During the 1970s, the Doberman Pinscher was the second most popular breed in the United States, according to AKC registration statistics. This led to a huge rise in litter registrations.
Charged by its Constitution with preserving and protecting the Doberman Pinscher, the Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) viewed this increase in the breed’s popularity with concern. Then, as now, over-population of all dogs, including Dobermans, was a national problem; thousands of dogs, both purebreds and mixed breeds were being euthanised in shelters and local government facilities each day. Grave concern about this trend led DPCA members to the creation of the Committee on Population Explosion, also known as COPE. One of the goals of COPE was to educate potential owners and breeders of Doberman Pinschers, and to advocate responsible ownership and breeding practices.
Since then, the Doberman’s popularity has decreased somewhat, allowing the DPCA Rescue Committee to shift its goals more towards helping Dobermans in need, and less towards population control. Groups of volunteers dedicated to the Doberman Pinscher breed organized themselves into rescue groups. However, veterinary care and other related necessities threatened to overwhelm these wonderful rescue groups, many of which carried on the work of assisting Dobermans in need on shoestring budgets. The DPCA developed a program to provide much-needed financial assistance by subsidizing a portion of the veterinary costs incurred by Doberman rescue groups. This shift in primary focus, from population control and education to financial support and helping rescue groups become self-sufficient, led to a renaming of COPE to DPCA Rescue.
DPCA Rescue’s primary goal today is to assist Doberman rescue groups across the country. DPCA Rescue raises funds in the form of donations from generous DPCA members and other donors, and distributes those funds to rescue groups that have financed veterinary services for Dobermans in their care. Using a sliding scale, this assistance is aimed primarily toward small rescues. The reimbursement scheme is open to all rescues that meet certain requirements.
To be eligible to participate in the subsidy program DPCA Rescue requires a rescue group to sign the DPCA Rescue Code of Ethics, this shows their commitment to a high standard of conduct. The Code of Ethics is intended to ensure that not only are all Dobermans in the custody of a rescue are given quality care but also that potential adopters are screened for suitability and that there is full disclosure of the rescued dog's health and temperament.
While the DPCA Rescue Committee persues avenues to assist the dedicated groups that save and re-home these dogs, it does not become physically involved with individual dogs nor does it become involved in the operational procedures of individual Doberman rescue groups