If you are starting a new cat rescue, one of the most important members of your support team will be a vet. Cats that come into a rescue have often been in a vulnerable state and can have complex veterinary needs. Here are some things to look for in a rescue-aligned vet.
While you want a vet with a great reputation, you also want a vet that can fit you in quickly if you have an emergency case. It can be really useful to work with a clinic with a range of vets so that you can find some people who can help you out of hours. It can also be a good idea to have a vet who has a range of contact hours, such as a help line or a texting service so that carers or new adoptees can ask for advice for any issues they may be concerned out at all hours of the night and day.
Experience with rescues
The old saying is that birds of a feather flock together, but rescuers of cats also flock together . . . to similar vets. Rescue cats often have similar issues, including severe stress, injuries from abuse and/or living on the street and low body weight or dehydration. A vet that is experienced in identifying and fixing these issues and then checking the animals for any underlying issues that can affect behaviour such as dental distress or painful infections can be invaluable in helping the animals get back to full heath and to be in a state where they can be easily fostered or adopted by carers.
While you want a vet that takes all reasonable care and looks after your rescues with the highest level of respect, it´s also important to make sure that your donated funds are being used in the best possible way. A great rescue-aligned vet will charge a reasonable rate for the work that they do and won´t cut corners on the work that they do for rescue cats whilst ensuring that they give you a volume discount that reflects the amount of work that you are trusting them with and the social benefit that comes with being aligned with a rescue organisation. You can then help them out by promoting them to your supporters.
If you run a rescue organisation for cats, finding a vet with good pricing, experience with rescue animals and a great availability is vital to your long-term success.