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Many shelters import dogs from offshore and trade "stock" with other shelters while pleading for more donations and tax-payer funding. Rescue groups have used animal control to seize healthy, well-cared for purebred animals - for instant resale!




Dog Rescue Rebuttal

Karen Metcalf - February 2010


In Reference To Article: SHELTER & RESCUE IMPORTS - Trafficking In Dogs - For a Fee


I want to thank you for understanding my point of view. I am proud to be the middle person who believes strongly that there are ways to effect change without all the destructive legislation.


I am a member of Golden Gate Basset Rescue and can honestly say that our rescue does not import dogs from other countries. I also have knowledge of many other basset rescues that do not import. To imply that all rescues are in the business of rescuing animals in order to make a profit is ludicrous. Many times the animals that are taken in require extensive medical treatment due to neglect. The adoption fee rarely covers the cost of the medical care required to get the dogs ready for adoption. Those times that the adoption fee may leave a bit left over, that money is then used to cover the other dogs in their care.


On Dec. 18, 2009, GGBR took in 61 basset hounds from a kennel closure. Every single basset from the age of 6 months to 8 yrs old required dental work. Their teeth were black and green. On top of the standard testing there is one that has glaucoma, one that will need major orthopedic surgery and a number of dogs that required hernia repairs plus a myriad of other problems. These 61 bassets were living in horrid conditions, smelled putrid due to urine and feces soaked hair and skin, malnourished and some with easily treatable infectious diseases. Some vets discounted procedures, a few donated a free spay/neuter but most vets charged full price because of the economy. GGBR covers all the cost of medical as well as heartworm and flea prevention while they are in volunteer foster homes. What most people don't know is that the foster homes provide the food, supplements and care for the dogs on their own dime. Most of these bassets were unsocialized with people so that leaves the foster to help them get over the fear of people and the every day sounds (like the clinking of a cup when you sit it down) that we take for granted as normal sounds in a household. The foster homes also provide the time to socialize, housetrain, leash train and teach the unsocialized dogs how to fit in to homes. I know for a fact that the adoption fees will in no way cover the expenses of these 61 bassets or the others that come from surrenders, shelters or are found as strays.

There are many rescues where all the members as well as volunteers are unpaid. Many run on a shoe string budget and use their own personal money when the funds are not there. Yes rescues do depend on donations and grants for their survival. I do not see how it is wrong to post a story on a particular animal(s) in need that they have taken in and request donations. Though there may be a surplus of funds, which is rare, those funds are saved for the next animal in need. Without rescues and shelters there would be dogs running the streets that leave the public at risk for disease and injuries. I would venture to say that most rescues would welcome the day when they shut their doors forever, not because of lack of funds but because they are no longer needed. I don't see that day coming in the near futures, especially when you have breeders that are unscrupulous. Who will continue to let their animals live in horrid conditions allowing them to breed unchecked in the hopes that they may sell more puppies even in this economy. Who call the rescues and request they take the dogs and then threaten the rescues that if they don't take them they will be euthanized? It is the unscrupulous breeders that care less about the breed and are in it for money that give the good breeders a bad name. These large scale breeders also perpetuate the lie that rescues "sell" their dogs for a profit. What they fail to mention is that many of these dogs are in need of medical care and they donate absolutely nothing towards there care. Some will even keep the puppies, the pregnant bitches and the dogs under 6 months old in hopes of selling them for profit.

As for the letter writer's take on the importation of other animals from other countries well there are different sides to the story. The writer stated that the number of dogs imported to the U.S. in 2006 as 287,000. What she failed to mention was the breakdown of those numbers, again misleading the public to believe that this was the importation from rescues. How many of the 287,000 dogs imported were brought in by breeders, soldiers returning home, Americans civilians returning from a foreign country and bringing their dogs with them.

I believe in allowing soldiers to bring home dogs that they have become attached to. These dogs provided unconditional love for our troops in a time that were risking their lives every single day. Whether you support the war or not, we as a people should support or troops. I for one could not deny them the dog that they have formed a bond with.

However I do not support those rescues that bring in dogs from other countries. I feel that there are enough unwanted animals in our shelters and rescues in this country that need to find homes first. In my opinion they are taking a page straight from the government. They rush to the aid of other countries while they leave those Americans in need to suffer. I do believe that is wrong. I can say that I know of one so called "rescue" in a bordering town that goes to Mexico and sneaks small breeds back in the country in a van. They bring back as many as 50 at a time. Animal control turns a blind eye as they cannot prove that these animals were brought in from Mexico. Yes I believe that these are the types of "rescues" that should be shut down. Though I realize their intentions may be good they are hurting America's animals in need. So I can say that I am adamantly against them.

On the flip side there are breeder's that bring in lines from other countries to improve their existing lines. So they could be cutting off their own nose if they demand tighter restriction on the importation of animals sought to improve their lines. What happens to those imported animals that do not meet their breed standards? Are they petted out, sold to another possible breeder or given to rescues or shelters or even God forbid dumped? Are they neutered/spayed prior to going or left intact to perpetuate a line that does not meet standards. While I would love to believe that all breeders are reputable with high standards, we all know that that is not the case.

This letter writer is villianizing all rescues with her ideas that we convince the public that breeding should be restricted or banned. Yes rescues spay/neuter all the dogs in their care but this is to prevent them from going to people that would use them for breeding or may allow them to run loose to breed unchecked with other animals. Not all rescues believe that breeding should be banned in the U.S. so that statement is simply untrue. There are many rescues that will refer people to the reputable good breeders. In fact many rescues receive support from the national clubs for a particular breed.

I in no way support any AR groups or their offshoots. IMO they are accurately accused of having goals to eradicate pet ownership. I also do not support any breeder that practices inhumane and neglectful practices. I do support the idea that the federal laws pertaining to breeder practices be changed. These USDA laws governing dog/cat breeding have not been updated since 1993. From all the information that I have read IMO breeders don't want these standards changed because it would affect their bottom line.

They are against change that would required increased inspections, improved living standards for the dogs that include increased space, exercise, etc. If one speaks up against the outdated laws they are accused of belonging to an AR group. They do not want to accept that there are those that are in the middle that only want to see improvement in the standards of care, increased inspection, etc that would allow the dogs to live in a healthier environment. I am of the opinion that these two sides of the breeder vs. AR groups don't realize that there are those that want the good breeders to survive. We are the ones in the middle that the good breeders to survive while weeding out the breeders that allow their dogs to live in squalor, feeding sawdust so the dogs to give them the sense of feeling full, standing or lying in their urine and feces, where the only vet care ever provide is the rabies vaccine. We are the middle that are in between the two sides that are villianized by both sides. We are the ones that rescue out of love. We care about how these dogs are treated and want to insure that they never have to be subjected to inhumane treatment again. We are also the ones that believe when we bring an animal into our lives that they are with us for the length of their life. We are the ones that believe a pet is not disposable because they are old, sick, too big, too little, etc.

The breeders against legislation seem to want to support all breeders even if they practice poor management and care of the animals. They do not want any laws changed and support antiquated laws that are 17 years long. They are against the term puppymill, though the term is not yet considered a legal term yet, when many every day people accept the terms use and can envision how that kennel must be maintained. I would think that the good breeders that are breeding to improve the breed, that take pride in the puppies they produce, that care about there breeding dogs would help to form legislation that protect the dogs from substandard living conditions, neglect and yes even abuse instead of seeing any change as an attack. Where there is a large amount of members that see any change as having an ulterior motive. I would think that the would not want themselves associated with the bad breeders. Bad breeders do exist. The AKC as well as many AC officers or USDA inspectors do very little to rid the U.S. of the bad breeders. First there are not enough inspectors to inspect all the kennels/ breeders. Second the laws in effect now state that breeders that are moderate to high risk are inspected yearly. The breeders that are low risk have no set inspections and through reading the actual law one can get the opinion that they could go years without inspections.

For those that think that I am speaking untruths about the laws then go read them. EST 1998 ©   1800 URL



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