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Are Rescues creating an "easy out"

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  • #61
    I work for a rescue. Actually, I work for a non profit, no kill animal shelter. We regularly house upwards of 60 dogs and 60 cats at any given time. Our ideal numbers are 45 dogs and 35 cats, but that's a hard number to keep down too.

    As the admin assistant, I've done the math. It costs us $5 per day to house each dog and cat. If the dog has no prior health care, it runs us around $250 in vet bills for us to get it to adoptable status. Of course, if it has heartworms, add $300 to $500 to that. Cats are a little less expensive usually, around $185 or so to get them adoptable.

    So, our adoption fees run anywhere from $85 to $150, depending on age and species. We do not discriminate between pure bred and mixed breed. By my calculations, we lose money on every animal we adopt.

    We get purebreds, cross breeds, and everything in between. We pull them from kill shelters, hoarders, owner surrenders, drop offs, dumps, and every other imaginable situation.

    As a rescue, we don't perpetuate the problem. We clean it up. People breed dogs (or allow them to breed) without thought of the consequences. The dogs we get are not from good breeders, they are from back yard breeders and pet stores. We have had two well bred purebred cats in our shelter. We had papers on them, and when we called the breeders, they came and got their cats, absolutely appalled that their cats had ended up in our shelter. We have NEVER had a dog breeder come reclaim their puppy that ended up in our hands. We had one breeder bring us three purebred, 10 week old yorkies.

    We have people ask us to take litters. Our requirements are usually pretty simple. You bring us the litter AND the mama dog. We find homes for the puppies, spay the mama, and return her to you.

    My thoughts are that you can't blame the trashman for the trash that you produced just because he comes and picks it up when you throw it to the curb. If we didnt' take care of the unwanteds, people would still allow their dogs to breed.

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    • #62
      I don't think it is so much the irresponsible breeders that rescues and shelters bail out, as it is the irresponsible buyers that don't think it through and who end up dumping the now inconvenient puppy/dog at a shelter or rescue.

      The irresponsible breeders are getting the only feedback they want when they have a buyer for the puppies they have produced. Although there are breeders that dump what they can't sell at shelters and rescues, by far the majority of them are able to sell the puppies they produce.

      If the buying public were educated on what to look for in a good breeder, and were educated on the ramifications of impulse purchasing, the irresponsible breeders were loose a great deal of their market. With the loss of that market, their incentive to breed would vanish.

      It is that initial purchase point, that first buyer, that we need to target. They are the ones who make it possible for the breeders to sell/place their puppies and they are almost always the ones who end up surrendering at shelters and rescues.
      Sheilah

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Anne FS View Post
        As for the OP's title, I don't think rescues are an "easy out," but I abhor "rescues" who import dogs from other areas
        I began to really take a hard look at the shelter I worked at when they started importing small, highly adoptable breeds from California shelters, transport them up here cheaply (often using volunteer transporters), charge a $250-$300 adoption fee on, while euthanizing Lab mixes and Pit mixes because they were out of room.

        As the foster program coordinator, I got tired of dealing with foster parents that wanted to wait for "a couple of the California Chihuahuas", while the elderly Border Collie got euthanized because nobody wanted to step up.

        My attitude is that an open admission shelter should be free to import as many dogs from out of the area as they want...once no animals are being euthanized in their community for time and room issues.
        Sheilah

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Arrows Endure View Post
          My thoughts are that you can't blame the trashman for the trash that you produced just because he comes and picks it up when you throw it to the curb. If we didnt' take care of the unwanteds, people would still allow their dogs to breed.
          I agree. And I use this same argument when defending my choice to buy a purebred dog from a good breeder when "so many dogs are in shelters already." My making a good decision won't prevent others from making bad decisions.

          Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post
          I don't think it is so much the irresponsible breeders that rescues and shelters bail out, as it is the irresponsible buyers that don't think it through and who end up dumping the now inconvenient puppy/dog at a shelter or rescue.
          Yes. Or the one that was supposed to be kid-friendly and have a loving temperament but doesn't. Sigh. But how to change this??

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          • #65
            Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post
            I don't think it is so much the irresponsible breeders that rescues and shelters bail out, as it is the irresponsible buyers that don't think it through and who end up dumping the now inconvenient puppy/dog at a shelter or rescue.

            If the buying public were educated on what to look for in a good breeder, and were educated on the ramifications of impulse purchasing, the irresponsible breeders were loose a great deal of their market. With the loss of that market, their incentive to breed would vanish.

            It is that initial purchase point, that first buyer, that we need to target. They are the ones who make it possible for the breeders to sell/place their puppies and they are almost always the ones who end up surrendering at shelters and rescues.
            Sheilah
            Very true!
            All of us who own purebred dogs from responsible breeders (or who wish to help), even if we do not breed, can help educate the public. My breed club maintains a list of people by state who are "contact people" for those inquiring about the breed. We spend lots of time answering phone calls or emails, trying to educate people about the breed, inviting them into our homes to meet the dogs up close and personal, and trying to direct them to appropriate breeders (or rescue contacts), and then continuing to mentor them when they get a puppy, and are available for help or advice.

            "Meet the Breed" events are another way to get people before they buy a puppy, there is a window of opportunity to educate them.

            All-breed dog clubs can and do make efforts to reach people, but I am sure there is more we could be doing.

            Our local breed club has also put ads in the "puppies for sale" classified section of the local newspaper, that says "For information about xxxx breed, call xxxlocal breed club before you buy". Of course, you have to have people willing to field phone calls, it can be very time consuming.

            It can be difficult to deal with people who want "instant gratification" and are unwilling to wait for a puppy or do the research needed. With so many puppy mills now having Internet presence with attractive websites showing lovely dogs and puppies romping in green fields, it can be difficult to convince people not to buy puppies over the Internet from puppy mills that only want to know your credit card number and they will send you whatever color, age, and sex you prefer. Some of these websites are very slick.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
              I don't agree with you on this one. By the time the rescue pays for vaccination, spay/neuter, etc., they have about $200+ into a dog. It's only reasonable to expect an adopter of a pure bred dog to pay $200 and up for a dog.
              Mixes...that's a whole different story.
              The rescue where I volunteer asks the same fee for purebreds and mixed breeds. Since it is based on vetting costs there isn't any type of scale for added value like being purebred. None of our pets are papered as they are pulled from shelters but we occasionally have an obvious purebred. They usually are adopted quickly. Even special needs dogs with high vet bills have the same fee but sometimes those are offset by donations. The day to day goal is to get the pets into venues where people are more comfortable adopting as many people can't make themselves go to a shelter. The long term goal is helping the shelters go no-kill

              Comment


              • #67
                I don't think it is so much the irresponsible breeders that rescues and shelters bail out, as it is the irresponsible buyers that don't think it through and who end up dumping the now inconvenient puppy/dog at a shelter or rescue.

                The irresponsible breeders are getting the only feedback they want when they have a buyer for the puppies they have produced. Although there are breeders that dump what they can't sell at shelters and rescues, by far the majority of them are able to sell the puppies they produce.
                very true. It's the individual irresponsible owner that is the problem. Responsible owners don't let their dogs breed, and they don't dump their dogs at shelters/in rescues. Very rarely a responsible person will have something "go wrong" and will need to rehome a dog.
                Instead of focusing on "Breeders", and "neuter everything!", perhaps if we focused on educating the public we would make more progress towards reducing the number of homeless pets.
                We managed to shut down a puppy store in the mall by simply posting people outside with leaflets about puppy mills. After a few months of no-sales it went bust.
                If no one bought puppies from puppy mills, they'd just quietly vanish.

                Comment


                • #68
                  they education has been going on forever now.

                  But you just can't help people who buy on impulse.
                  There is that poor puppy in the petshop that needs 'rescuing' or the critter at the flea market.

                  So in a roundabout way, yes, it's the crummy breeders you bail out, via the impulse shopper and the pound.

                  I walked out of a pet store and never returned because they had mixed breed puppies for sale and and a couple of garden variety 'domestic shorthair' kittens aka alley cats. So what if they were locally owned and supplied 'hand fed birds'

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