Intakes: A Three Part Question
WITH THE MARCH STATISTICS BEING SO HIGH WITH DOGS IN NEED, HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE EMOTIONAL ASPECT OF HAVING TO TURN DOGS AWAY, KNOWING THEY ALL NEED HELP?
It’s not easy, but we have to realize that we can’t save them all. Of course, we would love to be able to - but there’s a fine line between being a responsible rescuer, and a hoarder.
One of the main differences of Shaw PBR over most other rescues and shelters - is that all dogs that come to us are at our facility until new homes are found. We also do not utilize fosters - all dogs are in our personal care so that we can better monitor their health and answer any questions potential owners may have regarding behavior, etc. What that means, however, is that we can only devote so much time to each dog. Adding more dogs only takes away time from the existing adopt-a-bulls.
Any dog that comes to our rescue could be here for life - every day feeding, watering, cleaning, medical care, etc. - and those bills add up, quickly. Until we get more funding so that we can hire some people to help us with our mission, we are limited as to how many we can take in. To be able to provide the best care, we must know (and stick to) our limits.
WHY DO WE NOT TAKE PUPPIES?
The short answer (for once, lol) is that puppies are relatively easy to find homes for. However, (1) it’s not fair to the adopt-a-bulls we have had for 1, 2, 3 years and up to get the cute puppies adopted instead of them; (2) there’s really no way for us to fully evaluate how a puppy is going to act when it is grown (with unknown ancestry); (3) most shelters and rescues can/will send puppies up north via Rescue Waggin or Homeward Bound; and (4) if the 6-10 puppies that previously only took up space in one kennel don’t find homes - that’s 6-10 individual kennels that could potentially be needed to house them until they would be adopted.
WHY DO YOU NOT TAKE OWNER SURRENDERS?
There’s really no way to answer this that isn’t going to make us initially sound like we are uncaring, rude people. But, hopefully you can make it through to the end and understand our stance. The following are excerpts from our website:
While we have done so in the past, our focus needs to be more on the abused, abandoned, or neglected. We are a privately run rescue - no city, county or government funding. We both work full time jobs and the rescue is not open 24/7.
Dogs are lifetime commitments.
You are their lives; you are all they care about and all they have. Stop shirking responsibility, and don’t try to rely on third parties to do all the heavy lifting for you. You thought you were good enough for that dog in the first place, now prove it.
We do not pull from shelters.
Adoptions are few and far between, and dogs have more of a possibility of being adopted from a shelter. We have dogs from shelters that we have had for over 3 years ... and do not have the turnover rate that shelters and humane societies do, nor the option of Rescue Waggin or Homeward Bound to ship dogs up north. They are with us for life.
**We DID recently take in 3 dogs from the Aberdeen City Shelter. As can be seen from photos and videos, these dogs definitely needed our help. There is no excuse for dogs that came from an alleged dog fighting situation to be in better shape than dogs that were in a shelter environment for 2, 5 and 6 months...
Guilt trips piss us off.
Telling us the dog(s) are going to die if we don't take them doesn't work. It actually does the opposite. We are not the reason the dog is in the condition it is in, and the owner is the one that is turning their back on it. If anyone should be feeling the pain of guilt - it should be them, not us.
We do not have a waiting list
Unfortunately, by the time we find a perfect home for one of our adopt-a-bulls, there will most likely be another dog that is in a more drastic need of being rescued, than a dog that is currently residing in a shelter; or an owner that is giving up on their dog simply because they don't want to take the responsibility to properly train it. Any new dogs taken in by Shaw PBR are based on the dogs needs, not the owner/rescuer/caller.
Often, the only option people really have is to contact their local Humane Society. It is a common misconception that a pit bull will be immediately euthanized. However, this is often not the case. Many shelters will work with them and give them as much a chance as any other breed. However, if they are aggressive or mean, they will most likely be euthanized. We hate to say it, but if a pit bull is people aggressive, with no viable reason, it would be euthanized at our facility, as well. *Please note - that if the dog bites due to provocation, fear, or anything explainable, we will work with the dog. However, if there is no reason behind the bite - the dog is most likely suffering from a neurological problem and no amount of behavior rehabilitation could help it. All this being said, there are, unfortunately, shelters that euthanize pit bulls simply based on their breed. One would then need to weigh the options of whether or not this would be best for the dog, other than starving to death or being abused? If they can't keep the dog - there are limited options, and sometimes hard decisions need to be made.
I’m sure you’re asking by this point, so what the hell are we here for? That’s very simple. We’re here for the abandoned, for the abused, and for the neglected. Our job is to take dogs that have never known love – only fear, hate, and abuse. We’re also here to help the people who love, cherish, and want their animals, but life just won’t let them. For example, the elderly lady who’s being moved to assisted living, or the single man or woman who lost their job and can barely feed themselves, much less a four legged companion.
Doesn’t the plight of “just don’t have time” or “we have a new baby” sound pretty pathetic next to all of that? We sure think it does…
Every rescue, shelter, animal advocate is ridiculed for not doing enough. Often by those that are doing next to nothing to help their own animals. We fight a never-ending battle, daily - laws that are no where near strong enough, much less enforced; not having enough time, money, energy, help; not being able to help every dog or cat that we are contacted about; the emotional drain is unbearable at times; finding quality, forever homes for our adopt-a-bulls - few and far between; day-to-day paperwork, marketing, socialization, living... We are ridiculed for not answering the phone or acting as Animal Control or stepping up for a possible abuse case. Our lives are dedicated to the rescue 24/7/365 - we don't take vacations, we don't take 'a day off', we don't transfer our dogs or ship them up north or euthanize for space. We do the best we can with what we have, with every beat of our heart. And while there are some that know and appreciate what we do - there are so many more that don't appreciate what we can, or can not do. If everyone made half an effort - imagine the world we could live in...surrounded by happy, healthy dogs.