Questions about ITV Operations

ITV thought people might have questions about how we operate. In an attempt to be transparent, we have come up with some questions that provide insight to our operations. None of these questions or answers reflect in anyway a statement on how other rescues or shelters choose to operate, they are merely intended to provide ITV supporters with insight and information on how ITV operates. We believe rescues and shelters may have different philosophies on the best way to operate, and still do their best to help homeless animals. If you have a question about our operations, please email and we will add your question to the list. Thank you.

We work very hard to give every animal the time, love and care needed to find a permanent home. No-Kill means that we never euthanize for time or space purposes.  All healthy and treatable animals are saved. None of our animals have a “time limit” to be adopted. We have cared for some animals for years before finding a forever home. We are proud of this and view it as an accomplishment that we do not give up on some animals, even though they take a little longer to adopt. One of our greatest accomplishments is a dog named Toki who was a high energy pitbull. She was in a loving foster home while we looked for another home for her. We sent her to training and it took us over 4 years to find her a home, but we did! She has spent the rest of her life living in a home that adored her. We are so proud that we never gave up on her!

ITV’s goal is to save all animals in our care, but no-kill does NOT mean that we never euthanize.  We only perform humane euthanasia in the event of extreme, untreatable illness, as recommended by our vet, or severe aggression which risks the safety of the community. If an animal is aggressive to humans, we will not let it live its life at the ITV Rescue Center as we do not believe that is a good quality of life. We will not keep an “unadoptable aggressive” animal at the ITV Rescue Center for the rest of his/her life because it risks the safety of ITV volunteers and animal caretakers and we believe it is an injustice to all the other animals who are dying every day in shelters. Therefore, although rare, we will make the difficult decision to euthanize an animal. It is always an extremely difficult decision for us and we make it after many prayers and over many tears. We always consider the quality of life for the animal, the safety of our community and the future of our rescue. The ones we can’t save always weigh heavily on us. We try to remember, however, that since 2010, we have helped over 8200 animals! Each week, we help 25-40+ animals on their path to forever homes. Articles about the no-kill movement are at:

Best Friends –



Maddie’s Fund –

If we make the difficult decision to euthanize an animal, we never take the animal to a city shelter to do it. After consulting with one of our vets, the animal is euthanized by our vet with one or more ITV representatives present. We provide the animal with the dignity of crossing the rainbow bridge being loved on by someone he or she knows. Since our founding in 2010, our yearly euthanasia rate is less than .04%. The number of animals we have rescued and our euthanasia rate is published on the home page of the ITV website.

No, not unless medically necessary to prevent suffering. Puppies who test positive for parvo are immediately hospitalized. Because of this, we have a very high success rate of saving parvo puppies. Many times, we take in sick animals who face euthanasia at other shelters or rescues. However, it comes at a high cost and each parvo puppy we save is a financial “loss” to our rescue. The standard adoption fee of $200 is not sufficient to cover the hundreds to thousands of dollars it costs to save a litter of puppies who test positive for parvo.
We also test all adult dogs for heartworms and will not euthanize a dog who tests positive. We treat all heartworm positive dogs at the cost of $400 to $700 each. Each year, we treat approximately 25-40 heartworm positive dogs. On average, we collectively spend at least $15,000 (and usually much more) helping heartworm positive dogs.
Further, we have gone through intensive therapy for several dogs to help them recover from injuries, including birth defects, broken bones, paralysis, disease, and many other ailments. Just one of the many examples of dogs we have helped – we took in puppies who were born with birth defects and we spent over $2000 helping them. We have taken dogs to specialists both locally and to Louisville, Nashville and Purdue University.

No. We make a lifetime commitment to all our animals. Our adoption contract requires adopters to return the animal to ITV if they are not able to keep the animal. On occasion, an adopter will take the adopted animal to another shelter or to another rescue and we always reclaim the animal.


Yes! ITV started as a dog rescue. You may see us identified as “It Takes A Village Canine Rescue, Inc.,” which is our official legal name. However, as our rescue grew, we were able to expand to helping cats and other animals. In addition to dogs and cats, we have helped birds, rabbits, guinea pigs and others. However, we help other small animals in a limited capacity due to lack of space. Our focus is primarily on helping dogs and cats.

Our 2023 projected budget is expected to be close to $750,000. Our money comes from donations, fundraisers and grants. ITV has multiple fundraisers every month, which are posted on our website and social media pages. Sometimes we profit a small amount from adoption fees, but generally the adoption fees are only enough to cover the vetting for the animal. Many, many times the vet bills for the animal exceed the adoption fee.  Prior to opening our second location in Spencer County, Indiana, the Spencer County County Commissioners approached ITV about operating a rescue in the county, which otherwise have very limited animal rescue resources.  At the Commissioners’ request, we entered into a contract wherein ITV agreed to operate a rescue center in Spencer County.  We receive a monthly check from Spencer County to operate the Spencer County location.

Including vet bills and operating costs, it takes $50,000 to $60,000 each month to continue ITV operations.

We rescue animals from individuals, other rescues, other shelters and those who come to us as strays. Our mission is “To work as one in helping homeless animals irrespective of breed, location or circumstance.” We believe that an animal in need is an animal in need, regardless of its breed, where it finds itself or any conditions the animal has may have. We take in many owner surrenders every week, thereby keeping countless animals out of area government shelters. Many times, we are the first call when someone needs to surrender an animal and we try to help if we have space. We generally help animals in our region of Southwestern Indiana and Northwestern Kentucky. We are surrounded by many rural shelters who have extremely high euthanasia rates and very few, if any, rescues groups helping them. We are one of the “go to” rescue groups for rural shelters in our area and do not refuse to help simply because the shelter is not within our county. We occasionally help animals outside of our region, but we are kept very busy helping animals in our region so the majority of animals we help come from Vanderburgh County, Spencer County and the surrounding areas. We believe that God sees no boundaries for who is worthy of help and neither do we.


Yes. We have adopted dogs to adopters as far away as the East Coast and California. Due to social media and modern transport allowing for easier animal transports, the trend in the rescue community, we believe, is for animals not to be limited by county or even state lines. As is the case with essentially every other rescue group, we allow animals to be adopted outside of our area. Basically, we do not see county lines regarding rescue intake or outgoing adoptions. If we allow animals to be sent outside of our county through adoption, then it would be disingenuous for us not to also allow animals to be taken in from outside our county.

Yes, periodically we transfer animals to other rescues.  For example, in 2016, we responded to a request by a rescue group to participate in an adoption event and we transferred 9 dogs to the rescue. Some of the dogs were returned after being adopted at the event so we took them back into our care. In 2022, we also transferred cats to a partner shelter as the shelter was in need of rescue cats. We will evaluate transfers on a case-by-case basis.

Yes. We will never leave a mom behind if we are rescuing a litter. If we commit to taking the puppies or kittens, we also commit to taking the mom. If we are aware of other family members needing rescue, we will take the entire family. If we are working with an individual who does not want to surrender the mother of a litter, we will offer to pay to have the mother of the litter spayed so she does not have any more unwanted litters in the future.

We operate two facilities.  Our original rescue center is at 1417 N. Stockwell Road, Evansville, Indiana. We also opened a second facility at 824 E County Road 800 North, Chrisney, Indiana. The majority of our animals, however, are kept in volunteer foster homes. We prefer our animals to be in foster homes to give the animal time to relax and find his or her true personality. Our foster families give us invaluable insight regarding the behaviors, temperament and personality of the individual animal.

The number of animals we are responsible for vary at any given time, but we usually have at least 175-200 animals. The number of animals we care for is only limited by the number of foster homes we have available. We have a finite number of kennels at the ITV Rescue Centers, but foster homes are limitless. The more foster homes we have, the more animals we can rescue.

ITV has adopted a mandatory spay and neuter policy for all animals prior to adoption. All animals shall be spayed or neutered upon veterinarian recommendation unless the health of the animal would be compromised by the surgical procedure. In such cases, spay/neuter surgery will take place as soon as the health of the animal permits. ITV provides, at a minimum, vaccinations, heartworm testing, FIV testing, fecal testing and other veterinary needs required by the individual animal. Any health issues discovered during examination or testing are treated.

Our Evansville rescue center (located at 1417 N. Stockwell Road) is open Tuesdays 12-5 pm; Wednesdays 12-7 pm; Thursdays 12-5 pm; Fridays 12-5 pm; Saturdays 10-5 pm. Our Chrisney rescue center is open Tuesdays 12-5 pm, Wednesdays 12-5 pm, Fridays 12-5 pm and Saturdays 12-5 pm. Furthermore, we are often at community events on Saturdays, Sundays and other times throughout the week.

ITV has 4 full-time employees and 10-12 part-time employees. The employees are primarily responsible for taking care of the animals at the ITV Rescue Center. The animals at the rescue center are cared for from 7 a.m. to 9-10 p.m., seven days a week, 365 days of the year. Everyone else helping ITV are volunteers and we depend heavily on volunteers to continue operations.

No. We do not keep open kennels at the rescue center “just in case.” ITV’s kennels are always full because we do not believe that we should have empty kennels when so many animals are dying every day, every hour at area shelters. When an animal is adopted from an ITV foster home or from the rescue center, there are always many more waiting to fill the empty spot.

We ask that people who are surrendering an animal provide us advance notice so we can make arrangements for a place for the animal. People often believe that because we have a physical location that we have an open kennel and believe that they can drop off animals at anytime. That is almost never the case. While we understand that emergencies arise, it provides added stress to our people and animals when people just show up with an animal (in the case of an adopter returning an ITV adopted animal, for example). Therefore, we ask that people who want to surrender an animal complete a surrender form under the tab on our website with details regarding the animal so that we can attempt to help you and make arrangements for the animal.  PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT BECAUSE OF LIMITED RESOURCES AND SPACE, WE ARE UNABLE TO HONOR EVERY REQUEST FOR HELP THAT WE RECEIVE.  Many times, if you are able to keep the animal while we search for proper placement, it will help us, help you.

No. Unfortunately, we are limited by the number of kennels and foster homes we have available. We receive daily requests for help and we help when we can, but we are not required to take an animal into ITV. Many times we work with individuals to schedule an intake date. We operate at capacity almost daily and we know our limits. Once a kennel is opened up by an adoption or an animal going to a foster home, there is always another animal immediately waiting for the kennel. We post on our Facebook page every Sunday our adoptions for the week. But, if we post on Sunday that we had 15 adoptions for the week, it does not mean we now have 15 kennels open. Instead, it means that fosters have adopted their foster animal and will not take another and/or we probably have already lined up many more animals to fill any empty kennels at the ITV Rescue Center.

We work very hard to learn about individual animals upon intake by getting as much of the animal’s history as possible. When an animal is new to us, we find that many times he or she is very scared and we believe it is unfair to put the animal through a test during one of the most vulnerable times in the animal’s life. We learn about our animals through reports from foster families, animal caretakers and volunteers. We have a volunteer trainer who we also consult with when necessary. When possible, adopters meet the foster family during the adoption process where they can ask questions about the animal. If the animal is living at the ITV Rescue Center, ITV provides as much information as we know to a potential adopter.

We strive to get to know individual animals and we do not judge animals by how they act when they first arrive at our rescue. In fact, recent studies show that doing temperament tests upon intake to a shelter environment are not accurate predictors of an animal’s behavior in a home.
“The tests are artificial and contrived,” said Dr. Gary J. Patronek, an adjunct professor at the veterinary medicine school at Tufts, who published an analysis concluding that the tests have no more positive predictive value for aggression than a coin toss.
“During the most stressful time of a dog’s life, you’re exposing it to deliberate attempts to provoke a reaction,” Dr. Patronek said. “And then the dog does something it wouldn’t do in a family situation. So you euthanize it?” // See also: //

On a case-by-case basis, we make every attempt to help community members in an effort to try to avoid another homeless pet. For example, if a community member needs help with medical treatment, flea preventative, food or needs a crate, we will work with the person to try to service their needs, assuming our resources allow for it. Almost daily, ITV is quietly helping community members in need. Not only do we offer help to the pet in need, but on many occasions we have helped the person also. We do not do it for “glory” and do not “advertise” the help we provide to community members out of respect for their privacy.
We are often at community events. We try to get as much exposure for our animals and our mission as possible. As such, we try to attend as many events as our volunteer manpower allows. We are also involved with disadvantaged youths in our community and we have participated in programs where we take dogs to schools or the juvenile detention center. We have also been a co-host of a fundraiser for Evansville Animal Care and Control’s Spirit Medical Fund. ITV is also one of the founding members of the Evansville Partnership for Animal Welfare, where rescues work together to improve the lives of animals in our community. EPAW was responsible for passing an ordinance allowing for Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) of community cats.
Finally, ITV Board Members are very active in the local animal welfare community. ITV founder Susan Gainey has been very active in helping with animal cruelty and neglect cases in our area. She was a founding member of the Animal Cruelty Task Force and served on the Task Force for 3 years as a volunteer. The ITV Board is an “active board” in that you will see essentially every board member at community events or at the ITV Rescue Center on a regular basis. We think it is important to be active in the community and share the plight of homeless animals in our community.

Our name comes from an African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. We believe that it also takes a village to save an animal. We cannot do this alone. We need the support of our community to save as many animals at possible. We formed in 2010 when a small group of people saw a need to help animals at regional shelters. One of our co-founders, Brie Stafford, believed strongly in the quote that “Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” (Quote by Karen Davidson). ITV operates following this motto and we do our best to change the world forever, one dog at a time.
ITV opened our rescue center on July 21, 2012 after we won a $25,000 grant from Pepsi. Each year, we continue to expand and increase the number of homeless animals we help. Since we formed, we have helped over 10,000 animals! We expect this number to continue to grow as ITV grows.


Yes. Nationally, ITV is a network partner to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. We are also regional and local partners to several other rescue groups. You will often see ITV representatives at events and fundraisers for other rescue groups. We make a purposeful effort to attend other events as a show of support for our rescue brothers and sisters. We strive to help other groups who may request help with animals, without belittling any other rescue group. While there still needs to be improvements in the rescue community, we have seen great strides in the rescue community working together. We hope to lead by example a change in the once common approach of rescues attacking other groups in order to get limited donation dollars from supporters. You will never see ITV publicly criticize another rescue, because we believe everyone tries to do the best they can to help animals – they may just have a different approach than we do. On the contrary, we help other rescues when we can and have a good working relationship with many other rescues across the country.

Please explore our website at for ways to help. To continue operations, we need monetary donations, product donations, volunteers and foster homes. Our website is set up to take reoccurring monthly donations at Even if you can commit to just $20 a month, it will help us save so many lives. If you cannot make a monthly monetary commitment, you can drop off bleach, treats, trash bags, etc. to help our animals. There is a drop box right outside our door (1417 N. Stockwell Road) where products can be dropped off at any time. Our wish list items are posted on our website. We generally do not need food donations as we keep our dogs on a consistent diet of the same food. We get our food from the Rescue Bank in Louisville, Kentucky at a significantly discounted rate. If you want to donate food, donating money instead will allow us to purchase significantly more food than an individual can buy at a local store. We do not, however, turn down food. The bags of donated food are given to foster families or community members in need. In the case of high quality or specialty food, we will use it for dogs in our care who may need the specialty food (i.e. weight loss food will be given to an overweight dog).
You can also help by volunteering! To volunteer, complete a volunteer application online at and you will receive an email with further instruction. We have a Facebook group where we post our volunteer opportunities. //
We welcome younger volunteers. For the safety of our animals and everyone involved, teenagers 14-15 years old must have an adult present while volunteering at the rescue center. Teenagers 16-17 years old may volunteer, but everyone under 18 years old must have their legal guardian sign a permission slip/release. We are sorry, but we generally cannot accept volunteers under 14 years old at the rescue center.
Finally, we are always in desperate need of fosters. We have posted FAQs about fostering, our foster handbook and a brief foster application on our website at

We are always happy to answer questions! If you have a question that we did not answer, please email us at We always try to operate in the best interest of animals and be believe spreading rumors and gossip about something you have heard only hurts animals. We would much rather you simply ask us and we will happily answer any questions you have regarding ITV operations. Thank you for taking the time to learn about us!