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Tommy Coyote

I can't get a shelter dog

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TC,

 

I certainly hope that if you really like this puppy, that you will call and talk to the people at the shelter about your situation with Tommy's health. Several people here gave some really good suggestions or options. It can't hurt to ask, can it?

 

And if the shelter is not able to help you, then perhaps the people at that shelter will be able to suggest some alternatives, too.

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Whoa. I'm not set in stone here. And there are other shelters in this area but I haven't had time to looki into that yet. The woman I talked to at the shelter -0 who runs the shelter- just told me that I couldn't get a dog or cat from them until Tommy is spayed. There are two big shelters out in Kansas but they are a long way from me. But Wayside Waifs sounds like a promising place to look.

 

I have checked on another little dog that needs a home. There was an ad on Craig's list from a woman who lives close that found a little white border collie and she needs a home for it. She hasn't had any response to her ads. She already has her quota of dogs and can't keep this one. She said she is a very sweet little dog. So I have a call into her to see if that might be a possibility. We would just need to keep watching the ads and lost pet lists to be sure her original owner isn't still looking for her.

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My local shelter requires anyone wanting to adopt a dog to sign a notarized commitment to personally be with the dog at all times, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for life.

 

 

Well, no, actually they don't. But if they did, they could defend that policy with all of the following arguments:

 

1. It's our shelter and we're free to set whatever rules we want for it. If you don't like them, go somewhere else.

 

2. We CARE about these dogs. We've made sacrifices for them, and become attached to them, and we're not willing to let them just go to any irresponsible home.

 

3. We don't have time to evaluate potential adopters on an individual basis, so we have to employ a rule like this instead.

 

4. The general dog owning public are jerks. Look at all the dogs that get turned in to us, and to shelters all over the country, if you don't believe me. Look at all the dogs killed in accidents.

 

5. Lots of people think they can let a dog out of their sight and nothing bad will happen to it. They may be well-meaning, but well-meaning doesn't save the dog if the person they leave it with is inattentive even for a moment, or if the dog suddenly decides to bite into an electric cord while you're out of the room. If you aren't there, actually watching your dog, you can't really know WHAT's happening to it.

 

All of those statements are true. But does that mean the policy makes sense? Does that mean the dogs in a shelter with that policy are "better off" because of the policy?

 

The OP posted about a policy she found illogical, rationally indefensible, and one where the benefits (whatever they might be) are probably outweighed by the loss of good homes for dogs who presumably need good homes. I don't really understand why the discussion moved to a recitation of the above all-purpose justifications instead of focusing on whether this policy was one that on balance was a good one. I understand still less why the discussion should turn to reviling a person who went to a shelter to try to adopt a dog as someone who did that merely as a smokescreen for really, secretly wanting to be turned away so she could BUY a dog. Seriously, folks -- how does portraying this person as disingenuous, or as not willing to go the extra mile (or 50 miles, or 100 miles, or over whatever hurdles might be deemed sufficient to demonstrate a true commitment to rescue) benefit the dog she wanted to adopt?

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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.

 

What did you think of the option of talking to the shelter director and providing documentation from your vet concerning why Tommy isn't yet spayed?

 

Of course, the choices are yours to make, but it does seem like your original avenue hasn't been fully explored yet--thus, there are still options there.

 

Why do you feel like the only option available now is to purchase a puppy?

 

ETA: I see you've found some other options while I was writing this. Best of luck that the little white border collie works out and is good with Tommy.

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The OP posted about a policy she found illogical, rationally indefensible, and one where the benefits (whatever they might be) are probably outweighed by the loss of good homes for dogs who presumably need good homes. I don't really understand why the discussion moved to a recitation of the above all-purpose justifications instead of focusing on whether this policy was one that on balance was a good one. I understand still less why the discussion should turn to reviling a person who went to a shelter to try to adopt a dog as someone who did that merely as a smokescreen for really, secretly wanting to be turned away so she could BUY a dog. Seriously, folks -- how does portraying this person as disingenuous, or as not willing to go the extra mile (or 50 miles, or 100 miles, or over whatever hurdles might be deemed sufficient) to demonstrate a commitment to rescue benefit the dog she wanted to adopt?

 

I guess because, although the OP found the rule "illogical, rationally indefensible and where the benefits are outweighed by the loss of a good home," other people disagreed with that assessment and explained why.

 

I don't get the same read that the OP herself was portrayed as disingenuous or not going the extra mile. While that sometimes happens in these discussions, this one didn't seem headed there to me.

 

It seems to me that most people were either explaining why the policy might be what it is in response to the OP's actual question about whether this kind of rule is "normal" or to suggest things the OP could do should she wish to pursue the young dog she saw at that shelter.

 

If she doesn't want to do that, that's totally fine, but it's difficult for me to understand the logic of moving from the reported experience to the conclusion that the only available option is to buy a puppy.

 

I don't really understand what the point of discussing whether the policy is on balance good or not would have been. Seems to me that the general consensus was that blanket policies aren't ever that good but that practically speaking organizations have to have them sometimes.

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Seriously, folks -- how does portraying this person as disingenuous, or as not willing to go the extra mile (or 50 miles, or 100 miles, or over whatever hurdles might be deemed sufficient to demonstrate a true commitment to rescue) benefit the dog she wanted to adopt?

 

Well, at this point, the benefit of the dog she wanted to adopt is not in question, I guess. She didn't ask "how can I get this dog", she asked if the shelter's rule was a common one, and the discussion turned to shelter rules, right vs wrong, etc. Seems a likely path for the thread to take. In any case, the OP was given several good suggestions to try, in order to see if she could still adopt the dog. I have no idea if any were tried or considered, since she came back with, "I probably will just have to find a puppy to buy". It's a pretty big leap to go from being turned down by ONE shelter, to conclude, 1) she can't get a shelter dog, and 2) she will now have to buy one.

 

Wonder how the thread would go if, instead of rescue, the OP posted saying she really wanted to support the working border collie breeder, but couldn't get a puppy from the first working breeder she contacted. So, she figures now she'll have to go with the conformation or sport breeders, because there just isn't any other option. ;)

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I guess because, although the OP found the rule "illogical, rationally indefensible and where the benefits are outweighed by the costs," other people disagreed with that assessment and explained why.

 

But DID they explain why? Or did they just deploy the arguments I listed above, which would apply to ANY policy, even one as crazy as the one I initially said my shelter had? (Of course, it's entirely possible they think my shelter's supposed policy wasn't crazy.)

 

I don't get the same read that the OP herself was portrayed as disingenuous or not going the extra mile. While that sometimes happens in these discussions, this one didn't seem headed there to me.

 

It was mainly these quotes I had in mind (plus another one or two that disclaimed any intent to be judgmental:

 

"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."

 

"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."

 

There seemed to be some piling on shaping up when I began writing my post, though other posts had intervened by the time mine went up.

 

The OP's original question was:

 

"They will not allow you to adopt anything at all unless all your animals at home are neutered.

 

Is this normal?"

 

Later, she wrote:

 

"I understand their philosophy and they have every right to run their shelter the way they think is best. And I will keep looking. Somewhere out there is a little border collie that needs a home. And our home needs a border collie. I just don't want any other kind of dog. It's what I've always had. . . .

 

This is a no kill shelter I wanted to support them. They are way overlaoded with dogs right now because of the recession. And the competition here in town is selling their dogs for $1 a pound - that's neutered and heart worm checked and everything."

 

I simply didn't get the sense that she was using this experience as an excuse not to get a shelter dog, and I thought she didn't deserve to be branded as such. I thought she was writing throughout out of frustration that this policy may be pointlessly setting back efforts to place dogs that need placements. This policy WILL keep people who would be good homes from getting dogs who presumably need good homes. That's a fact. Suppose those people were not "committed enough" to rescue to cross any mountain, ford any river, etc. You don't have to be "committed to rescue" to be a good home. It may be a gold star for you if you are, and a black mark for you if you aren't, but to the dog the point is to get a good home. So it's frustrating to me when people turn the discussion to "This person must not be committed enough to rescue" or "This person must have really if the truth were known wanted to buy a puppy" instead of focusing on things that might be more productive in getting the dog the good home. But, of course, it's frustrating to rescuers to hear rescues, and the rules of some rescues, criticized, so there you are.

 

It seems to me that most people were either explaining why the policy might be what it is in response to the OP's actual question about whether this kind of rule is "normal" or to suggest things the OP could do should she wish to pursue the young dog she saw at that shelter.

 

Yes, a lot of people were suggesting things she could do. I thought that part was fine.

 

If she doesn't want to do that, that's totally fine, but it's difficult for me to understand the logic of moving from the reported experience to the conclusion that the only available option is to buy a puppy.

 

I never took her to be seriously saying that the only available option was to buy a puppy. I took her to be expressing a new understanding of how people who initially wanted to rescue might end up buying a puppy.

 

I don't really understand what the point of discussing whether the policy is on balance good or not would have been. Seems to me that the general consensus was that blanket policies aren't ever that good but that practically speaking organizations have to have them sometimes.

 

Do you think the only thing wrong with this policy is that it's "blanket"?

 

But I think you're probably right that there's no point. I'd like to think we could get at least some sense of what good a policy like this does vs. what bad a policy like this does, but there's no way to know for sure, people have their own preconceptions, and any perceived criticism of rescue usually dooms a conversation. Yes, a rescue can have whatever policy it chooses. Period, full stop.

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Well, at this point, the benefit of the dog she wanted to adopt is not in question, I guess.

 

I'm not sure. The dog lost out on a good home. Maybe it's happy in the shelter. Maybe another good home will come along. If not, maybe it will become, or continue to be, happy in the shelter. But on the face of it, the result of the policy doesn't seem good in this case.

 

Wonder how the thread would go if, instead of rescue, the OP posted saying she really wanted to support the working border collie breeder, but couldn't get a puppy from the first working breeder she contacted. So, she figures now she'll have to go with the conformation or sport breeders, because there just isn't any other option. ;)

 

Seems to me there have been a few conversations like that, and if the poster said just what you said here, they would have gone in much the same direction. And if I thought this were a fair account of the OP's demonstrated attitude in this thread with respect to rescue, I would not have posted.

 

ETA: Looks like Pam has a good prospect for TC. That's great -- hope it works out. But if the no-kill shelter she tried really is overloaded with dogs, IMO it's still too bad for the dogs there that they have such a policy.

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TC

 

I've ready this thread, fairly closely, but I could be wrong. Did you offer to get a letter from your vet regarding the sickness and your reason for not spaying her sooner? Was there any discussion as to why Tommy wasn't spayed yet?

 

The rescue I volunteer with has a very similar policy.

 

Our mission is to rescue stray and unwanted dogs and cats from First Nations and rural areas and place them in loving, permanent homes while providing programs to reduce pet over-population. And our Vision is to promote and encourage responsible pet ownership and to ensure humane treatment, compassion and respect for all dogs and cats.

 

No animal is available for adoption until they are spayed/neutered and have a clean bill of health. We typically do not adopt out to homes with unaltered animals because it goes against our mission and vision. If there is a situation where the unaltered animal is not fixed due to illness or age related issues, this is something we are willing to openly discuss with potential adopters.

 

You know the saying "A few bad apples spoil the bunch"? Well, it's true. There are good dog owners with unaltered pets at home for various reasons, but the majority that I've seen are lazy and don't care. Then their female, unaltered dog, gets out of the yard because they haven't bothered to train her or watch her while she's outside for 3 or 4 hours on her own and comes back knocked up. I'm not making this up, it was a friend of mine! I would never, ever let her adopt a dog from the rescue I'm with.

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I'm not sure. The dog lost out on a good home. Maybe it's happy in the shelter. Maybe another good home will come along. If not, maybe it will become, or continue to be, happy in the shelter. But on the face of it, the result of the policy doesn't seem good in this case.

 

I agree with you totally, and I didn't mean that I didn't care that the dog lost out on a good home. I was trying to say that the conversation did not seem to be about how Mary could somehow adopt this dog in spite of the shelter rules, but rather a vent about the shelter rules and was it common.

 

And I can handle criticism, perceived or otherwise, about rescue. However, my opinion is that there are dogs who need homes, and rescues and shelters that WILL adopt to Mary, and others like her. Anyone who *truly* feels they HAVE to buy a dog after being denied at one shelter, yeah, I have to question their commitment to really wanting to rescue in the first place.

 

Seems to me there have been a few conversations like that, and if the poster said just what you said here, they would have gone in much the same direction. And if I thought this were a fair account of the OP's demonstrated attitude in this thread with respect to rescue, I would not have posted.

 

I'm sorry then, that I apparently took this statement too seriously (emphasis mine):

 

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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Not to pile on, but my biggest issue with this whole discussion was the fact that several of us offered suggestions about how Mary might convince the shelter to consider her for the pup she had in mind, but she never said she would consider following any of that advice. It's as if she wrote the shelter off the minute they said no on the basis of their no intact pets policy, and rather than trying to work things out to her benefit (after suggestions were given as to how that might happen), continued on with the theme of unfair policies and how that might lead to the decision not to rescue. Whether anyone agrees with such policies and how they might help or hurt individual dogs, it seems to me that an overarching theme that has come out in this thread and others where people have vented about rescues and their policies is that many times (if not always), shelters and rescues will bend their rules if you give them a good reason to do so. But people who have encountered such policies choose to go away mad and paint all shelters/rescues with the broad brush of unreasonableness.

 

Last year, I adopted two kittens from a shelter nowhere near me. They accepted my application on the basis of my friend's recommendation (she was a very active volunteer at the shelter) AND even not knowing me, they bent their rules so that the one kitten who was left behind after all the others were adopted wouldn't remain there. I proposed a solution that would work for me (I got the kitten without having to pay a higher adoption fee**) and the kitten (she got a good home) and the shelter (they placed abother kitten that otherwise might still be languishing there). It could have gone very differently if I had just read their adoption policy and decided it wouldn't work, but I asked for an exemption and got it. You don't know if you don't ask. (**This particular shelter adopts kittens at a specific price. If you adopt two at the same time, you can get the second kitten for just $10 over the adoption price of the first. In my case, I adopted the first kitten and then went back *three weeks later* and asked for the littermate. They bent their rules and let me have her for the "twofer" price because it was in everyone's best interest. But I had to *ask* to see if they'd do it.)

 

There are always options--options that don't involve "someone breeding their own dog to get a puppy"--if someone is willing to make an effort.

 

J.

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I agree with you totally, and I didn't mean that I didn't care that the dog lost out on a good home. I was trying to say that the conversation did not seem to be about how Mary could somehow adopt this dog in spite of the shelter rules, but rather a vent about the shelter rules and was it common.

 

Well, the initial question was about the shelter rules and "Is this common?" The initial question wasn't "How can I get this dogs despite their telling me I'm disqualified?" (though certainly a number of people did address that). I guess you're seeing this thread as more about Mary, and I'm seeing it as more about the dogs in that shelter. I didn't doubt that Mary would find a dog somewhere, and I could understand if she wasn't interested in trying to pursue it further with this shelter. Frankly, depending on how their interaction had gone, I might very well not be interested in pursuing it with them if I were in her place.

 

I'm sorry then, that I apparently took this statement too seriously (emphasis mine):

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.

 

Well, too literally, possibly. As I said, it seemed to me, taken in context with her other posts in this thread (##1, 20, 39, 41), that she was speaking of the likely reactions of someone confronting this policy, not necessarily her own personal intent to follow that course. But those were her words, yes.

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Our mission is to rescue stray and unwanted dogs and cats from First Nations and rural areas and place them in loving, permanent homes while providing programs to reduce pet over-population. And our Vision is to promote and encourage responsible pet ownership and to ensure humane treatment, compassion and respect for all dogs and cats.

 

No animal is available for adoption until they are spayed/neutered and have a clean bill of health. We typically do not adopt out to homes with unaltered animals because it goes against our mission and vision.

 

I've read your mission and vision, and for the life of me I don't see how adopting a spayed/neutered dog out to a home with unaltered animals goes against your mission and vision. Your mission and vision says nothing about making sure all animals are spayed or neutered. Wouldn't it further your vision if this person got an altered dog from you for his/her next dog instead of an unaltered dog from somewhere else? Wouldn't that, plus an educational pep talk from you, be likely to accomplish more than just turning them away? You apparently are using "has unaltered animals" as a stand-in for "is not a responsible pet owner," much as some might (and probably do) use an income or ethnic or occupational or some other classification as a stand-in. I think that's too bad, but if your rescue has no trouble placing all the dogs needing homes in the population it draws from, then I guess there's no harm done.

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Not to pile on, but my biggest issue with this whole discussion was the fact that several of us offered suggestions about how Mary might convince the shelter to consider her for the pup she had in mind, but she never said she would consider following any of that advice. It's as if she wrote the shelter off the minute they said no on the basis of their no intact pets policy, and rather than trying to work things out to her benefit (after suggestions were given as to how that might happen), continued on with the theme of unfair policies and how that might lead to the decision not to rescue. Whether anyone agrees with such policies and how they might help or hurt individual dogs, it seems to me that an overarching theme that has come out in this thread and others where people have vented about rescues and their policies is that many times (if not always), shelters and rescues will bend their rules if you give them a good reason to do so. But people who have encountered such policies choose to go away mad and paint all shelters/rescues with the broad brush of unreasonableness.

Emphasis added.

 

Wow, you really ARE making it all about the OP. Why does she have to ask/beg/cajole/persuade the shelter to make an exception for her? Why isn't the fairness of the policy or the effect it might have on the decision of people not to rescue a legitimate subject of discussion? If you think it's not a legitimate subject of discussion because it's futile, the shelter isn't going to change its policies, no rescuers reading this thread would consider changing such a policy, nothing could be accomplished, then I suppose you're right. Although sometimes policies have changed as a result of reasoned discussion, I admit it's unlikely. But to me, the interesting subject in this thread IS the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the policy, not whether the OP is going to take people's advice. That's up to her.

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To me, this has gone way off topic.

There are as many set of rules as there are groups or shelters. If too restrictive, there will be plenty of animals loosing out on perfectly fine homes. If the rules are too loose, there is no doubt that animals will suffer.

I could not even imagine being the person to try to figure out how to ride the line. It has to be heartbreaking and extremely tough.

 

The unfortunate reality is that there will always be another animal in need. If one particular group/shelter can not/will not work with someone, there will be another one.

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Emphasis added.

 

Wow, you really ARE making it all about the OP. Why does she have to ask/beg/cajole/persuade the shelter to make an exception for her? Why isn't the fairness of the policy or the effect it might have on the decision of people not to rescue a legitimate subject of discussion?

Because it is, at least in part, about the OP. If you go to an open forum and make a complaint, I guess you have to expect that at least some people are going to relate that complaint back to the complainer. And no, she doesn't have to beg, cajole, etc., if she doesn't want to, although making a counteroffer or showing proof of intent to meet the shelter's policy doesn't strike me as begging, rather a legitimate way to work around a policy, but whatever.

 

ISTM that the fairness, or lack thereof, of the policy has also been discussed and is indeed a legitimate point of discussion (and has been discussed on this forum numerous times in the past), but by the same token, if an individual is complaining about something that affects that individual, then I see nothing wrong with connecting the two topics (the individual and the complaint, since the two are related). This is all JMO, of course, and folks are free to ignore my opinion.

 

J.

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But DID they explain why? Or did they just deploy the arguments I listed above, which would apply to ANY policy, even one as crazy as the one I initially said my shelter had? (Of course, it's entirely possible they think my shelter's supposed policy wasn't crazy.)

 

I think they did--the answers were pretty specific as to why someone with an unaltered animal at home might be seen as a problematic adopter (in addition to the more general ones related to your comments)

 

I simply didn't get the sense that she was using this experience as an excuse not to get a shelter dog, and I thought she didn't deserve to be branded as such.

 

Me either. But, I didn't really read it as if she were being branded that way (at least until the point where the puppy purchase came up)

 

But, of course, it's frustrating to rescuers to hear rescues, and the rules of some rescues, criticized, so there you are.

 

I think it's maybe more frustrating for people not to understand why the rules might be there and how the rules develop precisely because of some of the awful things people do. That is what I found supremely frustrating when I was involved with rescue. That doesn't mean everyone does awful things, but it's the awful things that lead to rules like the one being discussed.

 

Also, statements like this, "But I really think that people whould be able to get a dog and be able to get the one of the breed of their choice. I don't want someone else telling me what kind of dog I can have or expecting me to live by their rules." (from post #20) are also frustrating because people want what they want when they want it and on their terms; however, the general "people" simply don't have the same degree of generalization available to them about all the things that can and do happen and that lead shelters/rescues to develop their policies.

 

I agree that placing dogs can lead to ill feelings on the part of the people involved and that typically hurts the dog more than the people, but I also understand how soul-crushing dealing with the just plain rotten-ness of people can be. And rescues/shelters deal with more of that than most of the rest of us and they develop their generalization about the relative probability of various things being problematic from that.

 

Do you think the only thing wrong with this policy is that it's "blanket"?

 

No, I don't.

 

However, before I understood more about dogs and particularly got more involved in dog-related culture, I would have found a policy such as the one being discussed completely reasonable for exactly the reasons RDM articulated early on. I'd never been around unaltered dogs in my life and believed that responsible pet owners altered their pets, preferably around 1 year old. I've learned more and changed my opinion, but I do understand where that opinion comes from even though I don't agree with it, and I'd wager to guess that it is the normal (as in common not normative) opinion out there.

 

In this particular case, it sounds like ignorance and like a policy not well designed to recognize situations such as the one the OP is in. That's why I would suspect a reasonable discussion about the situation could have a different outcome.

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Because it is, at least in part, about the OP. If you go to an open forum and make a complaint, I guess you have to expect that at least some people are going to relate that complaint back to the complainer.

 

Sure, I agree. But your "biggest issue" with the discussion was about the OP and her failure to say whether she was going to take people's advice. Just a difference in the way we look at it, I guess.

 

ISTM that the fairness, or lack thereof, of the policy has also been discussed and is indeed a legitimate point of discussion (and has been discussed on this forum numerous times in the past)

 

That surprises me, because I never remember seeing a shelter/rescue policy of not adopting a spayed/neutered dog out to someone who has an intact dog ever coming up before. But maybe my memory is failing me yet again.

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I think they did--the answers were pretty specific as to why someone with an unaltered animal at home might be seen as a problematic adopter (in addition to the more general ones related to your comments)

 

Guess I missed them. Unless you're using "might be" very loosely, in which case anyone "might be."

 

I think it's maybe more frustrating for people not to understand why the rules might be there and how the rules develop precisely because of some of the awful things people do. That is what I found supremely frustrating when I was involved with rescue. That doesn't mean everyone does awful things, but it's the awful things that lead to rules like the one being discussed.

 

Oh, I understand why there might be rules and how they might develop because of the awful things people do. I just don't understand how this particular rule logically arises out of any of the awful things people do. Unless it's to punish people with intact animals because they might be carelessly letting those animals breed, which would be an awful thing. But it's not a very effective punishment, for obvious reasons.

 

And I understand the soul-crushing aspect of dealing with the just plain rotten-ness of people, believe me I do. I'm sure it explains a lot of rules like this.

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TC

You know the saying "A few bad apples spoil the bunch"? Well, it's true. There are good dog owners with unaltered pets at home for various reasons, but the majority that I've seen are lazy and don't care. Then their female, unaltered dog, gets out of the yard because they haven't bothered to train her or watch her while she's outside for 3 or 4 hours on her own and comes back knocked up. I'm not making this up, it was a friend of mine! I would never, ever let her adopt a dog from the rescue I'm with.

(emphasis added by me)

 

I know this is a little - maybe a lot - OT'

But this is a pet peeve of mine. Being told that I am a bad, irresponsible pet-owner because I have a dog with a functioning uterus or testicles. I know why shelters/rescue are so touchy about intact dogs. The world is full of people who are either careless or bone-headed about animals.

 

I have owned intact males and females that never bred. This is because I am VERY careful. My intact animals did not have problems with anesthesia or any other medical problem that would make a spay or neuter operation risky. I simply prefer intact animals. I realized that it was a huge responsibility and I acted accordingly. Now that I am disabled and have to pay someone else to exercise my dog, I have a spayed dog. Not because I don't trust my dog-walker, but because it's my responsibility to keep her from getting knocked up, not his.

Owning an intact animal does not make a person lazy, cheap or irresponsible. Breeding a dog (or carelessly allowing a dog to breed) that is not all that would make it breed-worthy does.

 

OK, off the soap-box.

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Owning an intact animal does not make a person lazy, cheap or irresponsible. Breeding a dog (or carelessly allowing a dog to breed) that is not all that would make it breed-worthy does.

 

OK, off the soap-box.

I don't think anyone has implied that owning an intact animal makes a person lazy, etc. And I don't think anyone has said that people who own intact dogs are bad. I own intact animals and I certainly haven't taken any part of this discussion to be directed at me personally. I think what people have been outright saying is that in their experience (and by extension the experience of shelters) many people (not you, not me) who have intact dogs are careless about keeping them from breeding. It's pretty obvious that all those unwanted animals in shelters are coming from somewhere, so I don't think it's illogical to believe that at least *some* (if not many) of them are coming from pet owners who have kept their pets intact and been less than careful about their dogs. Heck, it doesn't even have to be about the care they take; I have a friend with intact males who have twice bred bitches that jumped into their enclosed yard. My friend wasn't letting her intact males roam, but the bitch's owners sure were. The end result was two more litters of puppies.... People with intact animals are certainly more likely to have unwanted litters than people who don't have intact animals (but that doesn't mean that all people with intact dogs have unwanted litters). Remember, shelters are reacting to what they see on a daily basis, and that's lots of unwanted animals that aren't just springing from the earth by magic or being created through multiple immaculate conceptions....

 

Eileen,

I didn't mean that we've had this *exact* discussion (i.e., not adopting to households with intact dogs) in the past, but that we've had plenty of discussions in which someone has tried to get a dog from rescue, has been rebuffed for some real or perceived (as in they've read the stated policies but haven't actually contacted the rescue) reason, has come here to complain about it, and a discussion of the fairness of rescue/shelter policies has ensued. They all seem to cover the same ground, just in slightly different forms on the basis of what the original complaint was.

 

J.

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I opened the morning paper and saw an item that is there every day where they post a picture of a dog that is available, give a little blurb, and tell which shelter to contact. Since it was a border collie I thought it might be worthwhile to check it out - and the shelter is just down the street from where I was that day. I went in, asked about the dog, got to meet the dog, then was told that I couldn't qualify for any animal in the shelter. I was talking to the owner/manager. I explained about Tommy. She told me that when she was spayed I could come back. Then she sort of pushed me out the door because she was in a hurry. The dog will be fine. Those dogs that get posted in the paper always go really fast.

 

I have been looking for a dog for a long time. But I haven't made it out to all the shelters yet. I've just been watching the ads - or rather the lack of ads.

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Mary, call me. I have 2 rescues in house right now. I know you and your capabilities. I think Zeke would be perfect for you!

Does he have a good temperment? I need somebody who will get along with Ellie and Tommy. I spent about 6 years with Ellie and Molly trying to kill each other and I really don't want to go thru that again.

 

When you are down this way bring him. We can put them in the back yard where they have lots of room and see how they get along.

 

How old is he?

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Zeke has a great temperment and has gotten along well with others (well except for the Kelpie, but then nobody does with him)

 

His last owner had gotten him from a farm where apparently he was just kept in the yard. She could not leash break him (not hard to do really) as he threw himself on the ground, grabbed the lead and would not walk. She tried Ceasar M techniques and they did not work. Her kids played with the dog then she got afraid of him cause he killed a squirrel and she was sure he would soon kill a kid (sorry, chuckling at the thought). He is a nice dog, knows little, has some pretty good manners but needs more time.

 

He is a rough coated tri male. He is about 2.5 years old.

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