Monday, 21 June 2010

The Good, the Bad and the ...

The world of dogs can surprise and disappoint.
For example, a couple of weekends ago Jemima Harrison sent me a link to a site in Ireland. (Jemima often rescues Retriever crosses from the pounds in Ireland).
There was a photo of a sad looking, tousled young Beardie that had ended up surrended to an Irish pound just for apparently digging up the owner's garden.
I was warned that Charlie wasn't in a good place and we needed to move quickly to get him out. Heart ruled over head and I sent some money to a local rescue to get him lifted out of there immediately, vet checked and groomed. Within the hour he was safe!
The lovely local rescue pointed out that if we liked Beardies, there was another one - Archie, and he was five and just adorable!
So two unexpected Beardies in just one morning when I was supposed to be doing my accounts.
The names Charlie and Archie seemed a perfect fit for our existing doggie family and the photos of the beautiful trusting faces had me measuring the car to see if we could all squeeze in! It was probably fate.
It would be a squeeze and a juggle in every way, but if needs must we'd manage somehow.
My husband's face was a picture.
Two more Beardies would probably be two too many.
A call to Southern Counties Beardie Club Beardie Aid made my day.
They had lovely homes waiting for Archie and Charlie and they could manage everything from that point. Not only that, but if either of them turned out to be 'almost' Beardies it didn't matter, the marvelous Bob and Edna Manning had taken a dog on a photograph before from Ireland and when they actually saw it was only Tibetan Terrier size, that was eight years ago and they kept her themselves she was so adorable!
Bob and Edna are iconic pedigree dog owners for me. Tremendously successful in the show ring as exhibitors and judges and absolutely totally compassionate.
Always there to help a shaggy dog in need.
So that's the good.
Regrettably, on to the bad and the ugly.
Got a call today about a toy breed. The breed welfare is wealthy and there's considerable demand for rescue versions of their breed.
Welfare got a call from a family who weren't coping - they had a little dog that was biting them and had taken over the house. It was one big knot as they couldn't get need her to groom. They had little kids. The dog was biting the kids and who knows what the kids were doing to the dog!
It sounds a pretty typical case for breed rescue.
What should be the response of welfare?
I'd expect the dog to be taken away, trimmed off, examined by a vet to see if there was an underlying problem causing the aggression and based on that assessment the dog would either be given some training, veterinary treatment or if all else failed it would be PTS before it put someone in hospital.
What actually happened, according to the rescue's own report, was that the owners were told to sort the dog out as they couldn't possibly take it in the condition it was in.
Sigh!
Is it just me shaking my head in disbelief.
It takes a lot to make a call for help and if rescue are only going to take perfect dogs that need no work then that waiting list is going to get ever longer and those funds in the bank are going to build as they'll not be spending a penny.
My caller pointed out that she'd had a rescue dog in her care that was also biting everyone, it turned out the dog was in terrible pain with a pyometra and when that was dealt with the dog's temperament was perfect.
And what if this little dog bites one of the owner's children badly? We don't need another headline and the breed's reputation as a pet would be forever sullied.
We can all allow ourselves to get frustrated by flakey owners who let down their dogs, but when an owner isn't coping and tries to get help I do think if the rescue has the resources and the waiting list they need to think of the dog and just forget all about teaching the owner a lesson in responsibility!
I'd want that little dog out of that situation ASAP.
If the owner does get around to going to the vet for a check up I suspect that it'll be a PTS rather than a trim. They're probably deeply ashamed of the mess they've got into. They were brave enough to ask for help once, but sounds like they didn't get much.
I'm so thankful Beardie rescue is in such good hands. That Archie and Charlie are probably being spoilt silly already and are no longer at risk.
Can't help but worry about this other little dog and the precious little hands and faces that are still at risk, too.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Which breed rescue? Name and shame! It's important that those that fundraise for such causes know where how their money is being spent (or, rather, not spent!) and can choose a better place for their hard-earned efforts and dosh!

Claire

Beverley Cuddy said...

It's difficult to name and shame as my informant is deep within the breed and fears the backlash of being the whistlebowler.

But those in the breed know about this case. Apparently privately lots of people have complained about the way this case has been handled, but no one wants the backlash as the rescue is run by someone very influential.

How do we reform when those who speak up are treated so badly?

Anonymous said...

Not a great job by one resucue, yet I suspect if a popular breed it wasnt KC registered just puppy farm bred or BYB. But at least the breed rescue was an option unliek the RSPCA who despite hundreds of millions of pounds resources, wont take ANY rescue!!! no wonder their chief vet moonlights on TV all the time , he must be short of dosh too!!

Beverley Cuddy said...

This is a small breed numerically, and the dog was not bred in this country - hence breeder not being in the equation.

Mina said...

Poor little thing. Just being matted can be so painful to make dogs very bad tempered. Whoever your informant is, can't they pass the details on to someone else? I know a toy breed rescue who has taken in a lot of dogs like this and would no doubt fall over to help out!

Anonymous said...

Oh the times when I have heard similar stories. Some breed clubs just don't get it do they.

Anonymous said...

Why should we solve the Irish problem? Ms Harrison is noty solving the problems there by bringing dogs over here, but I doubt if she can see that. Its a shame Pedigree chum wasted money on her scheme, when it could save dogs already here!

Anonymous said...

Such a shame that those 'breed representatives' cannot practice what they preach. It's all about them - shame on them. I can understand their reluctance in making more waves, just look what happened to the poor Carter lady. hopefully those on the right side manage to find evidence and push ahead.

I too have mixed feelings about importing more dogs to add to our number. In regard to Pedigree, if you read the small print of the Pedigree rehoming scheme there is a minimal percetage from every can which goes to the rehoming project. For all they are worth and spent on the advertising of it. Donate to and get to know you local rescue centre.

Anonymous said...

Irrelevant but I'm curious. One thing regarding Beardies and other long fringed hounds. If it gets in their way and needs a topknot (as I also see frequently in the old english) - why not just trim it?

As I said - curious!?

Anonymous said...

I'm a volunteer for a breed specific rescue, also a toy breed.. I agree it is wrong for a rescue to turn away a dog in need. I also fully understand how hard it can be for owners to make that phone call.
That said our rescue is run entirely by volunteers, some are willing to foster, but not all are able to, for various reasons. We have no shelter or kennels. So any dog joins the family and any other pets that the volunteer has. Also not all people have the experience or confidence to take on an aggressive dog or one with significant behavioural problems. Sometimes the problems don't become apparent for a couple of weeks. Or until the dog encounters a particular trigger. The rescue then has the responsibility of having put an unsuitable dog with an unsuspecting family. Also having a dog that once again has entered rescue. Through no fault of it's own.
This is just one of the reasons why people should fully research any potential breed, and then the breeder. Unfortunately through puppy farms, bybs and doggy supermarkets. All breeds are at risks, from hereditry problems, birth defects, and not been properly socialised, which is hugely important. Add to that, anyone with the cash or a credit card, regardless of their suitability or not... as is the case, unfortunately. Breeds that once were renound for their placid nature, are now turning up in rescues, with aggression problems. Obviously this is a whole new topic, but one that needs a dedicated campaign to highlight once and for all the problems that arise with overbreeding, and puppy farming.