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WTH is wrong with animal rescues!?

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    WTH is wrong with animal rescues!?

    I'm trying, TRYING to rescue a puppy. My family bred Siberians for years. I've bought puppies from breeders (shocking but true) and have raised Leader Dog pups, whelped and fostered Leader Dog pups, and overall just been a dog person forever.

    But now I want to NOT contribute to overbreeding, NOT use a breeder, and NOT be a part of the problem.

    So why is it so hard to adopt a puppy from a shelter?

    It appears to be because a lot of the smaller rescues are made up of (no doubt overworked and under-appreciated) individuals who talk a good game but really cannot be bothered to help someone out who's genuinely looking. Maybe they get too many tire-kickers.

    But DANG, people, ANSWER THE PHONE. ANSWER EMAILS. If a dog has already been adopted, LET ME KNOW. Remove the posting from your website. Send a text or an email saying the dog has been adopted. If I don't have a "fenced backyard", maybe the fact that I don't HAVE a back yard but do have 12 acres and multiple kennels and portable pens could be taken into account. When I take the trouble to fill out an application that is FOUR PAGES LONG, insisting that references will be checked (fine with me!) then don't try to muscle me into picking up the puppy tomorrow or the next day because "it might not be available after that".

    Utterly disgusted and discouraged. Please help me change my perception.
    Click here before you buy.

    #2
    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
    I'm trying, TRYING to rescue a puppy. My family bred Siberians for years. I've bought puppies from breeders (shocking but true) and have raised Leader Dog pups, whelped and fostered Leader Dog pups, and overall just been a dog person forever.

    But now I want to NOT contribute to overbreeding, NOT use a breeder, and NOT be a part of the problem.

    So why is it so hard to adopt a puppy from a shelter?

    It appears to be because a lot of the smaller rescues are made up of (no doubt overworked and under-appreciated) individuals who talk a good game but really cannot be bothered to help someone out who's genuinely looking. Maybe they get too many tire-kickers.

    But DANG, people, ANSWER THE PHONE. ANSWER EMAILS. If a dog has already been adopted, LET ME KNOW. Remove the posting from your website. Send a text or an email saying the dog has been adopted. If I don't have a "fenced backyard", maybe the fact that I don't HAVE a back yard but do have 12 acres and multiple kennels and portable pens could be taken into account. When I take the trouble to fill out an application that is FOUR PAGES LONG, insisting that references will be checked (fine with me!) then don't try to muscle me into picking up the puppy tomorrow or the next day because "it might not be available after that".

    Utterly disgusted and discouraged. Please help me change my perception.
    This has been covered lots of times on here. Bottom line: all SPCA's, Humane Societies, and rescues are different. They are all independent with different leadership. They can be fantastic, they can be horrible, they can be in between. Don't paint them all with thesame brush.

    The more progressive shelters have streamlined the adoption forms and focus on solid customer service. You can't help pets without helping people. Too many shelters/rescues make the mistake of hiring "i love pets but I hate people" personalities.

    You complain (in bold) about how hard it is to adopt from a shelter then go on to talk about "smaller rescues". Small rescues are not shelters. They are rescues. Often run by volunteers, usually out of private homes. Many are run by people whose hearts are in the right place but who don't have all the skills it takes to run the administrative/customer service side. And some are hoarders.

    If you can't get a response from one, move on to another. They are not all the same.

    I'm sorry you had your heart set on a puppy and it didn't work out. There will be another one, I promise.

    Comment


      #3
      I wish I could change your perception, but I don't have any positive stories either. I just wanted to ask if you were looking for a Siberian. My family had Siberians all of my life growing up as well and they are such great dogs.

      Are you trying standard rescue or breed specific rescue? I've heard that breed specifics are a bit easier to deal with, so maybe try that route if you haven't yet?
      Rhode Islands are red;
      North Hollands are blue.
      Sorry my thoroughbreds
      Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

      Comment

        Original Poster

        #4
        I know, I know, trying to be fair but also just venting a little.

        Siberians are GREAT, but ours were sled dogs, outside, in a pack and to be honest, barely domesticated. They had great lives in the vast tundra of suburban New Jersey! Not sure how great I'd feel about having one as a house pet. The deal with hubby was something small and short-haired!

        I've not searched this forum (first time here, actually) so I apologize if this has been done to death. Yep, hoarders . . . that is the impression I get from some of these folks.
        Click here before you buy.

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          #5
          Everytime I see someone complain about animal rescues, I want to suggest that the complainer go & volunteer for 2 years with a local rescue ...

          You don't want to work with one of those inconsiderate, awful rescues, go get your own dog off the euth lists - it ain't hard, there's lots of selection (they die by the thousands every day) & can be picked up for minimal fees & crated & flown to an airport near you.

          Of course, it will help alot if you (& your vet) are familiar with the "in" diseases for that area & shelter ...

          Comment


            #6
            How far are you from a larger shelter, like Michigan Humane?

            Comment


              #7
              My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. Bob Dylan

              Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives

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                #8
                Delta-

                I ran into similar when I was trying to sign up to be a foster/volunteer and/or adopt when I moved to MI a few years ago.

                It wasn't so much not getting called back though. It was more an issue of the rescue's standards that just baffled me.

                I already had an adult dog (a lab) and I had a fenced yard at my home, and I had veterinary references going back years, yada yada.

                Did the online application, did the home inspection. Was denied and some of the reasons really surprised me.

                For starters, they wanted me to have an 8 foot fence. That wasn't even possible in my neighborhood due to the association rules.

                Wanted me to feed raw diet. I really wasn't prepared to do that either.

                Didn't want me to have a doggy door. (which I needed because of my dog's urinary issues due to a certain medication)

                And wanted me to agree to never let the dog(s) off leash.

                Oh, and there were some vaccination issues too. Didn't want me to vaccinate for Lymes. But I frequented areas with a prevalence of Lymes so I vaccinate for it.

                At any rate--it's not that I had a major problem with the requirements fundamentally. It was that after weeks, months, and even years, I saw some of the same dogs on their site, on PetFinder, etc and because of those rules, the dogs just never moved.

                Like I said, I was willing to volunteer and foster--not just adopt. But after having similar experiences with a handful of rescues in MI and IL, I gave up.

                Got my next dog from a breeder here in MI.

                <shrugs>

                When I was spending a lot of time at PetSmart and Petco on the weekends for a PT job, I met a lot of GREAT rescue groups. The Greyhound folks were the best ones I ran into. But anyway, I know there are good groups out there. It just seems like some don't want to let go of dogs.
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #9
                  You don't want to work with one of those inconsiderate, awful rescues
                  Actually I *did* want to work with rescues and was not being picky, and it was not until I began doing so that I saw how inconsiderate some (not all!) of them were. It's something I haven't done before, having always bred dogs, bought from breeders, or worked with the Leader Dog organization. And yes, I've done some time volunteering in animal SHELTERS (different from non-brick-and-mortar rescues) and do perceive the magnitude of the problem.

                  I was taken aback by the indifference, insolence, laziness and just plain non-helpfulness of a number of the humans I've encountered. This is obviously a new world I've entered (from the adopter's side and doing this without traveling to actually see the people/places/dogs first off) and I am merely expressing my surprise and disappointment at some of the difficulties I've encountered. Sorry if I've ruffled some feathers.

                  It was that after weeks, months, and even years, I saw some of the same dogs on their site, on PetFinder, etc and because of those rules, the dogs just never moved.
                  Exactly! This is what baffled me so much about the one place that told me I had to pick up the dog within 48 hours of filling an application, never mind that left them NO time to begin to even contact my references . . . some of their listings were from last summer!
                  Click here before you buy.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    DW, you have my sympathy. Had similar craziness problems w/ a local rescue for whom I was fostering kittens. They wanted to rule out great homes for stupid reasons, so I broke off relations with them and placed the kittens myself. I joke that they all ended up in nicer neighborhoods than I live in myself.

                    If I were you, I'd look for a municipal (kill) shelter, which is unlikely to be run by the nuts. Or, more likely a different variety of nuts.
                    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

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                      #11
                      Public shelters! Skip private groups if they are ridiculous.

                      There is a purebred, 14wo GSD in a nearby public shelter. Same shelter has an 11lb 6mo short-haired terrier-looking mix available to anyone with ID and adoption fee. I know we are in different areas, but that is just an example of what happens to be available right now in a run-of-the-mill shelter in a semi-suburban county.

                      Stalk public, government-funded kill shelters. After learning their adoption policy, ask to be placed on their Wanted list for XYZ. It is more important you stalk them than rely on them to call you.

                      There was another thread of a similar tone. There are a lot of options in between private rescue and breeder. You can even upgrade a lucky puppy from Craiglist. Seems like folks are overwhelmed or offended by private rescue so they go to BYB. What about all the city pounds?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I had a hard time too. Actually pissed my vet off a little I think because he asked me how many dogs I was trying to adopt! It ended up being a matter of finding the right rescue and it was super easy so if things don't go well right off the bat keep looking. One rescue contacted me to schedule my home visit four months later! Heck by that time the dog we adopted was hardly a puppy anymore.
                        McDowell Racing Stables

                        Remarkable Leather Goods
                        Triple Stitched Halters, Hand Made To Order in US

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Find the right shelter or group, and it will work out. Ask around at local vets, Petsmart, training groups, etc., and ask questions. Are they careful about adopting out, but are they sane about relinquishing control? Do they treat people professionally, or do they act like surly teens who just discovered injustice? I found my favorite shelter through a family friend, adopted 3 dogs there and never had a surprise once they got home. Completely up-front, did a lot of vet work and training with them beforehand, treated people well - briskly but professionally. The director called me at home about a month after I took my current dog, to check everything was going well.

                          The wide-scale (as opposed to the limited breed rescues) rescue model may have helped many dogs find new homes, but I think it's ultimate effect on rehoming unwanted pets is basically negative. The physical setup (or rather, the lack of same) encourages miscommunication and lack of accountability, which creates horrible PR. It's nice that the animals are in private homes instead of kennels, and it's cheaper for the organization, but it's much, much harder on the adopters. Walking into a shelter tells you a TON about an organization, very quickly, without having to get into a preliminary relationship by playing email tag with people who often suck at human relationships.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I've heard many similar stories about how difficult it was to adopt. And I've learned that many different rescues are run differently. My best resource has been my local dog trainer, she rehabilitates alot of problem dogs, and knows the area rescues fairly well. Can you find a resource like that near you DW?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I've dealt with rescues that made it harder to "adopt" a dog than a child.

                              In fact, I had thrown in the towel and was contacting breeders when I got a call from the rescue that my current dog came from.

                              When she goes (she's 13 yo, and has significant mobility issues), I don't know what I'll do.
                              I really don't look forward to jumping through so many hoops again...
                              "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                              ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                I've said this before, but I've gotten puppies from responsible breeders. I didn't find it particularly easy, especially before I'd had several dogs of that breed. I had to sort through unscrupulous breeders. The responsible breeders breeding the puppies that seemed to be good quality tended to have a lot of requirements before they would relinquish a puppy. When I found a breeder I was happy with, I jumped through the necessary hoops.
                                If you do want a rescue dog, that is wonderful. Trust me, you can find one if you work at it a bit. It's a little tougher when you want a small dog, but doable. I agree that if you don't like dealing with rescue groups, watch shelters carefully, as well as craigslist. Also check with vets, groomers, trainers, etc. - anyone who might have a client who could be rehoming a dog. Let them know what you want.
                                There are good and bad rescue groups.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  DW, I know you would be a great home. Contact your breeders of choice, often they need to re-home a dog that the original buyer can't or won't keep. Other than that, go to your local shelter or animal control. There is a wonderful dog looking for you right now

                                  Comment

                                    Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    surly teens who just discovered injustice
                                    Priceless!
                                    Click here before you buy.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      I've run across a few crazy rescues down here, but the county shelters, especially the more rural ones, are really easy. One county to the southeast of the one I life in euthanizes every Wednesday. All you have to do is walk in, pick a dog or cat, pay $25 and fax or email proof of rabies vaccination within 48 hours. Of course, the animal you get hasn't even had a bath, and there's no telling what diseases it may have.

                                      All things considered, though, I'd go there for an animal before I'd go through private rescue. I got lucky and got a fantastic little lab/pit/terrier mix there four years ago; thankfully he was heartworm negative, but he had about every other parasite. His temperament, however, was and remains stellar.

                                      Shame you're not farther south ... most of the county shelters down here are overflowing every week. There's no shortage of dogs here ... any kind, any color, any type, any size.
                                      Full-time bargain hunter.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Reading posts like this make me world-weary.

                                        Its all been said. Every single one is entirely based upon the people who participate in it and the money behind it.

                                        They are all ultimately trying to do a good thing. Even if the shelter now is rude, elitist, obnoxious--someone put their money and neck on the line originally to do a GOOD thing. A selfless thing. Shelters aren't out there for the money.

                                        Be realistic, open about your experiences, ready to nod and listen to some of the crazies (because yes, we all got the crazy rules...that stem from some particular incident with a lunatic 10 years ago and now EVERYONE's gotta do xyz.)

                                        And to address your specific issue; the fact that dogs come and go within days is exactly why they can't update the website often. Some volunteer or part time employee comes through, takes pictures once a week, puts them on the site. That night--all of those puppies are adopted, ones an owner reclaim, two are returns, 10 more come in. So why do shelters even bother taking pictures of puppies, especially cute ones that dissapear even in a day? Traffic. Although I had no hand in it, our shelter ABSOLUTELY left cute pictures of puppies up a liiiittle bit longer than they should have...people would come in saying "Oh do you still have that freckly precious dalmatian puppy?!" Enter counselor: No, but we do still have these poor black lab puppies that everyone overlooks, here why don't you hold one...." Its a 'sales pitch' that gets dogs out the door.

                                        The other reason they pressure is maybe there's a crazy adopter who swore they were coming back in the evening that they had no reason to deny them, and they want the dog out the door before then. Maybe that puppy is sickly, tiny, and they know there's about to be a parvo outbreak and the more time it sits in a shelter, the greater the potential for illness. Maybe that puppy was confiscated from someone unstable and they want it GONE before said person changes their mind and comes back in crying nad raving to get it back. Maybe that puppy has already been returned twice and they want it in a permanant home pronto before separation anxiety and fear issues kick in. //all issues personally encountered before.

                                        you can grumble about the players all you want, but please don't hate the game I promise there's a rescue out there delighted to have you.

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