I respect the emotion, but there is no cause on Earth too important or crucial to scrutinize. We can't assume that people in rescue work are doing the best they can. Human nature isn't angelic or saintly; apart from the bad cases of vicious abuse, there are many cases of well-meaning incompetence or burn-out. A shelter in NJ secretly rehomed a dog that had been brought in for euthanasia as an aggression case. The shelter employees simply didn't believe the owner, told her they'd euthanized him, and sent the dog to a new home. Where he killed a woman. Part of the horrific third-world status of animal welfare in the US is due to a lack of oversight and enforcement of existing laws.
I appreciate rescue, and the people who work in it. But everyone in every industry faces criticism and oversight. I'm not suggesting they be attacked, just that there needs to be some standards of behavior, and frustrated that the most visible online gathering place for rescue animals is so blatantly unstructured and has ads that display the worst of rescue.
Is there a news article on the NJ case? I'm wondering what rescue...
Is there a news article on the NJ case? I'm wondering what rescue...
It was a nothern NJ shelter system, Associated Humane Societies, which was (per the NYT article) the largest shelter system in the state. The branch that did the adoption was in Newark. The adoption and killing occured in 2003. I don't know what happened with the lawsuits - there was one by the victim's relatives (which named Petfinder, interestingly, as the dog - which had been kept at the shelter almost 3 months before being adopted out - was listed there) and one by a former shelter employee who claimed he was fired for informing investigators that other shelter employees had tampered with evidence.
The third link discusses several NJ and NC shelters under investigation in 2003/2004, including the AHS.
I'm not sure that you are correct. Sometimes there is a minimal subsidy by the municipality (for animal control) -- but it isn't much. Most people believe that animal shelters are taxpayer funded -- generally that is not the case, or is only minimally the case (i.e. getting strays off the streets.)
Vacation -- I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments, but Petfinder is just a database. I did "Petfinder" duty for my local shelter for quite some time. They take the pictures and descriptions sent to them, no matter how disingenuous they may be. It is up to the shelters and shelter personnel to own up to (and supply) honest behavioral assessments of all of the dogs in their care. Determining the "breeds" of dogs is another issue entirely. Yes, sometimes shelters play the "hide the pit" game, but more often than not, they just don't know the breed of dog, and aren't well-versed enough in dog breed phenotypes to guess very well.
Libgrrl - many, many municipalities do fund the municipal animal shelters where people can get a dog for the 80-90$ or so that people are quoting above. That is why they can get them for that price versus the 400-600$ that others say private groups are asking. It is expensive to house, feed, vet, spay/neuter dogs and the places that can manage to release the animals for less than 100$ are getting the money from some other place - sometimes that can be a wealthy donor or more usually local taxes.
Friend runs a transport from the southeast to the northeast. Runs a small van and ALL the dogs have to be vetted, with health certificate and out of the shelter for a minimum of two weeks. Both drivers are animal people. Transports to both rescues and adopters. There are many transports that do not require these things and they end up bringing sick dogs, HW+ dogs, parvo puppies, etc. I also know that some adoption agencies up north will get shipments of 30+ dogs from southern states (no charge to said adoption agency)... not sure what/if any health requirements they have for those dogs. It's about being responsible. Every dog we bring up has somewhere to go whether person or rescue group. If we noticed something about a passenger during the trip up we mention it to pick up person so they know to watch for it/have it checked.
As for adoption fees... My current foster is up to $130 in vet bills... full set of shots (including bordatella), heartworm test, spay, hw prevention, flea prevention, etc. She also got a round of antibiotics for kennel cough. And I get a discount so not even full price and got a rescue price for her spay! This does not include feeding her, and so far she's been here for about a month and a half, and she gets the same as my personal dogs (Acana) so she's not eating dog chow from the grocery store. Her adoption fee is $275, the standard fee for the rescue she's listed with. She's been in a home, with other dogs (and my cat!), my husband has teased her and messed with her and she could care less. She's house trained and now kennel trained and I can tell you her personality. She's people oriented and LOVES attention and likes to curl up next to me on the couch, but is an Aussie type mix so she and my Labrador will play all day. She came from an older lady with something like 40 dogs so has never really had rules but she's been a quick learner, one firm reprimand and the behavior hasn't been repeated. Knowing what you're getting can be a benefit of paying more for a dog from a rescue group.
I'm in $300 on two kittens I've had as fosters for a week. $200 to the vet for their exams, bloodwork, flea treatment, initial ringworm treatment, eye drops, and wormer. Another $100 in meds from the pharmacy and food that should last me about a month.
Not to mention my time, effort, gas, etc. It's not cheap to get ditch kittens healthy
My niece got a Walker Coonhound from down South...can't remember which org sponsored bringing them up here but they had an animal adoption day at a PetCo, IIRC, and she paid $150 total which was a really decent deal. All shots, neutered, etc. CT doesn't get an excess of hounds in the shelters...she had been looking for a while for a Beagle or hound. Little Willie Walker is quite the awesome dude, too. Not sure he's 100% Coonhound...he's rather tall and I didn't think they got that tall.
She tried for a while to get Willie a companion hound of some sort at our shelters. Every one she went to see advertised as a hound or hound cross was a pittie/cross. Eventually there was a news story on a neglect case that had a bunch of hound puppies and she ended up with one of those.
I understand the costs of adopting...many times they're quite reasonable considering the time, effort and money that goes into them. Unfortunately...the general public still seems to get most pets from newspaper ads, neighbors, friends of friends, etc. $50 vs $150-$300 is what drives that. Also they don't have to answer any questions, etc. They're not thinking of the vet costs included in an adoption fee...like shots and speutering...because often these people don't bother doing either. Thus supporting stupid and oops breeding and even continuing it with their own.
Breed rescues...some can get absolutely ridiculous in adoption fees *and* requirements. I often see fees of $800 and well over that and an adoption contract that requires everything but the kitchen sink. I understand worrying about where they go...but way too many need to get real. Be careful...most definitely...but don't be careful to the point of ridiculousness.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
I got an email to the rescue today from someone asking for us to waive the adoption fee of $150. There's no way we could do that, as we rely on the adoption fees to recoup *some* of the costs of vetting. Heck, we lose money on most of them and I'm trying to convince the other board members to up the fee again because we can't continue on that trend (we do apply for grants but grant money isn't as easy to come by as before).
We replied saying that the county animal control has adoption fees of $50 including some vetting. At our county the fee includes rabies vax, microchip, deworming and i think one distemper parvo lepto vax. The adopter has to pay for the neuter, but if they turn in proof of the procedure, $25 is refunded to the adopter. It's an awesome deal, but still even at the cheapest clinic you're looking at about $100 at the end of the day. $150 (our fee) is an incredible deal considering we have socialized the dogs, know their temperaments, kept them for the state required two weeks 'quarantine', get them working on their Housebreaking (most are trained by the time they're adopted out), and will accept the dog back if things don't work out.
I was looking at the website of a breed specific rescue in Atlanta a while ago and at first was astonished at their adoption fees. 450 for puppies, going down to 250 or 150 (i forget) for the really old ones. That's a LOT of money. However... I was looking at their adoptable dogs and was impressed at the number of dogs in their care that arrived with heartworms, hip or health problems requiring extra vetting or surgeries, etc. Occasionally they do get the really cute beautiful young dogs but breed rescues also do take in the really old and special needs members of their breed that other rescues may not be able to afford.
(A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
(he does listen!)
My beef with rescues is the groups that make it IMPOSSIBLE to adopt. My dogs are with me 99% of the time. They live on a horse farm. Of course they don't have a fenced in backyard! They have 95 acres of their own! I've had dogs for 31 of my 31 years...you'd think I'd know how to take care of a new critter
It is easier to adopt a child than it is to adopt a dog from some of the rescues in my area.
"It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay