Faulting Rescues for Rescuing? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 92 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Faulting Rescues for Rescuing?

Saw an interesting perception of rescues on another thread that was spinning out of control: rescues pulling from shelters or "swooping up every golden" and believing these goldens were in kennels when they could be in loving homes.

Having been a volunteer with golden rescues in three states and working with many more through transports, I can't imagine someone faulting a rescue for rescuing. 100% of the shelters I've dealt with are kill shelters & the numbers of animals being killed is sickening especially when we're talking about perfectly healthy & adoptable animals forced across the rainbow bridge due to space issues. Lucky is the animal that is purebred or can pass as "close enough" as they have breed specific rescues to save them. By those dogs being pulled, a little extra time is bought for those who are unfortunately left behind.

As for the use of kennels, I've seen rescues who primarily use foster homes to those who lack sufficient fosters for the number of goldens and thus turn to vet clinics and commercial boarding facilities. No one will argue that fosters homes are best but what do you do with the dog aggressive golden when every volunteer/foster likely has multiple dogs? I've unfortunately seen the number of "one & only" goldens on the rise.

As for rescues swooping in, why not work with local & state legislators to change policy if you believe the public should have first right. I've seen that in a couple of shelters that once stray holds are lifted, the general public gets x-number of days to adopt and after that expires, then rescues are available to pull.

Rescue isn't perfect and it sure isn't easy, but it's better than sitting back and doing nothing...
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post #2 of 92 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 01:37 AM
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I don't see a lot of "swooping" going on, most shelters in my part of the country give adopters priority....but for some reason the adopters don't want to take on the litter of parvo puppies or the mill mamas or the twelve year olds or the "one pet only" dogs or those with long ignored health issues. Where I live, those are the ones the rescues take most often. That's not to say rescue dogs all have problems....in fact the majority are owner surrenders directly to the rescue and come in all ages and often from wonderful homes who've hit difficult times.

Legitimate breed rescues are most often the last and only option, whether due to shelter time limits (California has a three day stray hold, everything from then on depends on how over-crowded the shelter is and the strays are the second to be euthed....owner turn ins are the first with no hold time) or assumed inadoptability due to health, temperament or age. There's a very good reason some dogs are classed "rescue only"....rescues are the only ones who have the documented experience, desire, contacts and meager resources to turn the unadoptable into the highly adoptable. They save lives, both those pulled and those who get a few more days because there's a little more room for a little bit longer.
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post #3 of 92 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 05:57 AM
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I found that many shelters in my area give "citizens" priority over rescues for dogs in their shelters and I think that is wonderful. One time I was tasked to go pull a Golden from a suburban shelter, but when I arrived the animal control officer informed me that a family was looking at the dog outside in the play area and citizens are always given first priority in adopting the dogs. While I was there I walked the shelter just to make sure there weren't any other goldens hiding in there who needed rescue (it happens when dogs are mislabeled as a different breed). The family came in and had a few questions about Goldens. The officer found me and asked if I could help. I spent over an hour with the family answering questions about Goldens. I gave them the rescue's card as I left in case they adopted and decided later the dog wasn't right for them. They thanked me as they went to fill out the adoption paperwork. That was a win win situation because a great family got that dog out of the shelter that day and got a wonderful companion dog and I was able to make them aware of rescue should things not work out.

So no, rescues don't always swoop in and take dogs away from possible adopters. Sometimes volunteers even assist "citizens" in adopting animals straight from the shelter.

Oh, and that day there was another Golden in the shelter- a light colored one that the workers had mislabeled as another breed. I took photos, notified the intake coordinators and that Golden was brought into rescue after the hold period passed.
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post #4 of 92 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SheetsSM View Post
Saw an interesting perception of rescues on another thread that was spinning out of control: rescues pulling from shelters or "swooping up every golden" and believing these goldens were in kennels when they could be in loving homes.

Having been a volunteer with golden rescues in three states and working with many more through transports, I can't imagine someone faulting a rescue for rescuing. 100% of the shelters I've dealt with are kill shelters & the numbers of animals being killed is sickening especially when we're talking about perfectly healthy & adoptable animals forced across the rainbow bridge due to space issues. Lucky is the animal that is purebred or can pass as "close enough" as they have breed specific rescues to save them. By those dogs being pulled, a little extra time is bought for those who are unfortunately left behind.

As for the use of kennels, I've seen rescues who primarily use foster homes to those who lack sufficient fosters for the number of goldens and thus turn to vet clinics and commercial boarding facilities. No one will argue that fosters homes are best but what do you do with the dog aggressive golden when every volunteer/foster likely has multiple dogs? I've unfortunately seen the number of "one & only" goldens on the rise.

As for rescues swooping in, why not work with local & state legislators to change policy if you believe the public should have first right. I've seen that in a couple of shelters that once stray holds are lifted, the general public gets x-number of days to adopt and after that expires, then rescues are available to pull.

Rescue isn't perfect and it sure isn't easy, but it's better than sitting back and doing nothing...
I can't imagine anyone criticizing this ADMIRABLE, heartbreaking and tireless work! How dare they!? I think it takes a VERY SPECIAL PERSON to do rescue work!!

Tucker, Tonka, and Karen

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post #5 of 92 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 09:13 AM
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I use to help with Intake for a Golden Rescue in my state that is no longer operating.
The shelters we pulled had a similar policy after the Stray Hold period had expired that the dog be available to the publlic for Adoption for a certain number of days. If the dog wasn't adopted within that time frame, then we were able to take it into our Program.

Some shelters that had dogs that were in need of medical treatment such as if they were Heartworm positive, were only available to Rescues. It was rare that we took a dog in that wasn't in need of some type of Medical Treatment.

I agree that Foster homes are the ideal situation for a dog, but sometimes it's not always possible if the Dog is agressive as you stated. The Rescue then has to use Funds to board that dog at a Clinic or Boarding facility. Some groups are also always in need of Foster homes too, when they don't have available space to take a dog in whether it be because they don't have an available foster home or there's no space at a Clinic or Boarding facility, sometimes they are put in the position where they have to say they can't take one.

Rescue work is extremely rewarding, there is so much joy in seeing a dog get adopted and go to it's forever home. It is also heartbreaking at times, such as when a dog comes into Rescue and it is placed in Hospice with a foster home due to an illness to live out it's remaining days.

Rescue Groups rely soley on donations, grants, and lots of fundraisers to operate. The monies are used to provide Medical Treatment for the dogs so they are healthy and avalable for adoption. The Adoption fees cover only a very small portion of the money that is put into a dog to get it ready.

Volunteers donate their time, many of the them work part/full time, have families and dogs of their own.

The reward is seeing a healthy dog find it's forever home with a family that will give them a lifetime of love.

My girl was adopted from CFGRR six years ago, she was pulled by the Rescue out of a high kill shelter in my state. She is a former puppy mill momma, I did a Foster to adopt of her while she was being treated for Stage 3 HW. I adopted my boy 2 years ago from my County Humane Society. This shelter was not a full service HS, meaning he did not have all his shots nor was he neutered when I adopted him. I paid his adopt fee, then took him to my Vet Clinic where I got his shots updated. I had a Voucher for a free neuter from the shelter.

The adopt fees were a very small price to pay for so much love and enjoyment they both give me and I have learned how truly special Rescue dogs are because of them.

Last edited by CAROLINA MOM; 01-23-2013 at 09:20 AM.
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post #6 of 92 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 09:19 AM
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Another problem is that many communities, towns, cities, etc are putting limits on how many pets can be at each home. This cuts into the amount of fosters available to help the rescues.

A Dog Is A Commitment For The Life Of The Dog
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post #7 of 92 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 09:32 AM
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Our rescue does "swoop" in to get a dog out of the shelter as quickly as possible once they are available. There are several reasons. One, almost every single shelter in NC is high kill. Two, and the most important one as far as I am concerned, there are only a minimal number of shelters in NC that spay/neuter the dogs before allowing them to be adopted and the majority of goldens that end up in shelters are unaltered. Three, most of the dogs who end up in the shelters have not been vaccinated and are being exposed to all of the other dogs who have not been vaccinated. Four, the majority of the shelters do absolutely NO screening of potential adopters. Five, we get a LOT of goldens from shelters in NC. A ridiculous number of goldens are stray or owner surrendered in NC. If we don't get them, it's likely that they will be euthanized, especially if they have any sort of behavioral or health issues.

I could list many other reasons why our rescue "swoops" in and gets the dogs out as soon as they are available, but the main reason is that we are in rescue because there are always goldens that are in need of rescue. We do it for the dogs, plain and simple.

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post #8 of 92 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by solinvictus View Post
Another problem is that many communities, towns, cities, etc are putting limits on how many pets can be at each home. This cuts into the amount of fosters available to help the rescues.
There is one city in our area that limits the number of dogs/pets allowed. The rest may have some limits, but they don't include fosters in that number.

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post #9 of 92 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 09:46 AM
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I don't see anything wrong with a rescue pulling a golden or any other dog from a shelter,especially kill shelters. Rescue groups will do so much for these dogs from vaccinations, heartworm tests other medical treatments, etc. Things they most likely otherwise would not get.

Our animal control used to be horrible when run by a different manager. They used to euthanize just about everything coming through the door. I did not know that and turned in a purebred rough collie pup one time, I had found wandering the streets in town. I stopped, picked him up and took him straight there. They checked for microchip, but he did not have one. I asked the officers if they will release im to a collie rescue or other rescue if I find one to take him, they said 'yes'. Well, I contacted a collie rescue, got an immediate response that they will call animal control right away. I kept in contact with the rescue and they even had a home already lined up for him, unseen. A couple that had been on their list for a pup for a while.
Animal control turned out to be very adament suddenly, not to give out to rescue and try to get the collie adopted out instead. So, this went on back on forth for almost three weeks with the rescue contacting me about he collie and the hard time they were having with animal control. Suddenly, they called and asked me to contact animal control and see what happened. The dog never made the website and they were told on the phone that the dog had been adopted. So, I called animal control and was told the dog is gone. Gone can mean anything. So, I told the collie rescue and we were none the wiser and hoping for the best. I found out years later that they most likely euthanized the collie pup because they saw him as an "owner' turn in, even though I was not the owner, I just found him. Owner- turn ins get euthanized after three days.
Many rescue groups I talked to after that said the same thing, bring a dog or cat to animal control and they will not leave alive, they are very rescue unfriendly.
A couple of years ago, animal control picked a new manager and she is said to be a lot better and try to get the dogs/cats adopted and is rescue friendly. I surely hope so.
Needles to say, I never brought another pet that I found or showed up at my door back to animal control. Now, I contact a rescue right away and keep the dog for a few days if I can.
So, I am all for rescue groups and breed specific rescue groups to swoop in and rescue these poor souls.
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post #10 of 92 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 09:54 AM
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And even if the rescue scoops up a dog quickly, there is no reason the potential adopter cannot contact the rescue and still adopt the dog just as they could if the dog were still at the shelter. I have to reiterate, it is all for the dogs. (and cats)




It only takes one person to throw an animal away
but it takes a whole team to find it a new home!
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