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FAQ

Useful Information

Q:  DOES IT COST ANYTHING TO SURRENDER AN ANIMAL?

A:  No.  JRAAR never charges a fee for surrendering a pet.  Making the choice to surrender a pet is hard enough and we do not want to place any additional boundaries or burdens on people that are already in a heartrending situation.  We are always willing to accept financial donations and the donation of any equipment that the surrenderers are not planning on using.

Q:  WHY DO YOU CHARGE FOR AN ANIMAL THAT YOU GET FOR FREE?

A:  When we accept the surrender of an animal, we must spend money to keep it alive and thriving.  Often this includes buying new equipment like caging, lighting, and other life support systems, food, and medical care.  We spread these costs out as adoption fees rather than pass these costs on to our volunteers. 

We also use pricing to deter people just looking for free pets and those that would turn around and resell the animal.

Adoption fees are typically 30 to 50% less than retail prices so there is still great value to be had by adopting over shopping. 

Q:  IS THIS JUST A PET STORE?

No and yes.  Kinda?

Like most pet stores, and unlike most exotic pet rescues, we are open to the public and can purchase supplies and animals from licensed and inspected wholesalers.

However, what separates us from most pet stores, is that we require potential adopters to fill out an application and go through an interview process before we allow an animal to be adopted.  No matter what kind of animal, or where we get it from, we make sure that we have the animal's best interest in mind and only place animals into permanent homes.  

We are also 501c3 non-profit and completely volunteer run.  


Q:  CAN I FOSTER AN ANIMAL?

A:  We do not have a foster program.  We found that foster programs are too stressful on JRAAR staff and the animals.  In the time that we fielded a foster program, we encountered many issues with scheduling, quality of care, and financial responsibility. 

To surrender or adopt with a foster system, we found that the patron would have to contact us, then we would have to contact the foster, then the foster would have to respond to us, then we would have to respond to the patron.  This seems like a lot of steps especially when working in emergency surrender situations.  It is much easier to book an appointment with the adoption center in one step.

It is also hard to monitor quality of care for exotic pets when they are scattered throughout multiple households.  Exotic pets, like fish and reptiles, need specific environments to thrive and making sure that our volunteers have the proper environments for the constantly shifting animals here at JRAAR too much work when we can monitor everything at our adoption center. 

Finally, caring for exotic animals is expensive!  The equipment needed for life support like food, filters, heaters, lighting comes with a large price tag, not to mention the electricity, and ambient heat needed for the animals to thrive.  We want to make sure that our volunteers have the resources they need to succeed and writing an expense report once a month to recompensate them for every dime spent is a lot of work for the volunteer and they tend to overlook it.  Keeping the animals under one roof consolidates the supplies needed as well as the life support systems.

Instead of fostering, we encourage people to adopt permanently instead.  It serves the same purpose, freeing up cage space in the adoption center, and the animal gets a permanent home instead of bouncing around in the foster system.

Q:  I AM AN EDUCATOR, CAN YOU GIVE ME A FREE PET?

A:  Yes! We have a few different options for educational ambassador animals.

Non-profits:

  • If the animal will be publically displayed or used in programming, we can crowdsource and waive the adoption fees for surrendered animals.

For-profits:

  • If the animal will be publically displayed or used in programming, we can crowdsource the adoption fees, but you will be responsible for paying the remainder of the adoption fees if the fundraiser does not meet its fundraising goal.


If you fit either of these criteria, we ask that we be allowed to start a fundraiser in your name, publish a press release, and share the story on social media.

Interested parties should fill out an adoption application.

Q:  WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE TO VOLUNTEER?

A:  If you are old enough to get a work permit, you can volunteer on your own without a parent.  

Those that are too young to work on their own can still help their parent volunteer.

Q:  I RESCUE ANIMALS, CAN I PARTICIPATE IN YOUR SURRENDER EVENTS?

A:  We open up our surrender events to all bona fide non-profit rescue and educational organizations.

In order to accept surrendered animals, the organizations must be 501c3, and have a website in which they offer animals up for adoption.  Other organizations are invited to attend and hand out information.  

Q:  WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR ANIMALS FROM?

A:  Most of our adoptable animals come from voluntary surrenders either at our Rescue Center in Neenah or at our award-winning Exotic Pet Surrender Events. Additionally, we take in animals that were abandoned, seized by the police, or found as strays. We also accept animals from wholesalers and breeders that have medical or cosmetic defects, which pet stores typically reject. Our goal is to rescue these animals from warehouses and provide them with permanent, loving homes.

We note the source of the animal and the reason for its surrender on most, if not all, of our adoptable animals' profiles.

We feel that where we place animals is more important than where we get them. Regardless of the source, we ensure that every adopter is knowledgeable, prepared, and committed to offering the animals a permanent, loving home. We are fortunate to be in a position where we can help so many animals from diverse situations.

Q:  WHO OWNS J&R AQUATIC ANIMAL RESCUE

A:  As a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue does not have an "owner."

Instead, we are governed by a board of directors. Our board is responsible for overseeing the organization's activities, ensuring we stay true to our mission, and making important decisions about our operations and finances.

Boards of directors typically consist of a group of volunteers who bring diverse skills and expertise to the organization. They meet regularly to discuss and vote on key issues, set strategic goals, and provide guidance to our staff and volunteers.

For more information about our governance, including our governing documents, meeting minutes, treasurer's report, and more, please visit our website:  https://www.jraar.org/policies-and-procedures

Q:  IS YOUR ORGANIZATION TRANSPARENT?

A:  Yes, our organization is transparent. We are committed to maintaining openness and accountability in all our operations. To this end, we post our treasurer's reports and meeting minutes on our website, ensuring that all financial activities and decision-making processes are accessible to the public. Additionally, for each animal in our care, we provide detailed profiles that list their origins, the reasons for their surrender, and any health or behavioral issues they may have. This transparency helps potential adopters make informed decisions and fosters trust within our community.

Q:  WHAT HAPPENS TO SURRENDERED PETS

When pets are surrendered to our organization, they undergo a thorough process to ensure their well-being and suitability for adoption. Initially, all animals go through a mandatory quarantine and evaluation period. During this time, they are closely monitored for any signs of illness or behavioral issues.
Happy and healthy animals become available for adoption after this period, ready to find their forever homes.
For animals that are unhealthy, have a medical condition, or have a history of behavioral problems, our veterinary team conducts a detailed evaluation and provides necessary treatments. In rare cases, if an animal's quality of life is severely compromised or if they exhibit dangerous behavioral issues, euthanasia may be considered as a last resort.
To manage overcrowding, we collaborate with other rescues and facilities. For example, we may send animals to programs like PetCo's Turtle Relinquishment Program, ensuring they receive appropriate care and a chance for a better life.

Q:  WHY ARE YOUR CAGES SO SMALL?

A:  The enclosures in our adoption center are designed to be temporary due to space limitations. Similar to pet stores and humane societies, we use these temporary housings for the brief period that animals stay with us. Despite their size, the enclosures are spot cleaned daily, thoroughly cleaned weekly, and (except for fish) completely sanitized between residents. We ensure that each animal receives appropriate heating and lighting, and we provide opportunities for enrichment to promote their well-being during their stay.

FAQ: FAQ
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