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Old 02-18-2013, 09:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default So frustrated... please advise

This is kind of a long backstory...an acquaintance of mine passed away recently. She had several GSDs and was very involved in dogs and training. She had no other nuclear family and her relatives were not in a place to take on several GSD and unfortunately she had no backup plan for them. Luckily her friends and acquaintances were able to quickly place all but one. The last one is a four year old male working line GSD. He was already passed around before he was sold to my friend. After she passed, he was taken in by a local trainer/breeder. That person sold him to someone, then THAT person GAVE him away on Craigslist, and then THAT person took him to the shelter and tied him to the fence in the middle of the night!!! The shelter found out who the dog was, got in touched with the deceased sister, and she officially "signed" him over to the shelter and sent them his paperwork.

Several of us again rallied to help him and we were told by the shelter that they were not releasing him to a rescue, would accept applications for a period of time, then screen everyone and call everyone back. I know multiple people who applied either to permanently adopt him or to offer him a rescue/foster spot. No one, including myself, ever heard back from the shelter one way or the other so we all kind of assumed he found a good home quickly.

Fast forward like two more months and the shelter calls my friend who runs a rescue in our area saying that the dog in question is STILL at the shelter, not doing well, can she please take him now. This was after my friend/her rescue and several of us who actually KNOW this dog (including one person who is very familiar with his lines as he has bred them) offered to foster or permanently adopt the dog and were told that there was no reason because of the high volume of applications and interest he was getting at the shelter. Once I was tipped off that he was never adopted and no one was ever called back, I tried to contact the shelter to get details and offer help on behalf of my friend who runs the rescue and some other mutual acquaintances of the deceased who were upset and sick to hear that the dog was never placed. I never heard back from the shelter.

Then last week I get an e-mail from a woman who has adopted him from the shelter. I'm not sure how she got my contact but it doesn't matter. I told her everything I knew about the dog and his training. She said he was in very poor condition (health wise) and has not really been responding as far as bonding, training, etc. Well no kidding...he is now on his NINTH home just since I've know him. The last e-mail I got sounded like she was committed to working with him. That was last week.

Just now I got a voicemail from a mutual acquaintance of the deceased (one who has been helping place all her dogs and make sure they STAY placed) saying that the woman who adopted him doesn't want to keep him and says she has a "contract" to return him to the shelter, but my friend is very worried that they will just PTS because they don't know how to deal with him.

I have no idea what to do. I cannot take in this dog. He is an intact male, same age as Nikon. Nikon is good with all my foster dogs, flyball dogs, and my friend's dogs but he does not like other intact males his age/size and I know that this dog also is not OK with other males. Also I hate to say it but I just don't like this dog, I never have liked his temperament. I want to help him of course, and help my deceased friend, but how the heck am I supposed to place a dog that is now emotionally and physically damaged, going on his tenth home (probably more, since I don't know his full history before my friend bought him but he was passed around before that). I don't know anyone that wants a dog like this, I don't even know anyone that can foster a dog like this right now. He cannot be put in boarding because of his condition and what it does to him being in a kennel. My friend with the rescue is getting SIX dogs in from California on top of the dogs she already has (she is a one person show, bless her heart). Since we do not have as many GSDs in shelters here she raises money and then pulls dogs on death row in CA so she can't just tell them sorry, they can't come because of this stupid shelter here giving us all the run around for the past four months!

OMG *why* do shelters behave this way?!?!?!
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Can you reach out to trainers and other rescues that might be interested? A good temperament evaluation will go a long way. I'm sorry there's not much in the way of advice to offer that I don't think you already know; just wanted to sympathize with you. This is a frustration that I have been having A LOT lately.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We had multiple rescues ready to take him the first time and now the shelter has cried wolf so many times that no one has time to deal with their BS anymore. Plus, I have my own doubts about the "adoptability" of this dog and his temperament. I've made an offer to my friend that seems like maybe everyone's thinking it but no one has the balls to just do it, if you get my drift.... This dog does NOT have the temperament where he can be passed around like this and he cannot be in just a normal pet home. Maybe it's easier for me because I know the dog and don't particularly like him so I'm not emotionally attached to him and didn't know his owner as well as some of the other people involved. Is it horrible of me to wonder if we just need to go play at the park for an afternoon, get some BK Whoppers, and see the vet one last time? Is he just being passed around because no one has the balls? I was told that when he was finally adopted he was missing hair, had severely infected anal glands oozing blood and puss, and had sarcoptic mange. When I knew him with his owner he was the picture of health, very glossy black coat. The stress is literally killing him slowly.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
We had multiple rescues ready to take him the first time and now the shelter has cried wolf so many times that no one has time to deal with their BS anymore. Plus, I have my own doubts about the "adoptability" of this dog and his temperament. I've made an offer to my friend that seems like maybe everyone's thinking it but no one has the balls to just do it, if you get my drift.... This dog does NOT have the temperament where he can be passed around like this and he cannot be in just a normal pet home. .
Definitely get it. I get into trouble because those are exactly the kinds of dogs I like working with but adoptability is not high so it takes time, money and space when there are many more that are easier to place.

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Is it horrible of me to wonder if we just need to go play at the park for an afternoon, get some BK Whoppers, and see the vet one last time? Is he just being passed around because no one has the balls?
If that is what is in the best interest of the dog, no it's not horrible and it's never any easy decision to make, emotionally involved or not.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can't even get a good temperament eval because that would be me, my friend with the rescue, or the trainer who already had him and none of us want much to do with him. I call him "quirky". I don't know if he was never a good fit with the owner that passed or what but to me he has always been a very odd GSD. I did not see any of the obvious behavior problems like aggression, reactivity, extreme fear, but....this dog has always seemed very detatched. Like you just cannot connect with him. It's really hard for me to describe. He never acted like a GSD in the good ways or the bad ways. Never seemed to have any real attachment to the handler, not motivated for/by anything, more of a social/interaction problem than lack of drive or some sort of unwanted assertive behavior. And now that he's been passed around another half dozen times I fear what's done is done. If I were in a place where I could consider adopting him I would assume this would take YEARS to overcome.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How sad. Maybe if the shelter hadn't ignored everyone who wanted to help earlier he might be in a better situation already. Or maybe not. But if he's so stressed from being passed around that he is unwilling or unable to connect with people, and is having health issues, it might be kinder to give him one last happy day and then let him go. It's horrid that it may come to this, but what are you going to do?
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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IMO, I feel the dog has been failed so many times because people were not up front and transparent about his temperament. Saying he was an 'alpha' when in reality he is fear aggressive and reactive. I feel bad for all involved, and don't have the answer because there is no helping this dog. I think your friend knew this as well, and she was his angel. Now that she is a real angel, I wonder if he wouldn't be better off with her once again.
Sorry, but unless someone else will step up to help him, he's just going to get passed around again or live his life in a kennel. So not fair.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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*sigh* Yes you are exactly right (and you know the dog). I've had tougher times placing far younger, healthier, and more adoptable (temperament) dogs.... I don't see a win-win here. People KEEP calling me about this dog and I try to be honest about what I've seen and heard. He's not some experiment, he is what he is and if no one is prepared to live with that like his owner was then people need to make up their freaking minds and sign him over.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Did John S. contact you? He pm'd me about K a month or two ago, asking if he was still available, though he has other dogs. I know he takes in board/train's too.
He may be willing to take him on and work with him, but would that be fair to K?
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I can't remember. So many people have contacted me but to be honest most only care what's in it for them (a cool sport dog, breeding prospect, something they can flip).... You know the dog, there's no WAY we could adopt him out as a sport or work prospect. I would not have done that even if he had gone directly from L to a good home. He's just not that kind of dog. And yeah, I think there are really only two options at this point and one would be finding a needle in a haystack. Other than L, nothing that has happened to this dog has been fair.
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