FCRSA Rescue Guidelines


  • To help placeable FCRs who are unwanted, abandoned, or are victims of inhumane treatment subject to an uncertain fate find good homes.
  • To coordinate and assist the efforts of local clubs and individuals in the rescue of FCRs in their area.
  • To provide financial assistance to local clubs and individuals with rescue dogs that meet the guidelines below.
  • To educate potential owners about the FCR and their special requirements to ensure an educated decision when selecting the breed.
  • To counsel owners on solving problems to keep FCRs in their homes and to encourage them to use their breeders as a resource of support and information.
  • To keep statistics on FCRs that get into the rescue system.
  • To educate animal control officers and shelter staff on how to identify FCRs.
  • To encourage the policy that final responsibility for any FCR who needs a home lies with the breeder. This responsibility is for the life of the dog no matter the circumstances.


Rescue money will be collected with annual dues on a voluntary basis. If needed a special appeal or fund-raiser can also be a funding source. Persons that breed FCRs, have bred FCRs or own an active or previously active stud dog are strongly encouraged to donate each year. It is the breeders’ responsibility to rescue their dogs and the dog’s progeny as well as unidentified dogs that they may have unknowingly bred. Financial support is one way of fulfilling this responsibility. Money collected for rescue will be used toward the direct costs in rescuing dogs, for public education and the reasonable reimbursement of phone calls etc. by persons conducting rescue business.

Flat Coated Retriever Identification

All dogs must be properly identified as FCRs to the best of our knowledge. If a dog is found without positive breed identification (papers or known breeding) then it is suggested that a team of two (if available) FCR owners evaluate the dog. It is best to have an experienced breeder/owner on the team if possible. If there is any question regarding the dog’s heredity the team should give the dog the benefit of the doubt as a purebred FCR. It is better to rescue a mix breed than leave an untypy pure bred behind. A release/surrender form should be signed by the owner, shelter staff or animal control officer giving the rescue full ownership and the ability to make decisions regarding the dogs future including the right of euthanasia (see Surrender Agreement, Stray/Shelter Dog Surrender Agreement, and Release and Indemnity Agreement).


All dogs that become part of the rescue program must have the following medical care prior to adoption:

  1. SPAYED OR NEUTERED, regardless of age, prior to adoption. If dog can not under go surgery, for medical reasons, prior to adoption the dog must be altered within 60 days. NO dog should be bred or shown in the breed ring that has come through the rescue program under any circumstances!
  2. Inoculated for Rabies and DHLPP
  3. Heartworm tested negative and started on preventative during the season.
  4. Complete physical exam and treated for any minor ailments.
  5. Fecal test or routine worming that covers all types of internal parasites.
  6. Major nonemergency medical expenses must have proper approval by the rescue committee for reimbursement. i.e. heartworm positive dogs, X-rays, blood work, etc.


  1. The dog must be of stable temperament without any serious chronic behavior problems.
  2. The dog must be considered desirable as a family companion for a novice pet owner. Any rehabilitation and/or needed training should be attainable by a novice owner. The foster home should start the rehabilitation when possible to learn more about the depth of the problem and the work necessary.
  3. The dog must not have a history of biting, snapping, or acting aggressively or excessively fearful toward people. It should not be aggressive with other dogs.
  4. No dog shall be placed that has a biting history. This dog should be humanely euthanized at rescues expense when necessary.

Foster Care

The best situation is for the dog to be housed in a foster home with someone that can evaluate the dog’s personality traits and house behavior. The dog should be exposed to a variety of situations, including ample time loose in the house, outdoors in a kennel run, public exposure and crating time if possible. Often valuable information can be gathered during foster care that will help make a successful permanent home match. If possible the dog should be evaluated for at least 3 weeks to give the dog time to start adjusting and showing its true behavior. This is especially important if the dog does not have any prior known history.

In an emergency situation the dog can be boarded at a commercial kennel until a foster home can be found. If a dog must be boarded at a commercial kennel the rescue fund will pay up to $50.00 / day for no longer than 15 days. During that time the local club or person (with help from the rescue committee if needed) is expected to find proper foster care or absorb the balance of the bill for service.

Adoption Criteria

An adoption questionnaire is the “first step” towards getting placed on our adoption list. Please visit our Facebook page for up-to-date information. Adoption Questionaire.pdf.  Please visit our facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/FCRSARescue

  1. The prospective owner should be personally interviewed and a home visit conducted when possible. The interview should be an in-depth process to educate the person on owning a FCR as well as evaluating the person’s lifestyle and plans for the dog. The person’s past dog ownership history and personal views on companion dogs must be explored when evaluating a potential home. (See Adoption questionnaire in Appendix.) No dog will be placed with a third party agent, pet shop, health organization, laboratory, training facility or otherwise indirectly transferred.
  2. It is recommended that the person meet the dog and then wait to think about the decision for at least 24 hours before adopting the dog. This helps prevent emotional impulse purchases and committed owners will make a second trip to get the dog.
  3. A written agreement MUST be signed by the adopter and witnessed. This agreement must release the club and person conducting the adoption from any liability, forbid the owner from transferring ownership without contacting the rescue representative, the owner will not sell or donate the animal to a person or corporation for experimentation/research, the dog will live as a family pet with its emotional needs met and a statement that the person will provide humane care and treatment including regular medical care to the dog. The adoption agreement should require the owner to license the dog yearly, follow local dog ordinances, the dog must wear an ID tag when outside and the dog will not roam freely unsupervised. (see Release and Indemnity Agreement in Appendix)
  4. No dog will be adopted to a person who is not the final owner. Dogs must not be adopted as gifts for unsuspecting persons. Dogs will not be adopted when the primary owner is a child unless parents fully understand that they must be responsible for the full life of the dog.
  5. A mandatory adoption fee should be collected at the time of adoption. The adoption fee will be between $250.00 – 300.00 for a young/middle aged healthy adult. Checks should be made out to the FCRSA. Senior dogs would be considerably less depending on age, condition, and general health. Adjustments in the adoption fee can be made in extenuating circumstances where the quality of the home is the first priority. The person or club will need to explain to the rescue committee why they adjusted the fee if they plan to get reimbursement of the dog’s expenses. The purpose of an adoption fee is to indicate the new owner’s commitment and to reimburse moneys back into the rescue program for the next dog. An owner that can not afford a reasonable adoption fee can not afford to maintain a dog properly!
  6. A fence yard or fenced kennel run is strongly recommended as a requirement for adoption. Potential adopters without fencing must be thoroughly educated on the risks and then evaluated on their commitment to keep the dog safe at all times.
  7. The person or local club rescuing the dog will provide the following to the adoptive home:
    • documentation on all medical care including rabies certificate
    • general information about the dog’s age, where found, any pertinent history, etc.
    • guidelines for feeding and general care
    • any observed behaviors, rehabilitation guidelines if needed and a general statement about the adjustment period
    • a name and phone number of a local person to contact with questions or concerns
    • a copy of the signed adoption agreement
    • name and number of reputable obedience club or trainer and encouragement on the advantages of taking a dog through an obedience program.
  8. After adoption at least one follow-up call should be made to check on the dog’s progress.


  1. The person or club must have followed the FCRSA guidelines to be eligible for reimbursement. Any major deviations need to be presented to the committee prior to reimbursement.
  2. Requests for reimbursement will be sent to the Rescue Coordinator who will review and submit to the FCRSA Treasurer.
  3. All moneys must be documented showing receipts for services etc. No money will be reimbursed without receipts or some type of clear proof of expenses.
  4. A maximum of $1000.00 in expenses will be reimbursed for each dog unless special circumstances have been approved by the Rescue Coordinator/Board and the FCRSA Treasurer.
  5. The local club or person must show reasonable prudence when making decisions that will have a financial impact on the rescue fund. i.e. finding foster homes instead of boarding at a commercial kennel, going to a veterinarian that will give a discount for rescue dogs, utilizing other club members’ abilities and connections.
  6. A copy of the written adoption agreement that releases the FCRSA from any liability MUST accompany the paperwork. A short written report must be submitted stating the dog’s profile, medical care given, where it was found, who bred the dog, who adopted it, etc.
  7. Rescue resources will not be used for dogs that the owner or breeder wishes to sell. This is considered a referral dog and it does not qualify to receive rescue funding.
  8. Rescue funds will not be used to financially assist breeders.  FCRSA and the Rescue Board agree that breeders are financially responsible for all puppies produced.  This lifelong commitment should be considered when planning to breed a litter.
  9. Reimbursement will be paid for dogs that must be bought from humane societies or pounds. The representative should try to get the fee waived or reduced when possible.