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Normal for a rescue org. ???

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I just got back from volunteering at an 'adoptathon' for an all breed rescue.


It wasn't quite what I expected....


They had dog aggressive dogs there, dogs that didn't like kids.....in the middle of petsmart?


The foster homes were discussing the dogs and it seemed like a good many of them had been returned multiple times...


One guy (in a wheelchair) had 11 dogs and 8 cats....



Am I just interpreting this rescue oddly? 'cause to me it seems they just take as many dogs in as possible and adopt them out to whoever will take them....very litte screening, and a TON of returned dogs, and crowded foster homes. Some didn't even seem that healthy (and they had been in foster homes for at least a couple months) - nasty brittle hair, or scraggly faded and oily hair...



Can someone from rescue describe what their own rescue is like, or just explain what I may be misinterpreting? I want to be re-assured!



ETA: I know bad hair takes a while to improve, so that isn't something to judge the rescue on. But one dog in particular just 'seemed' unhealthy and old - he was apparently only 3.

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Like anything else in the world, not all rescue organizations are created equally. There are awesome, conscientious, organized rescue groups. There are well meaning but overworked and undereducated rescue groups. And there are ill run groups who do more harm than good. They should never be lumped into the same category and every group should be evaluated on a case by case basis.


The thing about rescue is that no matter WHAT we do, someone wants to criticize us for it. If we take in nothing but purebreds, the mutt people call us snobs. If we take in mixed breeds, the rescue of the other half of the mixed breed gets annoyed that we took "their" dog. If we don't take in aggressive dogs some other rescues accuse us of being selective and not doing "real" rescue (whatever that is). If we do take in aggressive dogs, militant groups slam us for rehoming 'dangerous' animals. The list goes on and on and on. The only thing you can say for certain about any rescue is that some other rescue group will find a way to pooh-pooh the work they do.


Having said all of that, if I were experiencing multiple returns and if I had foster homes that were seriously overloaded with dogs, I would be forced to rethink how I was operating as this doesn't sound like a good situation. On the other hand, I do not live in an area where hundreds of dogs are euthanized daily in our local shelters. We have an overpopulation problem, yes ... but I see photos of shelters in places like California that have upwards of 300 dogs in them and it blows me away. I hear it's even worse in the Southern United States.


Some people are very well meaning but not cut out to run a rescue successfully. But it's not a profession and there is no one to train or evaluate a rescue person and tell them what they are doing correctly or incorrectly. Working with groups who do a bad job is frustrating for the volunteers and they experience high burn out rates. Some of my foster homes have been volunteering with us for more than 5 years because we don't just rescue and rehome as many dogs as we can; we think about the people who are helping us achieve this and their needs, we think about the people who are adopting these dogs and their needs and we don't overtax our resources so that we can continue to rescue for a long time. I would rather place 100 dogs permanently over 3 years than place 500 dogs repeatedly in 1. It's hard to remember that we cannot save them all - but as rescuers we should never feel like we HAVE to save them all. However, it's easy to say that and hard to live that reality when dogs around you are being senselessly killed.



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Hmm, I sorta feel bad criticizing them. But, I was rather unhappy being stuck with the job of retraining a 100lb dog from eating an aggressive terrier that was trying to attack it (both were up for adoption and making a huge scene in petsmart - I was mortified, haha).


They do good deeds etc, I guess I would just go about it differently.

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My bedrock rescue principle is that there are many very nice dogs available for adoption from shelters and rescues. Therefore, the efforts of shelters and rescues should go toward finding home for the nice dogs that otherwise would be put down because there is no place or space for them. Also, the liability issues of adopting out a dog or people or food agressive dog are frightening.


I know that some purebred rescues can find successful homes with experienced owners for dogs with less than great temperaments, but most rescuers just want a nice family dog or companion. They don't know how to handle problem dogs and they don't want to.

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