You do have a good idea. One that many of us do without it being "official". I have met some people on this site & one other that all keep in touch. If we hear of a rep in need ( or almost any animal, for that matter ) we let one another know & then the closest person picks it up & we get it to whoever is most experienced/set-up for it. Often these critters just 'foster' with us. Many people that call or bring me animals have just 'heard from someone else that I took theirs'. This leads to animals being dropped off at times without me even knowing (i.e. left on doorstep overnight). My best advice is give it a shot but be prepared. Once the word is out you could be swamped with various animals in all sorts of conditions. I only take aquatic turtles myself (supposedly) but have been given everything right up to an old 1/2 deaf & 1/2 blind pony;who,I'm pleased to say, lasted another 5 years on my neighbors farm & started all 3 of their daughters riding & now each girl has her own horse ! Not all rescues/fosters have a happy ending though, so be ready for that , too. I have had critters not even make it to the vet as they came in such bad shape. Having vets lined up is often the biggest hurdle to overcome. I recently lost one of my personal pets during a move as I was not able to get to the area & set up a vet ahead of time. The next biggest problem I have encountered is animals out of my province. I am just getting to know good rescuers in other provinces but transportation between us is a problem. Some critters aren't in good enough condition to ship & sometimes, sadly, it is just too expensive. One idea I had that I am working on implementing is making use of truckers. My uncle is a trucker & has a few of his own trucks & drivers. They are helping me set-up a little 'trucker network' to move around some critters. This will obviously be restricted to those well enough & those that can travel that way but it is a help & will leave more money for those that have to go by air. Another thing to keep in mind is that your foster homes must be prepared to be permanent homes , too , as some critters just never leave. Remember that it isn't a good idea to give them away when looking for permanent homes. An adoption fee , if not a sale price , will weed out those impulse buyers & those only interested in things that are 'free'. These are not good people for your animals, especially those with previous problems, as they rarely give proper care or keep the pets long term. You say you want to call your 'league' T.E.A.R.S. That name says 'exotics'. That is a very broad field from parrots to foxes to emus to llamas, etc. etc. & that is just some of what I have dealt with by being known as a "kind & caring animal lover". Your 'league' will need farmers & ranchers willing to help with barn & pasture space if you really are to succeed. Not to mention people with land upon which to set-up all the various types of hutches, cages, ponds, tanks, etc. etc. to house any possible kind of incoming feathered, furred or scaled friend. Then you must find feed stores willing to order the strange feeds you may need at a moments notice as you may not be able to get the critter to a foster home right away. I have a wonderful farm supplier that will have almost anything the next day (even camel milk for 2 orphaned foals at my friends stable, bless him). These foals were even considered exotics as their breed (forget what it was) is rare outside of "Old Europe". I also have a small zoo & a wildlife park within a couple hours drive from me that will help when they can (within reason). They have food, housing, vets, quarantine facilities, etc. etc. & have even kept some animals themselves permanently. Those places are HUGE helps if you can get them. Anyways, there is sooooo much to consider, plan & set-up that I could go on forever ! ( Except that my toddler isn't smelling very well at the moment. Pheeeew!!!! ). I'm sure I've given you at least a couple things to think about for now. Contact me if you want or if I may be of more help. Dar.
P.S. I forgot : licenses & restricted or protected animals & permits - check 'em out & get 'em !!!
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