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Discussion Starter #1
After reading one of the other posts here about the pressure our rescues have to pull so many dogs it really got me to thinking.
As many of you know, I work the Urgent boards almost every day. I focus mainly on the Seniors or the Special cases (such as mange). When I focus on a dog I give it 100% of me. I really feel the dogs pain. I guess some would say thats not possible but I do! I try so hard to make that dog stand out in the crowd, I feel love for them and compassion. It really affects me to see these dogs in these circumstances. What I'm trying to say is I REALLY CARE!!
Now after reading the other thread I'm thinking I might be putting too much pressure on those in rescue. I guess some of my pleas could be a bit over the top but I'm really just trying to lend my voice to those that can't speak.
I do everything I can do to save these dogs including crossposting, making calls (I think I owe favors to most everyone on the east coast at this point) as well as boring my friends to tears when I repeatedly ask them 'but do you know someone who knows someone...' hoping to find a home for a certain dog. I really try to help out.
My question, and it really is a hard one for me but one I think I need to ask...am I causing more harm than good? The dogs are important but so are the people and I really don't want to add even more pressure to those who are doing such good.
Any feedback would be appreciated. Please be kind.
 

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Rosa,
There are many of us here who "work" the urgents daily. My feeling is.. that without networking and bumping, they don't have a chance. I do not know the pressure a person in charge of a rescue feels. I do get calls/emails once in a while from desperate shelters and individuals who are begging for help with a GSD. It is so hard not to be able to help them. I can only offer networking and posting on the board. Most rescues know their limits, and they will tell you they are "full". I only ask that they forward to their contacts. I don't feel that I am stepping out of bounds by doing this, and you aren't either. I currently have 2 fosters. One that has been with me for a year and a half (my avatar) and one that has been with me for 2 days. j/m/o for what it is worth.
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I think posting dogs and trying to network them is a good thing and I hope you continue to do it. For me, the posts that I don't like (and not saying you do them, just speaking generally) are the "can't somebody help her!!!" types.

I guess my answer to that is that yes - Somebody somewhere out there probably can. The problem is when it's always the same somebodys over and over getting pushed to do more and more. Posting about "why can't a rescue take him?" or "can't someone do something?" isn't a substantive contribution and it does sometimes rub me the wrong way when people do stuff like that and call it "rescue" while leaving the actual funding, pulling, transporting, fostering, vetting, adopting to others because they feel that they're unable to do any of those things.

I do understand that for whatever reason some people don't want to foster. And I understand that not everyone has the spare money to sponsor. But there are a zillion different ways to help. Posting something like "I can help pay for vetting if a reputable rescue takes her" or "I can help with transport for an approved rescue" IS helpful IMO. And, like I say, I think posting the dogs in the first place is also helpful.

It's just the nagging for someone else to save the dog while offering nothing concrete to the effort that puts an awful lot of pressure on a small group of people who are already doing more than they probably should.

Quote: I do not know the pressure a person in charge of a rescue feels. I do get calls/emails once in a while from desperate shelters and individuals who are begging for help with a GSD. It is so hard not to be able to help them.
I get them every day. I get hundreds of them every day and my group is all-breed so we're asked to help them all. I work with multiple rural shelters and every one of them is full of dogs and every one of those dogs is in danger. It's overwhelming.

Quote:I can only offer networking and posting on the board.
I'm not picking on you, but can I ask why? Even if you can't foster, there really are a lot of other ways to help. Since you're in GA, your help taking pictures at local shelters could be invaluable. Is that something you'd be willing to consider?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both so very much. Tears are honestly running from my face. I really do love these dogs and I want to do all that I can to help. When I post about a dog its from my heart. I try to make it personal because I want others to see what I'm feeling or thinking (ex. imagine him when he was a puppy and someone got him promising to always take care of him, how he gave them the best years of his life and look where he is now...). These dogs may be greying, they may have no hair or maybe their one chance at a picture which could save their life was messed up...those dogs look right into my heart. I plea for them because those eyes are pleaing at me.
I just don't want to hurt the people or add quilt to someone whos overwhelmed, honestly I don't want to do that.
I do feel like I'm making a difference. I help in all the ways I can. I am signed up for transport locally and on a West Coast board for any dog in Northern Califoria. I'll drive 100's of miles to help save a dog.
Well thanks again. I guess what I'm also trying to say is if there's things to be learned in all this, I'm open to learning as well.
 

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A lot of good points are being brought up in light of what has happened recently and I know it has made me stop and think also. I'll admit - I have been one to post the comments about 'can't someone help?' and now I guess I'm going to have to rethink things too. Sometimes all I can do is simply post an urgent dog and then move on. I feel bad sometimes b/c I don't even come back to offer any bumps or comments, but it gets overwhelming dealing with all the pleas and I know I'm not alone. Then there are the ones that really get me - that pull at my heartstrings so bad, and I feel so bad b/c I know we can't help them; so I reach out and hope that someone else can. It's a tough situation and we all know how it is. Almost a year ago, there was a post for what was thought to be a sable GSD puppy from a nearby shelter. I really pushed my own rescue for that dog - and finally pushed so hard and agreed to take her as my foster that we pulled her. Don't get me wrong in saying this, but she turned out to be anything but a GSD but I love her so much and still have her! If I had to do it all over again knowing what I know...I would still want to pull her. She is so sweet and loving, but has just not had hardly any interest in her b/c she is not a gsd and most of the people who come to our rescue are looking for a gsd or at least a high mix.

Even with my 2 own personal dogs and her, I had said my house was full. However, a puppy in need recently. once again, pulled my heartstrings and I offered to take her in as a foster. It's so hard. It's easy to judge those and say it will never happen to you, but it's a fine line and we all have to be careful and conscious of what we are doing and I know I have really taken a step back to look at things this past week. I will try to be more conscious of how I post things in the future.
 

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I think you have to have the willpower to say NO when you work rescue or it will overthrow you. Everyone knows you can't save them all but not everyone accepts that. And I think it's better to have less and be able to spend more individual time with them and have them as members of the family during there time with you (foster homes for example) than having more than you can handle just because you may have space as there isn't always enough time in the day to spread to that many dogs and it adds up in the long run. (If that makes much sense).
 

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One of the things I like about the current membership of this board is that there are a lot of people on here right now who are willing to admit to making mistakes and willing to ask difficult questions of ourselves and of one another.

Thanks for starting this discussion--I hope all of these discussions will migrate to other boards that do rescue.
 

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I haven't checked your posts so I won't be directing this specifically to you. Also, I am not involved in rescue directly. I subsidize several humane organizations financially as my contribution.

From my perspective, some of the posts in rescue seem like badgering. Posting the dog I think is fine. Folow up posts like "Can anyone help?" seem redundant (and badgering). I'd like to see people who do rescue check the threads without prompts like this.

I get offended when someone out of state posts about Little Rock. I know that there are a lot of dogs in need down here. I would guess most of us in Arkansas know that. My household dynamic doesn't allow other dogs in right now. I will not go near any of the animal services in the metro area.

I think it might be most appropriate to concentrate on dogs nearer to you. You could check the animal out more easily and transport issues might be minimized (with gas sneaking up to $4 a gallon that will be a bigger and bigger concern.) I've given this a bit of thought and I think there is an element of safety posting on dogs far away. If you post on what's in your backyard, any guilt trip would fall more on you and less on others. Then, of course, the danger of taking in too many would be more apt to fall on the person initiating the post. (see immediate preceeding paragraph on that!)

I think everyone on the board realizes what a heartbreaking situation thousands of dogs face every year. I think people posting these dogs are sincere in wanting to help. Purebred, mixes, GSD and other -- It's a bad situation. There's no easy answer.

I'm sure this doesn't answer your question. I think that's one you're going to have to answer for yourself. I'm going to be interested in hearing the other responses you get.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for the feedback. Yes, I think this can be a learning experiance for us all. I did want to address the issue of working on dogs in other states and the safety factor there. My passion is saving dogs from either being gassed or killed with a Heartstick. Thankfully, none of these methods are used here. I have also written letters, signed patisions (sp? I just can't spell), and talked to people in hopes of stopping these means of 'humane euthansia'. Thankfully too, the shelters in my area have excellent adoption rates. We are also fortunate to have the support of our shelters who run spay/neuter clinics and do a good job at public awareness.
Thats not to say we don't have problems here. Unfortunately, there are just too many dogs and not enough homes everywhere but I do think theres alot of effort here and alot of money put into that effort to try to control the problem of pet overpopulation.
I'll admit too, there is a certain amount of safety involved in working dogs so far away. If I were closer you would likely be reading about me on the website talking about someone taking in more dogs than they could handle. Like I wrote about earlier, I am signed up as a transport here in Northern California. Gas is $4.15 a gallon here and rising, but I won't hesistate to get in the car to save a dog!
I do appreciate your feedback, everyones. These are all very good points.
 

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As someone who is susceptible to the pleas of a dog in need, I'd say that your efforts aren't completely wasted.

If I see a dog is in need - in urgent need - in my area, I'll give it a second look, and reassess my situation to see if it's possible for me to take them. In fact, for one dog I saw in need recently, I called up my mother, "Are you SURE you don't want a shedding dog? This dog seems perfect for you otherwise!!" She has an injury where she needs to exercise daily in order to maintain her mobility - perfect for acquiring a canine companion!

For me, knowing a dog needs urgent help in my area starts me looking around seeing if I can possibly assist in placing the dog. In fact, I would find it more helpful if the urgent needs list had the state listed before the town so it'd be even faster for me to notice if there is a dog in need in my area.
 

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Rosa, thank you for your huge contributions to rescue. I also agree with posting dogs in need are efforts, which are not wasted.
You are a wonderful asset to this board. Actually, the power and the passion of this rescue board is what keeps drawing me back.
The unison, which I have seen time and time again, people and rescue groups working together, coordinating their plans and efforts to save a dog, is something to be so proud of.
I wish there was some way to bring it all together, to continue saving lives, but also work as one entity to put together a plan, which will eventually be a proactive plan, and not so reactive.
For all the rescue groups, not just GSD groups to work with the larger powers, Best Friends, ASPCA, etc. To create a learning tool, a tool we probably won't see the rewards of in our lifetimes, but perhaps it will be in place for our next generation.
Most county animal shelters are operated by their local law enforcement. Almost all law enforcement have DARE programs in place in the elementary schools. DARE is typically taught in 5th grade as an effort to keep kids away from drugs, etc.
If there was some way to partner with this program, to have a week-long block about animal welfare and what our society's animals currently face. To teach the huge importance of spay/neuter for the future of society as a whole.
Yes, the initial cost of a learning block like this would be high, but the future benefits of lower animal shelter costs could possibly counter it.
This would need to be implemented nationwide, not just in a town or two, to be effective.
And, most of all, this is just one idea. The passion and intelligence of the people on this board is incredible. Think of what we could do together if we created an outline of ideas to submit to the larger animal welfare organizations, which have the political contacts and money to possible see it through.
I could go on and on, but will stop here. What say you????
 

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I'm definitely not trying to discourage anyone from posting and actually, it doesn't bother me at all when people from out of area post dogs in my area - saves me having to do it.

I guess maybe my bottom line would be for people to stop and think for a moment when they beseech others to act and ask themselves if they're asking other people to do things they are not willing to do themselves.

I don't mean not able - I get that there are real limitations that people have on what they can do. Obviously if you can't drive, you can't do transports; if you are dealing with a serious illness with a member of the family you may not have time to foster. I get that. It's the more garden variety reasons people don't do things - "I'm too busy," "I have kids," "money is kind of tight right now" etc etc... Because I guarantee you that most of the people actively involved in rescue have all those same limitations and are in the same boat or worse. So piling guilt on them for not being able to do more than they are already or accusing them of not caring about the dog because it takes them a while to return an email... well, it hurts. I also think that for people outside the southeast, there is not always a true understanding of what these shelters are up against. I've seen a lot of threads that bashed the shelters for taking bad pictures or having a skimpy write up or not holding the dogs long enough. Until you have been in these shelters and seen how bad things are, it can be really hard to understand. I just hate to see them run down when so many have staff and volunteers absolutely driving themselves into the ground doing the very best they can to save animals.

On the other hand, just posting the dog, and even bumping the dog, I think helps. As do the pledges of support, offers to help pull or transport or overnight - and I definitely see people doing those kinds of things all the time. I think there's strength in numbers and a lot of dogs are saved by the collaborative efforts of board members working together and I hope they keep it up!
 

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Hi Rosa,

I just wanted to reiterate that none of my points are directed at you, they are all general. You seem like a very caring person and I appreciate that you want to learn about all sides of this so you can help. One of my favorite crossposters is in CA and she is of enormous help to us here in KY because she goes to our shelters' petfinder sites and creates breed specific listings which she makes sure go to the right people. Another of my favorite people is a writer in NY. I've never met her but she's never failed to create wonderfully poignant pleas for me for those special cases which she then circulates all over the place and we almost always get help for the dog.

Posting and cross posting are really wonderful. I think the comments on the other thread, and mine as well, are about what happens after that, but I like that people seem open to discussing it and trying to figure out how to act in the best interest of the dogs.
 

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Quote:I get offended when someone out of state posts about Little Rock.
I don't know why you would get offended when someone from out-of-state posts about Little Rock. Local people may well know about Little Rock, but others don't. About 18 months ago a Little Rock dog who was on his final days was making the rounds of email - no doubt posted by someone from out-of-state. He ended up being fostered two blocks away from me - I am in Canada! This guy now has a great home. If someone from out-of-state hadn't interfered, this wonderful boy would be dead and that is a shame. Not only is he well loved in his home, but he saved his family by alerting them to a fire that had started in the house. Often things happen for a reason.

And before we get into the "couldn't money have been better spent locally" argument, let me assure you that adoption rates are very good here, and this boy's breed is in demand (he is not a GSD) and not locally available.

This was a win-win situation. I don't think we can underestimate the power of networking.

dd
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I thank everyone for their feedback-its important to me. We're all here for the animals but in order to be here for them we need to be here for eachother as well.
Being on a forum on the Internet we aren't afforded the opportunity so see eachothers faces and in most cases, we don't know eachother personally, all we have are the words that we type. Sometimes those same typed words can be interputed many different ways. We all see things differently and even with that I know one day I might read something one way and the next day read it another way. Perhaps it has little to do with what I'm reading and more to do with what else is going on in my life.
The Urgent boards can take on a life in and of itself. I know if I'm working on a dog there I have a really hard time staying away from the board. I'm constantly checking on that dog, worrying about him, making sure he doesn't fall off the board, seeing if he's getting any interest and trying to find the right words that might just get him saved. I guess you could say it is my way to saying he/she is not alone-I'm here and I won't forget about you.

There are some really good points and ideas being brought up here and thats great. Educational programs would be a great start. I do understand (not fully I'm sure) that some of these shelters are up against horrable odds. We, as a people, need to do something that would make animal welfare a priority and not an afterthought. I understand that in many of these places there is simply NO MONEY alloted for shelters and that needs to change. Thats not going to change unless more funding and public awareness are put towards these programs. How can we expect that to happen when people are just trying to survive on what little they do have? I don't know. Its a huge problem.
I guess I'm getting off topic here, but I do want to say that I'm open to learning and while I'm here for the dogs-I also want to be here for the people.
 

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As we have 6 gsd rescues in Wisc. and the need for OHIO and Georgia are so great, we have been pulling alot of dogs from the south and Ohio. That certainly doesnt mean we dont look out for our area but we take who are urgent.
The networking on this site is absolutely outstanding, it would not be possible to save them without everyone.
 

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Quote:As we have 6 gsd rescues in Wisc. and the need for OHIO and Georgia are so great, we have been pulling alot of dogs from the south and Ohio.
This is the reality - shelter stats and adoption situations vary enormously by region. My local Humane Society brings in close to a hundred dogs from outside the region every year and has no problem in placing them. These dogs would have no hope of placement in their original situation, since the shelters they are sent from have no adoption program at all.

This is why wider networking for the dogs is so important.

dd
 

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Originally Posted By: dd I am in Canada! This guy now has a great home. If someone from out-of-state hadn't interfered, this wonderful boy would be dead and that is a shame. Not only is he well loved in his home, but he saved his family by alerting them to a fire that had started in the house. Often things happen for a reason.

And before we get into the "couldn't money have been better spent locally" argument, let me assure you that adoption rates are very good here, and this boy's breed is in demand (he is not a GSD) and not locally available.
This was a win-win situation. I don't think we can underestimate the power of networking.

dd
So true. we could just keep our donations in our own neighborhood or Country for that matter, but a dog in need is a dog in need no matter where it is. How can we be part of the forum and see pictures of dogs in need and NOT help??

I do volunteer at the local HS, I give food/toys. I do donate to local rescues. I transport dogs from Ohio and GA. that our rescues up here will take.

I have given donations to rescues that post on this board. And let me tell you the absolute amazement the vet clinics express when I tell them I called GA from Canada to donate funds for a dog I have never met or ever will meet. They I am sure think I am nuts.

I do feel guilty begging a rescue to take a dog, but I will offer and follow thru with financial assistance anytime I can.
 

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We too take rescues from places other than Ontario... mainly Ohio and we are in Barrie Ontario... the mooe exposure the higher the chance of getting into resuce, foster care or an adopton.

Tina
 
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