Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: Adopt a Dog Month


October is the Humane Society's Adopt a Dog Month and as Bloggers we've been asked to promote adoption. What better advertisement do we have than our own beautiful dogs.

I encourage those of you who have specific needs or interests in a breed or type of dog to look into breed rescue. There are many valid reasons for wanting a specific type of dog and that doesn't necessarily exclude you from rescuing a dog. My goal for this post is to get people who have those needs or interests to consider breed adoption. There are many already advocating for local shelters. However, there is a place for breed rescue, too. It opens the door to those who have a desire for a specific breed and are willing to consider adoption over working with a breeder. Those potential adopters shouldn't be discouraged, shamed, or pushed into considering animals that may not be what they want or need. It is great for people to consider their options, however for those who are committed to finding a certain breed, providing a homeless purebred dog with a home is better than turning people away from adoption and having them seek out a breeder instead.

One thing I'd like to offer as we go through this month is that we find positive, healthy ways to discuss pet adoption. The choice to adopt a homeless pet is an important one. Setting one group against the other is not a great way to encourage people to make new choices. I find all too often when I bring up the topic of breed adoptions I get lots of resistance from those advocating for mixed breed adoptions. There is a place for everyone at the table. However, when you push people to do something they aren't going to do, you just shove them towards finding a breeder. You aren't converting them to consider a mixed breed adoption. There are ways to have a healthy discussion about what people are willing to do. However, in my experience it all to often becomes a hostile discussion that ends with you aren't a real advocate of rescue.

Recently, we were faced with the hard choice of needing to consider bringing another pet into our home as we watch another heading to the Rainbow Bridge. I spoke with a family member who has been a pet owner for years thinking that of all people in my family I could discuss the issue with, she'd be the most open to me working with a breed rescue. After all she has a specific breed of cat that she has used a breeder to get because she likes to raise her cats from kittens. She will not consider another breed of cat. It has to be this specific cat or nothing. I don't judge, we each have our needs. However, when it came time to get a dog, she adopted a mixed breed from a local rescue. I respected that choice, too. Again we all make the choices that work for us. However, when I told her our plan to return to Bailey and Katy's breed rescue she let loose with what to me sounded like a script that comes all to often from people who preach mixed breed rescue. Pure breds aren't rescues. You only rescue when you take a mutt. I should just go to the local rescue and get what they have.

This is just not a productive reaction to people who are choosing adoption over breeders. We are supposed to be advocating adoption. As long as we are using a reputable adoption source that is what should matter. What type of animal the person chooses to adopt is personal. Hopefully if the person is using a reputable rescue that group should help he/she make a choice that is a good fit. There are times when the rescue isn't doing due diligence and then it can help to have a friend who can look with honest eyes and ask the questions a rescue should ask about how this dog fits into the family. However, that needs to be done with respect and sensitivity. The best interest of dog and family should be the point, not your personal feelings about the choice the owner is making.

I do hope breed rescues continue to grow and expand across this country. I know they are not available in all states and regions. Our rescue is a regional breed rescue that covers three states. It would be great if the American Kennel and other dog breed groups would work towards organizing and supporting individual breed rescues across the country. It would provide more opportunities for animals and adopters to connect. People who have specific interests in the breed often find it challenging to find available dogs as they sift through lists of dogs in the area. Breed rescues provide ways for people interested in dogs with specific qualities, characteristics, and abilities to connect. When we go to fundraising events I always enjoy visiting with the breed specific groups to find out more about their groups and how they are advocating for their breeds. The local Dachshund group has the best fundraising booth of any of them at the events we attend twice a year.




Blog Paws is hosting the Hop here.

26 comments:

  1. Unless someone in the house needs a specifically trained dog for medical reasons (like a seeing eye dog), all the animals that cross the threshold will be a rescue (either shelter or private rescue). Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. THIS is just the sort of Post that we all can appreciate and advocate. THANK YOU fur putting it up...
    We just want to put a stop to PUPPY MILLS and Breed Specific rescues Help to do just that!! WE love them and could not agree more with every word you said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is my frustration Frankie. What started as a noble movement against puppy mills has morphed into something else and it isn't helping dogs the way people think it should. We are now have people having anti-purity tests on the type of dog you adopt. This is when a movement has lost direction. We should be happy every time ANY dog finds a safe healthy forever home. As long as the agencies working with the dogs are responsible, legal, etc. I am happy to see them finding niches to work in that help these dogs find homes. Breed Rescue is just one more avenue that helps people who likely will use a breeder to think about another option for a pure bred dog. It isn't for everyone but why bash what works? Focus needs to return to puppy mills, not attacking people who choose purebred dogs and do it in a responsible way.

      Delete
  3. Rescue dogs are the best. Our Lilly is a rescue and we couldn't dream of a better dog; she is our little princess :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful! Our Tootsie is a rescue, too.
    Wag on.
    Tootsie & her mom

    ReplyDelete
  5. Regardless of where or how the adoption happens it is adoption. The pets we have are ones that happen to show up at our door, one of our cats was a kitten we found living in our garage. We could have turned them into the shelter, but we took them in an made them part of our family. It may not be an official "adoption" but I would like to think of it as adoption.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that when you are the one providing food, shelter, and Vet care, it is pretty much an adoption. This is why we do need to be inclusive when we discuss pet rescue it is a HUGE umbrella of how homeless animals get forever homes. There isn't one answer to the problem.

      Realistically there is always going to be a need for traditional rescues due to the number of people who abandon animals. However, there are any number of great alternatives that also are working and we shouldn't discourage but encourage all the methods that work. It has to stop being a competition and start being about cooperation that puts the needs of the animals first.

      If someone is willing to take a pet in off the street and has the resources to care for it, there is clearly no need for rescue to intervene. It is a waste of resources. Sadly, I have seen this happen and I never understand why resources are wasted when the animal has been rehomed and is fine. (I'm not discussing rescues who have contracts to retrieve animals previously placed I'm talking about situations where animals have been rehomed and others feel the animal needs to go through rescue to determine the placement is appropriate.)

      There is a real need for rescues to work together and not get proprietary about the dogs they have. I was pleased to hear recently of one group contacting a breed rescue regarding an older dog that they felt the breed rescue would have a better chance of placing. Their contacts in the community would be more likely to find someone willing to take in the dog than an overcrowded general shelter. That is what putting the dogs first looks like. Knowing who has the best chance to find the dog a home and letting that process work.

      Delete
  6. We like the part about respecting anyone's right to choose where they adopt a pet.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've been in rescue for a long time. I always tell people they can find the type of dog they are looking for at breed specific rescue groups. In fact maybe you can help me find a Sheltie. Do you know any rescue groups in upstate New York? I'd love to know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The American Shetland Sheepdog Assoc lists rescue groups by state here http://assa.org/rescue.html

      Delete
  8. Mom always gets so upset when people always think they want a specific breed, then they end up buying a puppy from a pet store that got them from puppy mills. Breed rescues probably wouldn't be in business if it wasn't for all the irresponsible breeders and puppy mills to begin with. Then people would have to adopt from a shelter. Love Dolly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree. It's a case of supply and demand.

      Delete
    2. The responsible breeders I've met over the years have contracts that will take back the dogs should the owners have a problem with the dog. They want the dog to be happy. In fact many work with their breed rescue to make sure animals who don't have that protection get rehomed.

      Bailey's foster Mom was that kind of responsible breeder. She had contracts that required people to return the dogs if they couldn't keep them. However, she also fostered dogs like Bailey who didn't have that kind of protection and needed help to be rehomed.

      I have respect for the breeders who do it right. I for one want to see a continuation of healthy pure bred dogs. If that means there are none available for adoption because people are honoring their contracts well so be it. I may have to work with a breeder.

      As I stated above, people who want a pure bred dog aren't going to be convinced to take a mutt. If breeders are honoring their contracts and taking their own dogs back, I suspect they will be working breed rescue groups to rehome some of the dogs that are returned. They tend to have a broader outreach to place dogs that might have experienced a challenging home life over a breeder who is used to dealing with puppies.

      Our focus needs to be on reducing the irresponsible breeders not attacking owners and breeders who do the job right.

      I'll be honest I don't remember the last time I saw a dog for sale in a pet store. I don't know that it is prohibited, they just aren't there anymore. The mall stores that used to sell the dogs are gone and the a few of the major pet retailers around here host rescue cats from local shelters to increase adoptions, a few have fish and smaller animals, but that's about it.

      If you want a dog around here you have a choice of a breeder or rescue. We still need to educate people on how to find a good breeder and to understand that cheap isn't generally equated to a healthy and a safe choice, but that can come with time. Just telling people they can't have what they want tends to lead them to the breeders we don't want them dealing with because it continues the problems we are trying to change.

      Delete
  9. Great post! It's hard to be militant sometimes, when we're talking about little lives. I'd never want to support a puppy mill or disreputable breeder, but I want all the doggies to have nice homes, even the ones that were bred irresponsibly.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love all dogs, but I will look for another Basset Hound when I am able to get another puppy. Whether it is from a rescue or a responsible breeder will depend on the availability of them. It is just the breed that I love and purebred puppies need homes too. ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that is an idea we all should support and embrace.

      I'd love to see a Blog campaign that focused on researching and locating responsible breeders for those who want that option. I'd much rather see people understand how to find a responsible breeder than have them fall into the hands of the new sale sites for puppy mill breeders. As I mentioned in a previous post we don't have any mall dog stores anymore, but modern society has brought new venues that we need to address.

      I've long felt teaching people how to find a responsible breeder and educating people about the reasons why those dogs may cost more than the puppy mill dogs can help people make better choices. There are many people who still don't understand the costs with buying a dog from a responsible breeder vs. the cheaper version on the Internet. There still continues to be a need to educate people regarding the costs adoption. Many people are very frustrated when they think they are doing something charitable and it is expensive. They fail to understand the costs involved with Vet care, feeding, and sheltering that dog while waiting for it to be adopted. It is up to us to educate.

      Delete
  11. Adoption is so important. Very nicely written.

    ReplyDelete
  12. There definitely needs to be more education for folks about where to get dogs from - whether they choose adoption, a breed rescue or a responsible breeder. (I never heard anyone complain about someone rescuing a non-mutt before! Purebred dogs that are given up need to be rescued too!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sad, but true. I've even been hassled when we attended shelter fundraisers by people who are pushing mixed breed adoptions and have an attitude about pure bred dogs. I don't see the point.

      I have talked to lots of people at these events who have been very interested in learning more about working with breed adoption when they see you can get the dogs you want if you are willing to wait.

      Homeless dogs are homeless dogs.

      Delete
  13. I think people should adopt the dog that fits their family, be it purebred or mix breed. If a person wants a specific breed because of traits and characteristics that they love in that breed, I think that's great. No one should go into adopting a dog lightly.

    Misha is a Jack Russell purebred, but my previous dog was Lab/Golden mix. I enjoy them both equally for who they were and their differences.

    One thing to consider is that animal shelters are often over crowded. Breed specific rescue groups fill a need. They help dogs get out of shelters and into loving homes.

    Last year, we had to turn a stray Yorkie over to the animal shelter (our dog does not tolerate other dogs). It was a comfort knowing that a Yorkie rescue group worked with the shelter. We knew the little guy would find a home one way or the other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love hearing about shelters working with breed rescues to put the needs of the dogs first. All too often I hear about territorial disputes where people are fighting over who should be able to "keep" the dogs. Frankly nobody should be worried about keeping them. The focus should be on finding homes for them. If a breed rescue has a better shot of rehoming the dog great. If a local rescue has more exposure and the dog can be placed quickly that's great too. The focus should be the dog, not who has control.

      Delete
  14. I believe that breed rescues, shelters and responsible breeder dogs are all good and valid options!

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy reading your comments and try to respond back on your blogs.
I am sorry I cannot comment on blogs which require Google + or Facebook to comment. I am not a member and have no plans to join.