May 7, 2020

Effective Tuesday, May 12,  Ruff Start Rescue will resume spaying and neutering animals in their care via newly signed Executive Order 20-51. Ruff Start Rescue is no longer adopting out unaltered animals at this time. We feel so relieved Minnesota is on track to keep people safe and that we can get back to doing our part to stop pet overpopulation.

A representative from Ruff Start Rescue will reach out to you over the next 60 days if you adopted an unaltered animal with a spay/neuter contract.

Check out these general pet tips if you’ve recently adopted a pet.

The Wellness Clinic does not have a reschedule date at this time.

April 24, 2020

Due to time-constraints from COVID-19, Ruff Start Rescue is postponing all volunteer orientations until June 3, 2020. Making this decision was difficult, but we want to provide current and future volunteers the best process possible, which is something we can’t do right now. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and greatly appreciate your interest in volunteering with Ruff Start Rescue. Please email with any questions. Thank you, take care, and stay safe.

The Wellness Clinic scheduled for April 25 is postponed until a later date to be determined.

April 10, 2020 

Effective April 11, 2020, Ruff Start Rescue will allow the adoption of unaltered animals with a spay and neuter contract. Executive Order 20-09 prohibits elective surgeries, including spaying and neutering, for the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue saving animals in need, Ruff Start is adopting out unaltered animals with appropriate stipulations.

Ruff Start is lowering adoption fees and requires a paid deposit to ensure unaltered animals are spayed or neutered within 60 days when Executive Order 20-09 is lifted. Once a Ruff Start team member can verify with official documentation that the animal is spayed or neutered, the deposit will be refunded. Additional stipulations are in the contract. Animals suspected to be pregnant will be in our foster-to-adopt program until the order is lifted.

Resources are provided at the time of adoption for living with an intact animal as well as lower-cost spaying and neutering options through Ruff Start partner vet clinics. Ruff Start animals are up-to-date on age-appropriate vaccines, microchipped, dewormed, heartworm tested (dogs only), and on a monthly flea/tick preventative (dogs only).

In addition to the new spaying and neutering changes, further precautions are in place for adoptions. Home visits and initial meet and greets remain virtual. The final meet and greet and adoption will utilize the following measures:

  • Both parties must wear protective gear, including gloves and face masks.
  • Both parties must maintain a minimum distance of six feet apart from each other while remaining conscious of which items they are handling in the exchange that they should sanitize afterward.
  • All items collected for the adopted animal must be sanitized before using it in their new home.

Support for transitioning newly adopted pets into changing routines is also provided to prepare new owners for when the pandemic subsides.

For some good news, check out our most recent article on an extraordinary adoption story!

March 26, 2020

As Minnesota puts new orders in place, Ruff Start Rescue looks for ways to safely continue operating. The Stay Home Executive Order effective 11:59 pm March 27 – 5:00 pm April 10 and the Delay of Inpatient and Outpatient Elective Surgery and Procedural Cases during COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency Executive Order 20-09 effective indefinitely are orders that caused changes into how we operate. Thankfully, Ruff Start operations are essential, so we can continue saving animals through our foster-based network and make decisions that best serve our communities. 

During the two-week Stay Home Executive Order, in-person meet and greets and adoptions will not take place. Due to Ruff Start’s essential status, this action is not a requirement, but we felt that this is the right thing to do during this time-frame to keep people safe and healthy. Ruff Start is still accepting adoption applications and is looking forward to increased adoption numbers when this measure is reevaluated on April 11. Ruff Start is starting virtual meet and greets to introduce potential adopters to Ruff Start animals. Home visits will continue being accomplished virtually. Ruff Start is still able to take new animals in with stringent social distancing practices and cleaning procedures as well. 

Executive Order 20-09 has put spaying and neutering on hold to ensure medical units have the supplies they need to care for those that may have contracted the virus over the coming weeks. Ruff Start animals will be spayed and neutered once this order is lifted. We are still able to do routine vetting at the office by appointment, emergency surgeries, urgent dental procedures, and heartworm treatments.

Ruff Start believes in doing what we can to keep our communities safe while still saving animals in need. This requires getting creative with how we function. We will continue reassessing our operations as we move through this pandemic. Our team of fosters, volunteers, and employees have been handling these challenges exceptionally well which is supported by our mission to do whatever it takes to save at-risk animals.

We are so grateful to all of you that are on the front lines battling this virus and to those of you who are able to stay at home containing the spread. It is incredible what we can accomplish together. It is reassuring to know that you are there for us as we continue doing what we do best.

March 19, 2020

It is an unsettling time for us as we maneuver through the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially when we all thought 2020 was going to be our year! Thankfully, we will get through this together. Now more than ever, Ruff Start needs adopters, fosters, and donors. This pandemic is uncharted territory for the rescue and poses a threat to the animals that we are trying to save.

As we quarantine and socially isolate, one way you can help right now is by adopting or fostering. Taking in an animal might seem challenging during this time, but there are many benefits to having an animal (or two) in your life during stressful moments. Pets are known to help reduce loneliness, stress, and depression, so now might be the perfect time to add a new member to your family! Check out this blog post for more ways to help.

Ruff Start Rescue has put precautions in place with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure we can all remain safe during the adoption and foster process. We are utilizing social distancing practices for meet-and-greets and virtual home visits before completing an adoption or foster application. Delaying may occur as our team works diligently to process your applications.

Can’t commit to fostering or adopting? We understand! You can still make an impact for animals in need by donating. Any amount will help the rescue stay afloat!

Ruff Start Rescue Precautions

The health of our volunteers, fosters, staff, and animals is our most important priority. Ruff Start Rescue is taking the following measures based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure the safety of everyone involved with the organization. We will update these measures as we receive new information. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this process.

  • The office in Princeton, MN is closed to the public, fosters, and volunteers. Select staff are on-site to care for cats, set out supplies, and perform veterinary services. Ruff Start Rescue will continue operating virtually off-site.
  • Animals are still available for adoption and fostering.
  • All events including the gala, wellness clinic, adoption events, dog training, and in-person volunteer orientations are canceled through mid-May.
  • Ruff Start is not accepting specialty cases including hospice animals at this time.
  • Stringent social distancing and cleaning practices are utilized for final meet and greets, adoptions, and intakes.
  • Home visits and volunteer orientations/training are virtual.

dogs in shelter kennels