How We Choose Who We Save

Saving with Soul makes shelter runs weekly where we visit area shelters to rescue as many dogs and cats as we are able. Sometimes that’s just one or two; sometimes it’s 10 or more. It all depends on what animals are available for rescue and how many foster homes have openings.

We pride ourselves that we don’t cherry-pick shelter animals – we are not breed- or size-specific and we like to say, “as long as the dog or cat is NICE, we can save him or her!” Young, old, big, small, pretty or even ugly – we love nice dogs and cats. However, we do not knowingly take on aggressive animals or animals who need to be an only pet.

We aren’t afraid of skin issues, heartworms or “senioritis;” in fact, we have specific funds established to care for special needs dogs and cats.

Local Focus

Saving with Soul has made the decision to rescue locally. We rarely take in animals from outside our area (which we loosely define as Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa counties). We work with a select group of local shelters, ones who appreciate us and welcome us into their facilities. We have great relationships with our partner shelters and there is certainly no shortage of animals to save in these shelters alone. We feel that our local focus is another factor in the success we have achieved.

Private Dogs & Cats

About 25% of the dogs and cats we rescue are what we call “private.” This means that the pet comes from an individual, not a shelter. We have a process for taking in private pets and the process must be followed in order for us to accept a private pet. Basically, we require that the pet’s current owner or guardian fill out an application to be accepted into our program. There are a variety of factors that we consider when making the decision, including vetting status, behavior, health, adoptability and whether the current owner can help us with fostering or making a donation. You can read more about our rehoming program here:

Stray Animals

Please note that we do not take in stray animals. There are legal requirements related to finding the animals’ rightful owners and we don’t have the resources to comply with them. Stray animals need to go to the shelter in the county where they were found because that’s where the owner will go looking for them. There may be times where you find a stray and want to consider bringing him/her into the rescue – and that’s fine – but only after the stray hold time is up at the shelter.

Out of Area Pets

As a general rule, SWS does not bring in animals from out of our immediate area. The primary reason for this is that one of the requirements we have for bringing a dog into the rescue is that we meet them first – we don’t rescue animals from a picture and a description. In almost all cases WE MUST MEET THE ANIMAL FIRST!