Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hidden Dangers: Part I

Dear Diary,

Today I decided to jump on the bandwagon of cross-posting and virtual rescue. I started a page and featured dogs that needed homes. I didn't know much about them, so I postulated their pasts..."dumped by their family," "unwanted by their family," "used as a bait dog," and so on. I claimed they were from a high kill shelter, because people don't want to know that animals die in shelters. I called them "urgent" and "deathrow dogs." I tagged as many people as I could in the photos and encouraged others to do the same. No one wants to see a dog die, right? Anywhere is better than the shelter, right? Of course! I can't wait to see how everything turns out...

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I ask for donations to pay for the "pull fee," because rescues can't pay for that kind of stuff. I mean, I know a lot of rescues that don't even get dogs fixed until they get an adoption fee paid. They just don't have that kind of money laying around, you know? Some people think that rescues should have a money base before getting started, but that doesn't make sense. The sooner you jump in, the more dogs you can save!

Sometimes, the dogs get adopted before I can get them pulled. I can't pull them myself, but I can use another rescue's license to get them out. We try to find a foster home, but half the time they end up at my house. I have some that are dog selective, so they all have to stay in crates a lot. We started Chip In accounts to pay for their vetting, but really we're just trying to make ends meet and pay for the dogs' food right now.

Sometimes, dogs will already be in rescue, but we leave the "urgent" tags to get more sponsorship money in. Once people think dogs are safe, they quit being so quick to give money. We have some friends that have a boarding facility, but we still owe them a lot of money. Some of our dogs have been there for months...maybe longer. It's so good that they're out of the shelter, though! They could be dead!

We did have one dog that got to the point that he did nothing but pace his cage. If you tried to go near him, he'd try to bite you. We tried to adopt him out, but the family said he snapped at their little kid. We had to finally take him to animal control to be put down because he bit one of our volunteers. The shelter he was in before we got him obviously warped his mind pretty bad.

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We have some people that are posting bad stuff about us. They say we don't take care of our dogs right and that we are accepting donations under false pretenses. They say that we're mean to shelter staff, but we all know shelter staff suck. They're the reason dogs die. Those people are saying that we're part of the problem, that we're causing people to make impulse decisions on dogs. Yeah, we don't really know where a lot of our dogs end up, but we know they're safe. They're out of the shelter, so they're not going to die. Sure, I heard about that rescue that had all of those dogs starving on chains, but it's not like any of ours went there.

We get a lot of dogs of all kinds...well, we pick what we pull, but puppies go so fast! I swear we can pull them Friday and adopt them out before Monday, sometimes all over the place!

We have some awesome rescues and foster that take the dogs we pull when we already have too many. Some of them have 50+ dogs in their care! They rock! Yeah, they can't feed them the best of food and they're asking for donations a lot, but who can blame them? They're keeping those dogs out of the shelter!

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Did you see anything wrong with the snippet above? You should have seen a lot wrong with it. People all over the place are doing exactly what was chronicled here - assisting in the negative marketing world of death row dogs, urgent pleas, and begging for funds. That's not real rescue.

Real rescues:


  • Have their own financial backing secure BEFORE embarking on the rescue journey.
  • Perform home/reference checks.
  • Make it their priority to match animals to adopters.
  • Have the best interest of the animal in mind at all times.
  • Always have a solid plan before taking on an animal.
  • Provide thorough medical care and obey the law about quarantines.
  • Keep thorough and accurate records on all animals, including their details and that of their adopters/fosters.
  • Don't play the hero. When faced with trouble (unforeseen medical emergencies, etc), responsible rescues network with one another and with the public to get the help they need. 
You can read more about what it means to be a  responsible rescue here

Don't fall prey to the animal hoarders, abusers, or plain irresponsible people claiming the title "rescue." Donate your time and money to the rescues you can vouch for and to the shelters. There are so many fake rescues popping up over the country, as well as licensed ones that no dog should ever go to. Just because a rescue holds a license from the Dept. of Agriculture doesn't make it okay. In the state of Georgia, you submit a fee (pocket change) and go through a scanty inspection and you're a rescue. Mail in your renewal each year and you're golden to continue. That's horrible rescue oversight!!

We owe it to the animals to be more vigilant about where we send them and who we support.!