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 Val/ Something_To_Believe_In/ Kingdom Kritters Rescue & Sanctuary

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Posts : 4565
Join date : 2009-12-10
Age : 44
Location : Texas

PostSubject: Val/ Something_To_Believe_In/ Kingdom Kritters Rescue & Sanctuary   Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:24 pm

* Tell us a little about yourself and your background as a rescuer
My name is Val Betts, and I have been actively involved with rescue organizations and agencies of one kind or another for 12+ years. I have worked on staff with some large rescue organizations, working with bully breed dogs and reptiles. In 2004, I started my own rescue organization: Kingdom Kritters. What started as a thriving rescue for reptiles, birds and other exotics has grown to include sugar gliders almost exclusively.

I believe that having worked with established rescue organizations gave me a strong basis for operating an organized, successful rescue home that operates with the highest standards. I am always looking for ways to improve the care I provide and the protocols & procedures I follow on a daily basis.

* Define your goals for your rescue home (i.e. put gliders in forever homes, rehabilitate behavioral issues, match potential owners, etc.)
Of course, I want to see gliders in need of a home find their forever home. However, the primary goal for my rescue home is to do all that I can to help END THE CYCLE OF RESCUE. Unfortunately, I find that many of the times animals who enter the rescue system return to it time and time again. My goal is to do the very best I can in my home to see that sugar gliders that pass through my home do not enter the rescue system ever again. Some of the procedures or protocols I have put in place to reach this goal include:

* No glider leaves my home without first having completed a 30-45 day quarantine and seeing the vet no less than once. I believe that if *I* ensure that the gliders are healthy here, then I decrease the chances of health issues popping up in their new homes. Most gliders that pass through here receive THREE vet visits prior to leaving my home.

* Every glider receives a written temperment assessment and intake documentation upon intake. This allows me to see how each glider behaves/responds in many different situations. This assessment is repeated (and also documented) 30-60 days after they arrive at my home. Therefore, progress (or lack of) is documented. This temperment assessment goes with the gliders to their new home. The purpose of this is that it allows me to give a very accurate assessment of the glider's personality and it helps me to match glider personality to adoptive parent. If I am honest and accurate in my description of the gliders, then a home that chooses them will know exactly what they are getting, will be less likely to become disappointed or discouraged with the bonding process, and will most likely be the glider's final and forever home.

* I screen heavily. I require an application and follow-up interviews. My application includes questions that help me know a person and their experience level - it is not an application that you can just get online and look up the answers to. I also require that my contract be signed and notarized. My process is never quick - it takes time to get to know someone. By having a lot of contact with an adoptive parent before matching them with gliders, I am able to get a good "feel" for who they are, their heart and passions, and their personality. By taking my time to get to know someone well, I have avoided many potentially bad situations. I do check personal references. Again, this is part of matching homes with gliders. I do not believe that placing any glider in any home is wholly beneficial to the rescue process. Careful assessment and matching of personalities helps ensure that gliders do not return to the rescue system.

My personal belief is that just placing gliders in homes, or remotely matching gliders in need with families who have a desire does not help ensure that they won't come back into the system. In order to have peace of mind that I have made a good match and that the gliders are in a home adequately matched to their needs and personality, I must know the gliders well and know the adoptive parent well. Yes, this increases the amount of time that they spend in my home (which I do not mind at all), but it increases their chances of success. This is how I choose to do my job. It is not without faults, but I believe it to be the best overall rescue practice.

* Who is your primary vet for your rescues?
I use many different vets. However, my primary vets are:

For wellness checks and emergency stabilization:
Dr. M. Pearson
Noah's Ark Pet Hospital
Amarillo, TX

For management of long term problems, special needs, surgeries and more complicated cases:
Dr. B. Walsh
Village Vet Animal Clinic
Tulsa Area, OK

* What are your requirements for adoption? (i.e. fill out an application, already own gliders, sign a contract, home visit, etc.... whatever your requirements are) and WHY?
As I mentioned above, I require completion of an application and follow-up interview. I also require that my application be signed and notarized. Some of the requirements for approval of my application are that the applicant be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver's license, own reliable transportation and have a source of income. These requirements are simply to help ensure that the glider(s) can and will get emergency medical attention any time it may be needed.

* Give us some idea of what a rescue's journey through your home would look like/consist of
-Rescues arrive at my home and are placed in a safe cage with a wheel or two and a variety of toys and sleeping spaces. I begin my assessment process by watching them and noting which toys capture their interest and which sleeping spaces they choose. I continue this for the first 3-7 days, making notes of behavior, colony dynamics and preferences.
I also complete an overall body check for wounds, abrasions, etc and complete my intake form, which includes my observations about mobility and behavior. My temperment assessment is completed during this first 7 days as well.

- All gliders start on my diet the first day they arrive at my home.

- Sometime in the first 10 days, all gliders receive their first wellness check.

- Once I get a good feel for preferences and likes/dislikes, I rearrange the cage and provide them with lots of enrichment items that they will USE and sleeping spaces that match their preferences.

- After a 30-45 day quarantine, the gliders see the vet one more time. If all clear, they are moved to one of my glider rooms and I place them for adoption.

- Every rescue glider is treated just like my own personal pets until the day they leave my home for their forever home.

* Please list for us at least 3 procedures or standards that you feel are most important in your home.
This one is hard for me, as I feel that everything I do for these little treasures is important. LOL
But, here are the 3 I choose for today:
1) Every glider receives immediate, complete and loving medical treatment for any ailment or issue. No glider leaves my home until their treatment is complete. I never turn away a glider because they are ill or injured. All new gliders are quarantined.

2) I do my best to create and maintain a stress-free environment for all gliders - whether receiving medical treatment or not. I believe that stress has a much greater impact on a glider's behavior and physical health/healing than we think. There are many things we can do to minimize stress, even when treating physical or behavioral problems. When possible, I allow the gliders to determine when they are ready for me to become a part of their world and life. This also helps decrease stress.

3) I love them. I love on them. I love to love on them. They all bring me joy, and I do my best to be a source of joy in their lives as well. Every glider is treated as if they were specially chosen by me to be my forever pet. My prayer is that this makes them amazing pets in their new homes.

* Please tell us what your passion or specialty is in terms of sugar gliders - I.e., what are you most excited or experienced in working with?
I love working with gliders with severe illness or injury. There can be a lot of pain in this kind of work, but the joy is worth the pain. I have a great vet network and a lot of experience. I adore providing special and 1:1 intensive care to gliders who need it. this is my passion.

* How does one get in touch with you to start the adoption process?

The best way is to send an email to and request my application. I can also be reached by PM here and by phone at 806-274-9177

~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.
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