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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
what do you all think? should shelters/rescues spend time, money, & resources to rehabilitate seriously ill/aged/disabled/deformed/etc animals?

I almost hate to hear the "heroic, brought back from the edge" stories of homeless pets. where they treat elderly dogs that are heartworm +, work for months to put weight on starvation cases, etc. I feel that those resources should go to "the greater good". 20 dogs could be rescued, housed, & fed for what is spent on a single dog with major medical issues-let alone the "treatment" that that one poor dog withstands.

I'm not talking about dogs that you have adopted & love. I'm talking about the dogs/cats that they feature 24/7 on Animal Planet shows & the ones that rescues feature on the front page of their websites.

we have stopped donating money to rescues just for this reason. instead we foster or donate food to other foster homes.

I'm sure I am calloused to this. I was raised on a farm where we bottle fed calves/piglets until they met weight to slaughter, our "pet" chickens & rabbits became dinner, & when an animal was hurt/sick/or no longer useful it was put down-and not by a vet. I didn't see the inside of a vet clinic until I was on my own (and now I seem to live there). our animals now are treated with the best medical attention. but that was life on the farm.

what are your thoughts? I'm sure many will flame me for this, but really think about the healthy animals that are turned away or killed, while they are spending huge amounts of money & time on a single animal. flame on:FIREdevil
 

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Let me say - there is no reason you should be flamed for stating your views or opinions.

I understand your thought process, you were raised with a point of view that has to be in place on a farm. Many people, me included, not raised in that situation see things differently and "humanize" pets and animals. I don't know if you are right or not but I understand you argument.

It can be argued that rehabilitating aggressive animals should be put down. I don't know what is right, many sweet loving animals are put down and aggressive ones are not. I am very soft hearted and can't watch shows like Dog Town or read the Humane News - I get much too upset and can sob for hours. You need to do what in your heart you feel is right.

I support as Best Friends, DVGGR, ASPCA, WWF and the local humane society. I think the only real answer is to continue to educate people/society, crack down on puppy mills etc, pass stronger legislation against cruelty and increase environmental awareness. Some day I really hope this planet belongs fairly to all of it's inhabitants.

I have always thought that human beings were supposed to be the caretakers of the planet NOT the over lords and NOT the ones to destroy it and those we share it with.
 

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Boudiga
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I can understand your point, but I also know 100% I couldn't be the person who stands on the other side of the cage and decides that the old dog should die. So, I can't blame the rescue folks who want to save them all either.
 

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Kathy mom to Jasper
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I can sorta see your point, but don't elderly dogs deserve a chance? It's not there fault that their human didn't take care of them. They derserve to feel love just like they young and healthy ones do.
 

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I think it depends on what the illness is and the overall health is with the animal. If the animal is so skinny from being starved then yes. It takes good food and love. But if the dog is skinny and has severe health issues then it would be more humane to put them down. With our rescue being a golden retriever we can take a dog that is sick and make them better. We might not get another dog in for a couple of weeks.
With the shows on tv I think the shelter knows if the dog can make it and if it can be adopted out. They know the area and if the dog has a chance of making it.
 

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Angel Gage's Grandma
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I don't see it as an either/or situation. If the animal can be helped and has a good chance at a good quality of life after treatment, I say why not try? Using an arbitrary criterion such as age, certain physical disabilities, etc., is wrong, IMO. I watched 'Underdog to Wonderdog' last night; it was about a puppy dumped at a shelter. She had very limited use of her hind legs, but through hydrotherapy and lots of training to use a wheelchair, she found a great home with a family that embraced and loves her, disabilities and all. She is a typical puppy, chasing the kids around the house in her 'wheels.' Was it worth the money and expense to give Faith a good life? I'd bet that Faith and the family who love her would say it was absolutely worth every penny.
 

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We all make our own choices for whatever reason. We follow that calling in the way in which we see fit and which makes us comfortable.

There does come a point in time when we must let go and it is never easy.
 

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(Sorry this ended up being waaay longer than I intended... and you don't need your flame resistant suit, lol. I'm not really disagreeing with you all that much, just adding my long winded opinion! :doh:)

I'm a "rescue" person and was raised in a rural, ranching situation, so I can definitely see your point of view from both sides.

There's definitely a BIG difference between rescues (like a golden rescue) and a shelter. A rescue is a controlled intake situation. They take in what animals they want and can handle. Typically they'll try to get at least a little bit of a handle on what medical needs an animal has before allowing it into their program. But they control intake, so if they want to put the $$ that could help say 3 dogs towards the care of 1 special needs dog, that's their choice. I don't see anything wrong with that from my "rescue" point of view. No one should dictate that I should value a certain dog less. Once I've committed to care for a dog, I've committed to care for it, period. They're not euthanizing dogs to save this one dog; they might just have to cut back on intake numbers for a bit. But an individual animal saved is still an animal saved.

I do strongly disagree with warehousing animals that are totally unadoptable or in severe pain. And I have seen rescues do this. I think it's a happier ending to humanely euthanize an animal rather than make it suffer... from physical pain or because it's caged and locked up away from human contact.

A shelter/animal control facility is usually open/uncontrolled intake on animals. They take in and care for any animal that comes through their doors. Some shelters run in triage mode much of the time. Take the overwhelming number of animals in, doing basic vetting, processing, and determining their outcome: euthanasia or adoption. Often staff deal with so many animals they hardly know an individual, they all have reference numbers only. These shelters have to make the euthanasia decision a lot. And I'm sure run on tight budgets. I would be quite upset if they made the decision to put thousands of dollars into an individual animal when it would directly cause the euthanasia of many, many animals that are perfectly adoptable.

But I think these are usually situations where a shelter will call a rescue to see if they have the extra time/money to put into a special needs case. It's really the beauty of rescues that they can sometimes (even often) do that special care for an individual animal. Like others have said... something it's not a huge expensive treatment that animal needs, usually it's just time.

I’m currently fostering a young, Border Collie mix foster that has severe hip dysplasia in both her hips. She's had an FHO surgery on one side and will have the same surgery on the other side too. Are dogs dying because she will live a life free of extremely painful hips? Nope. But if they were I’d probably feel different about putting in the extra effort for her.

Also, it’s important to note that those really pathetic “back from the edge” animals that rescues will feature on their websites often end up helping moneywise more than anything. They bring in lots of donations. They prompt people to donate who might not otherwise. Often more money is raised than is necessary for their treatment. A little Am Water Spaniel I fostered last year for several months had a heart condition that required surgery and a stent. Tons of people that heard her story donated to her cause. It went well above and beyond the cost of fixing her heart. So I know she benefitted many other animals just because I gave the housing and time to allow her to be fixed up and adopted out.
 

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I don't know how shelters or rescues make their decisions. I think if they see a quality of life for the dog and if they see a good future for it, then they choose to give it their all.

I think the ones that aren't socialized with humans well, that can be aggressive and might not be trustworthy...those are the ones that I'm not sure about as far as adopting out. But if a dog can be treated and make a wonder companion for a family than I'm all for spending the resources.
 

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(Sorry this ended up being waaay longer than I intended... and you don't need your flame resistant suit, lol. I'm not really disagreeing with you all that much, just adding my long winded opinion! :doh:)

I'm a "rescue" person and was raised in a rural, ranching situation, so I can definitely see your point of view from both sides.

There's definitely a BIG difference between rescues (like a golden rescue) and a shelter. A rescue is a controlled intake situation. They take in what animals they want and can handle. Typically they'll try to get at least a little bit of a handle on what medical needs an animal has before allowing it into their program. But they control intake, so if they want to put the $$ that could help say 3 dogs towards the care of 1 special needs dog, that's their choice. I don't see anything wrong with that from my "rescue" point of view. No one should dictate that I should value a certain dog less. Once I've committed to care for a dog, I've committed to care for it, period. They're not euthanizing dogs to save this one dog; they might just have to cut back on intake numbers for a bit. But an individual animal saved is still an animal saved.

I do strongly disagree with warehousing animals that are totally unadoptable or in severe pain. And I have seen rescues do this. I think it's a happier ending to humanely euthanize an animal rather than make it suffer... from physical pain or because it's caged and locked up away from human contact.

A shelter/animal control facility is usually open/uncontrolled intake on animals. They take in and care for any animal that comes through their doors. Some shelters run in triage mode much of the time. Take the overwhelming number of animals in, doing basic vetting, processing, and determining their outcome: euthanasia or adoption. Often staff deal with so many animals they hardly know an individual, they all have reference numbers only. These shelters have to make the euthanasia decision a lot. And I'm sure run on tight budgets. I would be quite upset if they made the decision to put thousands of dollars into an individual animal when it would directly cause the euthanasia of many, many animals that are perfectly adoptable.

But I think these are usually situations where a shelter will call a rescue to see if they have the extra time/money to put into a special needs case. It's really the beauty of rescues that they can sometimes (even often) do that special care for an individual animal. Like others have said... something it's not a huge expensive treatment that animal needs, usually it's just time.

I’m currently fostering a young, Border Collie mix foster that has severe hip dysplasia in both her hips. She's had an FHO surgery on one side and will have the same surgery on the other side too. Are dogs dying because she will live a life free of extremely painful hips? Nope. But if they were I’d probably feel different about putting in the extra effort for her.

Also, it’s important to note that those really pathetic “back from the edge” animals that rescues will feature on their websites often end up helping moneywise more than anything. They bring in lots of donations. They prompt people to donate who might not otherwise. Often more money is raised than is necessary for their treatment. A little Am Water Spaniel I fostered last year for several months had a heart condition that required surgery and a stent. Tons of people that heard her story donated to her cause. It went well above and beyond the cost of fixing her heart. So I know she benefitted many other animals just because I gave the housing and time to allow her to be fixed up and adopted out.

I agree with everything said here. I view humane societies separately from rescue. Circumstances are often different. In college I worked for a Humane Society in my small hometown, which was often inundated with animals. We often had to make these types of decisions. There just wasn't any money to do anything beyond basic vetting. If we could, we'd try to arrange rescue, but we had a severe lack of a volunteer base to assist with transport. Also, in early 2000's, there just weren't as many organizations as there are now. There wasn't enough space to keep each animal regardless of if friendly, healthy regardless of it young/old. It gets to the point that you can't "double up" dogs in their cages any more because it isn't safe, as clean, certainly isn't a nice environment in which to live for the dog's sake. I always donate to this shelter when I can, since I'm no longer close enough to give my time.
 

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RIP Sweet Skyler
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HBGRR has a philosophy that once we have taken in an animal then that animal can live out their days at the Sanctuary or at the loving home of a foster if unadoptable. As long as the dog maintains life without pain then they are given the same treatment as any other dog at the Sanctuary. We do NOT use them for "covershots" for donations or to ask for help - that would be demeaning to them. When the time arrives for the Gate to be opened to Rainbow Bridge for them Jody personally is on hand to give love & comfort. We are somewhat different in that we are lucky enough to have a Sanctuary like we do, but, we also have fosters who willingly take a terminal dog into their home to provide love for as many days as possible. Terminal shouldn't mean immediate PTS - constant pain without possible relief should.
 

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I understand both viewpoints, but I personally have an extremely hard time not taking a dog into my heart and home. It has to be a pretty severe issue for me to not at least make an effort, but it is a decision I have had to make.:(

I have also taken three dogs that the local GR rescue/shelter refused due to health, age or temperament issues as long as I believed I could deal with the issues involved. Copper is the love of my life and a shelter/rescue reject I adopted 5+ years ago. They did not have the resources to deal with his lack of socialization and age/health issues and I do not blame them for making that decision. I have also been told by a rescue that they have to choose based on the animal's ultimate adoptability and cost involved.

I just push spaying and neutering and try to make a difference in a little way at least. I wish we all had the money to take of every injustice we see, but that is sadly not the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
HBGRR has a philosophy that once we have taken in an animal then that animal can live out their days at the Sanctuary or at the loving home of a foster if unadoptable. As long as the dog maintains life without pain then they are given the same treatment as any other dog at the Sanctuary. We do NOT use them for "covershots" for donations or to ask for help - that would be demeaning to them. When the time arrives for the Gate to be opened to Rainbow Bridge for them Jody personally is on hand to give love & comfort. We are somewhat different in that we are lucky enough to have a Sanctuary like we do, but, we also have fosters who willingly take a terminal dog into their home to provide love for as many days as possible. Terminal shouldn't mean immediate PTS - constant pain without possible relief should.
:appl::appl::appl: I wish more programs could be run similarly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
this all came up actually last night, watching "underdog to wonderdog". yes it is great that they were able to find a home for the pup. but the poor thing was bound to a wheel chair & was incontinent. how many homes are there that would take in such a dog?

yes, a rescue can control intake & focus on one special needs dog; but while they are doing that they are turning away dogs that could live a much more fulfilling life & are more likely to be adopted.

I always encourage spaying/neutering & have decided that when Oliver is older, when we choose to foster again, I will be doing it on my own. I will no longer work with our local rescue. their "cover dog" has remained the same for 4 years; he is extremely special needs, and they can't find an adopter for him. so instead, he is passed from one foster to the next, it makes me angry.

I'll take DH's fire gear off now. thanks for being understanding, I just needed to know that I wasn't 100% off base.
 

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HBGRR has a philosophy that once we have taken in an animal then that animal can live out their days at the Sanctuary or at the loving home of a foster if unadoptable. As long as the dog maintains life without pain then they are given the same treatment as any other dog at the Sanctuary. We do NOT use them for "covershots" for donations or to ask for help - that would be demeaning to them. When the time arrives for the Gate to be opened to Rainbow Bridge for them Jody personally is on hand to give love & comfort. We are somewhat different in that we are lucky enough to have a Sanctuary like we do, but, we also have fosters who willingly take a terminal dog into their home to provide love for as many days as possible. Terminal shouldn't mean immediate PTS - constant pain without possible relief should.
Same with the rescue I work with.

We don't prioritize dogs based on the fact that one may be healthier than the other. Matter of fact, since the ones with more health issues are less likely to be adopted from the shelter, they tend to be our "emergency" cases that we take in. I can't imagine any one of our volunteers going to look at a dog with health issues that is in a shelter and walking away. If they are hopelessly ill, they will be in a foster home who has loved them and will be with them when they pass over the bridge. If the foster doesn't feel strong enough to do it, one of us other volunteers will go and love the dog on his/her way over so that they never have to leave this world without knowing that they were loved.

A few years back, we had a 13 and 14 year old turned into the shelter because the owners didn't want to put them to sleep themselves. Instead, they told the shelter to do it. Should we have left them in the shelter to be euthanized, scared and confused? Or should we have taken them out and put them into a foster home where they were loved for the next year+ that they both lived? To me it's a no brainer. Yes, they took a lot of money, like any senior dog would. But our rescue couldn't turn our backs on those dogs.

They are one of many. I wish I could find the story of Bernie. He is a textbook case of why we do what we do. Or James, who is still featured on our site.
 

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The Missouri Crew
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HBGRR has a philosophy that once we have taken in an animal then that animal can live out their days at the Sanctuary or at the loving home of a foster if unadoptable. As long as the dog maintains life without pain then they are given the same treatment as any other dog at the Sanctuary. We do NOT use them for "covershots" for donations or to ask for help - that would be demeaning to them. When the time arrives for the Gate to be opened to Rainbow Bridge for them Jody personally is on hand to give love & comfort. We are somewhat different in that we are lucky enough to have a Sanctuary like we do, but, we also have fosters who willingly take a terminal dog into their home to provide love for as many days as possible. Terminal shouldn't mean immediate PTS - constant pain without possible relief should.
Our rescue is the same way. We have plenty of dogs that need time to heal after there medical treatments, we try and put them in foster homes or they recoup at our vets. We have put them on the front page of our website with there stories and if people donate towards there care, That's Wonderful, if not, then we use our funds that are collected through donations, fundraisers etc. I will say this by having them on the front page of our website, we have found some great homes for these dogs and it was because of pity. those of you that knew of Maui, he was on our front page and I couldnt have found him a better home to live out his life!!!!!!
 
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