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Tommy Coyote

I can't get a shelter dog

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My family was turned down for a Border Collie rescue because we had land and cows and they were afraid the dog would get hurt.

 

That reminded me of the opld saying:

"Boats in harbors are safe...but that's not what boats are for."

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A bit OT: A friend sent me an e-mail telling me about a shelter near her that is *giving away* neutered cats and kittens, with first shots, because they are overloaded and don't want to have to euthanize. I hate to say it, but my first thought was "What's going to happen to all those cats they give away?" (Cynical me wonders.) At least they won't be making more cats....

 

J.

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I feel like certain parts of this discussion are going around in circles. My understanding of what Mr Snappy is saying (when she talks about the big picture) is that by having stricter guidelines, shelters may miss out on a few potentially great homes but eliminate many not so great homes by having certain policies. Shelter staff have too much to do and not enough time to do it - policies are there to try to make the system as efficient as possible. This is all in general. I am certtain that there are some terrible shelters out there but there are bad apples in every barrel.

 

I agree it can be extremely frustrating to want to adopt a dog and be turned away. When i was in university i tried to adopt a dog from a local shelter and was turned away because i was a renter (and i believe because i was young). No amount of proof/references was going to convince them. But eventually i adpoted a dog from somewhere else - a motivated person does not give up easily and if one does give up so easily then what would happen to the dog when the going got tough. My second dog was also from a shelter (many hours away because i wanted a puppy) and they wanted us to have a fenced yard. I explained that i had a dog already (had had for many years) and that our dogs would not be in the back yard unsupervised and that the puppy would be on a long line until he proved he had a trustworthy recall. I also sent a letter from my vet. They were more than happy to let me adopt him, even sight unseen ( i did pick him up) because they said that most people were not willing to go through all that trouble just to get a dog.

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think of how many could be placed with "good enough" homes versus "perfect' homes. Many potential adopters are turned away from adoption will buy... how does that help?

 

funny how we don't expect propective human adoption parents to be perfect and have the perfect home but it's expected by many sheletrs and rescues with some of the inane requirements. shelters and rescues will continue to overflow because adopters aren't "perfect"

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think of how many could be placed with "good enough" homes versus "perfect' homes. Many potential adopters are turned away from adoption will buy... how does that help?

 

And imagine if more breeders were responsible and had more stringent requirements for puppy buyers other than *cash*? Think how many fewer dogs would be in the shelter and rescue system because those breeders sold to anyone who would pay the fee, rather than screening for good homes.

 

People who want to rescue, as puppytoes pointed out, will rescue. If they cannot adopt from one facility because their policies don't work for them, they can adopt elsewhere. There are certainly no end to the number of shelters and rescues out there with animals looking for homes. And no, none of us would "rather kill a dog than place it in a home that's not perfect." Just as people are free to make *choices* about where they get their pets, shelters and rescues are free to make choices about how and where they place their animals.

 

RDM

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Here's a story that is rather appropriate for this topic, I think. I have a friend whom I've known since childhood. She's college-educated, intelligent (though sometimes I just want to shake her), and generally a responsible pet owner. She has rescued and has fostered for rescue. She also has a couple of intact bitches of a small, popular breed. I was speaking with her tonight and she happened to tell me that she was pressed for time with work and the farm chores and so had found a home for these two dogs (among other animals she's finding homes for). Yep, intact. I questioned the wisdom of rehoming intact bitches of a popular small breed, and her response was that she was sure this person (someone she had never met before advertising these dogs) wouldn't do that. Sigh.

 

This is the sort of person who probably would be allowed to adopt from a shelter or rescue. Fenced yard, good owner, able to keep her bitches from being accidentally bred, and yet, she did something that I consider completely irresponsible by giving those two bitches away while still intact. Sometimes she just makes me want to scream.

 

So, yeah, I can see how even the good homes--people who should (and do) know better--can do stupid shit and create situations where more pups can be created.... And it's people like her who have driven shelters to make some of the rules that so many consider idiotic.

 

J.

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As someone else has pointed out, all shelters are not created equal - let alone pounds. Unless a shelter has all-volunteer staff I think it is extremely naive to assume that all people who work at shelters "love animals" and are only there to help them. And in any case, how many people are there out there who declare that they LOVE ANIMALS and then show the most egregious lack of sense in their dealings with them - a lack of sense that causes suffering for the object of their overheated affection.

 

Did the creep who abused all those cows at the Conklin Dairy work there because he loved cows? No. He worked there because they were willing to hire him and he needed a job. He beat cows with chains and jabbed them with pitchforks.

I have known veterinarians, groomers and yes, rescue people both inside and outside of shelters who were guilty of repeat instances of cruelty and neglect of the animals in their charge. There is also a little problem called burn-out.

 

Most private animal shelters have a lot of rules about who they will or will not turn an animal over to. Some of them are clear-sighted and flexible - if you present them with the right evidence. Some draw themselves up and say, "If we make an exception for you, we have to for everybody." Which is of course, absurd.

 

It is disturbing to discover that you have made a bad judgment-call and turned an animal over to someone who handles it with poor judgement and the animal suffers. It is also disappointing to know that you are a good, responsible owner with the wherewithal to provide a dog or cat with a good life and be refused at a rescue or shelter.

 

In the case of the OP, if I were her I would make an appointment with the veterinarian to get Tommy spayed at some point in the future, and explain to him/her that a note for the rescue agency would be helpful. If they read the note and check in with the vet, they may be willing to hold the dog for her until Tommy is spayed. Then again they may not. But I would think it was worth a try.

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I think both sides here have valid points. Before I got my dog, I spoke to a man who attempted to adopt a dog from rescue. He told me it was easier for him to go to the local shelter and bring home a HORSE than it was for him to get a dog, because he and his wife both worked. (Never mind that they'd owned many happy dogs in the past.) Great pet owners. Technically, I probably wouldn't have qualified for a dog there, either - I work 8 - 10 hour days, and my dog is home alone during that time. (It's tough, napping that much.)

 

Meanwhile, I was a bit aghast when I went to another shelter to get my dog. I actually drove away with him, having forgotten to pay the rehoming fee. They were so busy, they didn't really care who got the dog or where he went. And he had BIG issues. If I'd had children or a husband with ADHD, I think Buddy would have bitten and then been euthanized within a week.

 

There IS a problem with blanket rules and generalities - in shelters and in schools and society at large. There's a reverse problem with handing dogs out, willy-nilly, to whomever walks into a shelter. Though, I suppose, a couple bad weeks with a nutty family is better than immediate euthanasia.

 

Mary

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Though, I suppose, a couple bad weeks with a nutty family is better than immediate euthanasia.

 

Mary

Well, I suppose if that family was like the one Sixx reported to animal control, that would be debatable. Likewise for the family that lets the dog roam till it gets hit by a car, or poisoned by an angry neighbor. I've said it before and I'll say it again, with no apologies: there ARE fates worse than death.

 

J.

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When I was looking to rescue my first Border Collie, I went to the shelters, but didn't see anything I liked. So I went to the local Border Collie rescue. She showed me her available rescue dogs ... and then showed me the registered puppies she bred and told me which ones were available for purchase. She never asked me if I had an intact dog at home. I didn't end up rescuing or buying a pup from her, but she's still rescuing and breeding as far as I know.

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Most private animal shelters have a lot of rules about who they will or will not turn an animal over to. Some of them are clear-sighted and flexible - if you present them with the right evidence. Some draw themselves up and say, "If we make an exception for you, we have to for everybody." Which is of course, absurd.

 

 

I can see both sides of the fence, but it would be nice to be flexible (in a perfect world where there is enough money and time to investigate potential adopters and where potential adopters are honest).

 

An example from my local area: A Golden Retriever puppy came into the SPCA, and a member of the local dog training club wanted to adopt it -- BUT she wanted to wait until the growth plates had closed before neutering the pup. She participates in agility with her dogs so I can understand her desire to wait until the dog is fully mature. Her other dogs were neutered, and I don't believe that she has ever bred her dogs. She would seem to be an examplary owner. However, the SPCA was inflexible in its rule that all animals had to be spayed by 6 months old. (Actually, they were a bit flexible in that they would allow the pup to be adopted by this woman without being neutered before leaving the shelter. She just had to promise to neuter him by the time he was 6 months old.) I believe that she did adopt the pup even though she had to agree to an early neuter.

 

This is an example of the shelter being flexible, but they were willing to go only so far. Even though the president of the shelter was also the president of the local dog training club and knew the potential adopter well, he wasn't willing to make an exception for a personal friend - hence, the compromise.

 

While I think that most shelters do a wonderful job under daunting conditions and do not argue with their policies (I understand the need to 'draw a line in the sand'), I am not sure I will be adopting from rescue for my next dog. Because --I would prefer to get a young dog, but all young dogs are neutered before being placed, Since I am a strong believer in waiting to neuter a working dog until the growth plates have closed, I don't think I will find my next dog through rescue.

 

Jovi

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Well, I suppose if that family was like the one Sixx reported to animal control, that would be debatable. Likewise for the family that lets the dog roam till it gets hit by a car, or poisoned by an angry neighbor. I've said it before and I'll say it again, with no apologies: there ARE fates worse than death.

 

I agree - there are fates worse than death. Constant, painful abuse, incredible pain from a terminal illness, or slow starvation, for example. Anything that actually tortures the animal.

 

However, I'm not sure I'd say that allowing a dog to roam is worse than euthanasia. (Should the dog be killed by a car, it's the same as euthanasia - but should the dog not be killed by a car, his fate is way, way better than euthanasia. Maybe even better than the life most of our tightly-controlled, crated-and-vaccinated dogs live.)

 

The notion that being dead is better than being in a less-than-perfect home is something we need to question, loudly and strongly, I think. If we applied the rule to humans, we'd be euthanising a WHOLE lot of my students. Certainly, we don't have enough near-perfect parenting homes to adopt all the kids who are currently being raised by clueless or even destructive parents. Something tells me, though, that the kids would rather be alive with their parents than euthanized because we can't find ideal people to raise them.

 

It's well worth reading the link previously provided, which traces the origins of the "better off dead" mindset: http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=6359

 

Not saying shelters shouldn't be allowed to have standards. But it's a very, very worthy debate.

 

Mary

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Mary,

I think comparing dogs to humans is fraught with problems and not applicable to this discussion or any other discussion related to animals. We routinely kill animals for one reason or another, and while one might argue that we also routinely kill humans (murder, lack of health care, war, etc.), society as a whole does not accept the "rightness" of killing humans, yet we do accept killing animals, for food, because they have no home, because they have a terminal illness, and so on. You can't compare the two, except perhaps in a society that allows euthanasia/mercy killing of humans. That's not the society in which we live, though.

 

We'll have to disagree on the better off dead thing. Yes, a dog who dies from being hit by a car is dead all the same, but I suspect that the death was way more traumatic/painful than it had to be.

 

Starvation isn't an easy death either, nor is death from heartworm, poisoning, undiagnosed and untreated tick disease, attack by another dog, being shot by a human for chasing livestock--unless the human is a good shot, you name it. Distemper? Parvo? Rabies? I'm not saying that homes that offer benign neglect are worse than death, but I think it's disingenuous to imply that a mediocre/bad home is better than no home at all. We can't make that choice with humans (though at least some children *are* pulled from bad homes), but those who operate shelters and rescues can make that choice. And I can't fault them for trying to do what THEY think is best for the dogs in their care. Of course it means that some good homes are denied, but it might just as easily mean that some very bad homes are denied as well.

 

FWIW: I have one dog who will be euthanized should I die unexpectedly. He is a biter. You may think less of me for that choice, but I'd rather he be dead than in hands I don't know, who might choose to treat him abusively for a temperament issue he can't control. I have managed him for 11+ years, but I can't trust that someone else would manage him, and none of my friends would jump at the chance to take him because of his issues (of which the biting is just one). It's not an easy choice, but I firmly believe that the nearly 13 good years he's had is way more important than the couple of miserable years he *could* have at someone else's hands if I were to die tomorrow.

 

J.

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I agree - there are fates worse than death. Constant, painful abuse, incredible pain from a terminal illness, or slow starvation, for example. Anything that actually tortures the animal.

 

However, I'm not sure I'd say that allowing a dog to roam is worse than euthanasia. (Should the dog be killed by a car, it's the same as euthanasia - but should the dog not be killed by a car, his fate is way, way better than euthanasia. Maybe even better than the life most of our tightly-controlled, crated-and-vaccinated dogs live.)

 

The notion that being dead is better than being in a less-than-perfect home is something we need to question, loudly and strongly, I think. If we applied the rule to humans, we'd be euthanising a WHOLE lot of my students. Certainly, we don't have enough near-perfect parenting homes to adopt all the kids who are currently being raised by clueless or even destructive parents. Something tells me, though, that the kids would rather be alive with their parents than euthanized because we can't find ideal people to raise them.

 

ell worth reading the link previously provided, which traces the origins of the "better off dead" mindset: http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=6359

 

Not saying shelters shouldn't be allowed to have standards. But it's a very, very worthy debate.

 

Mary

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All shelters are definitely not created equal. Although I've spent time volunteering in shelters and working on the medical staff as part of my college's program, I've never had a truly positive experience with a animal shelter. I'm not sure that its actually possible for shelter staff to be reasonable when they have to deal with euthanizing 50 dogs/day due to overpopulations, etc. It simply wears them down. I have found that sometimes being reasonable and calm can help you cut through all the red tape that makes little sense when you look at it rationally.

Of course I have my own horror story: About 3 hrs ago I adopted a dog from Muscatine Humane Society, I had been doing rescue work with a border collie organization at the time and this "border collie mix" had been in the system for three months. When I called to schedule my visit they said she'd have to be bathed before I could visit her- ok, glad I called in advance. After I got to this wonderfully built shelter they brought out "Indy", a "border collie mix" that had passed their behavioral evaluations. Upon asking the shelter staff admitted that no one had ever asked to see her out of her kennel even though she'd been on petfinder for 3 months. The reason was immediately apparent. A limping, skittish dog raced down the hallway and dived under benches. She raced up to me before realizing I was there, snapped at me and dashed back down the hall. Finally the staff cornered this dog that couldn't be leashed and put her in a visiting room where she hid under a bench. I asked the staff member that had been working with her daily to show me their interaction. He sat on the ground and stared her straight in the eye while holding out food, she belly crawled to him, bit him repeatedly, grabbed the food and ran back under the bench. Ahem, sure she'll stop biting once she's comfortable and oh yes, she'll be a great dog to have around children. Exactly why was this limping, emaciated, nippy dog on the adoption floor and listed as a great dog for agility? I signed the paperwork, paid $150, and adopted that terrified dog myself because I couldn't imagine many people, even in rescue being able to handle her. Why was she 10 lbs underweight? Well she had such a severe case of worms that she couldn't keep any food down (how did the staff not notice this?). Why did she limp? Well she had her entire back end out of alignment, probably from being hit by a car (had been found in a parking lot) and had never been treated or examined. To top it off she'd been spayed using non-absorbable sutures and they hadn't been removed, something that was discovered 6 months post-spay. She required many vet visits to remove these embedded sutures, my vet refused to charge me- he was so angry at her condition. Her $150 adoption fee did not include any deworming, microchipping, or veterinary attention. It did include one very poorly done spay.

After 4 wks of positive training (clicker etc.) and living on a leash since you couldn't touch her, Rose finally stopped randomly attacking and biting people, furniture, and trees. She finally learned that she could walk in a straight line instead of the 3 ft by 6 ft square she paced, she finally allowed me to touch her, and she began to come out of her kennel on her own. Now Rose is a well-adjusted 4 yr old purebred border collie that loves to work livestock and play agility (non-jumping classes). She isn't comfortable with competition environments but has been "competition ready" for about 2 yrs now. She still has back end issues and spends most of her time in "safe spots" around the house. Would I adopt her again? Definitely. Would she have survived in a normal pet home or family environment? No way. Do I strongly support shelters and understand how Rose's shelter could have missed so much? Yes but that doesn't make a lot of what occurs in shelters right. I think that shelters will always be a warehouse of animals where they are treated as a group with more concern towards overall health in the population than the health of any particular animal. Its simply a different world and is hell, not only for the animals but for the staff as well.

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I find that whole "better off euthanized" argument to be very strange. That is what PETA does. They euthanize most of the animals that come to them - because they are better off dead.

 

I don't want to go out to the big shelter here in KC because they have been having problems with a very contagious and deadly virus. I don't need that.

 

This whole thing is just so frustrating.

 

I probably will have to just find a puppy to buy somewhere - and that doesn't help the system at all. For the first time in my life I can understand why someone would breed their dog to get a puppy - just because there are no other options.

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It's well worth reading the link previously provided, which traces the origins of the "better off dead" mindset: http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=6359

 

Not saying shelters shouldn't be allowed to have standards. But it's a very, very worthy debate.

 

Mary

 

Thanks for posting the link again, I missed it the first time. Definitely thought provoking, I'm glad I read it.

 

Crawford Dogs, thank you for helping Rose! So many people would not have given her a chance.

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I probably will have to just find a puppy to buy somewhere - and that doesn't help the system at all. For the first time in my life I can understand why someone would breed their dog to get a puppy - just because there are no other options.

 

Whatever you have to tell yourself...There are other options, whether you chose to take them or not, it is exactly that, your choice.

 

It's like RDM said, if you (general you) are committed to rescue, you will rescue. If the going gets too tough and you decide to buy a dog, well then you really weren't all that committed to rescuing to begin with.

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I think comparing dogs to humans is fraught with problems and not applicable to this discussion or any other discussion related to animals. We routinely kill animals for one reason or another, and while one might argue that we also routinely kill humans (murder, lack of health care, war, etc.), society as a whole does not accept the "rightness" of killing humans, yet we do accept killing animals, for food, because they have no home, because they have a terminal illness, and so on. You can't compare the two, except perhaps in a society that allows euthanasia/mercy killing of humans. That's not the society in which we live, though.

 

I don't pretend we can legally compare dogs to humans. However, I think any person who's spent any time at all with animals can see in them the same will to live and the same will to find joy in life as exists in humans. And since we're not talking legality, but we're talking about ideas and about life in general, I think we can make the comparison.

 

There's deeply flawed logic in saying, "We have to kill this dog now, because giving him to Farmer Jones might result in his being hit by a car three or four years from now." I don't presume to claim that dog life is as valuable as human life. (Though I could make a darned strong argument that it's species-hubris to think anything else!) But we on these boards have to assume that there's some inherent value to dog life, or we wouldn't be here. I have to believe that the shelter dog's life has value to the shelter dog (outside of its value to humans) even if the extension of his life might lead to suffering down the road.

 

And Julie - I completely understand your POV about your dog's being put down should you die. I have dreadfully contemplated this about my own dog, who at this point could probably be rehomed in the right house, but might also end up being euthanized for his fear and reactivity. I'm not saying all dog life is equal, or worth preserving. (Similarly, I think that people should be allowed to choose an end to pain when it's time.)

 

I just strongly question the idea that certain death is preferable to a life that contains the possibility of future suffering. (All of life contains the possibility of future suffering - and the immeasurably valuable possibility of all experience: excitement, joy, love, pain, knowledge.)

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Quite often, rigid criteria are used as a substitute for intuitive ability and to combat decision/responsibility paralysis. Perhaps that's a good thing is some situations.

 

My impression is that sometimes shelters/rescues are staffed by well meaning but intellectually dull zealots. You know the type; every movement has them. My wife and I call it the "Church Lady" syndrome. Someone who is allways trying to be more pious/militant/strong...just plain better than everyone else. True believers. They've found their niche and now it defines them. They keep it narrow and within their comprehension. They don't do subtlty. Complexity and variability is to be feared and avoided.

 

Luckily, there are rescues have easy going, empathetic leaders with good heads on their shoulders. Find one of those.

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I find that whole "better off euthanized" argument to be very strange. That is what PETA does. They euthanize most of the animals that come to them - because they are better off dead.

I am not a PETA member, and I happen to think PETA is a bunch of wing nuts. I used to work for a vet. The atrocious things we saw from supposedly caring owners led me to my own conclusions about the fate of animals. I follow several blogs that are watchdogs for abuse/neglect cases (mainly horses). I think if you see enough bad stuff, it's not such a stretch to believe that an animal just may be better off dead. Note that this doesn't mean that I think all animals are better off dead (which is what I think PETA desires), but when you look at things from the POV of abused and neglected animals, it's not so monstrous to consider the alternative that removes prolonged pain for the animal's sake. This is just my opnion, and I'm not really trying to change any minds here, but not everyone who thinks "better off dead" is a nut job. Some of us have very valid life experiences that led us to that conclusion.

 

ETA: Mary, I get the argument that we can't "borrow" trouble in the future for animals in our care (our own or shelters), but I also think it makes sense to do what we can to insure that the animals we place with others have the best chance at a SAFE and cared-for life. I've already addressed the issue of rigid rules, and I think in many cases if a person wants something badly enough they can convince even the strongest adherents of arbitrary rules to make exceptions. But I simply don't agree with handing a dog or cat (or any other animal) over to a potential adopter because they happened to walk in the door, seem nice, and well, I've got way too many animals, so what the heck--it's a home and *hopefully* a decent one. I wouldn't take that approach to an animal I bred, and so I also wouldn't take that approach to an animal I rescued. Others may see things differently.

 

J.

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ZOMG! There are *so* many other options. It drives me crazy when people say that the shelter or rescue "forced them to buy a puppy." I've heard people say this over and over, and it's total crap. The shelter is holding a gun to your head? That ONE shelter has a rule that doesn't jive with your situation, so that's ONE shelter you can't adopt from (or maybe you could if you explained your situation, or had Tommy spayed finally, or had a note from the vet, as many folks here have suggested. You don't actually know).

 

I will bet a million, trillion dollars in cold hard cash that this shelter is not the only option available to you. You live in Mo-Kan BC Rescue territory, and they have lots of awesome dogs - as just one example.

 

It's kind of like you didn't read anything in the thread except the posts that confirmed the idea taking shape in your brain that *have* to buy a puppy. Most likely that's because you want to buy a puppy. At least call it what it is. Yeesh.

 

RDM

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Tommy i do not know you and i do not want to make any unfair judgements here but you came to the boards with a question and i think people have given you a variety of ways that you could work around the situation that you are in (a note from the vet, an agreement to spay etc). I am not sure if you actually went back to the shelter with any of these suggestions or simply felt like it was too much work. Again not wanting to be judgemental but it seems to me that it is the general publics unwillingness to put in some work (either to get a dog, educate themselves about their dogs or work with the dogs they thave) that leads to the kind of shelters you describe.

 

I live in an urban environment where i feel that most people are fairly well educated and treat their dogs well. Almost every dog that you meet at the beach, at the park, in the forest ais neutered. It is rare to see an intact male dog around theses parts. I am not sure about all of the purse dogs because they do not frequent these types of outdoor environments. From my understanding, most shelters in our city actually have dogs flown in from rural communities because they have more demand then supply. But you do not have to go far (an hour or so) to find yourself in a shelter where puppies and kittens are dropped off in boxes. I cannot imagine working in a shelter where you have to deal with the same boneheads season after season. It must be like slamming your head against a wall. How could you stay positive in such an environment where these poor animals have to suffer because of the stupidity of people. It blows the mind how many animals are put to sleep each year and yet people are more than willing to buy a dog when they could adopt one almost as easily.

 

Sorry for the rant!

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I will bet a million, trillion dollars in cold hard cash that this shelter is not the only option available to you. You live in Mo-Kan BC Rescue territory, and they have lots of awesome dogs - as just one example.

 

 

Yup. And guess what? Not one question on their adoption application asks if current animals are spayed/neutered! Hmmmm.

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So I stopped in at the Parkville Animal Shelter (a no kill shelter) and they won't let me take a shelter dog because Tommy isn't spayed yet.

 

I don't want to go out to the big shelter here in KC because they have been having problems with a very contagious and deadly virus. I don't need that.

 

Tommy, I have followed this thread pretty closely and, as far as I can tell, these are the two pieces of information you're providing to support the very broad claim presented in the thread's title. Did I overlook something, or are these two shelters the only two you have even considered? As others have pointed out, these two shelters do not provide the only options for adopting a BC in the greater KC area, as I well remember from having spent a decade there.

 

This whole thing is just so frustrating.

 

I probably will have to just find a puppy to buy somewhere - and that doesn't help the system at all. For the first time in my life I can understand why someone would breed their dog to get a puppy - just because there are no other options.

 

Other folks have said it better than I can, but I hope you can understand how, for those of us with ties to rescue, these two statements would make more sense if they were reversed. I am sure it was disappointing to discover that Parkville's policy kept you from adopting that puppy immediately. But I don't see what has been particularly frustrating about your attempts to adopt--unless, of course, you have been pursuing this plan much more actively than you've described here in the barely 24 hours since your OP.

 

On the other hand, it is extremely frustrating to see a potential adopter first making huge generalizations (cannot adopt "a shelter dog" when, in fact, has only butted up against one organization's particular policy) and then, after being offered many suggestions and much helpful advice, somehow jumping to the conclusion that "there are no other options" remaining other than buying a puppy or breeding for one. Sigh.

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