Reputable GSD rescues who pull from shelters in the South? - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 01:33 PM
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Question: Is there perhaps already a local rescue organization that partners with the shelter that you work for? Here is an example of such a partnership in LA, with great community outreach and relationships with rescues in the Northeast by the rescue organization that pulls from the shelter:

Parish pound: Ouachita Parish Animal Control and Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter
Rescue organization: PAWS of Northeast Louisiana and

PAWS NELA has saved hundreds of lives. Still, the statistics are sad, but they would be even more sad without them: Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter Statistics
Their work has made a big difference for the dogs they were able to save, and they are working towards opening a high volume, low cost s/n clinic to reduce the number of incoming animals.

The most effective strategy to reduce the loss of life in pounds and shelters has shown to be a combination of effective adoption practices, effective (meaning free or very low cost) spay/neuter outreach, legislation against puppy sales along public roads and in public places (LA has that now, it has to be enforced), shelters that are inviting and have opening hours that make it feasible for working people to visit and adopt, and dog friendly communities. We cannot solve the overpopulation problem by adoption alone.

To achieve 'no kill', HSUS and ASPCA have terrific tools online for shelters and rescue organizations.

I am sending you lots of encouragment to keep going and to keep networking.

FKA RunSarahRun
Chip v. Dog Pound (border terrier), CGC
Elly v. Rescue (GSD, GSRNE 346), HI(C), CGC, TT
RIP: Feli, Iris, Dago (GSDs), Bubi (spitz), Tanja and Robin (mutts)
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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Baton Rouge actually turned our shelter over to a rescue organization in 2011, a non-profit with a no-kill goal, under contract from the city/parish to run the shelter (instead of Animal Control). The rescue organization thus is the shelter, sort of. The nonprofit is learning as it goes, making a lot of mistakes along the way and trying to do better -- the no-kill goal is still years away, though. We started from an 80% kill rate, in 2010; some months of 2012 our kill rate fell as low as 25%; most months it's closer to 40%, overall.

We've done several successful mixed breed mass-puppy transports, to Virginia and New York -- probably 150 puppies in 2012. All were one-off transports, a few were partially funded by ASPCA grants, partially by our charity that raises money for the shelter. They are controversial, because of cost--about $80 per puppy. Since we don't adopt them out on the other end, there's no adoption fee to offset it, so it's pure cost. The shelter-charity can't sustain that, and they've apparently heard from donors to stop it--and donations are down anyway. That money is also desperately needed to pay for the most basic of care for animals here. A number of local prospective adopters raised a public stink about the puppy-transports because they saw the puppies who had already been spayed, vetted, and health certified the day before transport and wanted to adopt one of those puppies, and were told they couldn't (many of them had actually already been adopted on the other end, and in any case, you can't just sub in a different puppy on the truck at that point). They were outraged and made a public fuss about local people being denied puppies because the shelter wanted to send the cutest ones out of state, or something absurd like that. It got ugly, and I think it's caused the shelter's leadership to cool to the idea of mass-transports.

After that experience, I don't think our shelter (or the charity attached to it) will be paying for transports of any of "my" GSDs. Unless there are adopters or rescues in other places who will pay the transport fees, I don't think it will happen. Heartworm treatment prior to transport is solveable here (the charity does get donations for that, and we have low-cost vet partners who help a lot)--but it takes a 30-day-foster home being available to recover from treatment, and that's often harder to come by, at least for big dogs. There are only two foster homes who regularly take GSD (including mine).

We do have local rescue partners who pull as many dogs as they can--but they're all quite small, and at capacity. They also strongly prefer small dogs. We have a great group of volunteers doing weekly offsite adoption events at malls and farmer's markets. We got to over 250 local adoptions in December at the shelter and our off-sites--a record for us.

My DH and I do one thing at the shelter: German Shepherds (and occasional high-mixes). We both have busy full-time jobs and lots on our plate, but we've decided this is important. We ended 2012 with a 90% save rate for GSDs at the end of 2012, networking one dog at a time, with no out-of-state partners, and as far as I know, only one dog being pulled by a GS rescue. If we miss a week at the shelter, there's likely no one to list these dogs on Petfinder, get photos of them, or exercise them. That's a little scary. This save rate is the work literally of just three volunteers--no non-profit, no budget, just working within the shelter. We had at least 50 GSDs come through in 2012. Three were euthed (one for illness, one for growling at people, and one for dog aggression).

If I worry about other breeds, I'll lose my sanity. Right now, it's the only breed in the shelter that's reached the magical 90% "no kill" number--but the supply of dogs never lets up. At one point last summer, I think we had 12 purebred dogs either in foster or at the shelter. If we were a GS rescue, we'd likely be the biggest one in the state, based on number of dogs served....with three people, no money, no organization, hardly any foster homes...and it's somehow kind of-sort of working, most of the time.

The rest of it, I can't do anything to fix. Spay and neuter laws in the South are a project that will take many, many years to solve. There's a massive cultural bias against it. Coming from California, I've been flabbergasted by the ignorance and lack of resources. The shelter is a dilapidated third-world facility that was never meant to be an adoption facility--it's not attractive, inviting, or even air conditioned. It's like a concentration camp for dogs. To put it into perspective: we get at little over $1 per capita for animal care in this parish (county); other parts of the state get over $7. The city is never going to pay more. That we're doing as well as we are with so little sometimes amazes me.

We aren't as bad off as some places in the South. We do need more avenues to get dogs out though.

I've been spending a lot of time lately trying to think about I can do better in 2013.
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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a bunch for the suggestions, warnings, and advice. It gives me a lot to think about. I suspect the financial aspect is going to be a big barrier to partnering, but I might be wrong.
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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 11:41 PM
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Save Our Shepherds is based out of Memphis. they currently have several GSD rescues.
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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 06:38 PM
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ohmygosh magwart, that is a wonderful thing you're (and your dh) are doing. wonderful. on behalf of the dogs you've helped, thank you SO much.

mom to the cashman
the rescues...jeni-take-a-ride, and the c-monster
shangri la's seraphina blue (RIP 8/1/15)
hearthside's cinderfella (RIP 4/20/09)
shep von bellefontaine (RIP 6/9/10)
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