaccine history is unknown, vaccines are given. If the Golden is not spayed or neutered already, this procedure is done. If the dog is ill with a treatable condition, medicine is provided by RAGofAZ. We do not usually do any blood testing except for valley fever and heartworm, unless the doctor feels such is warranted. About 20% of the Goldens we have taken into Rescue have valley fever. Since the medication for this treatable condition is expensive, we provide it for three months following adoption. Potential adoptive families are always told about any medical problem that is known about a rescued dog.
Why are the dogs spayed or neutered?
RAGofAZ believes that there are already too many homeless and unwanted dogs. We also believe that breeding of Golden Retrievers should be done only after careful evaluation of the dog's temperament, physique and genetic history; the vast majority of people who would adopt a dog from us just want a companion pet. If a show dog or potential breeding dog is desired, RAGofAZ recommends going to a licensed, reputable breeder. In addition, it is better for the long-term health of the dog for it to be sterilized. Testicular and ovarian cancers are common causes of death in older, "intact" dogs.
Are rescued dogs housebroken?
Most rescued Goldens are housebroken. However, sometimes a dog has been kept outside for an extensive period. In such cases, some housetraining will probably be necessary. It is rare that puppies will be housebroken before they are 6 months old. Even a dog that has been housetrained may have "accidents" when placed in the unfamiliar environment of a new home.
How do you match dogs with potential adopters? The process of adopting a dog from RAGofAZ is structured to match the dog with the best home we can find. By design, the process is measured and involved. It is important to keep in mind that we do not make adoption decisions based on who has seen the dog first, or who has completed an application the earliest. The well-being of the animal is our paramount concern. Potential adopters complete an application and a phone interview is conducted with them in order to help find a match! We perform home visits with all potential adaptors’. We feel that getting to know our adopters results in a better placement for both the pet and the adopters. We provide as much information as we can on each pet’s history, disposition and health. After a placement, we follow up with each new adopter to offer assistance during the adjustment period. We want each of our animals to find the right home for them, not just any home. Likewise, we want our adopters to find the pet who best matches their lifestyle and interests. If for any reason the match is not perfect, as we had hoped, the dog must be returned to our organization.
What are the Membership and Adoption fees?
Most people who adopt a dog from RAGofAZ are classified as FWITA (Foster with Intent to Adopt.) An adoptee thus becomes a volunteer for RAGofAZ. In order to comply with insurance requirements, all RAGofAZ volunteers must be paid members. There are two levels of membership available: Individual Membership for $35 or Family Membership for $50. Our adoption fee is based on the Golden's age. All dogs up to age 4 are $400; dogs 4 to 8 are $300; dogs over 8 are $250. If a pair is adopted together, we will charge the full fee for the younger dog and half for the older dog.
Why does it cost so much to adopt a dog that someone else doesn't want?
When RAGofAZ takes a Golden into Rescue, we incur some significant veterinary costs. Sometimes these costs are minimal, as when only a general physical is done. In other cases, we have considerable medical expenses. What little money we might make on the adoption of one dog will go to offset the medical expenses of the next dog. Adoption fees by themselves will never cover all our expenses with rescued dogs. In 2009 the average cost to RAGofAZ to rescue a Golden was approximately $800.
Can I get a puppy through RAGofAZ?
Although puppies under 6 months of age are not often surrendered to Rescue, each year we do take in several puppies, and we have even taken in pregnant females that have later produced puppies. We make such puppies available for adoption after they are 8 weeks old.
Where can I go to see your rescued dogs?
We do not have a kennel or other boarding facility. All Goldens currently available for adoption can be viewed on our website. Sometimes arrangements can be made through our Placement Coordinator to meet with the family that is fostering a particular dog. We also occasionally have a Meet-and-Greet with available dogs at a local PetSmart store. These events are listed on our website