Below are the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions...
Why don't you adopt the animals you rescue to the community?
All of the animals that we rescue are available for adoption through the various intake facilities we support. We do exactly the same thing the public does - we walk though the facilities, meet the animals who are waiting to be adopted/rescued (often times they've been waiting weeks or months), and transfer these animals into our program. We do not turn around and place them for adoption locally because they have already been passed over by the public, and our goal is to "unclog" the system. By relocating these animals to areas where adopters are ready and waiting for them, we can keep the flow of rescue moving.
There are already some great no-kill animal rescues in Northern Alabama - why do we need more help?
We couldn't agree more - we've met with some of the most inspiring, impactful rescue groups throughout the community! It is actually one of the main reasons why we connected so deeply to Northern Alabama. Rescue work is a team effort - no single group can solve all of the issues on their own. When you collaborate and surround yourself with other hard working, high-impact rescues, the results can be jaw-dropping. The Rescue Center is designed to fill a gap, not create overlap. It is our mission to assist the abundance of remaining adoptable dogs and cats that aren't being adopted from intake facilities and can't be assisted by existing rescues for any multitude of reasons (not enough space in the program, homes, resources, etc.) and relocate them to areas of need/desire. By working together and complementing one another's mission/program, we as a rescue community can join forces to make the greatest impact possible. We're so excited about working with such a wonderful team of animal-loving people!
Why do you believe that transporting animals is crucial to revolutionizing the animal welfare community?
When viewing the national homeless animal crisis, it is critical to think with your head in addition to your heart. Put very simply, it comes down to supply and demand. As a whole, our Southern states are overwhelmed with the number of homeless animals in need, but lack the volume of adopters needed to prevent the euthanasia of "Adoptable" animals (we define "adoptable" as safe/no-aggression, social/non-feral dogs and cats.) On the other end of the spectrum, due to the high volume of adopters and resources, and low volume of adoptable animals in need, many of our Northern states find the number of adopters far outweighs the number of adoptable animals in need. It is crucial that we connect those dots and facilitate the distribution of adoptable animals in need to areas dense with adoptive families. We passionately believe that no adoptable animal should ever lose their life as a result of their physical location when there is a family out there just waiting to find them.
Why don't you just transport animals in need and bypass the Rescue Center all together?
The Rescue Center provides immediate refuge for animals in need. The painful reality is when an open-admission facility lacks the resources, space or time needed to care for an animal, they have two options: (1) Transfer the animal/s out immediately or (2) Euthanize the animal/s. By having a safe haven, we are able to immediately transfer animals at-risk out of an animal control and directly into our facility. Without this facility, we are greatly limited to the number of animals we are able to save as we're dependent on a limited number of foster homes who must be available to care for a new animal with little-to-no notice. As a result, thousands of animals die simply because there is not a safe space for them.
What kind of animals will the Rescue Center help? The Rescue Center is committed to saving as many "Adoptable" dogs and cats as possible. We define "Adoptable" animals as safe, social members of society. Dogs/cats displaying human aggression or severe behavioral issues, or dogs displaying potentially dangerous dog aggression, will not qualify for this program. Our priority is to rescue safe, loving animals who will be great family pets. We do not accept or relocate any potentially dangerous/feral/behaviorally unsound animals.
Do you accept "full-breed" pitbulls into your Rescue Center? The Rescue Center saves and relocates a number of dogs we consider to be "soft-pitties" - meaning dogs who clearly are a mix of breeds (typically lab/hound/pit/Heinz 57 dog) - we do not accept seemingly full-breed or "strong pitties." The reason behind this is a very straight forward one: the pitbull overpopulation issue is a national problem. Animal control facilities across the US are over-flowing with pitbull-type dogs, and there are not nearly enough adopters to provide these animals homes. Chicago, where many of the Rescue Center animals are relocated to, is so heavily saturated with pitbull-type dogs that go unadopted that we can in no way justify or rationalize transporting more of this breed to a community that is desperately trying to get the overpopulation issue under control. This is a subject that many people have strong feelings about, however, until the overpopulation of pitbulls is under control, we will not be relocating them from one area of saturation to another.
Is Felines & Canines Rescue Center no-kill and non-profit?
Yes and yes. We committed to the life of an animal and will only euthanize in cases of extreme illness, injury, or aggression/behavioral issues. We are a registered 501c3 non-profit as a DBA branch of Felines Inc. (EIN: 36-2922975.) All donations made to our organization are 100% tax deductible.
Does the Rescue Center require their receiving rescues to be no-kill?
Yes and no. The Rescue Center has relationships with several outstanding Open-Admission facilities that don't technically fall under the traditional title of "No-Kill" (aka "Limited-Admission.") However, these organizations already embrace the philosophy of zero euthanasia of "Adoptable" animals (meaning no safe/social/healthy animals will ever be euthanized for lack of space/time/resources.) All receiving rescues will be required to adhere to our policy of "Family for Life." If they cannot keep or place an animal who came from our Rescue Center, they will be required to return that animal to the Rescue Center or F&C so that animal can be adopted out. No animal is to ever be euthanized for any reason other than extreme illness, injury, behavioral or aggression issues.
Where do you get your animals from?
The Rescue Center is designed to be a resource for as many "Adoptable" animals as possible in Northern Alabama. Priority is given to animals at risk of euthanasia at "Open-Admission" shelters (also referred to as pounds or animal controls). The Rescue Center will also accept a limited number of pre-approved "owner surrenders" in an effort to divert them from being surrendered to an animal control facility (we are not licensed to take/hold stray animals.) As space allows, The Rescue Center will also be a resource to fellow "Limited-Admission" rescues who are experiencing over-crowding or need assistance with placing longer-term residents.
What will you do with an animal once it comes to the Rescue Center?
When an animal comes into our facility they will be vetted, nurtured, and transported on a weekly basis to approved Northern rescues.
What will happen to a Rescue Center animal who has been adopted out or transferred to another rescue if they need to be given up?
Every animal we accept into our program is considered "Family for Life." If an adopter or receiving rescue is unable to keep an animal, they are contractually obligated to return that animal to the Rescue Center or F&C and we will immediately accept that animal back into our program with zero stipulations.
What is Felines & Canines (F&C) and how is it connected to Felines & Canines Rescue Center?
Felines & Canines is a DBA (Doing Business As) of Felines Inc., a 40-year-old, non-profit, no-kill dog and cat shelter located in Chicago, IL. To learn about the history and mission of F&C, please visit for complete details. F&C founded Felines & Canines Rescue Center in 2017 as a direct extension of their life saving program. The Rescue Center will operate in Northern Alabama with its own staff and auxiliary board as a safe haven for animals in need as they await transport to receiving rescues.
If Felines & Canines roots are in Chicago, IL - why are you helping animals in Alabama?
We get this question a lot and our answer is a simple one: we want to help in areas where we are needed most. Chicago and its surrounding areas are extremely fortunate to have an abundance of resources ranging from stringent spay/neuter laws and a plethora of low-cost clinics, to hundreds of no-kill and breed-specific rescues assisting the animal control facilities. Chicago Animal Care and Control has 153 registered transfer partners (rescue groups approved to transfer animals out of Animal Control and into their program) and as of January 2017, 85 of those groups were actively transferring animals into their programs (click HERE for published CACC statistics). We believe strongly in spreading the "wealth" and helping those with less resources/options. We view the homeless animal epidemic on a national level rather than a state-by-state / "each man for himself" perspective. An animal in need is an animal in need no matter where they were born.
Where does your funding come from?
We do not receive federal funding of any kind and operate solely off of the generosity of private donors. Without the support of individuals and corporations who believe in the work we do, we would not exist.
I want to support Felines & Canines Rescue Center - how can I donate?
First and foremost, thank you! We recognize the trust you've placed in us and promise to make you proud to say you support Felines & Canines Rescue Center!
1. You can safely make a one-time, monthly or annual Online donation through our secure processor Network For Good: Click Here To Donate
2. Checks can be made payable to Felines & Canines Rescue Center and mailed to:
The Rescue Center
266 Hamer Road
Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763
3. Make a donation of Stock:
Brokerage Firm: Morgan Stanle
Contact: William Burfisher @ 312-917-7540
Name On Account: Felines Inc. (DBA "Felines & Canines" and "Felines & Canines Rescue Center")
Account #: 628-043145-495
DTC #: 0015
EIN #: 36-2922975
*Please be sure to notify if you donate stock or need any assistance.
4. Take advantage of your Company Matching program! It is the very best way to maximize your donation! Simply as your HR Department for the appropriate forms to fill out, email the forms to , and we'll complete all necessary info on our end.
5. Leave a Legacy by designating a Bequest to the animals of Felines & Canines Rescue Center. Please email with any questions. If you wish to make a provision in your will the following general language is suggested:
"I give, devise and bequeath ___% of my estate (or specific assets) for the benefit of Felines Inc. (DBA Felines & Canines Rescue Center) 6379 N Paulina St. Chicago, IL 60660 - FEIN: 36-2922975, to be used for the Felines & Canines Rescue Center program."