Browsing "Shelter & Rescue"
Jul 7, 2016 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Responsible Rescue, Responsible Breeders: We All Want the Same Thing!

Many rescues and humane societies are struggling with the same set of issues that dog breeders were 20-30 years ago, as well as the same quandary: what is the best way to confront bad players and practices in an open and honest manner, and to solve the problems they have created while keeping those examples from defining the group as a whole?

On one hand, this task is easier than the one facing breeders, as there are no movements, organizations, or ideologies hell-bent on destroying rescues or shelters. But on the other hand, the task is more difficult due to the age we are living in. Headlines of “Shocking!” “Inhumane!” and/or “Scandalous!” behavior tied to organizations that are supposed to be helping animals are the very definition of clickbait: easy to sensationalize, subject matter that people have a strong emotional investment in, and an example of supposed moral authority figures behaving dishonestly or hypocritically. And on top of that, there is a large — or at least highly vocal — contingent within the rescue and sheltering community that views any form of criticism as an attack that needs to be deflected or quashed, rather than discussed.

So is it complicated and difficult task? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that rescues and humane societies are remaining silent about the way some dogs are being moved and placed today — irresponsibly, without oversight, and inhumanely — and we applaud the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA for speaking out in recent months, and thank them for using NAIA as a resource:

Excellent, and much appreciated commentary. And this really brings home the larger truth: that we are all after a culture where animals are treated humanely and responsibility, where you can’t simply change your name or label in order to market yourself and/or avoid oversight.

naia25Years

Feb 9, 2016 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Colorado Holding Rescue Transports Accountable

Colorado showing leadership.

With tens of thousands of dogs being imported into Colorado by rescues each year — and a corresponding increase in diseases and illnesses — a well-known rescue transporter has been asked by the Department of Agriculture’s Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act to get a pet handler’s’ license. This is something that adds a layer of basic accountability and humane/health requirements, such as allowing transported dogs out of their crates for a walk every six hours (anybody who sells, transfers, adopts, breeds, boards, trains or grooms, shelters or rescues may need to be licensed, though there has been no pressing need to enforce it until recently). As of today, instead of getting a pet handler’s license, they simply aren’t importing dogs into Colorado anymore. This is a very telling response.

At NAIA, we strongly urge people who are looking to get a rescue dog to choose from their own community (or AKC parent club rescue networks) whenever possible, and we believe regulations that protect public health and the humane treatment of animals should apply to everybody.

Furthermore, we also believe that issues of surplus dogs and owner retention can only be effectively solved when dealt with at the source; transport is, at best, akin to bailing water from a sinking boat, at worst a cynical marketing scheme that perpetuates tragic conditions and outcomes for dogs.

 

No matter your stated intentions, everybody needs to be accountable for the health and humane treatments of the animals in their care.

No matter the stated intentions, everybody must be accountable for the health and humane treatments of the animals in their care.

 

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Feb 3, 2016 - Shelter & Rescue    11 Comments

Western PA Humane Society Director Placed on Leave for *gasp* Buying a Dog from a Breeder

The director of the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society has been placed on paid leave for allegedly purchasing a Collie from a breeder. Activists took to the Internet to call the director a “disgrace” and “hypocritical.”

According to humane society boarder member Anthony Pardo:

“She’s been put on paid administrative leave pending what’s going on. Allegations are allegations and we don’t know what’s true. We thought it best to get her out of the limelight while we try to figure out what’s happened and formulate a proper response on behalf of the board and the humane society.”

It is both telling and troubling when merely buying a dog from a breeder can be an “allegation” that requires a “proper response.” A dog lover should never be punished for valuing and choosing the traits a specific breed has to offer.

 

Bred with love and purpose for predictable traits... the horror!

Bred with love and purpose for predictable traits… the horror!

 

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Jan 29, 2016 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Tragic Conditions in North Carolina Shelter

In an alarming story out of North Carolina, dozens of dead animals were found at The Haven animal shelter, a no-kill shelter which has been riddled with health violations and adopted out sick dogs. This is a facility that has had issues for years, including several months of complaints leading up to it being shut down. The tragic conditions these animals were kept in reinforces the need for faster investigation and enforcement (when necessary) in order to protect animals and the public at large, and to prevent situations like these from spiraling out of control.

 

BodiesFoundAtShelter

Dec 22, 2015 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Rabid Egyptian Dog Imported by Rescue Group Had Falsified Vaccination Records

The CDC released a report on a rabid Egyptian street dog imported into the United States by a rescue group.

The dog suffering from the disease had to be euthanized, and 18 people underwent rabies postexposure prophylaxis, which is bad news by itself. But what really stands out if you read the full report are three things:

  • Only 3 of the 8 imported dog had certificates indicating proper rabies vaccination guidelines had been met.
  • The CDC was not informed about these dogs until after they had already entered the United States and left the port of entry.
  • Even if the CDC had been notified, the rabid dog most likely still would have been admitted, because its vaccination records were falsified (rescue workers admitted this after the dog’s rabies diagnosis).

 

This is unacceptable to us, and it should be to you, too. NAIA remains committed to solving this issue, and we will focus our resources on it in 2016.

This it is a problem that shouldn’t exist: if one is committed to rescuing dogs, why look halfway around the world, when there are local dogs in need?

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Oct 12, 2015 - Shelter & Rescue    5 Comments

Big Business: More Dog Trafficking in the News

Humane relocation, dog trafficking, the “Puppy Pipeline” — whatever you call it, the practice is still relatively unknown outside of the organized animal community and to a lesser extent, law enforcement and media circles. In case you are scratching your head wondering what we are talking about, here’s a handy definition from the NAIA Shelter Project Glossary:

Humane relocation: Humane relocation refers to the practice of transporting un-owned pets in need of adoption (primarily dogs and cats) from areas with a surplus of homeless pets to areas with a higher demand for pets and more shelter and rescue space. When done responsibly, it is a cooperative, common-sense method of finding homes for pets that might otherwise be euthanized. When done without care, it does nothing to solve the problem of pet overpopulation at its source, and in some cases even encourages it. Worse, it can turn participating rescues and shelters into unregulated pet stores that deal in animals of unknown backgrounds – animals that may have serious behavioral problems or may be infected with parasites and diseases not endemic to a particular region (e.g. whip worm, heart worm, or rabies).

But it is appearing in the news with increasing frequency as sales of these dogs increase:

Dog sellers present the canines with heart-tugging tales of Southern kill shelters. They also describe residents of the South as uninterested in preventing unwanted puppies through regular spaying and neutering.

This is big money: at $300 per dog, a rescue operation that does not give the animals proper medical attention or humane transport conditions can make $420,000 a year for 1,400 dogs, said Raymond Connors, an animal control officer for the state.

“It’s a multimillion-dollar industry,” he said.

Industry indeed — and it’s not just dogs moving from the south to the northeast, as is most often reported, it is a multimillion-dollar national industry. Using Colorado as an example, the number of dogs imported into Colorado shelters nearly doubled between 2012 and 2014, to more than 24,000 dogs per year!

ColoradoImports

Given the unknown background, and behavioral issues of so many of these dogs and the way they are shipped, the issues of health, humane treatment, and consumer protection should be clear. The potential for this practice to impact the image of ethical rescue and pet ownership in general (e.g. avoiding rescues out of fear of health or behavioral issues, or deciding not to have pets at all) should not be discounted either.

As always, NAIA urges you to consider the source when picking your next pet: do your homework, support practices that create positive outcomes for pets and pet owners, and make an informed, ethical decision!

A well-trained dog is a happy dog!

We always try to head off for the weekend on a positive note, but it’s rare we find something that makes us smile this much

Yes, it’s a tale as old as time itself: retired farmer takes in homeless dogs, welds together wheel and barrel, ties together and fills with dogs, then pulls with tractor for a trip to the local creek.

You know — the usual!

So what are your plans when you retire?

 

Sep 24, 2015 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Shelter Accused of Deceiving Adopters After Dog Attack

From an Inside Edition headline: an Albuquerque, NM shelter is accused of adopting out dangerous dogs and deceiving well-meaning pet adopters. Furthermore, instead of euthanizing these dogs after the attack, the shelter allegedly handed the dogs off to private rescues:

But after one dog named Pappy killed a neighbor’s poodle and attacked its elderly owner, Animal Welfare ultimately handed over the dog to a private animal rescue group, which isn’t required to report where he is now.

Another animal, Mugsy Malone, went on to attack a three-year-old girl.

“It was horrible,” Ludwick said. “Her face was ripped up. The father had to hit the dog repeatedly with a rock trying to get the dog off of his child’s face.”

After the attack, the dog was never put down, he said.

“It was given to a rescue group,” he said. “That dog should have been euthanized.”

There are definitely some issues with this article — while the dog’s listed breed may have been altered to make it more adoptable, focusing on the breed (implying that the dog’s aggression was due to it being a pit bull, and links to two sensationalist articles on pit bulls) rather than the dog’s behavior is problematic. This, however, should not cause us to lose sight of the main — and very serious — issue of dangerous dogs being adopted out to unsuspecting families.

ViciousDog

 

Sep 18, 2015 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Foreign Dogs Good; U.S. Dogs Bad: Radical Dog Trafficking Continues

After feverishly working to eliminate local pet stores over their alleged inhumane sourcing of dogs, look who is importing dogs into the United States from Korea for the pet trade:

San Diego Humane Society takes custody of 29 dogs from the Korean meat trade.

Sounds like a great cause and makes for great press and fundraising opportunities — but whatever they claim as their primary motive for doing this, it certainly cannot be:

  • Protecting consumers and pets from zoonotic and infectious diseases (as you may remember, Korea was the source of a major canine influenza outbreak earlier this year)
  • Providing consumers with humanely sourced pets
  • A desire to provide the public with healthy, well-socialized dogs

 

So if humane societies are so hard up for dogs to adopt that they are importing from overseas, is it safe to assume we have solved all of our domestic pet problems? If so, the humane industry should quit pushing ordinances putting regulated, American sources of pets out of business.

Aug 17, 2015 - Shelter & Rescue    1 Comment

NAIA Perspective on No-Kill Philosophy in the News

In a Garden Island article on euthanasia and the no-kill philosophy last weekend, NAIA president Patti Strand weighed in on the consequences of focusing on numbers over real solutions:

If [the Kauai Humane Society] were pressured to “have better numbers,” Strand said it would be impossible to do so without ample funding and effort to fix the symptoms. And that’s something she said can’t be done overnight.

“What happens is the value of saving the life of the dog is valued more highly than the value of protecting an adoptive family from a dangerous dog,” Strand said. “It’s this idea that, ‘’Gee whiz, I’d like to save this dog and he’s only nipped someone once,’ that can have real consequences.”

One of the best examples comes out of New Mexico, where the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department last year permitted more than 100 dangerous dogs to be adopted by families or returned to them after they failed nationally recognized behavioral tests.

The result was tragic: Dozens of these dogs killed or injured other pets, bit children, attacked their owners or displayed otherwise aggressive behavior.
“All across the country, dangerous dogs that should not be adopted out to the public today and wouldn’t have been adopted out 10 years ago are being adopted out,” Strand said. “The reason is this idea that there are numbers every shelter should be hitting, and it’s not that black and white. Not every community is ready to be no-kill. It’s not a switch that can just be flipped.

“I’m absolutely in favor of the wholesome goal that’s attached to the no-kill label, but you have to look below the surface to see how it’s being applied.”

As always, the focus should be striving for the best possible standards of care — in home and in shelters — on cooperation, public education, and outreach; improvements in “the numbers” will flow naturally from those goals and improvements.

There are now many communities in the United States with open-admission shelters that do not kill for lack of space — this was considered “impossible” 40 years ago, and speaks to the tireless efforts of education and outreach, changing culture, and improved standards of care

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