Rescue Advice / Opinions Please? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Rescue Advice / Opinions Please?

Any advice or opinons as to how I should proceed when a well known area rescue group refuses to honor a contract that I already have in place on a GSD that I had adopted out then three weeks later wound up in their rescue then was adopted out by them two weeks later. My adopter never informed me of his decision to reliquish the GSD, which is required by my contract in addition to the return of the dog, and informed the other rescue that he obtained the GSD from a woman who does the same thing she does (rescue). From what I understand, I believe that the GSD was adopted out by this well known area rescue without an adoption application, without checking vet or work references, to a family with acreage that does not have fencing, and without requiring a home visit. This well known area rescue as well as the person to whom they adopted the GSD were aware within 24 hours of the adoption that this dog was currently under a legally binding contract with me and that the dog was not legally free to be adopted. The dog has not been returned to me and I do not have a level of comfort with this placement at this time. This particular rescue is not sharing any information to help raise my level of comfort with the placement. Since I am not able to obtain any information whatsoever to determine the suitability of the home for this particular GSD, I would appreciate input as to how some of you might proceed and if you have encountered this before. It has been suggested to me that actions such as refusual to recognize a legally binding contact may have implications which might affect a rescue's 501c3 status, their IRS status as well as seeking possible criminal action against the parties involved. I am not looking to have to sue anyone and my main concern is the dog however I am not receiving any reciprocal couresty and cooperation from the other rescue and as such, am wondering those sort of legal remedies are the steps I need to take now. Feedback would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 05:14 PM
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Re: Rescue Advice / Opinions Please?

I'm certainly not a pro in these things but if I read this right I would think any issues you have would have to be taken up with the person that you adopted the dog out to. They are the ones that violated your contract, not the rescue group that later got and placed the dog, right?
How do you know the rescue group adopted this dog out without any of the things you mentioned (application, vet check, etc.)?
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rescue Advice / Opinions Please?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: shilohsmomHow do you know the rescue group adopted this dog out without any of the things you mentioned (application, vet check, etc.)?
I was told this by someone who asked them on my behalf so that we/I could do our own vet check with the person's vet, reference checks, etc. to be able to have a level of comfort about the home this dog went to. They were also asked to please provide a copy of the application as a courtesy.

The person that adopted the dog called me. My phone number and all my contact info was on the paperwork that was turned over to him by this rescue and he called me. He thought to call me. The rescue did not call me. It was the very next day after he had 'adopted' the GSD that he called. It was at that time I informed him that I had a contract on this dog and it was supposed to have been returned to me by my adopter per that contract.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 05:46 PM
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Re: Rescue Advice / Opinions Please?

Please bear with me. I found the original post a bit difficult to follow, so let me see whether I got all the right facts:

You are a rescue. You adopted out a German Shepherd to a person, doing a legally-binding adoption agreement / contract with that person.

That person then gives up the dog to another rescue after awhile. This is a breach of your contract which states they must return the dog to you (your rescue). They tell the other rescue that they got the dog from your rescue.

The other rescue, knowing the dog came from your rescue, proceeds to adopt the dog to another person. They do not inform you and they do not return the dog to you.

Is this all correct?

If you had a contract with the person who gave the dog to the other rescue, then your main issue is with that person. That person is the one who broke the contract you had, which was that the dog had to be returned to you if they could not keep it. You can pursue them for breeching the contract.

The other rescue, however, is also in the wrong here. They knew where the dog came from when they took it in from that person. They did not contact you and ask you to take the dog back. You would think that's what a reputable rescue would do, since it would free up a space in their rescue for a dog in danger of being put to sleep. You'd think it would be in their best interest. I think they screwed up by adopting this dog out to someone else, knowing that he came from your rescue.

Unfortunately, I'm not a lawyer, so I can't really tell you what you can do about the situation. You had a contract that the other person did not uphold. So you can address that in terms of breaching the contract. Can you approach the other rescue with your contract and ask for them to return the dog? If they have no paperwork on the dog at all when they gave it to the current "adopter", what do they have to stand on?

I think the best bet would probably be to consult with a lawyer and see whether you can get the dog back or what else you can do to "fix" this situation. Maybe the "adopter" would agree to a home visit and doing a contract with you?

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rescue Advice / Opinions Please?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: HistorianPlease bear with me. I found the original post a bit difficult to follow, so let me see whether I got all the right facts:

You are a rescue. You adopted out a German Shepherd to a person, doing a legally-binding adoption agreement / contract with that person.

That person then gives up the dog to another rescue after awhile. This is a breach of your contract which states they must return the dog to you (your rescue). They tell the other rescue that they got the dog from your rescue.

The other rescue, knowing the dog came from your rescue, proceeds to adopt the dog to another person. They do not inform you and they do not return the dog to you.

Is this all correct?
Yes, that is correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Historian

If you had a contract with the person who gave the dog to the other rescue, then your main issue is with that person. That person is the one who broke the contract you had, which was that the dog had to be returned to you if they could not keep it. You can pursue them for breeching the contract.
Yes, I plan to follow up with that person re: breach of contract but that still leaves the dog in a home that I do not have a comfort level with.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Historian
The other rescue, however, is also in the wrong here. They knew where the dog came from when they took it in from that person. They did not contact you and ask you to take the dog back. You would think that's what a reputable rescue would do, since it would free up a space in their rescue for a dog in danger of being put to sleep. You'd think it would be in their best interest. I think they screwed up by adopting this dog out to someone else, knowing that he came from your rescue.
When I spoke with the other rescue, I was told that the owner told her he obtained the dog from a person who does the same thing (rescue) that she does. The owner claims to have turned over all the paperwork to that rescue. In that paperwork were vet receipts. One of the recent vet receipts had my name and phone number on it. I don't understand why, when this rescue knew that the owner had obtained him from someone who does the same thing (rescue) that she does, why she did not give a courtesy call to the name and number on that vet receipt just to be on the safe side. The person who adopted the GSD from her thought to do that and he only had the dog about 24 hrs at that point. The rescue purports to have had him for two weeks yet I don't understand why this wasn't a red flag and why she didn't contact me knowing where this man obtained the dog from.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Historian
Unfortunately, I'm not a lawyer, so I can't really tell you what you can do about the situation. You had a contract that the other person did not uphold. So you can address that in terms of breaching the contract. Can you approach the other rescue with your contract and ask for them to return the dog? If they have no paperwork on the dog at all when they gave it to the current "adopter", what do they have to stand on?
I have approached the other rescue and she will not return the dog. Someone has intervened on my behalf and asked them to return the dog. Apparently she put the dog out on a contract with the current 'adopter' and states she has a contract and that her obligation is to that dog because of the contract. I do not understand why she expects that her contract is to be recognizes yet will not honor or recognize a contract from another rescue. To me, that devalues the meanings of the contracts. IMO, it sends a message to the current 'adopter' and anyone he relates this story to that the contracts from rescues aren't worth the paper they are written on. I'm sure she would want her contract honored should something happen so I cannot understand why she is not recognizing this contract. We have also asked for our own screening of this new home so we can determine if there is a comfort level with the dog remaining there. That is not being provided for either which I cannot understand. It was my understanding that recriprocal agreements between rescues exist in information sharing and in honoring each other's contracts. Otherwise, why have the information or contracts to begin with. Perhaps this is a suitable home for this dog but without the needed information, we have no way of determining that. I would think that any rescue would be happy to provide the information and show what a great home they dog went to and be more than happy to accomodate a reasonable request such as this.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Historian
I think the best bet would probably be to consult with a lawyer and see whether you can get the dog back or what else you can do to "fix" this situation. Maybe the "adopter" would agree to a home visit and doing a contract with you?
I would be welcome to the idea a home visit and if suited, a contract with the new adopter however, neither the rescue nor the new adopter have returned my calls.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 08:35 PM
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Re: Rescue Advice / Opinions Please?


wow! Poor dog, going through all these changes.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rescue Advice / Opinions Please?

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Originally Posted By: Myoung
wow! Poor dog, going through all these changes.
The dog seems to be the victim here. I don't understand why this other rescue doesn't seem to be willing to share any information about his new 'adopter's' home. It would seem to me they would want to be more than willing to share information on the home to alleviate any concerns that this may not be a suitable home and to help the dog be able to remain there. Cooperating, sharing information and helping us to understand what, about this new home, would be good for him, would certainly go a long way in helping us all get the best end result for this dog in an amicable fashion which is the desired result. A home visit, reference check and a contract between me and the new 'adopter' would seem to me to be very reasonable and help keep continuity in this dog's life. If I don't have any way of deeming whether or not this home suitable because of no information whatsoever, I certainly don't have a comfort level in letting him remain there. And if, in the future, this new 'adopter' decides he no longer wants or is no longer able to keep the dog, will he then disregard the contract he has with this particular rescue because he has now learned that contacts with rescues (in particular the contact that is already in place for this dog) are disregarded. To me, it's not a good precedent to set in rescue. Where then will this dog wind up?
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 09:13 PM
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Re: Rescue Advice / Opinions Please?


By admitting to you the rescue did not act with due judgement maybe mars their reputation and would they need to give the $$ they received from the sale to who? What is there to hide? What was your relationship with this rescue b4 this? Usually when working in close proximity both rescues would have a good working relationship. Could this be the problem?

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rescue Advice / Opinions Please?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Myoung
By admitting to you the rescue did not act with due judgement maybe mars their reputation and would they need to give the $$ they received from the sale to who? What is there to hide? What was your relationship with this rescue b4 this? Usually when working in close proximity both rescues would have a good working relationship. Could this be the problem?
I'm not sure who they would give the $$ they received from the sale to - I'm assuming they would return the $$ to the person they adopted this dog out to. I am not looking for the $$. I don't understand what there is to hide either. I would think that they would be very proud to share all information to show what a good home they have selected for this dog and what a good job they did in placing him. I would think they would be happy to speak to the new 'adopter', arrange for a second screening with me, arrange for a home visit, arrange for vet/work reference checks for me, and be happy to arrange for the new 'adopter' to sign a contract with me if this is a good home. I would think they would be very happy in doing that that because it validates their selection for this dog as being a good home and keeps continuity in this dog's life. Then, the likliehood of the dog being able to remain with this home if all checked out is much, much greater. That would seem the best for all involved; especially the dog. An amicable, cooperative relationship between all the parties to facilitiate this process is what's desired here. No one wants to have to take this dog out of a good home if it is a suitable home for him but without any information whatsoever to show that it's a good home, it seems like it would have to get bumped up to the next level. Before this happened, I had never worked with this rescue. A very well respected rescue has intervened on this dog's behalf and is trying to obtain an amicable, workable relationship so that we can proceed with reference checks, home visit, application, contract between me and the new 'adotper' but as far as I am able to tell, has not been successful in their attempts either. It was my understanding that a relationship was in place with them thinking that they were doing home vists, applications, etc. I believe that is so however, bear in mind that I am speaking second hand here and don't want to speak for them since I may say something incorrectly without meaning to. That being said, I think there was working relationship in place but am not 100 percent sure. The other thing you touched on regards a rescue's reputation. I don't understand why a rescue would not take their reputation into consideration when not honoring another rescue's contract. This doesn't even have to do with the other rescue. As the new 'adopter' begins to tell his friends, relatives, etc. about the dilema with his 'new dog' and the contract that is not being honored, word soon gets around. What happens then with the next person who adopts from them then decides to get rid of their dog thinking if this resuce didn't recognize the contract in so-and-so's case, then it must be ok to 'breach'. It's not only their reputation between rescues but reputation in the community and the generalizations the public will make. The dogs are the ones in the end who may ultimately pay the price. That's all just my opinion; maybe I'm wrong? It's certainly is food for thought though.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 10:08 PM
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Re: Rescue Advice / Opinions Please?

Personally I am working with a great rescue and would be very surprized if a situation like this would arise. We have 6 gsd rescues in our state and they all work together and check with eachother when a question arises. They all do business differently but would ask alot of questions just for liability issues as you have encountered.
I understand you just have the best interest of the dog at stake. I feel badly that you are coming out smelling like the bad person when all you want is assurances. I hope you can sort this all out between you and the person who gave up on this poor gsd and the rescue who adopted it out .

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