Interesting article concerning the state of Rescue Organizations

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Work? What's- that?
Barked: Thu Jan 26, '12 9:10am PST 

Discuss. I haven't personally gone through the process myself, but I've heard plenty of horror stories about those who have.

ETA: And mind you, I'm aware this is not representative of the whole, but my perception is that this is becoming, alarmingly, an increasingly common experience for would-be adopters.

Edited by author Thu Jan 26, '12 10:04am PST


Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Thu Jan 26, '12 5:06pm PST 
Our regional Akita rescue would have refused us and we know this because they gave about 50 conditions that were required to even apply and we would have had a few situations that we could not correct.
We own a city lot,they required a minimum acre and a half.
By local ordinance we cannot have a six foot fence unless we have a pool.
I love my grandchildren and want them welcome in my home. They were 2 and 4 at the time. No children under 12 were permitted to be either living in the home or frequent visitors.
That is why Kai came from a breeder, he is happy,healthy,well fed,gets vet care when needed and we take him and Mika both for daily walks as well as at least a weekly off leash outing. The dogs are also socialized,trained,played with and very loved members of the family.Our breeder asked alot of questions,screens potential homes carefully,requires at least one visit to her kennel/home to see how you interact with her pack,and does a home visit as well. We passed her requirements but didn't even qualify to apply for a rescue akita.
They insist on what they feel is an ideal home and will not accept less,a good home with a loving family willing to make accomodations for the dogs needs just isn't good enough. They don't seem to really want to place the dogs unless they feel your home is perfect never mind if the dog is then only allowed to play in the yard and not given opportunities for socialization,fed whatever is on sale and lives in a crate 20 hours or more in a day. On paper if it meets the qualifications it's a perfect home. It really isn't fair to alot of people who may have less than ideal homes but the love and willingness to do right by the dog.
Isabelle the- Great

Nothing is- greater than an- Springer!
Barked: Fri Jan 27, '12 10:19am PST 
Mika and Kai, no wonder you want to start your own Akita Rescue/Sanctuary.

For my family, we are approved to adopt from the ESRA. My experience is good as they try to match the dog with the family and vise versa.

On the foster side, we get a say in where our foster dogs goes. At times foster parents are the only ones to meet potential adopters face to face and see how they interact with the animal

Many adoption agreements also have a provision mandating that if things don’t work out with the pet, you must return it to the group rather than find it another home. Let’s call this the Ellen DeGeneres clause. The comedian adopted a Brussels Griffon named Iggy that just couldn’t get along with her cats. DeGeneres gave it to her hairdresser, who has two daughters, then aged 11 and 12, and Iggy basked in the love fest. Then someone from the group called to check in with DeGeneres on how Iggy was doing. She told them about the new arrangement. Not only was DeGeneres in breach of contract, the group didn’t want Iggy living with any children under age 14. They confiscated the dog.

I agree that if you rescue a dog and cannot keep the rescue needs to be notified and the dog is either returned or its new home is approved by the rescue. Sure some rescues are wackos with their rules, but in general I find this to be good rule. Its one of the rules my rescue has.

I also believe some rescues have rules for a reason but the rescue should be willing to bend the rules if the animal is a perfect fit for the family. I hate, hate, hate fence rules. My local SPCA generalizes dogs and the big dogs have to have fenced in yards or trolleys to be adopted. I have neither but my dog has a great recall and has a twenty foot leash for business trips, thank you very much. And backyards are not the only way to exercise high energy breeds or any dog for that matter.

All in all, I think the article is good but a little to general. The article might turn people away from rescues however if its not read with right tone.

Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Fri Jan 27, '12 4:46pm PST 
I think shat yes- there are some crazy people out there running "rescues". I've also noticed that breed-specific rescues tend to be much more stringent than an all breed rescue. I question where she got her info from. She didn't talk to any rescues about why they denied people. The "proof" she offers was what the denied people told her and is assuming these people are being totally honest. The person said they were denied because "Writing with sticks in the dirt". What else were the kids doing? Hitting each other with the sticks? Poking the dogs with the sticks? Who knows. The one that was denied because of her floor- well, maybe the floor was really unsafe. Maybe that wasn't the real reason at all.

I also don't like how easy she makes it sound to get a dog from a breeder. A good breeder is going to ask just as many questions, if not more than a rescue. A good breeder can make exceptions because they are dealing with 10 dogs a year, not 100 or 1,000 like some groups...

Just my take, as a foster, that she should have talked to rescues and asked them why they have the rules they have.

Let's play!
Barked: Fri Jan 27, '12 5:21pm PST 
Although I do understand where she was coming from with this article, as many rescues have long lists of requirements and questions, I feel she was a bit biased because she was denied by a rescue herself.
I work with rescues and they usually do have all these rules for a reason. One of the rescues I work with is more lenient with their rules and they DO get many dogs returned (for example, one person returned one of the dogs because he peed in the house). The rescues want to find them forever homes.

I don't remember who mentioned it, but they said the rescue tries to match a dog to fit your family/lifestyle. I like that idea! big grin
Dennis- FDCH-S,- TFIII

I love agility- and flyball!
Barked: Fri Jan 27, '12 5:35pm PST 
I'm sure there are some bad rescue organizations out there, just as I am sure there are some great ones. Within anything, there are good and bad. I volunteer for a breed rescue, and we look at the whole picture when adopting out dogs. We come to the home and talk with the potential adopters, we do not merely make a yes or no decision based on a piece of paper.
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Fri Jan 27, '12 5:36pm PST 
But, Sarah, the fact that good breeders can make exceptions and be flexible is why people frustrated with trying to adopt from rescues wind up going to breeders rather than continuing to try over and over again after they've had a few frustrating or enraging experiences.

A friend of mine was interested in adopting a dog from a rescue where I know several of the people involved. She and her brother at the time had two dogs, a Maltese who was about seven at the time, and a beagle who was about fourteen or fifteen. The rescue took her application, liked what she said, talked to her, talked to her vet and personal references--and loved her. Fantastic dog owner, they said.

Except for one thing.

Their property is not fenced. Part of it used to be fenced, but the beagle kept digging his way out, and any hole the beagle could get out, the Maltese could get out. They couldn't afford a fence that would completely and safely contain the beagle, so they gave up. The fence came down,and they tethered the dogs for their morning potty break, and leash walked them the rest of the time.

My friend was willing to commit to leash walks only for the adopted dog, no morning tethering. That wasn't good enough. She and her brother both had to agree to leash walks only for all three dogs, or better yet, build a fence. My friend and her brother were not willing to do something they had found to be unsafe for their dogs--the fence--and given that they had kept the beagle and the Maltese safe, happy, and healthy for, in the beagle's case, fifteen years, they weren't willing to be dictated to in how they cared for the two dogs they already had.

They'd always rescued before, though the Maltese and the beagle were private rescues. This time, though, after her experience with this rescue, a few others, and a shelter in the area that had the type of dog she wanted but decided that the dog needed a retired couple so it would never be alone for a few hours, she finally gave up and got a puppy from a breeder.

And, oh yes, the breeder also requires leash walks only for the dog, no morning tethering, but doesn't think she can dictate the care of the dogs that didn't come from her and whose excellent care and condition played a big role in her being willing to sell my friend a puppy.

You can say all you want that the author of that piece didn't check with the rescues, but she's a columnist, not an investigative journalist. She's writing about her experience and the experiences of other people she knows or has talked to.

Besides, that's an impossible standard to set: the rescues aren't going to reveal the details of specific cases, and without that, you have nothing but them stating their general policies and assuring the questioner that yes, of course, they apply their rules fairly and appropriately, and are not turning down suitable adopters for the pets they have looking for homes.

If people feel they're being denied unfairly or that the rules are just impossibly restrictive, they may try another rescue, and they may try another after that, and maybe a fourth or a fifth, but at some point, they're going to stop doing what feels like beating their heads against brick walls, and if they haven't been discouraged altogether from getting a pet, they'll get it somewhere other than at yet another rescue.
Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Fri Jan 27, '12 6:06pm PST 
I'm not talking about asking about specific individuals. I'm talking about asking a rescue "Why do you have such and such rule?".

I don't like the article because I feel like the author is presenting things as facts when they have no idea if their sources are telling the truth. She didn't do any research other than what disgruntled people posted on her blog. We don't even know if those people were denied to adopt from the entire rescue, or just denied a single dog.

The group I foster for is more lenient than many rescues. For most dogs we don't require a fence. We don't require that there be someone home all day, and we do allow adoptions to families with kids. But I have one foster, Benny, that I will not adopt to a family with little kids or cats, and the other foster will not go to a home with cats. Benny is extremely mouthy and lacks training. When you correct him, he does a submissive grin and rapid tongue flicking. To most people, this would look like aggression- snarling. He has hurt me by mouthing. There is a possibility that he would go to a home with kids and the parents would understand what is going on, work with him, and train him. But there is also the possibility that they will (a) return him, (b) make his problem worse and return him, (c) make his problem worse until he bites someone and they want to return him, (d) make him worse until he bites someone and they put him down, (e) drop him off at a shelter, (f) try to rehome him on their own, (g) euthanize him...

I have found that people talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. They also don't always know what they can and can't handle.
Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
Barked: Fri Jan 27, '12 6:23pm PST 
I read Emily Yoffe's regular column pretty often- she's also written a "Human Guinea Pig" article about trying canine freestyle "doggy dancing" with her Beagle (that went as well as you could expect). She's a good writer and a smart person, but I don't get the sense that she is really a "dog person"- she's just a person who likes dogs.

There was this quote in the article:
“You have two ends of the spectrum,” she says. “Pet stores will sell to anyone with the money. And then there are rescue group who won’t adopt to anyone. We need a happy medium.”

I don't know why she's neglecting it, but there are MANY in-between choices between the pet store and the rescue. Animal shelters, for example. My local animal control shelter provides counseling and a mandatory waiting period between choosing your dog and going home, but to my knowledge their actual requirements aren't hard to meet. And there are many rescues that aren't very strict either. If you don't like one rescue's policies, go to another one. Easy fix.

And it's not like going to a good breeder is a cakewalk either. Being on a waiting list, filling out an application, signing a contract, etc. Many breeders even pick out your puppy for you (which I think is fine if they know what they're doing.)

I feel, if you want the easiest adoption experience (and least money spent), you go to an animal control shelter, which, not coincidentally, also comes with the least "quality control" and support for adopters. If you want the perks of a rescue dog (a purebred, a dog who's been fostered instead of kenneled, maybe some training, etc.) you have to put up with more scrutiny. People want to have their cake and eat it too. One of the examples of "unreasonable" and "intrusive" questions in the article I think is quite pertinent; “Are you considering having children within 10 years?" could really make a difference- some dogs really can't handle young kids, and if you adopt a young dog 10 years is a reasonable time to expect to have the dog.

She does bring up something in the article I really disagree with, (I mean I agree with her that I don't like it!)- when rescues retain ownership of the dog (ie, they lease it to you, not sell it.) So they can take it back for any reason at any time, because it's technically theirs. I think that's unfair. The person who feeds, trains, cares for the dog is it's owner, no matter what the paper says. I don't think this practice is all that common, though Yoffe makes it sound as if it happens all the time.

I also don't like something else she touched on in passing- when rescues reject people without telling them why, just round-file their application for some mysterious reason. Wouldn't it be better to tell people what the concerns were, so they can fix them?

Anyway, just thinking out loud, I've never adopted from (or been rejected from) a rescue because my first dog was a private re-home and the second from a municipal shelter.
Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Fri Jan 27, '12 6:30pm PST 
I don't necessarily agree with rescues not telling people why they are rejected but I know why some do it. They are afraid that once the person knows the "right" answer, they will lie.
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