Rescuers’ Code of Ethics

I understand that if I violate this Code of Ethics, I will not be covered under the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance’s Liability Insurance Policy.  To be approved as a rescue contact for the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance’s List of Purebred and Mixed Breed Animal Rescuers in Texas – I agree:

To submit the Rescuer Application to Responsible Pet Owners Alliance for approval by the board of directors.  The application process includes the questionnaire, a home visit by appointment, a Veterinarian Reference and a Shelter Reference.
Exceptions to this process are:  veterinarians, qualified rescuers for national and state breed clubs/groups, and rescuers who are highly recommended by respected rescuers already on the listing. Contact RPOA’s office or e-mail for more information. There is no fee charged for the listing.
ALL rescuers must sign and submit this Code of Ethics to be on our listing. 
RPOA membership is not required to be on our list. However, to be covered under our Liability Insurance, rescuers must be members in good standing and pay an annual $10 fee for the insurance coverage.  The Liability Insurance only covers individuals, not rescue groups. 

To return all telephone calls as soon as possible. If unable to take animals for an extended period of time, I may leave a message on the answering machine in lieu of returning phone calls.

To make final decisions regarding animals accepted in our rescue program based on a case by case situation and coordinate all animals with available space.  

To assess the temperament of each animal and exercise good judgment to assure its suitability for placement. I will not knowingly place an animal that is vicious or with seriously unsound temperament in an adoptive home. Rescue animals deemed unadoptable for reasons of health, temperament, or any other reason will be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian or certified euthanasia technician and receive proper disposal. Dogs that are very dog or people aggressive present a legal and moral liability.

To provide appropriate food, clean water and shelter for all animals in our care and house rescue animals under sanitary conditions, which meet or exceed all minimum standards as defined by local or state health and sanitation authorities.

To provide appropriate routine veterinary care for rescued animals, including regular vaccinations, treatment for internal and external parasitic infestations, heartworm testing and administration of preventive heartworm medication. Different species requirements may vary. 

To take all injured or sick animals to receive veterinary care immediately.  Euthanasia will be administered humanely when necessary with proper disposal.

To spay or neuter all dogs, cats and ferrets.  If there are medical reasons for delaying this surgery, follow-up must be made to make sure the animal is sterilized at a later date and noted on the animal’s paperwork, including the Proof of Sterilization from a veterinarian.

To keep accurate records and history of animals in rescue, including temperament, health issues, medical records, new owner’s contact information, etc. These will be required should legal action be taken by any person injured by an adopted animal.

To have a Transfer of Animal Ownership signed and dated when accepting an animal.  To have a Transfer Agreement – Stray Animal signed upon accepting a found or unowned animal.  A photograph should be taken if possible to document the condition of the animal upon being accepted into the rescue program for protection against future legal action.

To carefully screen all foster homes before approval with a Foster Home Application, interview, home visit by appointment and Veterinarian Reference. It is my responsibility to monitor foster homes for compliance with local and state sanitary conditions.

I have read the information regarding RPOA’s Rescue Program on their web site and support the program’s objectives.  I agree to indemnify and hold harmless Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, Inc. from any claims while participating in this program.

Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, its officers, agents, and employees shall not be liable for any claims, demands, judgments, awards, fines, liens, losses, damages, expenses, charges, or costs of any kind or character, including attorneys’ fees and court costs (hereinafter referred to as “Claims”), arising out of, or in any manner either directly or indirectly connected with any act, error, omission, whether active or passive, arising from participation in our programs.

Rescuer’s Signature and Date

Return to: Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, 900 NE Loop 410 #311-D, San Antonio, Texas 78209. Fax number:  (210) 822-9038. E-mail:

Other helpful forms pertaining to the Rescue Program:
Adoption Application for a New Pet
Pet Adoption Information for the New Owner
How To Help With Animal Rescue
Rescue List of Contacts





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