|04-07-2014 07:57 PM|
|katieliz||sigh. talk about "do you know where that dog is going?" truthfully, my feeling is any rescue that would accept and take a chance on a dog with these behavior issues is suspect. and i cannot understand how a veterinary clinic can make a decision for any owner regarding euth, without purchasing the dog. an awful situation all the way 'round. rest in peace sam.|
|04-07-2014 07:32 PM|
It sounds like you did everything you could do for the dog. I am sorry that the last month was so awful. I am glad that you managed to rescue your dog from a fate worse than death. Because, if you did not get the dog out of that place, it would have been so much worse, and she would have probably lived like that for months, even years.
Legally, I don't know. I think that if you stick to what your experience was with a breeder, I don't know how you can be slammed with liable -- this means, not saying stuff about how the rescue works with all kinds of dogs from those lines, etc -- that could be heresay.
On the other hand, I don't even know the laws pertaining to this sort of thing in my own country, and I think you should probably consult a lawyer about what steps you can legally take without any negative issues.
It sounds like the breeder has a history of instability it the lines, and is continuing to breed the dogs. In this country, that is perfectly fine. There are no laws that says that you are responsible for the temperament of the pups you produce. Some places have laws about genetic issues and the responsibility of the breeder, but it would be hard to prove genetic weakness is definitely the cause of aggression, and other behavior disorders. So legally, I don't think there is much you can do, especially if the establishment is kept up, and all seems picture perfect.
However, I wonder if you can start a facebook-type group or something like that, a support group for disgruntled owners of a [insert breeder's name] Shepherd. And somehow if you can make a google search for that breeder link to your facebook-type page, then when people google that breeder they will most likely find you.
And the thing is, no one had 100% satisfaction. If you have sold a number of puppies, the chances are you are going to have one or more unhappy people. On topics of paperwork/money etc, people will generally make their decision based on the buyer's viewpoint. And if someone has a criminal background, photos from a humane agency raid, than that is hard to ignore. But when a person's complaint is aggression, in a breed, that is bred with an amount of potential aggression, than too many people are not going to accept that.
However, if you have a community -- if you find other people with a trend of the same problems with their dogs, then potential buyers who find such a site when googling the name, will be much more likely to listen and stay away.
I'm sorry you are in this position. I really don't know if there is anything you can do. I would probably be screaming about the shelter that had a dog for a month or less and turned it into being filthy and emaciated. Perhaps getting local news involved in how your humane society tends to condone such places, etc, my light a match under them.
|04-07-2014 05:28 PM|
|readmeli||I've just read this and I am so sorry to the OP for what she has had to go through in all of this. I do hope something good comes of it in the end. So sad. This could have been any one of us I think.|
|04-05-2014 04:58 PM|
I'm so sorry things turned out the way they did, but you did the best you could for your girl and freed her from her demons. There are some people that may not agree with your decision, but they did not experience her behavior firsthand, so that makes it impossible to judge.
Can you please pm me Sam's breeder?
Very sad situation all the way around, and it's too bad the breeder didn't step up and be responsible enough to take back Sam and possibly work on her serious issues.
|04-05-2014 04:10 PM|
|glowingtoadfly||I'm so sorry you went through that. How horrible!|
|04-05-2014 01:10 PM|
Wow, what a horrible, tragic situation. I'm so sorry.
You're right about one thing - a lot of people failed Sam, but I don't think you're one of them. You did the best you could, and more than many other people would have under the circumstances. If the vet and behaviorist had shared that report with you sooner, Sam would have been spared the suffering of her last month because you would have euthanized her immediately, and it is absolutely not your fault that they kept that information from you. I can't believe that a vet and behaviorist would still be reluctant to euthanize under those circumstances, and it's shocking that you were not informed of their findings.
I know none of that alleviates the guilt you feel, but please try to forgive yourself. Would you mind sending me a PM about who the breeder is?
|04-05-2014 12:14 PM|
|kjdreyer||Wow, that is a terrible story. If it's any help at all, please don't dwell on that last month - you had no responsibility for that outcome. It sounds as if you did the absolute best you could in an extremely difficult situation.|
|04-05-2014 11:32 AM|
It won't let me edit this again - the second paragraph is supposed to say "As it turns out, the vet spoke with the provincial behaviourist on the phone shortly after I *tried* to euthanize her".
|04-05-2014 11:26 AM|
I have been lucky in life, prior to Sam, in that both of my dogs, raised from puppies, were GSD mixes with fairly stable temperaments.
I regretted every day that I could not have done more for her - especially with how many people out there want a beautiful GSD but do not have the experience or lifestyle to raise one, especially one with a tendency towards unstable behavioral traits. I think if a lot of people understood that many dogs (i.e the ones that end up in shelters and the ones rescued from shelters) need training, consistency, and and a lifestyle that supports what the dog needs to thrive, then we'd have a lot more happy and safe dogs, and less shelters full of dogs that are "difficult".
|04-05-2014 11:12 AM|
It is late but did not have any news as to Sam until this past week. It is a sad story. I think I was very confused by so many people telling me what to do (because everyone seems to be a dog expert - God bless all of you who sympathized with me rather than trying to fix the situation without meeting her).
As it turns out, the vet spoke with the provincial behaviourist on the phone shortly after I euthanized her. They did not tell me what the results of the phone call were. The plan was to go ahead with the rescue society (German Shepherd Rescue of BC).
I apologize, at this point in the story, it will be a lot of drama that I am quite upset about. I also want to say that I have known this particular vet since I was a kid, and even volunteered with her when I was doing my animal science degree so I could get an idea of what being a rural vet was like.
Sam ended up staying at the local kennel run by the vet tech for about 4 weeks. The soonest they could get her down to the GSD rescue was February 27, when one of the vet tech's colleagues was flying through Vancouver. (Sorry - winter in northern BC - the trip to Vancouver by car is 12 hours during good summer conditions).
We had issues with the rescue society from the beginning - at first the vet tech forgot to send the email, and they gave up Sam's spot. Then there was an issue of papers and ownership. Apparently they (the rescue) have an ongoing feud with the breeder and are familiar with this breeder's issues in terms of breeding puppies with neurological and health issues. They absolutely refused to take Sam unless the CKC ownership papers were given over. Somewhere, somehow, in my contract, it states that if I decide to give up ownership, the breeder exercises the option to take the dog. The breeder had told me she would do the paperwork for CKC for me, and I never followed up, because it never really mattered to me whether Sam was a purebred or not. It never occurred to me that any of this would happen in the future. The breeder stated that SHE had the papers, and refused to hand them over.
The breeder refused - was pissed at me apparently for not "telling" her all of Sam's issues (I did, and she blamed everything on me, including blaming Sam's temperament on my mentally disabled brother, who lives elsewhere and was never with Sam for more than a few minutes unsupervised - btw Sam loved him!) She then lost interest in taking back Sam once she knew Sam was spayed.
As far as I know, they were going to take Sam anyways on Feb 27 - and the rescue had agreed to pick her up with the official papers following ASAP. As it turns out, the girl who brought Sam down, forgot what papers they had in her truck at the airport, and the rescue society refused to even pick her up. Westjet offered to fax down the papers right away and send the actual papers on the next flight a few hours later that same day, but the rescue still refused. The girl taking the dog was connecting to her flight to Seattle. Essentially Sam was abandoned at the airport.
The vet tech did not know what to do, as Sam did not have her kennel cough, and based on her aggression history, would not have been taken by the SPCA anyway. So she contacted Turtle Gardens, a local shelter, who has connections in Vancouver, and where most of their fosters go while they wait for adoption. I think the plan was for Sam to be fostered down there or something along those lines - maybe just for a night while they figured out what to do. Turtle Gardens found her an overnight shelter and then flew her back to their shelter in Topley through Smithers the next day. I think by the time the vet clinic found out where she was, well, I'm not sure, I have no idea why they bowed out at that point.
I found a post on Turtle Gardens about a week and a half ago that made me think this was Sam (a post about needing an overnight shelter for a six month old GSD). At this point, I kind of thought Sam was running around free on a nice little farm with an experienced GSD handler from the rescue society. I could not get any updates from anyone about what was actually happening... the staff at the vet clinic kind of passed the buck around and perhaps it was my own fault for not following up. I did notice that none of the adopted-out dogs from the rescue had any dogs that looked like Sam - which meant either they were not successful in rehabilitating Sam's siblings or they never dealt with this breeder's dogs in the first place. Who knows.
In any case, I contacted the vet tech the same night I found this facebook post and she told me the truth of what had happened and where Sam really was. I have no idea why no one told me (this will be explained shortly - what Turtle Gardens is really like). The plan was originally, before sending Sam, that the vet clinic's staff agreed to put Sam down if the rescue society didn't work out. Going to Turtle Garden ( a no kill shelter), or any other shelter was not an option based on her temperament.
The vet tech gathered up three people, and the four of us went out to pick up Sam the next day. It took a couple of hours of negotiating before we could get her back from Turtle Gardens. We had to threaten to call the police, and then they relented.
Sam was emaciated, very sick, had severe diarrhea, and bad kennel cough. She was covered in feces and urine, and extremely unsettled. We ended up putting her down (at my decision) a couple of days later. The vet did this free of charge.
At this point I have a couple of questions - what can I do about the breeder? She is basically a glorified puppy mill (with a fancy website and a lot of awards). Apparently she has done jail time and people have tried shutting her down before without much success. I have been to her kennel, and it was clean (despite the fact that Sam came home with giardia and needed a special diet after that). They are no signs of animal cruelty or problems with animal welfare based on visual inspections. I am unsure how to follow up with this, and worry about slander if I publicly slam her.
Then there is the issue with Turtle Gardens. If you are in BC, you are probably aware of them. They have an online reputation for being a great no kill shelter and are lauded for all the hard work they do. At some point it was run by a couple, but they separated, switched locations, and it is now run by the wife, who is housebound due to health issues, and her son. I suspect some sort of cognitive or mental disorder based on what I know of him and have talked with him about. In any case, the place is run very very poorly. They do not seem to have the resources to maintain the dogs they have. They apparently bring the adoptable dogs down to Vancouver every three weeks, and keep the unadoptable ones there until they die.
The dogs there were emaciated, I could not see any access to water, some had visible wounds, and some were running around with a leash still attached. There is a dirt court yard that is covered with feces - the whole ground. There were also piles of feces about a foot high scattered about. I would have estimated there were between 30-50 dogs there. I have reported them to the BCSPCA but I kind of got a "well, we'll add this to the pile of complaints, and we'll eventually look at it".
There is also a rumour that is a front for drugs - when I spoke with the owner the smell of marijuana was wafting out of the window. I also emailed the Humane Society asking them what to do.
Oh, and to end this with a bang - as it turns out the meeting the vet had with the behaviourist resulted in a report a couple of pages long. It suggested fluoxetine, that whomever ended up with this dog would likely live in social isolation for the next 10+ years, that Sam needed to be introduced at well below threshold to any stimuli, and even with strict rehabilitation, that she may snap at any point. The behaviourist suggested euthanization. This was before any plans were made to send her to the rescue.
I feel like everyone failed her - myself, the vet clinic, the rescue society, and of course TG. We all tried but failed in our own ways, and she suffered for the last month of her life, significantly.
Thank you for reading this.
|This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.|