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Old 01-24-2013, 05:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default poor conditions of 'rescue' home

My friend runs a (I don't want to be specific here)large dog breed rescue out of her home. On the few times I have been there, I noticed that her own 4 breed specific dogs were confined to an 10 x 8 patio deck that had such a large amount of feces that there was no clean 10 inch square area for the dogs to walk. Although I know all 4 dogs by name, and they are friendly, I assumed that she simply put them out when company came over as a rule for convenience sake.

When I had opportunity to follow her to the basement, I noticed that all of the rescue dogs kept there were in wire crates, and were let out, one at a time on leash in the unfenced yard only long enough to go potty, then they were locked up again.

They did not run or play or socialize, nor were they taken on walks, etc. Perhaps I was misunderstanding the situation, but it seemed to me that their lives were poor indeed. Thinking it was a short term situation, I didn't say anything. But now, 6 months later, the same dogs are there, and in the same conditions, many unable to hold their bladders. As are her pet dogs.

I tried to talk to her about the situation, but she has health problems and is not very mobile. A simple walk is painful for her. She seemed offended that I would get involved in something that is none of my business.

What can I do? My interaction with my service dog is constant. We are almost inseperable. I look into her eyes and I can't help but think about the situation in that house 10 miles away. If I call ASPCA, she will know it was me. She rarely has people over, and knows my dog is more of a friend than a pet to me, and thinks I am overly attentive to her wants/needs as it is.

Advice please!

Last edited by seraphim; 01-24-2013 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Report her.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You might lose a friend but turning her in would be best for dogs, and you have tried talking to her
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not sure what's worse: them going back to the shelter, where they will be euthanized if not adopted immediately, or the life they are living now.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would have a serious talk with her. If you call the HS, they may remove the dogs immediately or give her a chance to clean up. I would tell her you are giving her a choice, not just for the well being of the dogs but also for her own well being as she will be up on animal abuse charge. Clean it up, take proper care of all the animals, or you will be calling the HS.

Sometimes, ppl that rescue don't know when to stop and end up in hoarding situations and don't know how to stop the cycle.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Can you contact another rescue to see if they can help?
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Can another rescue take them in?

Is she successfully fostering, i.e., moving them to good homes regularly?

Why is a person who has pain on movement and is not mobile rescuing large breed dogs? That is strenuous pursuit for an able-bodied person.

You'll have to weigh the value of this friendship vs. your conscience to do what is right for the dogs. After all is said and done you may still salvage the friendship; the dogs may get adopted out or euthanized. Sympathy to you for your tough choices.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Talk with her. Encourage her to ask for help from other rescues. Are you in a position to offer her help in getting the word out about the dogs that need adoption? If she refuses to do anything about it, you need to report her.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Honestly - let her know exactly what you said here.

If it was short term emergency care, then it would be "ok" (not really but better than being shot or whatever), but as a long term care facility she is doing more harm than good.

Maybe try to help her get in touch with a few rescues who can take dogs on a more long term basis, and place as many as possible.

Then offer to help her put in place a plan that would be more feasible for her as a rescue. Perhaps she only takes on 1-3 dogs and only on an emergency basis to be held for a few days until a space opens up in rescue. Maybe if you give her a plan and help her out of the mess she is in, she will accept the help.

IF she fights you on this, and decides her way is better - then, IMO, you have every right to report - let her know this. Either she works with you and XXX Rescue to get her place in shape, or you will have to intervene, for her sake and the dogs.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seraphim View Post
I'm not sure what's worse: them going back to the shelter, where they will be euthanized if not adopted immediately, or the life they are living now.
From what you describe, I think the shelter would be a better option. The poor things don't sound like they're getting any of their needs met, except maybe enough food and water--no exercise, not much attention, unsanitary conditions, etc. Euthanasia of a healthy dog is a painful topic, but it sounds like those dogs are living in really unhappy circumstances right now and at least they'd have a chance at the shelter...and if they are euthanised, at least they're not suffering anymore.

At least in the two states I've been involved with rescue in, it's also really unlikely that animal control will just seize the dogs and take them to the pound. Most likely, they'll do a welfare check and work with her to develop a plan to improve conditions and/or reduce the number of dogs she has in her home. They'll give her time to come into compliance, and only if she is unable or unwilling to improve conditions for her dogs will they seize them.

If there are non-governmental dog rescues in your area that have a good reputation, you might want to contact them first and ask their advice. They can't do much unless she wants their help, but they could perhaps advise you on how best to talk to animal control. They also might be able to help rehome the dogs if a seizure does happen. No guarantees, but it can't hurt and will probably help you feel better to know you exhausted all options before calling the authorities.

I know it is difficult when it is a friend, but I do think you need to report her, even if it ends the friendship. I wouldn't say anything to her about it--she may not actually know it is you. (just a note, if you hadn't tried to talk to her and help her yourself, I'd advise that first, but it sounds like she isn't receptive to that.) If she does confront you, explain to her that you were concerned for both her and her dogs, and you want to help her. She may or may not take it well, but that's on her.

I would almost bet money that this isn't just a bad situation for the dogs, by the way. She sounds like she may be in the earlier stages of animal hoarding--technically she probably already meets the definition as she has more than she can care for and she's not willing to acknowledge the bad conditions or find them new homes. The condition of her home and her animals may be a cry for help in a way. It's also very unhealthy for her to be living around that much animal waste, and may be exacerbating health issues in her. Getting her help by reporting her is something that will help improve her quality of life as well, or at least give her the chance to do so.

I'm sorry you're in this tough situation, and I'm sorry for your friend. I hope things work out okay for everyone involved, but I think the only way for that to happen is to bring in the authorities.
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