What is going on?

It is becoming a problem; who could have seen this coming? I have gotten so much feedback from people looking for rescue dogs; negative feedback. Seems that some of these "rescuers" are becoming hoarders and not letting go. As humans we tend to think we are pretty great; but what happens when we think that we are so great that no one else can compare? I remember that not long after moving to California my long loved boy Clyde died. Although I was devastated I considered a rescue soon after. I made the call and was informed that I; Sherri was not good enough. You see we were renting; having just moved here we wanted to get to know the place before we bought. Renters were not good enough and when they move they dump their dogs was what I was told. I had travelled across North America with my three dogs via plane; but this meant nothing to the person I was speaking to.

I was basically in shock but over the years I have heard many stories with the same type of logic. These would be rescuers consider a life in their overcrowded home or kennel to better than a life with a loving family. Let their be one glitch and it's a no go. Let's get the facts straight here folks; life in a kennel or overcrowded dog home is a stressful one. It alone can cause many behavior issues that are long lasting. And this has to stop. No not all homes are perfect; I mean who really lives in a perfect world?

Most people work; no this is not a perfect life for a dog but one you can work around. Many dogs lead very happy lives with guardians who work and can afford to support their dogs. No not everyone is happily married; there are alot of single parents out there who have a heart big enough for lots of dogs in it. There are many people who do not have a fenced yard but are willing to walk their dogs until they will walk no more. This idea that everyone who wants to rescue a dog must fit into a perfect little mold is a ridiculous one and I'm frankly tired of trying to convince these rescuers who have gone bad otherwise.

Taking on a role as a "rescuer" means that you are dedicating yourself to finding a better home for a homeless or unwanted dog. If that means that you must return calls (another huge issue), return emails and generally work your butt off then do it. You took this on; don't tell me you don't have enough time. If you don't have enough time to rescue the dogs then don't say that this is what you are doing. If you only have time to scoop up dogs and keep piling them into your home then you are not a rescuer but a scooper; correct?

This is but one issue that I have with some of the rescue groups. Of course not all are like this; there are many rescue groups out there who do a wonderful job of pulling, rehabilitating and rehoming of dogs. But the idea of someone who has decided to rescue; who has opened their home and their heart to an otherwise unwanted dog is unfit because someone doesn't think they fit their little perfect mold? Just like in any type of situation; humans can go bad and when it happens to include dogs it is very sad indeed.

Then there are the shelters who have basically no quams handing out dogs. When I volunteered for a local shelter years ago; I was witness to several dogs being returned because they bit someone. Because I was educated in dog behavior I warned of several questionable dogs; one was a dalmation. The shelters attitude was very much "I think we know better." Then I heard a week later that this particular dalmation had severely bitten a volunteer while being walked. Another time I offered to accompany an employee while she walked what I considered to be a dangerous dog; she just smiled and took the dog out alone. Soon after she was screaming as the dog latched onto her leg. Does this shelter temperament test any of the dogs who are going to be offered to the general public? No; the dogs are set free in a fenced area for the nice families to figure it out on their own.

If any of the salaried people at the shelters understood real dog behavior they would know that there are alot of things you must test to see a dogs behavior. And not all can be seen in a shelter setting. Being in a shelter is a very stressful situation for a dog and they will often hide their true colors until they feel safe once again. This is one reason why so many shelter dogs do not work out. But simply skipping any type of temperament testing on the dogs you plan to offer up to families with children is simply inexcusable.

So before rescuing or attempting to rescue a dog do your research; it can turn out to be a battle or too easy. Either way you may loose.

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