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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I'm from Broken- Bow, we don't- play that!
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 6:29pm PST 
Toto, it sounds like the type of rescue you described is involved in dog trafficking/dog flipping. Those people will take ANY dog off the street or get them by other means.

There's a woman in British Columbia who takes dogs from shelters in Los Angeles and then rehomes/sells them for $400 each. She doesn't do follow ups or anything.

Check out, Wet Noses, Warm Beds: The Truth on youtube

I have nothing against anyone who wants to adopt or buy a dog or puppy but people should be allowed to choose.

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 6:36pm PST 
For the record, yes, I absolutely believe you can get a good working prospect from a shelter or rescue situation... in fact, all those dogs listed prior who were pulls make me incredibly happy, and hopeful that there are still people out there fighting the good fight for these dogs, and people who can see the potential of a GREAT dog even in a bad situation.

My statement about the military dogs before was more to make a point- I don't know where they came from of course, but I do know the US military pays a pretty penny to import dogs from all over Europe who are capable of the work, and obviously those dogs come from breeders.

I am actually a huge advocate for rescuing working prospects- I think there is so much untapped potential there for many, and I believe given the chance many shelter dogs would be wonderful for most sorts of work.

But here's the thing, too- I think many dogs who are picked up in these situations, rescues who turn up to be phenomenal working prospects, don't speak anything negative against breeder dogs.

And that all goes back to what Tiller has been saying. DISPOSABLITY of dogs is the issue here, not necessarily where they come from (baring puppy mill situations, which of course are horrid and contribute to this problem). I personally believe many WELL BRED dogs wind up in shelters all too often, and that is such an oddity and a shame. Now obviously the breeders of these dogs haven't entirely done their part in screening the people who would do such a thing, but then there really is only so much one can do in the first place.

I regularly scout the local GSD rescue's site, and am always gobsmacked by some of the dogs who wind up there.

I distinctly recall one female, a couple of years back, who found her way to them... BEAUTIFUL female, VERY clearly from East German/Czech lines and good ones to boot, who had been surrendered because the owner thought the dog had hip dysplasia. The rescue took her, and after spending some time with the dog just couldn't see what this person had... so they had her x-rayed, and low and behold, she had great hips. WHAT a tragedy, that someone could be so stupid as to not even have the dog x-rayed before dumping her off, but what a perfect example of this vicious system of disposing of dogs who just aren't up to snuff.

It breaks my heart daily, some of these dogs that turn up. Just recently I found myself hurting over this girl:


Who is stunning and sweet and DARK, and who screams of that good East German blood, and deserved so much better than what she got... but who will undoubtedly rock the socks off of whoever is lucky enough to get her.

Or this boy:


Who fortunately was just recently adopted, but who I rallied for to anyone who would listen... because LOOK at him. This is dog I would want, gorgeous and dark and type-y, likely also from East/Czech lines, and clearly at one point loved by someone... all the groundwork laid, a FABULOUS dog, no doubt from good lines, who also found himself in a bum situation.

And so many more. It hurts sometimes to even count how many... but what hurts more is the thought that such GOOD dogs wind up in the hands of such oblivious people. WELL BRED dogs, who while maybe had breeders who were less than strict when choosing their buyers, which IS part of the problem, likely come from dogs who somewhere down the line WERE bred by people who were doing it right, as those pedigrees are coveted, and those dogs didn't get to be what they are because people didn't care.

Edited by author Tue Nov 13, '12 6:38pm PST

Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 7:04pm PST 
Toto- the rescues you describe are so wrong! frown There is one in the area here too frown. My response was more to the people who have stated "I want to get a dog from a breeder because I don't want a project dog." My experience has been that most rescued dogs are not project dogs. I know it's different depending on where you live, but around here- there is no shortage of normal, well-adjusted (albeit untrained) dogs that are desperate for a home.

Member Since
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 9:19pm PST 
I don't think any of us who referred to shelter dogs as projects meant we think ALL of them to be...that would be painting things with the same brush just like the author of the article did...but was simply saying that from experience; I know mine have been (that does not mean that I for one would never adopt again, I fully believe there are fantastic dogs in shelters). I have had one that was DA, and while I loved him, I don't want to go through that again. My current dog is fearful/timid of strangers, especially men, ever since he was a pup...he has been getting better, but it has been a lot of work...and many of your average families not only do not want dogs with issues like that, but are not capable of handling them. I think shelters and rescues really do need to be careful about matching dogs and families correctly, and many just are not cutting it.shrug Again, that is not to say there are not awesome dogs in shelters and rescues, or that there are not any R/S doing a great job. But articles like this sure aren't doing them any favors.

Kira and Winchester look like great dogs! Hopefully Kira will get adopted soon. smile

ETA: It seems like dog flipping is starting to become a full-time business for some people. I recently read an article from someone who does just that (can't remember where), and they are making a ton of money from it. They even mentioned how they would pick up a dog from someone either free or cheap, and have sold it for hundreds (even over a thousand) of dollars that very same day to someone else (they would put stock photos up advertising for dogs they didn't even have yet). Talk about crazy.confused

Edited by author Tue Nov 13, '12 9:24pm PST


Member Since
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 6:35am PST 
I had a bad experience with a rescue dog, and my next dog came from a reputable breeder and I'm a much happier dog owner.

The rescue said she was a border collie, but she ended up being a pitbull mix who happened to be black and white. She had severe separation anxiety and had some really strange issues. Not that we didn't love her, but definitely not something I want to do again, especailly with a baby in the house.

Call me selfish, I don't care. Because of the rescue dog, I was compelled to really figure out what I could handle in a canine companion, so for that I am thankful.
Savannah Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 7:17am PST 
I've already been on here a couple of times with my schizophrenic opinions. But I do want to post one more time, just to say...Rescuing dogs can be wonderful! I have one who was abandoned and had serious issues. She was hyper and defensive and I was bit a couple of times and had to break up several dog fights.

I stuck with it, out of sheer mulishness and she has mellowed into an absolute prize. I don't think that means than no one should ever go to a breeder. But unlike the guest post just above, I absolutely disagree that good dogs can't be found in Shelters or Rescues.

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 7:55am PST 
I agree with the comments about dog flipping. It's getting to be a huge problem in some areas. A guy got arrested here just this past week with 65 dogs in deplorable conditions. He even used 'SPCA' in his 'rescue' name but wasn't affiliated with any real rescue organization. There's money to be made in getting free or nearly free dogs and sticking them in a garage in a few crates with no heat, food or water and then charging 400-600 bucks for them. Many people came forward to adopt already, but because the court case hasn't even begun they are still technically owned by that idiot and can't be offered up for adoption. So they sit in limbo until who knows when...

Sick. So now folks not only have to beware the puppy mills that now use selling fronts that set up like in-home breeders, but they also have to be able to spot fake rescues.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 9:02am PST 
Mulder - my heart breaks for those gorgeous Shepherds. When I'm ready for mine, I may have to scout Petfinder first, before I call the breeder I plan to go to and see if I can find a rescue first.

This girl is quite sweet..

And whoever got this girl, was lucky.

And look at him! Apparently quite drivey, too!

I may have to ask for Tiller's help in the future when I look for a Shepherd to fit my life.

Sarah - I agree with you, not all rescue dogs are projects. Out of all the dogs I've helped rescue/foster, Beau was my only true 'project'. But the rescue wasn't putting him in training classes or anything. They dumped him on a foster, who became terribly fearful of this gorgeous little dog, who was under-educated on dog behavior to begin with, and he ended up with me. It took A LOT of time and training to get him to stop snapping at people. But I never got bit, and I'm only one of the few. I hope he stays in his adoptive home and that they gave the new owners the tools to keep him progressing. Maya was a project, but she wasn't. I hate calling her a project because her issues were so EASY to work through. She was fear aggressive of people. Simple, teach her people meant good things! She came around beautifully and took less time than Beau. And even though she was nervous with people in the home for the rest of her life, on walks she was fantastic, and she warmed up to people A LOT quicker at a simple word from me. Charlie just didn't have any training(like many of the dogs you spoke of) and just needing to be taught basic obedience. Now, he's an EXCELLENT little dog who I still want to go miles in training with.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 9:47am PST 
I feel that we have to respect peoples choices. I personally feel it's ridiculous to spend several hundred dollars or more on a companion animal just so you know you have a purebreed Terra Cotta Vizula something something. Then again if the breeding is that important to you and you give the dog an excellent life, go for it.

An analogy might be the people who spend zillions of dollars to have a human infant. Fertility treatments can cost more than a house and still fail. Not to mention the huge number of older children who need a home. But it's important to these people to have a biological child and that's their choice...who are we to criticize really

Member Since
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 11:11am PST 
I didn't say that good dogs can't be found in rescue. It just was a risk that I personally didn't feel like I wanted to take.

And I realize that any time you get a pet, there are risks involved. But at least with the puppy from the reputable breeder, I was aware before hand of what potential issues I would have coming my way and they were issues that I *personally* could handle.

Again, with a baby in the house, didn't want to take the risk of getting a dog from a rescue group or the pound, especially considering that the last time I did it alot of the dog's issues were brushed under the rug so that I had to find out the hard way.

The breeder I went to tried her best to scare me off. She told me every health concern her lines had, all the temperament issues, all the weird quirks, etc etc. I did a year of research and BOY was I prepared!

The puppy turned out to be easier then the adult dog we had rescued and when we ran into some slight temperament issues, I had the breeder to turn to and was given information on how to handle the issues.

When we tried to talk to the rescue about our adopted dog's issues, they threw their hands up in the air and basically said they had no clue what to do and left us to deal with her issues on our own.

So, yeah, maybe not EVERYONE will have my same experience. And sincerely, I get that some people want a project dog. But, that's not what we wanted and it's NOT FAIR to foist a dog like that on unsuspecting people who aren't prepared.

Maybe other people would chalk that up to just a bad rescue group and try again. I didn't want to take that risk.
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