To Rescue or Not
Maybe you noticed the banter on Facebook where an OwyheeStar client’s decision to get a puppy was brought into question. The discussion surfaced when the Weim owner posted their one year celebratory birthday photos. From there the question was raised whether it is OK to breed litters at all, and why anyone would buy a puppy when shelters (and rescues) are overflowing. This was the third time in recent months, that we have found our clients under attack or brought into question for deciding to get a puppy rather than deciding to rescue.
Indeed our society is facing change.
This change includes developing a conscience towards unwanted and castoff pets. It is a travesty at best when we see the plight of these innocents. Nevertheless, we need to look at the underlying cause of these societal ills. For example, it is commonplace for many male dogs to be left intact. The reasons are many, but we personally have known of neighborhood studs that run an entire end of town impregnating every located in-season female. In the life of such a dog, hundreds of pups can be sired. Sadly, many of these folks have the means to alter their pet, but fail to see the importance. Some think it is funny. Others believe it is cool. Many choose to spend their money on things they deem more important. We see the free puppy ads — in yards, on Craig’s list, and in the Walmart parking lot. Too many of these free-puppies (and there is no such thing) end up dumped at the shelter. There are a myriad of reasons this happens, but it all points back to irresponsible humans.
Kudos ~ Kudos ~ Kudos
We applaud those who choose to rescue. Nevertheless, we need to ask ourselves if we as a society are we heading where ill-bred (or accidental litters) are the norm? Should responsible breeders stop trying to improve, or guard a breed? Are breeders the cause of endless shelter drop offs? Who is really causing the problem? These questions are complex, but we believe responsible pet owners (breeders and pet owners alike) are not the source of the problem. We also realize there are times when someone cannot legitimately keep a pet– death in the family, chronic illness, loss of job, loss of home, divorce, etc.
What should we expect from a responsible breeder?
- A good breeding plan is one that produces healthy and well-adjusted pups.
- Each and every puppy should not leave until they have a good forever home. This means screening countless applications.
- Each puppy should have a reasonable guarantee, which includes a spay/neuter agreement. The only exception would be when the pup is placed with an established responsible breeder.
- The breeder should provide education, and support.
- Should something go awry, the breeder should require the pup be returned to them–no questions asked. The breeder should provide training, care, and find the second-chance home. This way, they are responsible for the pups they raise.
What makes you a responsible pet owner?
- A life-long investment in this pet (and their needs), regardless of how long they live.
- You spay/neuter your pet in a timely manner.
- You train and do whatever it takes to become good citizens.
- You take the time, spend the money, invest your energy, and wherewithal to help your pet become all they can be with you.
Prevention is the answer…
If people (breeders and pet owners) followed these simple guidelines, rescue and shelters would not see that many pets being dropped off. Failure to alter pet, is irresponsible on so many levels. Anyone who works with animals can tell you that most of the problems come from irresponsible pet owners who failed to alter (spay or neuter) their pets. Intact pets produce unplanned litters; they roam streets in search of a mate. All too often they become aggressive members of society–biting other dogs and people.
OwyheeStar Rescue Weims
We have two OwyheeStar rescues (which could also be called returns), awaiting the perfect placement. Honestly, we don’t advertise these guys, because we would get overrun with applications. We have a male who has had quite a lot of training, but ran into behavior issues that were not manageable for his family. We have a female who was returned, because an in-house rescue viciously attacked the new puppy. After weeks of trying to resolve the situation, the family kept the rescue, and returned the puppy to us. We have had a couple other returned Weims in the last twelve months that we have placed in a second-chance home. The most common reason we get a return is divorce. One example is the blue female pictured here that resides with our good friend Ellen. That look on her face was in response to the muddy footprints on Ellen’s clean floor. She could not resist capturing the look. Personally, I am sure it was the neighbor’s dog–I am with Lucy. She is innocent.
First, we should choose to be responsible with any pet we acquire. As to whether a puppy or a rescue is best for you; that is a personal choice. Many people who have done several rescues, later opt to get a puppy. They have their reasons, and some share those reasons with us. Some folks cannot get another rescue, because they cannot deal with the idea of another loss. For example, a couple came to us that had rescued two Weims, and each lived only a few months. The devastation to their spirit was what lead them to us. Some choose to rescue to help a dog in need, while others do so to avoid puppy-hood. In truth, any new Weim you bring home (old or puppy) must be treated like a puppy. Freedom must be earned. The routine, and the household rules must be learned. Using the crate, or supervising when freedom is given is important for rescues and puppies alike.
There are many different paths
No matter which path you choose, we choose to believe you are better for having a fur family member. When we say that we truly mean a family member, and not a pet thrown in the yard for looks. We believe our Weims make us better people. 🙂 It is also important to consider in-home pets before adding a second dog to the family. There may be an adjustment period, but some older dogs will not accept a rescue. Make sure your decision is a win-win situation. Whomever you are working with should be concerned with the dynamics within your home. 🙂
Thank You for making our corner of the world better!
Finally, we salute those who are responsible pet owners, as well as those who work tirelessly on behalf of the pets other people gave up for adoption. Thank you all for making our world a better place.
Posted on May 23, 2013, in Hot Topics and tagged Freedom to choose is important, Getting it right is imperative, Hot Topics of discussion, Rescue vs Puppy, Rescue Weims. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.