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How widespread is rescuers hate for breeders?


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I have lived in CA, WA, KS, MO, IL, CT, MA and NY. There is a different dog culture in each state (and even differences within each state) driven by the local beliefs and values.

 

In some areas dogs were loved but also considered a disposable luxury to most. In other words, if the dog got really sick it would be put to sleep (or shot) rather than treated if the bill exceeded a certain amount. Another suitable replacement pet would located if desired. Making sure pets don't reproduce is lower on the list of priorities. Pets are often not neutered simply because of the cost. Accidental litter? Just dispose of the pups. In these areas the kill rate at shelters was shockingly high.

 

In other areas pets are considered members of the family, virtually equal in status to human children. They will spend more money than they have to save their beloved animals. They often adopt from the shelters, seeing it as a win win situation. This sort of person tries their best (and is generally always successful) at being responsible about preventing unwanted pups. In these areas, aside from the animals that can't be adopted (too sick or dangerous), supply does not meet demand. Shelter pets are actually shipped in from other parts of the country.

 

In reality there is a continuum of both sorts of people in most places, with one or the other making up the majority. You need to get to the heart of the issue, the local culture, in order to make a difference with pet overpopulation. To me, that means starting young, getting into the schools and trying to teach kids about responsible pet ownership. That is where you are going to fix the pet overpopulation problem.

 

JMHO

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Without responsible breeders you wouldn't have the breed you own.

 

That's debatable.

 

Breeders of some description in the case of our BC certainly but how can anyone say whether they were "responsible" by any definition of the word?

In his case I would lay money on him being one of a likely accidental farm litter sold to anyone with the cash given the totally unsuitable home he came from. Who can tell if breeders back along the line were any more "responsible"?

 

None of my other dogs can be dignified with a breed label. Even my JR is a type only and could have a bit of something else in him.

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To me, that means starting young, getting into the schools and trying to teach kids about responsible pet ownership. That is where you are going to fix the pet overpopulation problem.

 

 

Exactly what HSUS is doing, getting into the schools I mean.

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In some areas dogs were loved but also considered a disposable luxury to most. In other words, if the dog got really sick it would be put to sleep (or shot) rather than treated if the bill exceeded a certain amount. Another suitable replacement pet would located if desired. Making sure pets don't reproduce is lower on the list of priorities. Pets are often not neutered simply because of the cost. Accidental litter? Just dispose of the pups. In these areas the kill rate at shelters was shockingly high.

 

In other areas pets are considered members of the family, virtually equal in status to human children. They will spend more money than they have to save their beloved animals. They often adopt from the shelters, seeing it as a win win situation. This sort of person tries their best (and is generally always successful) at being responsible about preventing unwanted pups. In these areas, aside from the animals that can't be adopted (too sick or dangerous), supply does not meet demand. Shelter pets are actually shipped in from other parts of the country.

 

You could be describing the difference between Ireland and most parts of GB, which is why there are so many ex Irish rescue dogs here - at least 6 in our small agility club alone.

 

The Hearing Dogs charity had to cast its net wider to Ireland for the dogs it trains too because of a shortage in GB. I expect similar charites do the same.

 

I'm not sure that accidental litters get bucketed as often as they used to as there is a market for them. If they can't be sold they do end up in rescue or the pound. It's quite common for whole litters of BCs to come in from Ireland.

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I know I am getting into this conversation late, but I think your frame of reference is way off. Sure 3% is very small number when you talk about percentages. But apply that to the whole population of 165,000,000 dogs and cats and we are talking about 5,000,000 animals euthanized every year. I hate to see anybody state that the euthanasia of 5,000,000 dogs and cats is acceptable as a percentage of the overall population.

 

That's exactly what I was trying to say earlier.

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I don't think anyone sane believes that 'no kill' should involve warehousing of sick or suffering animals. The term 'no kill' means anything from a euthanasia rate below 10% to not killing healthy, adoptable, not-dangerous animals (however you define that). So you do things like find fosters, decrease surrenders, increase the number of stray dogs returned to their owners, promote adoptions more heavily etc.

I wasn't talking about overtly sick or suffering animals. But let's look at cats, since they are more difficult to adopt out than dogs, especially adult cats. I've had cats who were social and cats who were not social; cats who liked other cats and cats who did not. At the very extreme, I had a cat who constantly sprayed in the house (he was neutered) because of cats outside. Some of these cats will adjust just fine to living in a shelter or some of the group situations you find in sanctuaries and some will not.

 

Consider the dogs you see posted on FB and the like with comments like "not doing well in a shelter environment."

 

I realize that one solutions is to find fosters, etc., but the fact remains that there aren't as many fosters, especially for adult cats, as there are animals in no kill shelters. So who decides if an animal is actually thriving (i.e., having a good quality of life) in a no-kill shelter?

 

If it's a cat and it's withdrawn is it just being a cat or is it suffering mentally?

 

My general point--and I am quite sane, thank you--is that while searching for a gazillion needed foster homes, there are many, many animals--animals who are at least physically healthy--who are being warehoused at no-kill shelters. Some (and maybe more than we know) of them may be suffering mentally from simply living in a shelter situation. Is that fair to them?

 

(Note that I am not advocating for euthanasia or even supporting the high euthanasia rates that have been posted here, and I'm sure these remarks will get me villified by some, but I think too often people feel superior for advocating no kill when they never consider the mental health consequences--many of which may not be overt--to the animals who may live for a very long time in a shelter situation. So I'm just trying to point out a downside to no-kill. No solution is perfect, but this should be about the animals, and if they are not living a good, happy life--and who defines that?--then keeping them alive, essentially at all costs, isn't necessarily doing them any favors.)

 

J.

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(Note that I am not advocating for euthanasia or even supporting the high euthanasia rates that have been posted here, and I'm sure these remarks will get me villified by some, but I think too often people feel superior for advocating no kill when they never consider the mental health consequences--many of which may not be overt--to the animals who may live for a very long time in a shelter situation. So I'm just trying to point out a downside to no-kill. No solution is perfect, but this should be about the animals, and if they are not living a good, happy life--and who defines that?--then keeping them alive, essentially at all costs, isn't necessarily doing them any favors.)

 

J.

 

I know this is parenthetical, but it brings up some points with which I strongly agree. I started out hopeful but skeptical about "no-kill", accepted what I thought were the positives, and waded through so much bullshit that my cynicism meter started defaulting to alert. I think it's a noble goal, but I'd like to see a lot less smoke and mirrors and egos and a lot more real solutions. But that is a really long post and I don't have time to visit it today.

 

 

ETA: Since Eileen asked your opinion on Nathan Winograd, I just wanted to add a note about him (and Rich Avanzino, who mentored him) in relation to my comments on no-kill above. I certainly wouldn't say that Rich Avanzino or Nathan Winograd have not offered some real solutions; quite the contrary (though I dislike some of Winograd's presentation). So that comment was not related to their specific efforts in terms of turning shelters around and offering a plan of action (particularly Mr. Avanzino, who I admire). And even in terms of presentation, Nathan Winograd has shaken up the status quo in a very visible way, and I think that was necessary to change some entrenched paradigms. My comments are more related to the institutional hoarding, less than forthright 'brand management' and dishonest numbers reporting that we all know just never happens at the local level.

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That's debatable.

 

Breeders of some description in the case of our BC certainly but how can anyone say whether they were "responsible" by any definition of the word?

In his case I would lay money on him being one of a likely accidental farm litter sold to anyone with the cash given the totally unsuitable home he came from. Who can tell if breeders back along the line were any more "responsible"?

 

None of my other dogs can be dignified with a breed label. Even my JR is a type only and could have a bit of something else in him.

You may have missed my previous point, breeders developed the breed Border Collie; it didn't appear on its own. I wasn't talking about your individual dogs.

 

Are you saying, there is no such thing as a good breeder; we're all just varying degrees of bad (irresponsible). Does this mean you think there should be no breeders?

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... it’s a completely different story if you are talking about euthanasia rate as compared to shelter intake. These are some euthanasia rate statistics for 2011 in Texas:

 

Harris County VPH 82.6%

Dallas Animal Service & Adoption Center 74.80%

San Antonio Animal Care Services 67.50%

Houston (BARC) 53.40%

Fort Worth Animal Care & Control 50.18%

Austin Animal Center 7.50%

Montgomery County, Texas Animal Control 12%

 

These are very interesting numbers. What are Austin and Montgomery County doing that Harris County and the others aren't? And what would it take to convince the others to do as Austin and Montgomery do?

 

You need to get to the heart of the issue, the local culture, in order to make a difference with pet overpopulation.

 

I think Liz P is exactly right, and I would love to see a discussion of how that happens. How do people come around to being less careless about their animals? Certainly not by being lectured.

 

It may be that college towns like Austin are always going to be the leaders in cultural change. On a local government level, where the killing actually takes place, factors like cost are pretty important.

 

What's interesting is that kill shelters aren't necessarily less expensive. In my neck of the woods there's a 'shelter' which kills something like 70% of all dogs who come in, but they're consistently over-budget, whereas the no-kill shelter in a similar area spends a little over half the money per animal and takes in a lot more animals. I never could figure that out.

 

I wonder about that too and hope cost factors could work in favor of less killing rather than more.

 

On the national level, what organizations are actually on the ground, working for the change we all want to see? I support my local shelter, which has made great improvements in the past dozen years. I wonder if there is a national organization that is worth supporting. Certainly there are plenty that aren't.

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On the national level, what organizations are actually on the ground, working for the change we all want to see? I support my local shelter, which has made great improvements in the past dozen years. I wonder if there is a national organization that is worth supporting. Certainly there are plenty that aren't.

 

I don't think you're going to find any one organization that will please everyone. I think the closest we have come on a national level would be the Asilomar Accords, and that is not an organization, but a sort of pact between disparate elements.

 

 

ETA: Nathan Winograd is not on board with the Asilomar Accords. I don't know if he was at that conference. Rich Avanzino (who spearheaded the no-kill movement and hired Winograd at SFSPCA) was one of the drafters.

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Unfortunately 'responsible' doesn't equate with producing quality dogs, but it does mean they show responsibility fo those pups they bring into the world and are willing to takc care of any pups that they place that are no longer wanted.

 

I didn't respond to this before now, because I couldn't (and can't) fault your answer. Just wanted to give it a nod. Thank you for responding.

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Liz brought up the different attitudes in different areas. Living in Rhode Island I feel like i have been watching a growth business in the transportation of dogs from the south, and for some of the rescues the fees they charge it seems as if it is a business. If breeding has ethical considerations then so does this. In many parts of New England the only dogs available in shelters are pit bull types due to the success they have had with spay neuter education programs. So as in the case of the shelter where I live, a Rolls Royce of animal shelters, they also import dogs from the south so they have a supply of cute dogs. I had a long conversation with a board member a few years ago about this, apparently the board was very torn about this, but in the end decided it was better to supply dogs, rather than people buying dogs from a pet store which is what they felt would happen. Personally the vast number of dogs getting shipped in makes me uncomfortable, but like most people I would want to bust all those dogs out of the high kill shelters.

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Unfortunately 'responsible' doesn't equate with producing quality dogs, but it does mean they show responsibility fo those pups they bring into the world and are willing to takc care of any pups that they place that are no longer wanted.

 

Except you will find a lot of "responsible" breeders, many on these very boards, who will - and HAVE - argued that they are not responsible for everything they produce, shouldn't and won't take back everything they produce, and stress that the new owners of the dogs are the ones ultimately responsible for what happens to the dog(s) they purchased, not the breeder.

 

So finding a comfortable definition of "responsible breeder" has never been very easy, or even successful. Small wonder some folks decide there are no responsible breeders. I'm not saying I agree, but I'm not shocked that they don't.

 

RDM

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Except you will find a lot of "responsible" breeders, many on these very boards, who will - and HAVE - argued that they are not responsible for everything they produce, shouldn't and won't take back everything they produce, and stress that the new owners of the dogs are the ones ultimately responsible for what happens to the dog(s) they purchased, not the breeder.

 

Many?? Name three. Heck, name two.

 

And even if that were true, how could someone conclude from that that there are NO responsible breeders?

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I feel like i have been watching a growth business in the transportation of dogs from the south, and for some of the rescues the fees they charge it seems as if it is a business. If breeding has ethical considerations then so does this.

 

Just for the record (apologies in advance, but this really strikes a nerve). And as a matter of full disclosure, I am a volunteer with All Border Collie Rescue in Texas. Our rescue is a 501c3 organization, NOT for profit! We have no paid employees. I would love for our 50+ volunteers to get reimbursed for their out of pocket expenses for such things as gas (transporting dogs), dog food, dog toys, etc. It will probably never happen. Our group has rescued over 250 dogs so far this year and adopted out almost 200. We do it for the love of the dogs and the breed.

 

I would really like to know what fees the Border Collie rescues in your area charge? We currently ask for a donations of $250 for a dog. Our Vetting cost per dog averages around $400. Most all dogs we have to spay/neuter and give the standard shots (Rabies, Bortadella, DHLP, Parvo, etc.). About 35% of or dogs need Heartworm treatment ($250-$700). Some pups come down with Parvo days or weeks after we pull them from the shelter ($500-$2000). Currently we have 70+ dogs available for adoption and we are giving them monthly doses of Heartworm and Flea protection ($1000+). We work over 50 events a year to raise funds, attract potential adopters and educate folks. We scramble to raise money and find foster homes so we can rescue dogs. It is our passion, NOT our profession. We do it for the love of the dogs and the breed!

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Actually, there is a widely accepted definition: "The responsible breeder accepts my values and does as I do."

 

Donald McCaig

 

"...теперь всё позволено..."!*

 

 

(just kidding)

 

 

 

 

 

 

* (very) roughly: Now everything is permitted!

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Just for the record (apologies in advance, but this really strikes a nerve). And as a matter of full disclosure, I am a volunteer with All Border Collie Rescue in Texas. Our rescue is a 501c3 organization, NOT for profit! We have no paid employees.

 

Our local rescue (AzBCR) is also 100% volunteer based, non-profit, and I know that is true of all the rescues we collaborate with. I also know that there are some pseudo-rescues that have a different model. Don't mix the two together.

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Just for the record (apologies in advance, but this really strikes a nerve). And as a matter of full disclosure, I am a volunteer with All Border Collie Rescue in Texas. Our rescue is a 501c3 organization, NOT for profit! We have no paid employees. I would love for our 50+ volunteers to get reimbursed for their out of pocket expenses for such things as gas (transporting dogs), dog food, dog toys, etc. It will probably never happen. Our group has rescued over 250 dogs so far this year and adopted out almost 200. We do it for the love of the dogs and the breed.

 

I would really like to know what fees the Border Collie rescues in your area charge? We currently ask for a donations of $250 for a dog. Our Vetting cost per dog averages around $400. Most all dogs we have to spay/neuter and give the standard shots (Rabies, Bortadella, DHLP, Parvo, etc.). About 35% of or dogs need Heartworm treatment ($250-$700). Some pups come down with Parvo days or weeks after we pull them from the shelter ($500-$2000). Currently we have 70+ dogs available for adoption and we are giving them monthly doses of Heartworm and Flea protection ($1000+). We work over 50 events a year to raise funds, attract potential adopters and educate folks. We scramble to raise money and find foster homes so we can rescue dogs. It is our passion, NOT our profession. We do it for the love of the dogs and the breed!

 

I just wanted to bump this, since I interrupted the flow with some nonsense. This is why I feel that legitimate rescues--with their dedicated, often unpaid staff--are the best 'investments' for donations. Well that and the fact that you're not funding political BS. I also think local shelters are worthy recipients for the most part.

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Good works are a self-rewarding behavior, like obsessive BC behavior of running up and down a fence. And if a person does not go into the good works with humility and true love, and brain, they soon become addicted to the "do-gooder" rush and they grow in their addiction which soon can be only appeased by contrasting one's self-righteous attitude against the "foul souls" of others. The badder the bad guys the gooder the good, and the better the fix.

 

Thank God there are still many truly good people who go into breeding and rescue with the right attitude.

 

Maja

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Good works are a self-rewarding behavior, like obsessive BC behavior of running up and down a fence. And if a person does not go into the good works with humility and true love, and brain, they soon become addicted to the "do-gooder" rush and they grow in their addiction which soon can be only appeased by contrasting one's self-righteous attitude against the "foul souls" of others. The badder the bad guys the gooder the good, and the better the fix.

 

Thank God there are still many truly good people who go into breeding and rescue with the right attitude.

 

Maja

Ahhhhh! Fresh air!

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And if a person does not go into the good works with humility and true love, and brain, they soon become addicted to the "do-gooder" rush and they grow in their addiction which soon can be only appeased by contrasting one's self-righteous attitude against the "foul souls" of others.

Maja

 

Hear, hear!

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I would really like to know what fees the Border Collie rescues in your area charge? We currently ask for a donations of $250 for a dog. Our Vetting cost per dog averages around $400. Most all dogs we have to spay/neuter and give the standard shots (Rabies, Bortadella, DHLP, Parvo, etc.). About 35% of or dogs need Heartworm treatment ($250-$700). Some pups come down with Parvo days or weeks after we pull them from the shelter ($500-$2000). Currently we have 70+ dogs available for adoption and we are giving them monthly doses of Heartworm and Flea protection ($1000+). We work over 50 events a year to raise funds, attract potential adopters and educate folks. We scramble to raise money and find foster homes so we can rescue dogs. It is our passion, NOT our profession. We do it for the love of the dogs and the breed!

my observations where not in reference to rescues like yours or the one that I volunteer with but the large number of rescues that you find on petfinder who do not provide many of the services listed. The way some of these rescues work is that you select a dog on petfinder then meet a transport in a parking lot and are handed your dog, good luck if there is a problem because there is not a foster home to send the dog back too. Most of these rescues are not breed specific but are importing cute mutts, and I have seen adoption fees in the $650 range.

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my observations where not in reference to rescues like yours or the one that I volunteer with but the large number of rescues that you find on petfinder who do not provide many of the services listed. The way some of these rescues work is that you select a dog on petfinder then meet a transport in a parking lot and are handed your dog, good luck if there is a problem because there is not a foster home to send the dog back too. Most of these rescues are not breed specific but are importing cute mutts, and I have seen adoption fees in the $650 range.

 

Because there is an unending supply of in demand dogs in Ireland there are unscrupulous people who call themselves rescues and ship over van loads of dogs for sale to the public with no back up. They are just dog dealers but play on the desire of many people to do something good by adopting a dog in need and if it goes wrong the fallout lands on GB rescues that end up taking in some of the dogs sold that way.

 

Unfortunately, rescue politics being what they are, some of those who believe that charity should begin at home tar the real rescues whose policies are like those Ancient_Dog describes with the same brush. It doesn't matter to them that UK/GB rescues are crammed with staffie types that few people would look at (sad but true) and, in terms of demand for dogs in general, rescue alone can't provide enough of the type of dog that the majority of people want.

 

I can sympathise in a way because it must be so hard to see so many perfectly good dogs die because they were unlucky enough to be born the "wrong" sort, but equally the same applies to the Irish rescuers who see dogs die because they were unlucky enough to be born in Ireland where there are few potential adoptive homes available and dogs are considered even more disposable. Wrong type versus wrong place - either way the result can be the same for the dog. And since we started with discussing breeders, the reason why there are so many unwanted staffies here and unwanted dogs of all sorts in Ireland is overproduction by greedy breeders.

 

Here the national charity the Dogs Trust does move dogs around their centres if it is felt they may have a better chance of adoption in another area and Battersea Dogs Home sends dogs out to foster homes/other rescues in other parts of the country where the demand is higher. A friend in rural Cumbria used to take collies and small dogs from them (she may still do) as she could home them quite easiliy and her rescue activities have now expanded to take local, Irish and Romanian dogs.

 

From an adopter's pov I think it's important to do your homework about the rescue you are thinking of dealing with. Haunt the rescue sites to see what people say about them, for BC rescue ask on sites like this. Rescues, like breeders, are not always what they seem.

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