Good animal rescue shelters have good hygiene practices to help prevent the spread of disease. They send all adopted pets home with a full set of age-appropriate vaccinations, and spay or neuter the animal before it leaves.
Good animal shelters test their animals' temperaments before putting them up for adoption. This helps them match the animals with the right homes. Animal rescues should ask potential adopters a lot of questions about their experience, time and preferred activity level to help create a successful match. They should also welcome all questions that adopters have about their pets or the way the organization is run.
Animal shelters should be honest about any health or behavioral issues their pets have. If the adopters take the pet home and discover existing health or behavioral problems, the rescue should try to work with them to find a solution. If it turns out to be a poor match, the rescue should be willing to take the pet back.
Responsible rescues should manage the level of animals in their care so that they are able to provide adequate care for all of them. Potential adopters should be wary of rescues that seem overcrowded or dirty, or that claim to be constantly at risk of running out of necessary supplies such as food. Municipal shelters that are unable to turn away animals may be required to practice euthanasia at times. This should be done painlessly, and the shelter should also provide preventative programs such as low-cost spaying and neutering.