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  1. #1
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    Default Something to think about

    http://www.animalsheltering.org/reso...BGqXg.facebook

    been there, done that as the foster for several borderline dogs.



  2. #2
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    Me too, as a foster. Never again. I would rather try to place or foster several that will make wonderful pets than one who will require special management and will most likely one day cause heartbreak. I also think that if the physical injuries are numerous and life threatening that euthanasia is not out of the question. I would rather spay and neuter several and get them vetted and healthy and placed than spend thousands on one who may never be healthy again. I hesitate to ever say any of this out loud because people can say some pretty ugly things when I do. But I have been privately rescuing and fostering for over 30 years due to the fact that I constantly have dogs dropped by my front gate. It still isn't easy to pick and choose and I don't do it lightly. But when you drop your dog off on me you force me to make decisions. But that's another subject!


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  3. #3
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    I have never been the decision maker for which dogs get adopted out vs. euthanized but I have been with horses and share the same opinion. It is a tough job and very hard on the heart but there are only so many homes out there and they really should go to the best of the best. I placed a horse once that should have been put down but the adopter was willing to give it a shot as the vet thought he would be at least pasture sound with time. That horse had set back after set back and the adopter ended up having him put down after trying everything to save him. It was so hard on her she vowed never to adopt again. So we not only didn't save that horse we lost the opportunity to place more horses with this wonderful home. Big mistake that I would hope not to repeat.

    I did have a dog here as a foster that I absolutely would have recommended euthanasia for as he was a biting ahole but his owner was found so he was returned. I saw the same dog on FB as a found dog later that same week so who knows what happened to him.



  4. #4
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    The owners in the article sound like morons.

    It's a dog - there's a distinct possibility that it is going to chase small furry things in its yard. It killed three of the neighbors cats in its own yard, and no one thought to ask what the hell the neighbors expected to happen to their free range cats?

    Yeah, the dog was animal aggressive. Lots of dogs are. This is why we don't allow the hired help (dog walker) to walk to the dog where it might be approached by other dogs. This seems like a "duh" moment to me.

    I'm not against the euthanizing of unmanageable dogs, at all. I just think the article is more of an example of some dog owners who shouldn't be dog owners than anything else.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    This is why we don't allow the hired help (dog walker) to walk to the dog where it might be approached by other dogs. This seems like a "duh" moment to me.
    Yeah, that seemed like a very poor decision given this dog's tendencies. Actually, I can't imagine walking a dog like that at all without taking extraordinary precautions.

    I might have given them the benefit of the doubt on that one, but when I got to the part where John says "Anyhow, we offered to pay the owner of the cocker half of his $550 vet bill. But, he’s feeling victimized so he rejected our offer of half, and he’s suing us for the full vet bill and gate repairs to the tune of $785." I couldn't help feeling angry at him. "Feels victimized?" No shit, he was victimized. He apparently had his dog contained in his yard behind a fence, like a responsible owner, but your poor judgement resulted in your dog wrecking his property, and could have cost him the life of his dog. And if you're going to make him take you to court over a couple hundred extra dollars that you clearly owe him while you go out an buy yourself an expensive puppy, then you're an asshat.

    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    I'm not against the euthanizing of unmanageable dogs, at all. I just think the article is more of an example of some dog owners who shouldn't be dog owners than anything else.
    Personally, I think it's both. Rosie was potentially very dangerous even with careful owners, but her owners were also clearly not as careful as they should have been. And I do think that they made the right decision when they chose euthanasia, but after their gripe about the cocker's owner "feeling victimized", I have to wonder if it had more to do with them realizing that her aggression could cost them money than their sense of responsibility.

    And even if her owners were incompetent, that's not entirely irrelevant. IMO, most people don't handle their dogs as well as they should, and shelters and rescues have to expect that most of the people adopting are going to have the limited skills of the average dog owner. So it makes sense to adopt out dogs that will not be dangerous in the hands of mediocrity.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland


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  6. #6
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    My first thought was in their place I would have paid the full bill for the cockers vet treatment & gate replacement. That dog was where he was supposed to be: behind a fence. In his owners situation I would have expected the bill & cost of replacing the gate to be paid IN FULL. Anyway, regardless.

    I do feel for these owners. I really do, even though they clearly made some bad decisions.

    The best dog for you might not be the best dog for me. That is why, IMO, a rescues most important role is to match dogs to the appropriate owners. My dog is not a shining example of everyone's dream dog, but she is perfect for me. And thats what matters, and what I expect of her. I expect her to be polite to the rest of the world, but she does not have to be everyone's best friend. As someone who previously had a dog who was everyones best friend, this has been a difficult learning curve for me. My dog is not perfect, but she's improved a lot. And that is all I can ask of her.

    I guess in a nutshell I'm saying I think it is unrealistic to expect every single rescue dog out there to be a shining ambassador for the rescue community. What we can expect is our dogs to be polite, mostly well mannered, and to improve.
    Last edited by Event4Life; Jun. 3, 2013 at 11:58 AM.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  7. #7
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    I have a dog from a shelter that i wish I hadn't adopted. We were involved with a breed rescue, he was languishing in a shelter, super stressed, fearful and pretty much un-adoptable. Against my better judgement, my husband wanted to adopt him. He improved greatly away from the shelter, he's sweet & loveable, but he's also anxious & insecure, and fear aggressive. I'm not going to mention most of the anxiety related issues he has. ;( He'd been owned by elderly people who dealt with his exuberance and large size (120lbs) by beating him. . We manage his environment well, and many of his PTSD issues seem to have resolved but he's not completely trustworthy. Just last weekend, my 17 year old daughter was walking over him sprawled in a doorway and she accidentally stepped on him. He bit her, breaking the skin and drawing blood. Both my husband and daughter say it wasn't his fault, he was afraid and didn't "mean to". I think there's no excuse EVER for a dog to bite. Now I can't trust him around my nieces and nephews who could be careless and accidentally step on him. I feel like his world is getting smaller and smaller to manage his issues. I wanted to do my part and "save" a dog, but it's an enormous responsibility and a giant pain in the ass.
    "You can't blame other people. You can't always say what happened wasn't my fault, and you know what? Even if you have an excuse, shut up. "Bruce Davidson Sr.



  8. #8
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    I have been in charge of deciding what dog would live (by accepting it into the foster program) and which dog would die (knowing that a particular dog would be euthanized at the end of the day if I didn't accept it into the foster program).

    I would always ask myself three questions: 1) how hard would it be to find a foster home for that particular dog, 2) how hard would it be to get the dog adopted into the right home and 3) how much management would that dog need in it's adoptive home.

    I never counted my job as over just because I placed a shelter dog in a foster home. My job wasn't over until the dog (or cat, or rabbit, or ferret, or whatever) had been successfully placed in the right adoptive home. Those of us who work (or, in my case, worked) in rescue or animal shelters need to remember that we also have a duty to the communities we place the animals into.

    The sad fact is that many people in rescue, and many people who work or volunteer in shelters, get too caught up in "saving lives". Their focus begins and ends with the adoption. The shelter I worked for had a volunteer who had wonderful people skills, and who decided that her true calling was to spend several hours a day as an adoption counselor. She would come in, ask for a list of the dogs that had been there the longest, who were in danger of euthanasia, and she would work off that list. She filled a power vacuum in the volunteer office and organized other volunteers to work off her method.

    They would hang out at the head of the dog kennel hallway and as soon as a potential adopter would turn the corner she would introduce herself and ask if they were looking for anything in particular. Most often people would say they were looking for nothing in particular, just a good companion. Maybe a dog under 20 lbs. Whatever.

    She would mentally run through her list of dogs in danger, say that she had the perfect match and send off one of the other volunteers to get one of those endangered dogs. If the people would balk at size or gender or breed whatever, she would then pull out her tried and true "You're saving a life, this dog is going to be euthanized today if you don't adopt him" card. She would swear that the jumping and growling and pulling and dog aggression was just symptomatic of being in a stressful place, that all that would disappear once they were in a loving home. It was a hard sell.

    And it worked. She got tons of dogs adopted. However, a ton of them came back, too. Her focus was not on making the best match possible, her focus was on making any match possible. And often the dogs paid the price. It wasn't unusual to have dogs bounce back two or three times when she had been involved in the adoption process. And each time they came back they got a little more stressed, and the list of their behavioral issues got a little longer. Warranted or not. Until the kennel manager would just have them euthanized without ever having them go up for adoption again.

    I found this woman very difficult to work with. She added so much stress and angst to my work there that, in the end, she played a huge role in my leaving. She did end up starting her own rescue, focusing on bully breeds. I wonder if she has learned that it isn't a matter of how many placements you can make, but how good those placements are. I stay away from her and her group, even though I have stayed a little active in rescue since leaving the shelter.
    Sheilah


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  9. #9
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    Look what I managed to accomplish by “saving” that one dog. John and Mindy have told me that they will never adopt a “reject pound dog” again. Do you think their neighbors will? Their family? Their coworkers, who have heard the Rosie stories all these years?

    I think this paragraph in the linked story is key. My first shelter dog was such a good dog - 110% people safe, gentle, sweet, kind. She made EVERYONE who met her want a dog and a shelter dog. She was an ambassador. And I've been so sad to watch how the shelter dog image, which was quite high at one point, has deteriorated from one of friendly mutts good for a normal family home to damaged projects with issues that can only be adopted by single women without children or other pets who can stay home 24/7. And the way every form of aggression is now fine, unless the dog has actually killed a child. Aggression is horrible to handle and maintain, and people who've never seen an aggressive dog attack DO NOT UNDERSTAND how bad it is, and how different the situation is from "not liking" other dogs, or being "not good with kids." Plenty of aggressive dogs like other dogs and are good with kids; 99% of the time, they're fine and may even seem nicer than a non-aggressive dog. It takes a lot of mental firmness to keep that dog contained safely 100% of the time when you're aware that most of the time, you'll get away with laxness.

    My view is that rescue has multiple responsibilities, but often seems to recognize only one. Few rescues fail to realize they're responsible for the lives of the animals in their care; many seem to not understand that they're also responsible for both the impact those animals have in their community, and the impact those animals have on the future of rescue.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    Look what I managed to accomplish by “saving” that one dog. John and Mindy have told me that they will never adopt a “reject pound dog” again. Do you think their neighbors will? Their family? Their coworkers, who have heard the Rosie stories all these years?

    I think this paragraph in the linked story is key. My first shelter dog was such a good dog - 110% people safe, gentle, sweet, kind. She made EVERYONE who met her want a dog and a shelter dog. She was an ambassador. And I've been so sad to watch how the shelter dog image, which was quite high at one point, has deteriorated from one of friendly mutts good for a normal family home to damaged projects with issues that can only be adopted by single women without children or other pets who can stay home 24/7. And the way every form of aggression is now fine, unless the dog has actually killed a child. Aggression is horrible to handle and maintain, and people who've never seen an aggressive dog attack DO NOT UNDERSTAND how bad it is, and how different the situation is from "not liking" other dogs, or being "not good with kids." Plenty of aggressive dogs like other dogs and are good with kids; 99% of the time, they're fine and may even seem nicer than a non-aggressive dog. It takes a lot of mental firmness to keep that dog contained safely 100% of the time when you're aware that most of the time, you'll get away with laxness.

    My view is that rescue has multiple responsibilities, but often seems to recognize only one. Few rescues fail to realize they're responsible for the lives of the animals in their care; many seem to not understand that they're also responsible for both the impact those animals have in their community, and the impact those animals have on the future of rescue.
    So ditto this!

    And some dogs who are extremely sweet with people, are extremely lethal with other dogs or other animals. These should only go to extremely experienced homes who know what they are getting into and can provide the requisite confinement, supervision, and training needed.

    I agree, most people have no idea what they are getting into when they acquire a dog who is less than 100% reliable and stable. They have no concept of what may be required to manage such an animal.


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  11. #11
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    food for thought......and not all of it is palatable



  12. #12
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    There is a difference however, with predatory behavior and dog on dog aggression. I made the decision several times that aggressive dogs should be put down and I was over ridden. The dogs did stay in permanent foster, but...one in particular is a ticking time bomb.

    I'm afraid my hound might kill my barn cat if he had the opportunity. We have him trained to the point that he can accept that she's in the barn area, garage or driveway. The yard and the porch is off limits, however. She's smart enough that she only torments him when he's inside.

    I don't think a dog with an immune system problem or hip dysplasia should be considered unadoptable as long as the rescue is very upfront about any problems. You would be amazed...sometimes the dogs with health problems are adopted very quickly.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    There is a difference however, with predatory behavior and dog on dog aggression. I made the decision several times that aggressive dogs should be put down and I was over ridden. The dogs did stay in permanent foster, but...one in particular is a ticking time bomb.

    I'm afraid my hound might kill my barn cat if he had the opportunity. We have him trained to the point that he can accept that she's in the barn area, garage or driveway. The yard and the porch is off limits, however. She's smart enough that she only torments him when he's inside.

    I don't think a dog with an immune system problem or hip dysplasia should be considered unadoptable as long as the rescue is very upfront about any problems. You would be amazed...sometimes the dogs with health problems are adopted very quickly.
    It is amazing how adoptable a one eyed or three legged dog or cat is...people's hearts just go out to them, and in many cases it works out well, same with some health issues.

    But intensely predatory dogs can also be predatory to smaller dogs...not as easy for the average person to manage.



  14. #14
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    Am I the only one really disturbed by the tone of the author's voice. He seems almost gleeful that there are no more pound rejects in his future only purebred German sporting dogs. It sounds like his wife was the driving force behind the adoption in the first place. I hope the new Vizsla (really, why not a lab?)puppy minds its P's & Q's.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by riff View Post
    Me too, as a foster. Never again. I would rather try to place or foster several that will make wonderful pets than one who will require special management and will most likely one day cause heartbreak. I also think that if the physical injuries are numerous and life threatening that euthanasia is not out of the question. I would rather spay and neuter several and get them vetted and healthy and placed than spend thousands on one who may never be healthy again. I hesitate to ever say any of this out loud because people can say some pretty ugly things when I do. But I have been privately rescuing and fostering for over 30 years due to the fact that I constantly have dogs dropped by my front gate. It still isn't easy to pick and choose and I don't do it lightly. But when you drop your dog off on me you force me to make decisions. But that's another subject!

    I agree with you wholeheartly. there is only so much $$ to go around, why not get the most for the buck?


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  16. #16
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    I really appreciated this article because I do feel like this is a common occurrence.

    Bottom line--Suitability is imperative to owner and dog satisfaction regardless of it being a shelter/rescue dog or a purebred.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    The owners in the article sound like morons.
    I did not read it that way. I read that they tried a lot of different options, which makes them not morons.

    It's a dog - there's a distinct possibility that it is going to chase small furry things in its yard. It killed three of the neighbors cats in its own yard, and no one thought to ask what the hell the neighbors expected to happen to their free range cats?
    I think you are asking the wrong question, I'd be asking why would a dog kill small furry things in its yard? Mine don't.

    Yeah, the dog was animal aggressive. Lots of dogs are. This is why we don't allow the hired help (dog walker) to walk to the dog where it might be approached by other dogs. This seems like a "duh" moment to me.
    "lots of dogs are (agressive)", which I think is the problem. An aggressive dog was allowed to be adopted, when she should have been euthed at the shelter. There are far too many "do-gooders" out there who want to save all dogs.

    I'm not against the euthanizing of unmanageable dogs, at all. I just think the article is more of an example of some dog owners who shouldn't be dog owners than anything else.
    we will just have to disagree on this point. I think the article pointed out a problem I've seen myself. My last two clients have aggressive dogs, it makes me money, but it's hard on the people who adopt these dogs wanting/needing/thinking they are getting a General All Purpose dog, rather than an intense lesson in management.


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayside View Post
    Yeah, that seemed like a very poor decision given this dog's tendencies. Actually, I can't imagine walking a dog like that at all without taking extraordinary precautions.
    I'd never walk a dog like that. Period.

    IMO, most people don't handle their dogs as well as they should, and shelters and rescues have to expect that most of the people adopting are going to have the limited skills of the average dog owner. So it makes sense to adopt out dogs that will not be dangerous in the hands of mediocrity.
    yep.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Event4Life View Post
    I do feel for these owners. I really do, even though they clearly made some bad decisions.
    I also feel sorry for them. I feel sorry that they invested YEARS of their lives into a dog that was never going to be appropriate. I am a little surprised that they are even willing to get ANY other dog.

    The best dog for you might not be the best dog for me. That is why, IMO, a rescues most important role is to match dogs to the appropriate owners.
    this dog didn't have an appropriate owner. She could not be around other animals.

    My dog is not a shining example of everyone's dream dog, but she is perfect for me. And thats what matters, and what I expect of her. I expect her to be polite to the rest of the world, but she does not have to be everyone's best friend.
    that is a far cry from what this dog was like, and I'm sure they "expected" her to be polite.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoRider View Post
    I would always ask myself three questions: 1) how hard would it be to find a foster home for that particular dog, 2) how hard would it be to get the dog adopted into the right home and 3) how much management would that dog need in it's adoptive home.
    excellent questions.

    we also have a duty to the communities we place the animals into.
    yep....


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