Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dog Breeders -vs- Dog Rescues

I know I am in deep hot water with this topic, but I am upset by a recent event with a local dog rescue and another one who claims to be a rescue, but surely has to be a puppy mill (sorry for my earlier post that stated breeder).

My granddaughter has her heart set on a puppy for her birthday and I must say our luck with dogs since moving to Washington hasn't been good. For their happiness and well-being we gave our 2 beautiful boxers to a woman who is known in these parts for her rescue work and owned a large piece of property...however, they got into the river, ate Salmon and passed on. We were broken hearted believing we did the right thing since we had no 'fenced' yard.

About a year and a half later, we picked up a free puppy who at first was wonderful and then began biting our grandson and I am not talking about nipping. When she bit a neighbor child, we gave her up to a no-kill shelter.

We went to look for a small breed dog that would fit our home and our yard and I contacted a local no-kill shelter and filled out their quite nosey application...they asked more personal questions than my family physician and I am almost sure they ran my credit score to see if I was worthy...well, maybe not that far, but questions that needed to know where we worked, what our work hours are, references, even our ages and past residences.

We were turned down flat for having no yard.

Then, I looked on a nationally known site for rescues and found what I felt would be an great little dog that wasn't a puppy, but not a senior either. They were several hours away, but I was willing to drive. Up until they told me their small adoption fee (thats what they list it as) was $650. I understand they have to get the cost of shots and neutering and vet fees and food back, but $650? What is up with this?

Do they realize I can call a puppy mill, pay less than half that much and walk away with a puppy? By the time I pay my own vet fees, etc. I won't have that much money invested and that includes a years worth of puppy insurance. I won't have to leave any paperwork or a pint of my blood.

What really got to me was when one of these rescues stated they had the right to remove the dog from our home at any time if they feel we are not taking care of it properly. What exactly did that mean? They feel they have the right at any time to walk into our home or stop by?
I'm sorry, but I thought I was living in the United States, I didn't realize the Gestapo was into dog rescues.

I am NOT advocating puppy mills and I understand being cautious with dogs that are rescued, but some of these so called 'adoption' fees and rules are just a bit more than I can handle. Guess having a dog for 11 years doesn't mean anything to them.....and they wonder why people don't choose rescue dogs over puppy mills.

How sad for the dogs and the people that truly want a pet and live in a small home or even an apartment or condo that may not have a yard.


Dayna said...

Jean - Reputable breeders of good quality and health tested Scotties go for way more than that. Breeders out to make money on their "stock" will charge whatever they can get and don't care who their dogs go to. Most good breeders will be asking the same questions and putting the same restrictions on adoptions as rescues do. Why? because too many rescued dogs wind up back in rescue because people get dogs for the wrong reasons. Because they get tired of the "puppy" who grew up to be a dog. Because people say the dog bites (probably should have been with it's mother longer and had more training when it was adopted) Because people get dogs and use and abuse them no matter what precautions rescues take. Don't fault the rescues...Fault the humans who made society the way it is. On the other hand I do think $650 might be a bit much but that may be what the fee is in your part of the US. We have paid anything from zero to $375 for our rescues. Fenced in yard was a requirement as was a home visit in the beginning. They contacted our vet and checked references. Most of the rescues know us now and look to us as a safe place for elder Scotties to find a loving home until they leave for the bridge. Most of the rescues I deal with spend way more on vet fees than they charge for adoption fees.

taylorsoutback said...

As the owners of 3 shelties, I read your post with great interest. We have always gone through reputable breeders with confidence. At the same time, our Wisconsin Rescue Chapters have a pretty good reputation too. But, like you, I would certainly question a fee of $650 - particularly since there would be limited background/history for you to trust in. The dog is afterall a "rescue." You are right to do your homework so thoroughly & this sure makes a strong statement for finding a reliable breeder. Wishing you the best in your search. We want to do our best for these special companions.

Rannyjean said...

Thank you both for your informationa and Dayna most of our local shelters/rescues do home checks, I don't mind that at all, but coming back later and stating they can take the much control for me. Reputable breeders do charge more and that is why I wouldn't go to a puppy mill and I should have stated pupply mill and not breeder, that was an error on my part! I understand many dogs in rescues require lots of medical attention & care. It just seems these dogs remain in rescues or shelters for so long because they are trying to protect the dogs and forgetting just because you don't have a fence doesn't mean you can't give a good home. The only way we can have a fence right now is to buy another house! Thanks for filling me in on some things I didn't know.

boscosmom said...

I founded a senior dog rescue in California, after going through shelters all over the country, I say there is good reason to have an extensive adoption application. So many great dogs end up back at shelters and get killed if it's a kill shelter or are warehoused if it's no kill.
I want to know what rescue charges $650 adoption fee, sounds like a backyard breeder saying that the dog is a rescue but they are really in it for the $$. Love to now the name of the rescue!

Rannyjean said...

Hi Boscosmom:
I agree and I disagree. Just because someone has a great reference background and fills out the application doesn't mean they won't turn out to be a deplorable pet owner. Check out some of the on line rescues and you will find several that charge a small adoption fee of what amounts to me to a backyard puppy mill owner. I am so glad you take in senior dogs, many won't because they can't take getting attached and then loosing the dog when it dies.

boscosmom said...

I understand not wanting to fill in a long application and have someone over to your home but getting more info is better, we have adopted out over 650 senior dogs in 3 years and none have ended up at a shelter, because of our adoption process.
These animals, some of which have had it rough, should not ever end up back at a shelter.
Please let me know what rescue org charges $650 for an adoption- Thanks

Patty said...

Sometimes it seems that there is more attention paid to animals than to children. Our system isn't right.

Melinda Cornish said...

by the way, happy late mothers are a great mom and grandma and I thought of you!

Melinda Cornish said...

whidbey island has a wonderful shelter and really nice dogs...they are a no kill and make a living off donations....I looked for a kitten there and there fees werent ridiculous at all....there are good shelters out there, I guess you just have to really look....I am sorry it has been so hard...crazy.....