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Mark Billadeau

Pet Homes vs. Working Homes

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Dunno if it makes me a "bad" rescue or not, but I only accepted dogs that were in pretty good shape, mentally and physically. My means were extremely limited, and I had to try to avoid biting off more than I could chew.

 

I occasionally bailed a Collie out (I'm speaking of Lassie Collies here) and took them straight to the vet clinic where I worked for E&D. It seemed a better and more humane solution than allowing an old dog with multiple physical problems to languish in the pound until either killed or taken out by someone who would end up bouncing it back to the pound when they found out what it would cost to fix/ maintain it.

 

If that made me a bad rescue, then so be it. Everybody has their limitations, and seeing an old, infirm or neurotic dog bounce from home to home, getting more and more screwed up with each abandonment was more than I was up to.

 

Adopters that are up to the task of sorting out a dog with multiple issues are few and far between. For my part, I think the resources are better used rehoming two or three high-function dogs that one that has a good chance of turning out to be unplaceable.

 

Just my opinion. YMMV.

 

If you're taking in a dog with the intention of euthanizing that dog, that doesn't make you a bad rescue. If you're taking in a dog with the intention of adopting out that dog and you haven't done any evaluation on the dog, it doesn't make you a bad rescue either- but (in my opinion!) a rescue choosing that option should be far more cautious. By taking in fifty unevaluted cases, such a rescue risks serious financial strain that will harm all the dogs they won't be able to save when they no longer have the resources to support any more vet or training bills.

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Christina, I can see that there is a clear miss communication here. I am not saying what you have experienced is invalid as you have stated here:

 

I believe that my reality is what I experience. I'm also not knocking any data, but rather defending the data being knocked. I find it interesting that I am criticized for arguing a point based on my experiences, while you are permitted to make a point based on your experiences which renders my point obsolete. Doesn't that seem slightly out of balance?
No, because I am giving your experience just as much merit as mine, I just acknowledge that they are different and therefore neither one can be universal truth. Honestly I prefer straight stats and data over experiences, I was just trying to point out to you that if we were to look at experience in the same way as straight data there was no clear conclusion.

 

Maybe I can re phrase my point. If we take a step back and look at the big picture then we both can agree that your experience is different from the experience of others, correct? If others have different experiences then isn't it possible that your conclusion isn't always true? It could be true for where you live but not every where else. Therefore making a broad statement about the majority of dogs in rescue may not be accurate since there are other populations of rescue dogs, apparently without the same issues you describe, that you are not accounting for. Am I making more sense?

 

Secondly:

B ) without any evaluation. I don't see how taking in dogs without an evaluation would make me a better person. If anything, it makes me an idiot since I would be rescuing at huge personal risk, to my family, my dogs, and myself.

 

I was not questioning you taking in dogs without an evaluation. I was questioning what you were implying by picking out that quote from the TDBCR website. Maybe I misinterpreted your text, but it seemed to me that you were using that quote to put RDM down, and raise yourself up by saying you knew more than she did since you take in every dog and she must weed some of those problem dogs out. Please correct me if I'm wrong here.

 

Geonni I was never implying that those who don't take in all dogs were bad rescuers.

Dunno if it makes me a "bad" rescue or not, but I only accepted dogs that were in pretty good shape, mentally and physically. My means were extremely limited, and I had to try to avoid biting off more than I could chew.
I apologize if it came across that way, it was never my intention. As I stated above I was questioning the motive behind the quote selection, not the merits of how anyone does rescue. Lord knows we need as much help as we can get with the influx of dogs lately.

 

Now it would be super if forum members would stop jumping down my throat for stating things they don't agree with. Kapeesh?

 

I know it can feel personal, but I promise you (at least from me) it is not. It's okay to just agree to disagree. There are just some things in life that we all find the need to take a stand on. For some of us this is one of those things, and that is why they press the issue by putting their opinion up for the lurkers and future readers of these such threads. Most people are not trying to change your mind or beat you into submission (as it feels to us all sometimes in discussions on these boards. I know I have been there as well. :rolleyes: ) The beauty of this community is that our discussions can lead to the education of others and thus everyone wants to make sure that their point is out there clearly for others to read and make their own decision about. If someone responds challenging your post they are most likely challenging your point and not you personally.

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Dunno if it makes me a "bad" rescue or not, but I only accepted dogs that were in pretty good shape, mentally and physically. My means were extremely limited, and I had to try to avoid biting off more than I could chew.

 

I occasionally bailed a Collie out (I'm speaking of Lassie Collies here) and took them straight to the vet clinic where I worked for E&D. It seemed a better and more humane solution than allowing an old dog with multiple physical problems to languish in the pound until either killed or taken out by someone who would end up bouncing it back to the pound when they found out what it would cost to fix/ maintain it.

 

If that made me a bad rescue, then so be it. Everybody has their limitations, and seeing an old, infirm or neurotic dog bounce from home to home, getting more and more screwed up with each abandonment was more than I was up to.

 

Adopters that are up to the task of sorting out a dog with multiple issues are few and far between. For my part, I think the resources are better used rehoming two or three high-function dogs that one that has a good chance of turning out to be unplaceable.

 

Just my opinion. YMMV.

 

Personally, I agree with you that resources should be used on dogs that are pretty well-adoptable. There's so many good dogs out there that need homes that I don't quite agree with putting a bunch of resources into a problem dog.

 

I'd never adopt a dog with significant health issues personally, and I did have to return a dog to rescue once, due to undisclosed health problems and I felt like shit about it. To me, a dog gets more leeway in terms of behavioral issues, provided they're not really dangerous. Like for me, they have to be okay with cats, that's an absolute. Mick might mess with a cat once in awhile, but I consider him 100% safe with them. He was even good with the kittens when they were little babies.

 

Mick used to hate kids (although he's good with them now) and he doesn't care for pushy dogs. I'm okay with those issues. Sinead is good with dogs about her size or bigger (puppies of any size are okay). She's aggressive with little dogs. I'm okay with that, and do not consider DA a fault in her breed. The only dogs she's ever off-leash with are dogs that I know and none of them are little dogs.

 

But to use her as an example, when I agreed to foster her (total foster failure), she was 6 hours from being PTS due to a combination of her time being up and her contracting kennel cough. She has no real issues. She came to me obedience trained, friendly, absolutely amazing with all people, barely barks, housebroken, loves cats, etc. She's basically the perfect dog. I have issues with dogs that are practically unadoptable ending up in rescue when there are unbroken dogs out there dying.

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I can not comment on many of the issues brought up. Too much.

However, I have bred, bought and rescued. And much to my surprise (not really - just dripping with sarcasm here!!!!) they were all individuals.

Can you possibly slant the odds of finding a dog suited for a specific purpose just a tiny bit by knowing the background and breeding - sure. But with doing proper homework/legwork you can certainly do the same with rescue.

That surely has been my experience. I have never bred but about half my dogs were ones I bought myself and about half were rescues. They are just all who they are. Amazing that they have been so different from each other.

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Can you possibly slant the odds of finding a dog suited for a specific purpose just a tiny bit by knowing the background and breeding - sure. But with doing proper homework/legwork you can certainly do the same with rescue.
Are you are saying that one has almost an equal chance of finding a dog in rescue as from a well bred working cross that will train up to the highest level of stockwork?

 

That is what your statement implies.

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Geonni I was never implying that those who don't take in all dogs were bad rescuers. I apologize if it came across that way, it was never my intention. As I stated above I was questioning the motive behind the quote selection, not the merits of how anyone does rescue. Lord knows we need as much help as we can get with the influx of dogs lately.

 

No worries! Was throwing the idea out for contrast with the "every dog deserves a chance" point of view. I don't have a problem with that POV per se - just wanted to illustrate that not everyone who does rescue can afford to act on that premise.

 

I am learning not to take comments on the Boards too personally - especially ones not directly aimed at me! :rolleyes:

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It is my own personal opinion that a significant number of rescue dogs come with physical and behavioral problems. That is not to say that these physical or behavioral problems render the dog unadoptable, but rather the dogs with these issues need a little extra work. (And I hear the cries "But a puppy is extra work too!"). By purchasing a puppy from a breeder, it would seem to me that one would have a slight advantage over their dog's behavioral and physical issues- if a major issue develops, they can evaluate that they only have themselves to blame for said issue, unless of course the problem has originated from the breeder's dogs or home (chemical imbalance, being dropped, etc).

Christina,

I understand that you've had bad luck with rescues, and you can certainly state your opinion about your experience with rescues. I don't think anyone was ever objecting to your stated fact that you've had problem rescues. What most of us object to is the comments (and you're not the only one to have made them) that a puppy can be a better choice because a significant number of rescues have issues/problems.

 

I stand by my comments that if you want a puppy get a puppy. If you have to justify the choice to all your friends who are harrassing you over not rescuing, simply point to all the dogs you *have* rescued and say "It's time for a puppy." You, as a rescuer, actually have more of a leg to stand on than someone who doesn't rescue. You can justify a puppy and continue to work with rescue. What I and others would prefer, though, is that you simply say "I have had bad luck with rescues and I would like to try a well-bred puppy this time around." It gets the point across without stating that the majority of dogs in rescue have issues or behavioral problems.

 

I've already said that my next dog will be a puppy from a good working cross. If someone were to say to me "Why not rescue?" I would simply reply that the specific things I want (in my case, dogs from a particular bloodline) can't be met by rescue. I wouldn't point to my one crazy ass rescue dog and say "because rescue dogs are crazy."

 

And I'm not trying to jump down your throat. As Sweet-Ceana noted, most of us who respond to threads like this one do so with the idea that there are a bunch more folks lurking and reading, and we're trying to make our arguments to those lurkers, hoping to educate as many folks as possible.

 

J.

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Christina,

I understand that you've had bad luck with rescues, and you can certainly state your opinion about your experience with rescues. I don't think anyone was ever objecting to your stated fact that you've had problem rescues. What most of us object to is the comments (and you're not the only one to have made them) that a puppy can be a better choice because a significant number of rescues have issues/problems.

 

I stand by my comments that if you want a puppy get a puppy. If you have to justify the choice to all your friends who are harrassing you over not rescuing, simply point to all the dogs you *have* rescued and say "It's time for a puppy." You, as a rescuer, actually have more of a leg to stand on than someone who doesn't rescue. You can justify a puppy and continue to work with rescue. What I and others would prefer, though, is that you simply say "I have had bad luck with rescues and I would like to try a well-bred puppy this time around." It gets the point across without stating that the majority of dogs in rescue have issues or behavioral problems.

 

I've already said that my next dog will be a puppy from a good working cross. If someone were to say to me "Why not rescue?" I would simply reply that the specific things I want (in my case, dogs from a particular bloodline) can't be met by rescue. I wouldn't point to my one crazy ass rescue dog and say "because rescue dogs are crazy."

 

And I'm not trying to jump down your throat. As Sweet-Ceana noted, most of us who respond to threads like this one do so with the idea that there are a bunch more folks lurking and reading, and we're trying to make our arguments to those lurkers, hoping to educate as many folks as possible.

 

J.

 

Great post, Julie. (again) I know you must feel like you're beating your head against the wall on several threads lately. I, for one, am grateful that you and others still try...

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My rescue problem was with the rescuer rather than the animals. It was an upsetting experience to say the least. I went (with my kids) to a local pet rescue with the goal of getting a kitten or two. When we got there we watched several people select kittens or puppies, fill out paperwork, pay and leave with their new pet. My boys and I spotted a pair of kittens and asked to see them. We spent about an hour sitting on the floor in a corner playing and petting until the kittens snuggled in and went to sleep, one to a boy. Throughkut that time the rescuer talked with us now and again between helping other people. All seemed well until I went to fill out the paperwork.

 

One of the questions was "will you allow the cat to go outside?". I answered it honestly. Yes, once grown the cats are permitted to go out. We live out of town on a cul de sac that was the end of a long (then unpaved) road. ...last house in the middle of nowhere. My cats have always been the indoor/outdoor variety with everyone coming inside for dinner and staying in all night.

 

The rescuer refused me the kittens. I had to go take them from my boys and put them back in the cage. My kids were heartbroken. Never mind that I had financial ability to take good care of them. Never mind that the rescuer had observed my kids being gentle and seen that they knew how to handle them. Never mind our remote location or that I could provide a reference from my vet or that the cat we had lost lived to be almost 17. Nothing would sway her decision.

 

Now fast forward to the time when my boys were old enough (10 & 13) that I felt like we could add a dog to our mix and then three years later when it was time to add a second dog. I got online and looked at some rescue places. I looked at their applications and knew the only way I would get a dog through one of them would be to lie. I have five unfenced acres. My next door neighbor has almost four more and doesn't mind us walking her land. The only rime our dogs go outside they have a person with them. My husband is handicapped and stays home. The dogs are almost never without one of their human family. But I don't have a fence except for a small area around the pool. The rescue apps all wanted you to have a fence. So for both dogs, I bought puppies.

 

Lessons learned? I shouldn't have had the kids along when I went to get the kittens. My mistake. I thought it would be good for us to decide together on the new pets and for the rescuers to see my boys handle them. I should have gone ahead and contacted dog rescues when it was time to get the dogs. Maybe someone would have considered our situation even without fences. (This belief is a direct result of my association with the people on this board over the last year.)

 

Next time I will try a rescue first. But for now I adore the dogs I have. They are healthy, beautiful and well behaved. I wouldn't give them up for the world.

 

Cherrie

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I should have gone ahead and contacted dog rescues when it was time to get the dogs. Maybe someone would have considered our situation even without fences. (This belief is a direct result of my association with the people on this board over the last year.)

 

I'm glad you realize this now. Every rescue is not the same, and many will make decisions on things like fences, on a case by case basis.

 

Rescues only have the best interests of their animals at heart. Seriously, there's no ego (or shouldn't be), nobody is trying to break the hearts of small children, or make anyone feel bad. They have rules or guidelines for a reason. They have to do what they feel will set their animals up for the safest, best possible homes. You may think it's fine to have indoor/outdoor cats. Many of us don't think it's a good idea, as it's honestly not in the best interest of the cat. Indoor cats have a much better chance of staying healthy and living longer lives, by not being exposed to things outdoors, such as other animals and predators, cars, etc.

 

I'm glad you haven't given up on rescue, and will consider one again in the future. :rolleyes:

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This, Miz Tea?

 

Is why I love you. :rolleyes::D :D :D :D

 

~ Gloria

 

One day after a long hard job shoveling gravel

 

I sat down and had an aurgument with a box of salt

And you know

 

That dam salt box won

 

It was a pretty determined box of salt

Now I limit my arguments to my Husband

 

And the box of Baking soda

 

By heaven I can out talk that box

(I am sorry but that really got my imagination going- its 4:00 am on Sunday- now I'm off to milk)

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One of the questions was "will you allow the cat to go outside?". I answered it honestly. Yes, once grown the cats are permitted to go out. We live out of town on a cul de sac that was the end of a long (then unpaved) road. ...last house in the middle of nowhere. My cats have always been the indoor/outdoor variety with everyone coming inside for dinner and staying in all night.

 

Just as a point of interest, I work for a municipal animal shelter. I might answer anywhere from 5 to 25 telephone calls every *shift* about missing cats. I may send out the ACO's twice a day to pick up dead cats or parts of dead cats from the municipality. We're open 7 days a week, so conservatively, about 100 reported cats a week go missing, and we pick up cat remains about 10 times a week. So there are definitely cat rescues who have an inside-only policy, and doing the math, I'm sure you could see why.

 

Lessons learned? I shouldn't have had the kids along when I went to get the kittens. My mistake. I thought it would be good for us to decide together on the new pets and for the rescuers to see my boys handle them. I should have gone ahead and contacted dog rescues when it was time to get the dogs. Maybe someone would have considered our situation even without fences. (This belief is a direct result of my association with the people on this board over the last year.)

 

I am sure lots of rescues would consider your application although you have no fences. I am on 10 acres with no fences, for example, so it's not an across-the-board requirement to adopt from me.

 

I have had two different rescuers turn me down when I lived in an apartment. Never mind that I'd always lived in apartments/condos with border collies, and ran a rescue out of them for almost 10 years! They still could not conceive of the idea that I could raise border collies in a condo, since they themselves had never done it. But that was fine, I figured those dogs were just not meant for me and went elsewhere :rolleyes:

 

RDM

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Now fast forward to the time when my boys were old enough (10 & 13) that I felt like we could add a dog to our mix and then three years later when it was time to add a second dog. I got online and looked at some rescue places. I looked at their applications and knew the only way I would get a dog through one of them would be to lie. I have five unfenced acres. My next door neighbor has almost four more and doesn't mind us walking her land. The only rime our dogs go outside they have a person with them. My husband is handicapped and stays home. The dogs are almost never without one of their human family. But I don't have a fence except for a small area around the pool. The rescue apps all wanted you to have a fence. So for both dogs, I bought puppies.

 

Lessons learned? I shouldn't have had the kids along when I went to get the kittens. My mistake. I thought it would be good for us to decide together on the new pets and for the rescuers to see my boys handle them. I should have gone ahead and contacted dog rescues when it was time to get the dogs. Maybe someone would have considered our situation even without fences. (This belief is a direct result of my association with the people on this board over the last year.)

 

Last year I fell in love with a black and white face on petfinder. I figured there was no way they'd adopt to me as my situation doesn't look that great on paper. But I shot off an email anyway. Got an answer, so I filled out an application and explained my situation in detail. Along with the fact that there was no way I could get everyone living at my house to be present at a home visit (a hard and fast rule) because schedules were just too crazy. I also talked with on of their coordinators for a while on the phone. And waited. There were a couple other kinks in the road, too. But the end result was they really wanted me to have the dog. And I got her.

 

Most of the time rescues don't know you from Adam. If you want a dog, sell yourself to them. You might be surprised how well it works. And if it doesn't, sell yourself to the next rescue instead :rolleyes:.

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My association with the rescuers here made me realize that the place I tried to get the kittens from wasn't the same caliber of rescue. Lots of differences from your descriptions of rescue. This place only had kittens and puppies. It was more like a pet store pretending to be a rescue.

 

The story had a happy ending anyway. A couple weeks later we got to bring home a tiny kitten who had been taken from his mama at about 3 1/2 weeks old. I didn't take him, someone dropped the kitten off at the door of my kids daycare. I hand raised him on a mixture of powdered kitten formula and canned cat food until he would eat on his own. He grew up to be a real sweet cat who sleeps on my bed every night. He still thinks he is that tiny baby who used to lick all his food from my fingertips.

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