I will start of by saying I will make no apologies for this blog, if it offends anyone oh well! In the past six or so months I have had three cases of neglectful adoptions come across my table, the first one I didn’t give it much thought as there was no pattern, the second one made me think and start to look into things further, now I have received a third one, not a coincidence. Let me start with I think its wonderful that people want to adopt these animals but…. no all dogs can be saved, not all should be, and not everyone is the right fit for every dog. Before you people start brining these dogs in from other countries why not make homelessness a thing of the past here in our own country. For every one person across Canada there are five or more dogs looking for forever homes, they are being euthanized at an alarming rate due to lack of available homes, people willing or educated to take in the hard cases, funding, medical, you name it, there is a problem! So lets clean up our own backyards first.
My first case was a dog brought over from a European country, the people adopting him fell victim to the sad dog story, they knew very little about this dog ( big dog ) and spent thousands of dollars to have him brought over to the perfect world they had to offer, less then a week of this dog being in there home I got a call for help. I went and did my usual assessment and told them they had a very dangerous dog in their home and it was my feeling that this dog was far to unwilling to change plus we had a language barrier as well. I did some digging around on this dog to find out that it had been a wild street dog for more then four years and was use to fighting for everything it wanted in life. This couple was being held hostage by this dog in their own home and in the five short weeks they owned this dog it had attacked and bitten more then five people including a child. This was a dog that was not a good fit for this family and was recommended by authorities to put it down.
My second case, a dog from New York. The people adopting this fella also fell victim to the sad dog story, they found an ad for him on Kijiji ( I think ) and right away wanted to offer this dog the world, they asked plenty of questions but were not really listening to the answers, why? Because they wanted to “save “this dog so they now had blinders on and all conversations fell on deaf ears. Two week later this dog arrived to its new wonderful home from New York and the owners were proud of their accomplishment! They paraded this boy around their neighbourhood and told everyone that would listen about his “sad dog story ” and were repeatedly told what HEROS they were. Well about eight days later I was called once again for help because their dog was now showing signs of aggression and had bitten their sons face because the son was in the dogs area. I again came and did an assessment and recommended that they remove the dog from the home and we could help find a more suitable home for the dog in order to keep everyone safe. Because they were still stuck in the “sad dog syndrome” again my advice fell on deaf ears, three weeks later the dog was put down from attacking their mail lady and the paper boy.
My third case, another dog from New York but this one from a so called excellent rescue. The couple interested in this dog was from Halifax and for several days did everything they thought was right, they asked all the right questions, they did research on the breed, they looked at their home life to see if a dog was a good idea and decided yes! They also fell victim to the “sad dog story” when they heard what a hard life this dog had for its short five years, they were told it was left tied to a tree and abandon by its owners, the second owners didn’t feed the dog or treat it well at all, the third owners simply didn’t have time for the dog. I would like to add that it was adopted out and returned to the same excellent rescue”” each time. Now on to the fourth owner, so they drove to the half way point from Halifax to New York to meet the transporter who simply dropped off the dog and was gone like a shot. This new adoptive couple are now finding themselves on the side of the road with a dog that refuses to get in their car and is biting them, finally the dog gets in and off they go to “paradise ” this dog is now in their home just a little over three weeks and they too are being held hostage, the dog is highly aggressive to people, dogs, squirrels, deer you name it, if it moves she wants to kill it.The new owners also have another dog and the new dog attacks it as well to the point the older dog is now showing extreme signs of stress, it is vomiting, diarrhoea and now won’t eat. They have done an assessment with authorities in Halifax and has now been recommended to be euthanized. I got a call this morning and the dog has now been put down.
I am not hear to pass judgment, that’s not my job. I am hear to bring awareness and educate you to make better decisions. Does anyone reading this know what all three cases have in common? I bet you don’t. I will tell you, all three cases are people who wanted to do a good thing by rescuing these dogs from such miserable lives, I get it! But what they didn’t do it take the time! The time to meet the dog, see with their own eyes the dogs disposition, time to walk the dog, time to introduce it to other animals in their home, time to meet people, time to see if it has aggression issues. Not one of these cases met the dog prior to the minute they picked it up! They never visited the dog, they never took it for a walk, nothing! They simply fell for the “sad dog story” they wanted to rescue this “poor” dog at any cost, sometimes to try and do the right thing, sometimes to be a hero, sometimes to have a good story to tell amongst their peers. Well in all three cases because the humans didn’t do the right thing, one” rescue” flat out lied to the new owners to simply get rid of a “bad” dog and collect some money, the others were just unknowledgeable, and others made it more about them then the animal in question. The other thing all these cases have in common is it ended in death! The death of the animals. Maybe these dogs could have been saved? Maybe not? Maybe these dogs could have been trained? Maybe not? What we do know for sure is now we will never know!
I am not in anyway saying not to rescue I am saying the opposite. Please rescue! But please rescue the right dog for your family, please research the people “adopting out “these dogs, take the time to physically meet the dogs, go for a walk, if you have another dog at home, bring it to meet the new dog to see if they get along, see if they seem to have aggression issues, then and only then ask yourself if you have the ability to adopt this dog, can you provide training? Is this dog TOO MUCH for your abilities? Can you commit to ALL the dogs needs? If you cannot, hey that’s fine just be honest with the people and yourself. This way they can find the right dog the right home and maybe save a life! This doesn’t make you a bad owner, this just makes you a bad owner for this particular dog, asses your abilities, needs, and family and choose the dog that’s right for you! There is a dog out there that has your “name on it” just take the time to research and find it, dogs should never be an impulse buy or rescue.
If any of the three cases from above had done any of the things suggested maybe no one would have been bitten, attacked, and these dogs may not have had to pay the ultimate price for human error. Please pass this on and help me stop this horrific “sad dog syndrome” I will say it again, not all dogs can be saved, not all dogs should be saved, not all people are right for all dogs, rescue is not for everyone, or the faint hearted. Its hard work, lots of money ( sometimes ) lots of patience, and in some cases many years to rehabilitate these dogs, but most of all its takes education! If rescue isn’t right for you just be honest, not only will you save a dogs life but you will also save a human life if the wrong dog gets into the wrong home. Thank you for reading and please help educate.