Article in the Dogster Blog About ONLY Adopting Shelter Dogs

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 3:28pm PST 
I do judge people who have breeder dogs- but just a little bit. I don't think that you're bad or wrong, but I do think it's selfish. Not that that's a bad thing... I don't know if I'm saying that right or not. I'm not as crazy as the girl who wrote that "article". It's kind of how I feel about people who drive the big Hummers. It's the way you choose to live your life, and it's your money... So.. do what you want to do...

Responsible breeders are not bad, they are an important part of the rescue/healthy dog equation.

I'm not sure if any of that makes sense...
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 3:35pm PST 
WARNING! *****Not a Post for The Weak of Heart*** laugh out loud

I do feel rescue needs to evolve itself. It has been sitting on its do gooder laurels for too long. For a long time, that was enough. Their market was those who truly wanted to RESCUE. That's a feel good human thing. We all want to be Superman, somewhere inside. These people, oft with a romantic bent, want those eyes to lock and find that special connect. And then, they rescue. They take on that hard luck dog, warts and all. If there are problems, such are embraced as part of the rescue process. They are, at the end of the day, affirmations of the process.

That is, however, but one market. We can't ask people to be what they are not. Some people want a nice dog....not a project. They want to expect something, and then have it once they welcome the dog into their home. To me, it is a hypocrisy for rescue on one hand to insist there are lovely, well adjusted dogs available through rescue (and trust me, there ARE!), and yet then resent adopters who want to return a dog because they didn't want a project. Which is it? Make up your mind, and we can all grow from there wink

If you are a rescue in this day and age, with these wider markets, you in my mind had BETTER have skilled assessments. Don't have someone expert? Ok, then say what you are. For breeders ARE skilled. They not only know their breed, they know the genetics and history. Don't say you are on par with that or ever could be, because you aren't and you can't. Don't either say that, as a breeder, due to your very deep experience that you can predict everything about every puppy, because you can't do that either. But most good breeders don't say that. They will asses as best they can, educate you as best they can, and guide you as needed as the dog grows into his own.

Like puppies? Ok. There is only so much you can do to get close on par to a breeder. My rescue sometimes has opportunity to bring it the very closest it can be, which means mom, newborn puppies, and then raise them in house. We have done that and it has made for some lovely experiences. Would like to add that we have had litters that belied their true known genetics (Am Cocker mom with a litter that looked like Beagles, English Springer mom with a litter that looked like ACDs), to underscore that, no, you don't always know what you're getting.

Would also like to add that twice we have rescued a litter from a mom destined to be euthanized, by the shelter's will, due to aggression. Those we adopted to....drumroll, please....KNEW that! And you can call a spade a spade here. Would a responsible breeder ever, ever breed a human aggressive female? Um, hell NO! Au contraire, most know the stud line and the generations of females through the dam, several back. All lovely in temperament. The very basic "save every dog!" mantra of rescue DOES mean that you will save and place dogs from known wacko momma dogs. Did I just say that? Yes I did. And you cannot, no way no how, EVER compare that to going the responsible breeder route. Just because we want that not to be true doesn't change that reality.

That said, what you want, you CAN find. If you want to rescue, if you love mutts or whatever your reason is. We last year brought in a momma "Chug" (Chi-Pug) and her four little ones, flown in when they were five days old. Momma had actually been dropped off at a kill shelter, heavily pregnant, with several of her adult kin. All of them made it into the adoption room. We knew them all. This bitch was as close to a breeder situation as you can get, and although very un-p.c. to say, she was a superior producer. Stamped all her babies, who were very uniform and of spectacular temperament. We knew what she produced, knew her (spectacular girl), and of course reared the puppies, who had barely known a bad day in their lives. I am breeder schooled, so they got the optimum. I will also add that two of the puppies had cherry eye and one had a potentially very dangerous congenital neck condition. It's not like shelter dogs are immune. But it was a great litter we could market with a knowledge close to that of a breeder, and the adoptions all turned out very well.

So really, it's up to you. You can go to a rescue. You can go to a breeder. But what I will say is that you HAD BETTER scrutinize your rescue with as close an eye as you would a breeder. Just because a dog needs rescuing and just because good hearted people are trying to help doesn't excuse them from that level of scrutiny. And we cannot, because "dogs are dying," expect everyone to be willing to take on a project and get flamed at them when they are upset. That's just icky and self righteous. I know for me...not patting myself on the back or anything, just saying what IS....I have had many an adopter say they went with our rescue because I was forthright, honest, offered full assessments and actually sounded like I knew what I was talking about. I also have the skill, as an apprenticed all breed person, to be there for you intelligently if there are challenges. Would I equal a breeder in that context? No. Would I be superior to many rescues in that context? Yes. Because I am real about it.

If S/R wants to truly be a suitable alternative to a breeder purchase, they need to act like it more. Have higher standards about assessing dogs, matching adopters and have some sort of a staff to offer knowledgeable guidance should that be required. And of course in that, a conflict. It does abrade the "save every dog" logic. As while some homes remain available for dogs with baggage, what remains can't be foisted on those outside that market. That is to me woefully unethical, and the bigger rescue gets, the more of a problem that will be. That's another stark reality.

Which lands us right back on bad pet owning ethics, lacks of education, good matches, impulse getting, dunderheaded standards in raising a well adjusted dog paired with disposable dog logic being the roots of this problem. If he is a "bad dog" then off he goes!

Until we solve that, we solve nothing.

Edited by author Mon Nov 12, '12 3:54pm PST


Crazy Ball'O Fur
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 3:54pm PST 
Now this is only my opinion for what I've seen so far in life...Now feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here.

Personally I have trouble with a lot of people's reasons to buy dogs, for example a lot of people who buy dogs are buying them just for show, and only that. You should get a dog because you personally like the dogs personality, and love the dog as if it was part of your family, not just because it's got the qualities of a show dog. If you're going to be getting a dog, why not just take a little extra effort to save the life of one. I've seen many amazing dogs in shelters, not everything has to do with the breeding of a dog. Bella came from a horrible BYB because my father had gotten her as a gift, and of course there was no way after we were bonded that I could have given her back, and the BYB never even attempted to claim she bred at all for sound body and mind, her dogs were just breed to be designer dogs. She's an amazing dog.

Though I wasn't writing that to support BYBs in any way, just to show that breeding isn't everything. So if someone is getting a dog to be a pet, I honestly can't see why they would get one from a breeder and not a rescue/shelter. There are even lots of rescues that have lines of fosters, and many of the dogs have lived in the shelters for a while, so their parents can tell you every detail about them.

Again, correct me if I'm wrong on any of this, it's just from what I've seen. Not in the least trying to start a fight.

Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 4:00pm PST 
Since Tiller brought up my name I will say something about placing puppies, either rescue OR my breeder puppies since I do both. I approach EVERY person coming to me about a dog, either type, as someone I DO NOT want to place MY dog with, and I am very, very negative about all that dog ownership and training can be. Frankly, if the person gets turned off and goes away dogless, I think I have done a decent job!
But, if that person LISTENS TO ME, asks me the right questions, shows a desire to learn more, I am THRILLED and will do all in my power to help them select the right dog, again either rescue OR my own pup, and will be with them 100% of that dogs life.
I have a serious problem with any breeder OR s/r who will do anything they can to place ANY dog with every single person that comes thru their doors. To me, that is where a s/r goes wrong and a "good" breeder excells.
Let's face it, not every person should own every dog, some shouldn't even own ANY dog and I believe by encouraging them to take on a dog that isn't going to be right for them, you are no different than the miller or BYB selling a dog to whomever has the purchase price with no questions.
I don't care if that is one of the pups I've just taken in from our dog officer OR if it's one of my own that I bred... where it goes from me is more important than how quickly I can get rid of it. Sadly, this isn't the case with far too many shelters and, sadder still, with many rescues.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 4:52pm PST 
If people only took shelter dogs I would fill up quick since this is a privately run rescue.
I was really lucky with Sabi. She turned out to be exactly what I needed. however nothing I have taken in since has been even remotely suited. So if I decide to go back to making money chances are good I will go to a breeder. In fact I have already chosen one, and been approved for a pup when I'm ready. Would I ever stop rescuing? Hell no! But I am entitled to have what I need also and anyone who would judge me for that frankly needs there head read. Of course since my current foster is winning the battle to stay, I may have to wait longer then I thoughtlaugh out loud
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 5:11pm PST 
I could not agree MORE, Toto. Let's face it, I have not yet bred a litter....having the awesome passion for the art of breeding that I do....because I would actually have to place puppies. I can't live with that reality, for I know what it is.

Rescues are getting far too loosey goosey. Maybe you can remember the early days, with breed rescues run by breed stalwarts, and as regards adoption it was about like HELL are you adopting a dog from me. You really had to earn it.

Some may find that extreme, but there is such a thing as going to the extreme direction. It's a sad fate, but it is the direction things are headed. Comes down to intake. People are very motivated to pull. That's really why they are rescuing at the end of the day. And with that come the hurried decisions, lax standards.

Rescue is starting to become a bit of an irony. And I agree with your statement, no matter how bold it was, that some go on par with millers and BYBs. Where it literally becomes about moving dogs. That's it. #642 out the door.

I just recently read a piece about an American Bulldog who was placed....was just on another thread about them. I know what they can be. At any rate, the dog had ruled himself out of his home due to aggression. The owner then started to take him to work with him. He bit a co-worker. Two days later, he was given, by the owner...the ADOPTER......poisoned hot dogs and shot THIRTY times, then tied to a post and left to die. Someone handed the lead over to that man. Was that worth it?

It is time that rescue, Winograd and his chantings notwithstanding, came to look at a brutal reality. The numbers don't balance. The idealism has run it course. Not everyone should own a dog. Some dogs have a limited market. Some have barely any. Both of my breeds, Giant Schnauzers and Am Cockers, in terms of placement, are very tricky. Certainly you know that, Toto, at least as a groomer from the Cocker angle and what a bloody stinking mess those dogs can become health wise. I know from pulling Cockers, the numbers of those dogs who live in EXTREME pain due to poor ear health and no management. It's enough to make you sick. You need to be dedicated with this breed. To not be, and they suffer terribly. I have dealt with several aggression cases who were simply out of their mind with pain.

Education, education, education!!!!! Starts there, stops there.

This is where we are now. Educating about breeds, about owner responsibility, about what the whole deal MEANS. Where this somewhere moves to not a right, but a privilege and some level of sobriety as to what it means to take on a dog.

And being real. Breeders ethically should only breed the number of litters that can be properly supported. If you fall off that balance, even if you are craning to use that female or come up with your next show dog, you will compromise proper standards and may be forced into rationalized decisions.

Rescue, right now, is being forced into that quandary. Five, ten years ago, the fever was catching and there were a lot of good adopters out there. Really thirsty to do this. Would clear the highest set bar. This is my theory. For it seems like the well has dried a bit. For they have their dogs now. The dominant adopter I have been placing with is on their first dog, or their first in a very long while. The rest all have their dogs, now five or six years of age or something approximate.

I really do think we are back to that original stark reality, for in the end only in some ways has the truer issue been addressed.

We need to become a nation of better dog owners. Until we attain that ideal, this problem will continue. Even if lives get saved, for that to be lone focus ensures many more lives will continue to suffer.

Edited by author Mon Nov 12, '12 5:15pm PST


How You Doin'?
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 5:38pm PST 
Tiller, your part about it becoming all about moving numbers is why I have such a hard time finding a rescue to volunteer with here anymore.

We have the puppy/dog trains from California.
Some of the rescues involved don't even line up foster homes for these dogs.
The puppy/dog train gets here, the rescue pulls the dogs it has spoken for, they go straight to adoption events and whatever isn't adopted that day then goes to whoever happens to show up saying they want to foster. No checks done on adopters or fosters. No getting to know the dogs that have just traveled from another state or looking over by a vet.
And these are the rescues that get all the good press for saving "death row dogs."
That's not rescue, that's moving a product.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 5:55pm PST 
Dear word frown
Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 7:02pm PST 
Chance that's so sad frown I wonder how many of the dogs stay in their homes. The rescue I am with always has a foster lined up and the dogs go straight to the vet for neutering/vaccines. I've been fostering for 3 years and only had three dogs that didn't work out. I am like Toto in that I say all the negative things about the dog and let the adopters decide if they are really up to it! I almost never adopt out a dog at an event and I do vet/home checks.
I follow a few rescues on FB who drive me crazy by posting "This dog WILL DIE TOMORROW unless we find a foster/adopter". They no nothing about the dog except a guessed age, guessed breed, gender (but they've been wrong), and maybe a basic temperament test. I have a friend who got suckered into fostering with a group like that. They did no home check, no vet check... gave her a sick dog, non-neutered, and non-vaccinated, which when it comes to rabies it is a big legal issue. She had NO paperwork on him, couldn't contact anyone at the rescue, nothing. She told me later she had never even sent in her application to foster, so the only way they had to contact her was on Facebook because that's how she told them she wanted the dog!
*Need name!*

Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 7:14pm PST 
I really liked it, and I agree with it….
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