Friday, March 26, 2010

Rescue as the 2nd choice

Dogs #500 and 501 that I got in yesterday are very nice dogs. They were scheduled to die today. It is an creepy, stomach turning feeling to know I am holding something in my arms that shouldn't exist. UGH! I don't know about you but the whole death thing creeps me out.

It really really really upsets me when I get emails from people BEGGING for help, BEGGING me to take their dog for one reason or another. I always ask the same questions:

Why are you no longer able to keep your dog?

Where did you get your dog?

If it is behavioral issues then I will always follow up with do you want help training him/her or are just looking for a new home?

Of course if they email me back saying the dog bit someone or is aggressive I will call or email them back and explain why re homing the dog is not a good idea. Some people choose to work through it, like one lady who has been delightly working with her aggressive dog. I give her a lot of credit. Some understand why the dog shouldn't be re homed and every once in a while I get someone who is not rational (but that hasn't happened in a long time).

Some of the responses I get back are simple behavior issues that you can work through. Some people are open and willing to get help, others have given up and just want to dump the dog as quickly as possible. Those people make me laugh because they act like they want help but when I tell them how to correct the problem they come up with another excuse as to why that won't work or why they can't do that..... that just makes me mad. Just tell me "I DO NOT WANT THIS DOG" don't try to act like you care. UGH!

What really upsets me and I guess it is because everywhere you turn you hear about Puppy Mills or homeless dogs..... TV, Radio, NewsPapers, the internet... maybe because I am involved with rescue I notice those ads more but I feel like people should know there are homeless pets out there looking for homes.... Anyway, what really upsets me is when people tell me that the dog they want to dump is from a Pet Store.

Why is it that you can buy an $800 dog from a Pet Store but as soon as you need help you turn to rescue?? Why is it 7 months ago when you bought your dog, you didn't think of contacting me but now that you are having issues with him/her I am the first place you look...

You had the money to buy an $800 puppy but you don't have the money to get the shots, get the dog fixed or all of a sudden the time for a dog.

I really really don't get that logic.

I have been to Pet Stores that sell puppies, they don't ask questions of you, they barely answer questions and they sure the heck don't help you after you walk out of that store with your "merchandise" in hand.

So, why is it that I am the first place they turn to for help?

It is just disappointing that I am not good enough to adopt a dog from but I am good enough to take your "problem" dog. Oh geez THANKS!

***and when I say "I" I am speaking for rescues in general. Good enough to dump on but not good enough to get a dog from.

I guess it just goes back to when people want something they have to have it NOW and heaven for bid they wait or research it.

The biggest "mistake" I see people do is buy a Female Terrier when they already have a female terrier. Anyone who knows anything about dogs should know to at least warn people that 2 females in the same house when 1 is a terrier is NOT A GOOD IDEA!

If I had a dollar for everyone person who emailed me and said they had 1 female dog for X amount of years and then bought a female terrier puppy from the Pet Store, NewsPaper Ad, Sign on the road, some other illegitimate place and are having troubles I seriously would be a millionaire by now.

It is almost comical.... I get emails from someone saying (for example) I bought a puppy who I have had 7 months now and it is always fighting with my other dog. I email them back and say are both dogs female? Is one or both a terrier? 9 times out of 10 I get back a YES!

The other disappointing thing is that these people spend $800 for a dog that has no vet care but I get yelled at, screamed at and shunned for a $200 adoption fee for a FULLY VETTED DOG!
Can someone please explain the logic to me on that one?

Oh and I had a person tell me "at least when I bought my dog at the Pet Store I knew where she was coming from. " HUH? That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard, no you don't! And most of the time neither does the Pet Store. UGH!

Wish more people would choose rescue first.... just makes me sad.


buchhalter said...

You know why people buy from pet stores? Because they can put them on their credit card. They want a dog but have no $ so they buy them on credit. I'm not sure what they are thinkging since obviously other expenses come into play. I know, I have lectured my nephew over and over again but it doesn't help.

Bethany said...

Beautifully written post and such a good good point(s)!
You are an angel to put up with this stuff from people. It all just infuriates me so much I can't see straight or think properly and I am no use to anyone.
You said it all so clearly and calmly though.
This stuff is so important.
Send you a HUGE hug.

I volunteer at a rabbit rescue and I ALWAYS want to tell the people to bring the bunny (no longer the adorable tiny babies they sell in the store) back to the pet store. Maybe then the stupid, greedy pet store owners would educate people about rabbit care and life with a house rabbit before selling them. Honestly if the pet stores had to take all the bunnies back that they sell, especially around Easter time, they would be SHOCKED and would have a store full of scared, adult rabbits still needing homes.

luvboxernubs said...

Let me tell you that you hit the nail right on the head! I have been in the dog rescue world for almost 4 years now and it is a daily battle for things that we get told. Our rescue's incoming coordinator is a SAINT to deal with the things and the constant BS that she deals with.

Although I have to say that my favorite "return" reason, was b/c the old dog didn't match the new furniture...yes that was the actual reason!!

I am so glad that I stumbled across this. You are not alone!!!

Kyla Duffy said...

I've got a foster dog like that at my home right now - he's a sweet Boston Terrier who I suspect was a mill dog. He's been kicked or hit by a car, as he can't walk well (neurological damage) and his front right leg is permanently disfigured. Additionally, he's got splayed feet, flea-bitten ears, heartworm (we're working on it), and cherry eye in both eyes. Nevertheless, he's loving, playful, sweet, and deserves a chance at life.

Our pet overpopulation problem is so sad! I recently wrote a free ebook that I hope is being passed around to people who need to understand this problem and who might want to learn more about rescue. It's at Of course you're welcome to a free copy if you'd like. It's my small effort to help put a dent in this issue.

Thanks for the great blog!

Anonymous said...

When I was 14 I took a job as the kennel girl in a local pet store. My boss swore on his life the dogs didn't come from puppy mills but it was sooo obvious they did.

Anyhow I remember we had a blue eyed husky who came in at 8 weeks old. He wouldn't come out of the carrier, and I didn't think an 8 week old puppy would bite so I stuck my hand in there and he bit me six times on my hand and up my arm. I learned a lesson and couldn't move any of my fingers for a week. The dog was sold a week later and no they didn't tell the new owners about his history...

I would much rather adopt from a rescue, then buy from a pet store because at least the rescue is going to be honest with me!!

Also I'm not proud about working for a pet store. I was a kid and just wanted to work with animals. I now own a 2x return shelter dog (leash reacticity) and a stray little staffie who wiggled her way into my arms and heart.