Anyone heard of dog flipping?

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Because I'm- Duncan, that's- why

Barked: Thu Nov 22, '12 3:03pm PST 
Sophie, I think your perception of that rescue group is similar to many criticisms (of rescue generally) that I've heard here on Dogster. Of course, you did not name the rescue, and I wouldn't know them anyway, but I did just want to mention a couple of thoughts about rescue itself.

First, people often complain that rescues have higher adoption fees compared to those of the local shelter. I might point out though, that rescues are funded entirely by adoption fees and voluntary donations. Your municipal shelter is tax funded primarily. The adoption fees (and licensing fees, etc) that they receive are icing on the cake. Not that they don't need every penny; they do, and often in spite of the funding sources they have, shelters are strapped and unable to provide much for the animals, though they'd love to be able to do more. But caring for animals is expensive, in any context.

Further, yes, rescues do tend to take the most "desirable" dogs and puppies. There are purebred rescues, in example. It is generally beneficial to these dogs, though, to be placed through a purebred rescue group rather than the shelter itself. The people in the breed rescue are knowledgeable about the breed and will be better able to match dogs with ideal homes. The breed rescue will provide a greater level of support to adopters. And most important, the breed rescue will forever be the safety net for that dog; he/she will NEVER again face the inside of a kill shelter or even the possibility of euthanasia there.

Though puppies are highly adoptable, rescue plays an extremely important role in saving those lives. I could not stress enough how vital it is for young puppies to be fostered in a home environment rather than in a shelter setting. No matter how well run the shelter, no matter the most modern protocols, the possibility of contagious disease is always higher in a shelter; and puppies are most vulnerable, with their less developed immune systems. Of course there are also the benefits of proper socialization associated with puppies being reared in a home setting. It is far better for puppies to be with a caring rescue. It is better for adopters too.

As for the all-breed rescues that seem to cherry-pick the most adoptable dogs: yes, they do that. But it still helps the shelter. With fewer dogs PERIOD, the shelter has more resources to spread amongst the ones remaining. Furthermore, at many shelters, dogs get killed for lack of space, and that is reality. If rescues can get some dogs out, that leaves more space and saves lives at the shelter. At least temporarily. The problem, of course, is that more dogs come in the door tomorrow and the shelter is again out of space. The problem is an unrelenting intake.

But be that as it may, those cherry-pickin' rescues can be pretty important in the overall picture. In NYC's public shelter system - where euthanasia rates are at all time lows - a large part of the reason is the very active local rescue community, and an entire division of the NYC ACC that is dedicated to cooperating with that rescue community. Last I checked, I believe over 50 percent of the animals taken into that public shelter system, were released to rescues. Hallelujah! That's a lot of animals that might instead have been euthanasia statistics.

And about the plain, non-pretty, hard to adopt dogs that are left behind. I do not know the answer, but I don't think rescue itself knows the answer right now. I recall a Dogster who posted many times about their foster "Peg," a very plain young adult mutt in Texas. She was fostering the dog for a rescue group. Well, she did everything she could to try and find that dog a home - took her to adoption events, got her on TV - but ended up with her for - months? close to a year? And the only resolution was that eventually the dog went to some other foster. I will tell you that most people that are willing to foster for a rescue really don't want that situation, having the dog for a very extended period with no end in sight. It is demoralizing. It makes the foster feel frustrated, and of course in the place of that one hard-to-adopt dog, the rescue could have saved several highly-adoptable dogs in the same time frame, utilizing that foster slot, which instead got jammed up for a perfectly nice but plain jane. Are the numbers important - the quantity of dogs saved by the rescue? It depends, but in areas of heavy pet overpopulation and high-kill shelters, it probably matters more.

Pit bulls - of course as a breed they have a huge set of challenges, and one of them is overpopulation virtually everywhere. However, there are some extremely successful pit bull rescue groups. It just takes a spine of steel to be involved in that breed rescue and know the burden that you can't save them all. But pit bull rescue has a marketing cache, and is in some senses easier than being "Mutts r'Us."

So the bottom line is this. Rescue is good for dogs in the big picture. It can make a great difference in lives saved.
It is good for the dogs in the rescue. That's hardly debatable.
...Is it good for adopters, when they are forced to pay a $100 (or more) higher adoption fee than they would for the same dog at their local shelter? Well, there are some advantages for adopters. They can get more detailed information about the individual dog or puppy that has lived in a foster home, which could help the adopter decide if it's the right dog for them. Hopefully, the rescue has a good adoption counselor(s) that can answer questions, help make a good match, provide support after the adoption. And, it is also a benefit to the adopter to know that if ever they could not keep the dog for any reason, in its whole lifetime, there would be a safe harbor for the dog's return.

But, if one would really prefer to get a "desirable" dog directly from the shelter (and pay less in adoption fees), there are usually ways to do that. Volunteering at the shelter is a fine way to be the first to know when such a dog gets admitted - and get first dibs! Besides that, just calling or walking through the shelter from time to time, can help your odds. Also, many shelters have "wait lists" of potential adopters for a certain breed, so you could be notified if a dog of your breed-of-choice should arrive.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Thu Nov 22, '12 7:09pm PST 
I agree about the Pit Bull rescue comments. Yes, there are a few very good ones, but the sad truth is that most fry so badly that they not only shut their rescue but are totally averse to ever volunteering again. They only see bleak, loathe the dumpers, are frustrated by potential adopters. It's a very hard field to be in.

I have a lovely white male PB in foster right now. He is as perfect a pet in terms of his companionship qualities as he can be and with a lovely temperament, also quite gorgeous, but DA and highly cat aggressive. It will take me a long time to find him a home, for the market is very competitive, and even when I get the inquiries must be very guarded as to who I release him to for while he is a million dollar sort of a dog, he'd be a disastrous breed ambassador to be get into a dog fight, let alone kill a cat. So it is very drawn out.

My two other point are to try to keep a level head in viewing cherry picking by rescues, as there are only so many foster slots, and when pulling out of kill facilities, every day a foster home is filled, a dog may die. That's where it can start to eat at you. You feel guilty for fostering this long termer, for you are aware of all the dogs, even their faces and plights, that have fallen to sad endings in the meantime.

Also, I do think that while there is a lot of rah rah about how better things are, it isn't a addressing certain glaring truths. I don't care how many gamillion homes there might be, the percentage of those who want an adult very homely or plain looking mutt are a small percentage. If there were more detailed statistics of what all these homes want...how many want puppies, how many want purebreds, how many want no known issues, how many want small, how many want good looking and so on....the huge discrepancy would be easier to see. For these dogs, there are simply fewer answers and fewer happy endings, and I loathe being so negative, but I really don't see an answer other than a curtailing of the breeding that produces such fringe dogs. Who are every bit as deserving....one of my favorite dogs ever in my rescue group was very homely and very muttly....but sadly greatly less desired by the adopting public as a whole.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Thu Nov 22, '12 7:25pm PST 
You did make many good points Duncan. I agree that I guess bottom line is that ya can't save them all, regardless of breed. Just this particular rescue steams me. I'm sure their fundraising is making more than their overhead...but who knows really? (They're is a very well to do community and the fundraisers reflect that-dinner/dances, chances on $$$$$$$$$ valued baskets, of course maybe in an up and up part of town contributes to higher expenses for them? And the concept of picking the most adoptable makes sense.

But still in theory they can get away with alot-Callie for an example. I got him at the county shelter. All the info they had was they found him walking on the side of the parkway. Clear and to the point-we know nothing about him. That rescue would create a whole magical profile of his likes and dislikes and blahblahblah...but of course they would have never looked at him twice because placing a scaryass-looking dog in the burbs would be virtually impossible right??? So glad I found my darling boy...but yes I understand how it works


I'm from Broken- Bow, we don't- play that!
Barked: Thu Nov 22, '12 10:31pm PST 
@Ophilea I know how you feel, because there is a rescue group just like the one you mentioned near me.

Many of the worst dog flipping cases have been fake animal shelters and rescue organizations.

It's messed up.

Speaking of dog flipping, author Jack London based many of his stories on his experiences living in Alaska and the Yukon during the gold rush back in the 19th century.

Turns out people were flipping dogs back then too!

They would steal large dogs, many of them house pets and then resell or auction them off for $150-$600! the dogs were mainly used for sled dogs and just like today's dog flipping victims not all of them ended up in good homes.

Stolen pets still end up at dog auctions today and dogs there can sell for as high as $1500 or $1,000!

Take a gander at this auction in Ohio:


It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '12 11:16am PST 
If I might share my guilt as well. On the subject of cherry picking, it's what makes adopting at a kill shelter so depressing. And I can imagine the people who do the choosing for rescues must burn out for the same reason. Just before I took Callie out there was another dog in a nearby kennel that I walked first. A beautiful energetic bully...but within a few feet of the door he grabbed me around the middle and turned into humpty dumpty.

When I shoved him to the ground and tried to get him to walk nicely he leaped at the bottom of my jacket. The tug of war game ripped my jacket. I took him back into the shelter and explained he was perhaps a bit too much dog for me. You could hear three handlers struggling to get him back in his kennel. That's when they brought out the brown boy in the next cage who became Callie. But the first dog, I do feel guilty, five day waiting period was probably over for the first dog the next day.

You can't save them all...sigh...

I'm from Broken- Bow, we don't- play that!
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '12 11:45am PST 

I've been to a no kill shelter and there's dogs that have been there for a year or longer.

Same with a rescue group I support.

Some of her dogs came from kill shelters and were on death row.

The dogs are sweet and well behaved.

She's even returned dogs to owners when they come back for them as long as they show proof of ownership.

But dog flippers could careless.

Seriously, why keep or sell an animal that's not yours?

It's been outlawed in Canada.

One family in New York was contacted when their dogs were found but the person who worked at an animal shelter in Long Island that had the dogs shipped them off to New Jersey instead of returning them. The owners had seen their dogs as available for adoption prior to that.

The police tracked down the dogs and they are back home but the shelter employee who had them now has to go to court for charges of felony theft.

There's even cases of fake rescues who get knock off warrants to seize animals and then they resell them!

One breeder tried to get her dogs back and lost everything while trying to cover court fees and her dogs had been sold!

It was pretty sad.


Because I'm- Duncan, that's- why

Barked: Fri Nov 23, '12 12:36pm PST 
hughug to Callie's mom. I do understand...I have had to say good-bye to so many.

You can't carry that guilt though. It is not your fault the dog is there in the shelter to begin with. Where had he come from? Who bred him? Who owned him first, failed to train him, (or exacerbated behavior problems he may have shown)? Who owned him and failed to stick by him and brought him to the shelter instead? How many owners had he had previously, don't you wonder? How many people created the tragedy?

Callie's life was on the line that day too. You saved him. So look at it this way, you could have saved the first dog, and got the wrong dog for you. Or you could have saved Callie, who is the right dog for you. It's the right decision from all angles. And, further, you and Callie will be ambassadors for shelter adoption. Because he is well behaved and a gem. Because you are happy with him, speak glowingly of him, are so happy you found him. THAT helps all shelter dogs - the message you together take forward from here.

Callie is a very lucky boy that you found him, and I know you feel just as grateful to have him in your life. cloud 9
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '12 9:44pm PST 
I agree with Duncan, Ophelia. I think you got a little flavor there of what it is to pull from kill shelters as a rescue, because we all know those dogs. It's not that we don't love them, just like you do.

I think you should give him a name. I know it sounds silly....but I think that would be something nice for you to do, in a cosmos sort of a way. Because he lives in your heart, and did have someone who cared. That was you. You gave him a voice and a value, simply by caring that day and to this day still. So he's not here anymore, but maybe he'll meet you at the Bridge one day, because he's sort of yours anyway. So give him a name, have a little cry, and continue on with your life. Maybe you'll meet again some day.

Sometimes that is what we have to do. I personally will never let myself get steeled. For the ones we can't take or help, that's no cause not to let them be loved and to hold them close to our hearts. Inspiration to rescue the next one, in their honor. Think of him as one who gave of himself in Callie's honor, for Callie's future, and that you appreciate that gift. Treasure it every day.

You can't save them all, no. But you CAN love them all, and probably ought to. That care in your heart for him gives his life resonance. Please don't forget that.

I really think it will be the "pain is beauty" sort of healing to graduate him from simply being that energetic bully next to Callie.....give him a name, and that is who he will be from now on. I think it would be a beautiful gesture, and help you to heal.

Edited by author Fri Nov 23, '12 9:46pm PST


Member Since
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 6:59am PST 
Duncan, I remember Peg. She really pulled at me, I would have loved to adopt her...but as others have said...you can't save them all. You have to take a hard look at what you can and can not do, set your limits and stick to them even when it is hard. frown I'm sure that is what some of these rescues do too, they know that when they pass up the hard to place dogs, what is going to happen to them...and I'm sure it hurts them just as much as it does us.


ETA: Just watched the dog auction video, that is horrible! They really don't view the dogs as anything more than a money-making product, to be gotten rid of when it no longer makes them money.naughty

Edited by author Sat Nov 24, '12 7:07am PST


I'm from Broken- Bow, we don't- play that!
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 9:36am PST 
Yeah, I was taken aback by it when I first saw the dog auction video.

It's not just puppy mill dogs that end up there, people have found stolen pet dogs too.

But still $2,000 a year is no money.

I mean $2,000 a month sure but if 2 grand a year is a lot of money to these people they have low standards.
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