Veterinary Care Guidelines

RARES General Veterinary Care Guidelines for Foster Homes and Veterinary Hospitals

Richland Animal Rescue & Equine Shelter (RARES) has pre-arranged medical care agreements with the following approved clinics:

Red Barn Cat Clinic (Richland, MI)

Richland Animal Hospital (Richland, MI)

Gull Lake Animal Hospital (Richland, MI)

Dickman Road Veterinary Clinic (Battle Creek, MI)

Important note: Medical services obtained outside of those specifically listed above be name cannot be covered by RARES and are therefore the sole responsibility of the person who obtains services for any particular animal in their care.  Foster homes sponsoring the complete costs of medical care may use any veterinary service of their choosing for convenience.

Paraste or Communicable Disease Control

  • Treat for parasite or communicable conditions present: ear mites, fleas, mange, internal parasites, upper respiratory infection, kennel cough, etc.
  • Deworm all rescue pets upon entry for internal parasites (don't run fecal).
  • Deworm a second time as follow up care at appropriate time (don't run fecal).
  • Treat for tapeworm if parasite is suspected or has been seen.
  • Run fecal on kittens (batch test litters) and cats if coccidia or giardia is suspected.
  • Run fecal is a special concern is suspected or problem is noticed - prescribe appropriate medication with instructions to foster home.

Vaccine Protocol

  • Age appropriate vaccines if pet is healthy enough to receive.
  • Vacine boosters at appropriate time as needed.
  • Rabies Felines: One year rabies in all healthy cats or kittens 16 weeks of age or older.
  • Rabies Canines: Age appropriate (1 or 3 year) in all healthy dog or puppies, 16 weeks of age or older.
  • Rabies Equine: Vaccinate all healthy horses under the age of 25.
Routine Tests and Special Vaccines

  • Canine heart worm test, all adult dogs upon entry and puppies if age appropriate.  If tests positive, treat with appropriate monthly preventative as treatment. If negative, send six heart worm preventative medication with foster volunteer.  Refill as needed.
  • Feline leukemia/FIV test all cats up entry. Batch test litters and individually test each adult.  Positive results, board at vet clinic and do lab test to confirm accuracy. Euthanize positive adult cats once lab test confirms results (unless foster volunteer willing to take on ownership).  Kittens under six months of age can be retested if otherwise healthy and foster home willing to care for (as possible false negative kittens).
  • Equine, negative Coggins test within last six months prior to being accepted into rescue - no exceptions.


  • Spay or nueter all canines and felines as soon as pet is healthy enough or old enough (14-15 weeks of age).
  • All male equines gelded as soon as healthy or age appropriate. 


  • Micro-chip all canines and felines - preferably while under for sterilization surgery.
  • All equines prior to adoption or moved to foster home.

Other Conditions or Emergency Needs

Conditions that may need special care or treatment, foster please contact RARES prior to seeking medical treatment at an approved veterinary hospital - condition mat not require veterinary care.

Emergencies, which may need urgent care or treatment, foster please contact RARES prior to seeking medical treatment at an approved veterinary hospital unless there are serious concerns with breathing, bleeding, pain, seizures, or yelping that does not stop.

Conditions or emergencies considered chronic or more serous in nature may require significant resources, veterinary hospital, please contact RARES to discuss options and costs of treatment.

General equine colic is automatically approved if treatment can be obtained "on location" by reputable equine veterinarian.