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Golden Retriever Rescues...from China?

3483 Views 93 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Peri29
I wanted to ask for the opinions of golden retriever experts on this...One of the golden retriever rescues I network with as part of my pet sitting business has started taking in unwanted golden retrievers from China because there is a shortage of goldens in need of rescue not just in my state, but nationwide. Do you see any potential problems that could come with bringing in rescues from other countries? Rescue A Golden of Arizona - Available Dogs

Not trying to badmouth anybody; whatever choice they make is for them to decide, but I'm honestly curious about whether rescuing a golden from a place like China is a good idea or not?
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I wanted to ask for the opinions of golden retriever experts on this...One of the golden retriever rescues I network with as part of my pet sitting business has started taking in unwanted golden retrievers from China because there is a shortage of goldens in need of rescue not just in my state, but nationwide. Do you see any potential problems that could come with bringing in rescues from other countries? Rescue A Golden of...
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I wanted to ask for the opinions of golden retriever experts on this...One of the golden retriever rescues I network with as part of my pet sitting business has started taking in unwanted golden retrievers from China because there is a shortage of goldens in need of rescue not just in my state, but nationwide. Do you see any potential problems that could come with bringing in rescues from other countries? Rescue A Golden of Arizona - Available Dogs

Not trying to badmouth anybody; whatever choice they make is for them to decide, but I'm honestly curious about whether rescuing a golden from a place like China is a good idea or not?
There has been a lot of discussion about this. This is certainly what some would consider “retail rescue”.
Part of the problem lies in the fact that some of these animals are bred for the sole purpose of import to the US to sell as “rescues”. More commonly seen with breeds like French bulldogs.
 

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There has been a lot of discussion about this. This is certainly what some would consider “retail rescue”.
Part of the problem lies in the fact that some of these animals are bred for the sole purpose of import to the US to sell as “rescues”. More commonly seen with breeds like French bulldogs.
I've heard of retail rescue but I don't really understand it. How do people manage to sell dogs specifically to rescues?

I've been an animal rescue volunteer for a few years now and my fellow volunteers have absolutely no desire to make a profit; they only want to see more animals go to good homes and decrease the number of unwanted and euthanized animals in our area. Are there seriously shelters and rescues that have a profit motive behind their animals? Or could it be that they unknowingly bought animals from a reseller thinking they were saving the animals from a bad situation?
 

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I've heard of retail rescue but I don't really understand it. How do people manage to sell dogs specifically to rescues?

I've been an animal rescue volunteer for a few years now and my fellow volunteers have absolutely no desire to make a profit; they only want to see more animals go to good homes and decrease the number of unwanted and euthanized animals in our area. Are there seriously shelters and rescues that have a profit motive behind their animals? Or could it be that they unknowingly bought animals from a reseller thinking they were saving the animals from a bad situation?
I think it’s both. There was a rescue that was featured on “The Rocky Mountain Vet” that came under fire for bad practices. I’ll see if I can find the article.

WaPo covered a story of rescues here running out of easily adoptable dogs/breeds (basically not bullies), and going to animal auctions to buy purebreds (at high prices!) and then offer those animals out for adoption at exorbitant prices. I think the heart of some people is in the right place, but its definitely financial for others.

Along the same vein is foreign retail rescue. A big one that comes to mind is Big Dog Ranch, who had a female golden retriever from somewhere that was pregnant and the puppies were adopted out for 2 or 3k.


National Mill Dog Rescue On Probation After State Finds Violations Impacting Animal Safety - Colorado one


I cant find a source that i feel is accurate for foreign trade, but I will say that purebred dogs are NOT being used in the meat market in large numbers. When a rescue group important 30 dogs and they’re all golden retrievers or Samoyeds, those are not the dogs that are being eaten, no matter which “Chinese monk” claims they are.
 

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I think it’s both. There was a rescue that was featured on “The Rocky Mountain Vet” that came under fire for bad practices. I’ll see if I can find the article.

WaPo covered a story of rescues here running out of easily adoptable dogs/breeds (basically not bullies), and going to animal auctions to buy purebreds (at high prices!) and then offer those animals out for adoption at exorbitant prices. I think the heart of some people is in the right place, but its

Along the same vein is foreign retail rescue. A big one that comes to mind is Big Dog Ranch, who had a female golden retriever from somewhere that was pregnant and the puppies were adopted out for 2 or 3k.


National Mill Dog Rescue On Probation After State Finds Violations Impacting Animal Safety - Colorado one


I cant find a source that i feel is accurate for foreign trade, but I will say that purebred dogs are NOT being used in the meat market in large numbers. When a rescue group important 30 dogs and they’re all golden retrievers or Samoyeds, those are not the dogs that are being eaten, no matter which “Chinese monk” claims they are.
Wow, that's a rotten deal. That's definitely not the kind of rescue I work with, for which I'm grateful. It does get aggravating, though, when animal rescue-only advocates, however well-meaning they may be, condemn people for buying from even a reputable breeder.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but I'll say it again just in case: There are over 300 different breeds of dogs in existence around the world today; a very small percentage of those dogs are in shelters and rescues! Here in AZ, anyway, we don't see a variety of breeds in shelters. Usually it's always multiples of a few of the same breeds and mixes, the majority being pit bulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and their mixes.
 

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Another dangerous thing about importing dogs from overseas for “rescue” is that they bring diseases. There was a brucellosis outbreak in Michigan or Wisconsin within the last couple of years from imported dogs. I believe there have also been cases of parvo and maybe even rabies from these overseas dogs.
 

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Wow, that's a rotten deal. That's definitely not the kind of rescue I work with, for which I'm grateful. It does get aggravating, though, when animal rescue-only advocates, however well-meaning they may be, condemn people for buying from even a reputable breeder.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but I'll say it again just in case: There are over 300 different breeds of dogs in existence around the world today; a very small percentage of those dogs are in shelters and rescues! Here in AZ, anyway, we don't see a variety of breeds in shelters. Usually it's always multiples of a few of the same breeds and mixes, the majority being pit bulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and their mixes.
Im from Florida and I would say 80% of the dogs for adoption down there are bully breed mixes
 

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Americans want to “rescue” to feel good about themselves and about “saving a dog in need of a home” but want to also have a purebred dog for aesthetics and temperament and likely because domestic shelters are FULL of bully mixes that are not desirable. That’s where retail rescue fills that need.

Rescues buy purebred dogs from overseas puppy mills, advertise them as being saved from the meat trade (appeal to peoples need to save animals) and adopt them out for extremely high prices. The rescues make money, the buyers are willing to pay to “rescue” a dog but still get the breed they want. In 2019 or 2020…can’t remember exactly, the US imported something like 1 million dogs — a HIGHLY unregulated process BTW. Yet animal rights activists claim we have an overpopulation problem here.
 

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Another dangerous thing about importing dogs from overseas for “rescue” is that they bring diseases. There was a brucellosis outbreak in Michigan or Wisconsin within the last couple of years from imported dogs. I believe there have also been cases of parvo and maybe even rabies from these overseas dogs.
The dog flus too. :(
 

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Americans want to “rescue” to feel good about themselves and about “saving a dog in need of a home” but want to also have a purebred dog for aesthetics and temperament and likely because domestic shelters are FULL of bully mixes that are not desirable. That’s where retail rescue fills that need.

Rescues buy purebred dogs from overseas puppy mills, advertise them as being saved from the meat trade (appeal to peoples need to save animals) and adopt them out for extremely high prices. The rescues make money, the buyers are willing to pay to “rescue” a dog but still get the breed they want. In 2019 or 2020…can’t remember exactly, the US imported something like 1 million dogs — a HIGHLY unregulated process BTW. Yet animal rights activists claim we have an overpopulation problem here.
Thank you for articulating this so well! I know some people who have gotten “rescue” dogs from Korea who snob their nose at buying from ethical breeders. It’s always given me pause, I’m like are all these dogs really rescued from “meat markets” like they claim? something tells me that is not accurate. Maybe it started out that way? It’s always made me uncomfortable when people bring in dogs from other countries when there are shelters full of dogs here, and still act like they are better than everyone else. I’ve never heard of retail rescue but it makes so much sense. you’re right they are not importing bully breeds which every American shelter is full to the brim with. When I told a girl who is involved in Korean rescue that I was researching golden breeders she tried to convince me to adopt one from Korea as they are “used in meat markets there a lot” i call bull on that there is no way Korea is full of golden retriever meat markets but I didn’t know enough to dispute her claims. Makes sense that they are puppy mill dogs being sold as “rescues”
 

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What about GRs from Turkey? Our local GR rescue org states they import most of their dogs from the streets, forests, and shelters of Turkey. They have also flown in GRs from China. Travel costs are built in to a higher adoption fee.

We have adopted two GRs from this org in years past, before I guess the US supply must have dried up and they turned to foreign lands.

This org's web site does not talk specifically about "meat market" GRs, so I don't know if this post is germane to this discussion; and it doesn't look like that org's web site has been updated in years.

So . . . where are the adoptable GRs coming from in 2023? Domestically, GRs appear to be in such high demand that they get snapped up from rescues and shelters immediately.

Sadly, one of our three dachshunds passed away last month, and we are eager to adopt a GR again.
 

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What about GRs from Turkey? Our local GR rescue org states they import most of their dogs from the streets, forests, and shelters of Turkey. They have also flown in GRs from China. Travel costs are built in to a higher adoption fee.

We have adopted two GRs from this org in years past, before I guess the US supply must have dried up and they turned to foreign lands.

This org's web site does not talk specifically about "meat market" GRs, so I don't know if this post is germane to this discussion; and it doesn't look like that org's web site has been updated in years.

So . . . where are the adoptable GRs coming from in 2023? Domestically, GRs appear to be in such high demand that they get snapped up from rescues and shelters immediately.

Sadly, one of our three dachshunds passed away last month, and we are eager to adopt a GR again.
I do believe we have a member here with a rescue Golden from Turkey. And I think it’s important to point out that there are still dogs that do need homes and while we should address domestic rescue first, reasonable import is to be expected, but honestly.
Turkey, among other countries, saw a HUGE demand for Goldens at one point in time. As that demand faded, so too did the people willing to house the dogs. A lot of Goldens did end up on the street. Turkey already had a lot of strays on top of that. This also conveniently has an article.

 

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Honestly, I would never support a rescue bringing in foreign dogs. The USDA does basically nothing to regulate the import of these foreign rescue dogs and over a million are imported each year (and that doesn’t count the ones who slip through under the radar). There is a bill (healthy dog importation act I believe it was called) that was introduced maybe last year? trying to get these imports better regulated but I don’t think it ever went anywhere unfortunately. There have been dogs that have brought strains of rabies previously eradicated from the US, brucellosis which is transmissible to humans, flu, and strains of other diseases never previously seen in the US.

As for the Turkey dogs, I can’t remember where a I saw this, maybe here on the forum, but somebody who actually lives in Turkey (for work or something I think) said that their culture for keeping dogs is completely different than the US. In Turkey it is thought of as cruel to tie, fence in, or leave dogs in the house all day so they are allowed to roam the streets. Basically this person’s take was that rescue people were stealing owned dogs of desirable breeds to make some money off the US’s need to “save” something.

Generally, I just don’t trust rescues. I would have to do some serious vetting of rescues before ever considering a rescue dog. Which I likely won’t as everything here in IL is bully breeds and their mixes which I will not own especially from unknown backgrounds. I have seen articles about rescues going to dog auctions and bidding wars ensue between the rescues over pregnant dogs because they know they can make money off puppies (and by the way, at these auctions they are putting money into the hands of the puppy mill breeders they claim to want to shut down so they are basically supporting poor breeders and keeping them in business.) ASPCA talked about having rescues breed their own dogs to sell. (Making one wonder how often that happens already behind closed doors!?) Countless cases of “sweet” pit bulls with a hidden bite history adopted out to families with children and then hurting or killing someone. And then there is the breeds they come up with to hide the fact a dog is a bully breed or mix. Saw a pit bull of a golden color labeled a golden retriever; several spotted pits called pointers, pits called boxers, lab mixes, etc. Just see way too many cases of lying by rescues to trust them anymore. Then you have the dogs that any humane person would know should be euthanized; but the retail rescues put those dogs through agony to have expensive medical procedures (which may help them live but often with poor quality of life) and use them as fundraiser dogs to scoop up money for the procedure plus extra for their pockets because people open their wallets wide for a good sob story. The one that really ruffled my feathers was a rescue trying to fundraise off a brucellosis dog-that dog is a danger to both dogs and humans and they were expecting to somehow miraculously cure it and were taking applications for its adoption. Super irresponsible! Saw another rescue adopting out distemper dogs. So yeah, it’s sad, but rescues can’t be trusted to be on the moral high ground anymore than anyone else. Have to vet your rescues just as closely or even more so than breeders to find a good one. Anyway, there’s my book of an opinion!
 

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There will always be scams like this as long as there are gullible, ignorant, virtue signaling or just plain stupid buyers.
Wow thanks for this thread. And all the info put here. I must admit I'm one of those that didn't know about this issue at all or that it existed. I'm probably falling into the category that SRW mentions here because this situation didn't exist back in Europe. So I am learning about this now. Thank you for this...

I am actually curious about the rescue Goldens in Turkey because I would think geographically we were nearer in France to get their rescues instead of going all the way in the US. We have not been innundated by these Goldens in the triborder area. In our rescue back home, it was so difficult to find a lab or a golden. In fact none existed during the time we looked before we decided to actually go to an ethical golden retriever breeder. The breeds frequently found in our rescue were dobermans, German shepherds, rottweilers and most had such strict rules that it was difficult to adopt them. The rescue really wanted a very, very experienced owner to take these breeds. So generally no kids, fences yards, etc... And sometimes flat out would mention the dog in particular would not be a good fit for homes with children.

@Goldens&Friesians that's true regarding their mentality of keeping in dogs in Turkey and some Asian (West Asia, South Asia and South East Asia) countries as well🤦🏽‍♀️ but things have changed somewhat.
I heard from my grandmothers (one who lives in Singapore and the other who used to live in Iran) that these dogs "knew" how to come home - whatever that means 😐 In Singapore, this is no longer possible but back in the day, it was a fishing village and people just had a different way of life..

But also, people used to poison these dogs by leaving food out for them. My granny in Iran stopped allowing her Malinois to roam after her first one passed away in such circumstances. She always had enough space in her estate that I would never understand the reasoning. As I understand, many upper class people like her in Iran have changed their mind regarding letting their dogs roam for other reasons too... She is 93, still lives with her 3 Malinois and never let's them out of her side anymore wherever she is.
 

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Wow thanks for this thread. And all the info put here. I must admit I'm one of those that didn't know about this issue at all or that it existed. I'm probably falling into the category that SRW mentions here because this situation didn't exist back in Europe. So I am learning about this now. Thank you for this...

I am actually curious about the rescue Goldens in Turkey because I would think geographically we were nearer in France to get their rescues instead of going all the way in the US. We have not been innundated by these Goldens in the triborder area. In our rescue back home, it was so difficult to find a lab or a golden. In fact none existed during the time we looked before we decided to actually go to an ethical golden retriever breeder. The breeds frequently found in our rescue were dobermans, German shepherds, rottweilers and most had such strict rules that it was difficult to adopt them. The rescue really wanted a very, very experienced owner to take these breeds. So generally no kids, fences yards, etc... And sometimes flat out would mention the dog in particular would not be a good fit for homes with children.

@Goldens&Friesians that's true regarding their mentality of keeping in dogs in Turkey and some Asian (West Asia, South Asia and South East Asia) countries as well🤦🏽‍♀️ but things have changed somewhat.
I heard from my grandmothers (one who lives in Singapore and the other who used to live in Iran) that these dogs "knew" how to come home - whatever that means 😐 In Singapore, this is no longer possible but back in the day, it was a fishing village and people just had a different way of life..

But also, people used to poison these dogs by leaving food out for them. My granny in Iran stopped allowing her Malinois to roam after her first one passed away in such circumstances. She always had enough space in her estate that I would never understand the reasoning. As I understand, many upper class people like her in Iran have changed their mind regarding letting their dogs roam for other reasons too... She is 93, still lives with her 3 Malinois and never let's them out of her side anymore wherever she is.
This is really good insight into situations a lot of people out in the US/Canada don’t know so much about. And I think highlights how predatory the nature some of these programs can be.
 

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I volunteered with Humane society in the sixties and seventies, fostered dogs in the eighties and nineties and took on dogs that have been turned in, that nobody wanted.
At that time it seemed to be mostly about finding homes for dogs that needed some TLC.
Then change slowly crept in, and the cost for the "rescues" started rising beyond the vet care the dogs got before going to their permanent home.
I admit it took me a while to realize that some groups were using "rescue" as a money making proposition and that ended my contribution.
When I started to look for another dog about 5 years ago, I started with the "Rescue" organizations and was absolutely stunned by the money spent on "International rescues".
It's hard not to feel a bit cynical, when one looks a bit deeper in to the system.
Not anything I would ever consider getting involved in, in any capacity.
 

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I realize this might be an unpopular opinion, but I think we should absolutely never import dogs for rescues, period. I also think we should have less "no kill" shelters because I feel that they too often place animals that shouldn't be placed. As sad as it makes me, there are dogs that aren't fit to be pets either by virtue of their bad breeding causing health issues or bad life experiences that make them unhealthy and unstable, and we need to deal with that so that the ones that ARE fit to be pets aren't left waiting and underfunded.
I have a friend who works in rescue and they're constantly pushing out bully mix breeds, and then dealing with returns after the dogs bite or threaten to bite etc. Yet he doesn't see that the problem is that many of these dogs should not be put up for adoption to begin with.
I hate that this is where things are, but I've come to see that humane euthanasia needs to be a significant part of rescue...and we have enough of our own dogs here so we sure don't need to be importing problems from other countries, not to mention the risk of disease. There was a poor older lady in the UK who fostered one of those imports, and it brought in a disease the UK doesn't even have, and the rescue and all the woman's pet dogs had to be euthanized because of it.
Article: Woman Forced To Put Down Pet Dogs After Catching Rare Disease From Rescue.
 

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I realize this might be an unpopular opinion, but I think we should absolutely never import dogs for rescues, period. I also think we should have less "no kill" shelters because I feel that they too often place animals that shouldn't be placed. As sad as it makes me, there are dogs that aren't fit to be pets either by virtue of their bad breeding causing health issues or bad life experiences that make them unhealthy and unstable, and we need to deal with that so that the ones that ARE fit to be pets aren't left waiting and underfunded.
I have a friend who works in rescue and they're constantly pushing out bully mix breeds, and then dealing with returns after the dogs bite or threaten to bite etc. Yet he doesn't see that the problem is that many of these dogs should not be put up for adoption to begin with.
I hate that this is where things are, but I've come to see that humane euthanasia needs to be a significant part of rescue...and we have enough of our own dogs here so we sure don't need to be importing problems from other countries, not to mention the risk of disease. There was a poor older lady in the UK who fostered one of those imports, and it brought in a disease the UK doesn't even have, and the rescue and all the woman's pet dogs had to be euthanized because of it.
Article: Woman Forced To Put Down Pet Dogs After Catching Rare Disease From Rescue.
I don’t think people realize how serious Brucellosis is. It’s an automatic death sentence for dogs.
 

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I don’t think people realize how serious Brucellosis is. It’s an automatic death sentence for dogs.
Agreed. There was a really horrible strain of parvo that swept through MI last year too that started with a group of imports. We are playing Russian Roulette with our own dog's health by bringing in these imports.
 
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