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Week Two:
September 7, 1998 - September 11, 1998

Forms, Paperwork and Legal Questions


Day Four - Part One

Subject: CLASS: re: what's a referral?
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 18:39:29 +0100
From: Irva & Mary - raisinl@PTW.COM

Most often, we provide the potential adopter with a contact number for the dog's owner, caretaker or shelter and rely on them to do their own screening. Owners and caretakers are given a "how to find a home" guide that tells them how to screen.

We do "referral only". I like to think of us as a "Dachshund Dating Service". We have two individuals covering Dachshund Rescue for all of Southern California. We average 200 to 300 Dachshunds placed per year. We've caught flack from people because we don't do homechecks, don't foster, etc. What we DO is act as a clearing house and educator for those who think they want a Dachshund (some we talk out of it, and steer to their local shelters for a mix, some we suggest other, more suitable breeds). ((Or if we feel they are unsuitable, say no dogs are available. If they insist on being on a waiting list, we take the information and file it, in the trash)).

If a Dachshund seems a correct choice, we talk about what they are looking for in a Dachshund (those wanting a puppy we refer to reputable, responsible breeders - our available dogs range from 2-9 years, most are 4-7). If what they want, is something we are likely to get, we fill out a "wish list" of size, coat, sex, age range, children?, cats? ... what ever is important to them. We check our list of available dogs, for reasonable matches. If we have no suitable dogs we put them on our waiting list. If we have a possible dog, we give them the name and phone # of the current owner, or shelter location. We do require that those using our services agree to spay & neuter (90% are already s/n'd). If there is ANY question, we refer only to dogs already altered.

Those wishing to place a dog range from shelter volunteers, to private parties with various and sundry reasons for placing their dogs. We have an upper limit of 9-10 years, because we have found maybe one home per year, willing to take one older than that. We can usually place an adoptable Dachshund in less than a week - directly from their owner (who knows their dog best - I hope). We suggest to the relinquishing owner that they may do home checks, get references, ANYTHING to be sure it is the right home, and that if they have any doubts - DO NOT GIVE THEM THE DOG. If the animal is not altered, we suggest that the new owners pick it up from the vet, after surgery, and pay the bill (or split it).

We can in dire emergency bail-out dogs, fund medical emergencies, board temporarily with a very nice vet. We have a revolving fund to use for these (hopefully each adopter repays the dogs expences).

It's not perfect, but we save a lot of Dachshunds. If we went the route of fostering each Dachshund, evaluating health & temperment, home checks and references, it would be great, but a lot of Dachshunds would be left homeless. I prefer to "save the many". Occasionally, we have to "re-place" a dog. but most adoptions work well.

I've seen the motto "Better dead than Bred", I prefer "Until there are none - save one".

I am by the way, a show breeder, as it the other person I work with. My puppies, not in a bonofide show home, MUST be spayed or neutered - no exceptions.

Mary - SoCalDachsRescue & Raisin'L Dachshunds


Subject: CLASS: Referrals
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 19:05:35 -0400
From: "Beth E. Widdows" - bew1234@TIR.COM

Beth Goetzer Lyons asked:

Can someone explain what is meant by a referral?

What I think of as a referral is when someone contacts me to adopt or relinquish a Border Collie but lives in a state or area that is covered by another rescuer. I then give them the appropriate contact info for that rescuer.

Beth, From the standpoint of our Westie Rescue, all of our contacts are referrals. We NEVER physically take in the dog. We keep a list of applicants (currently we have 27 people on our list). And when someone calls us with a dog, we interview them by phone, match them to an applicant, then call the applicant and give them the info and the telephone number and they are responsible for contacting the dog owner and determining if the match is right for them. While we call ourselves a "rescue", this list considers us a "referral" organization. I tell people to think of us like a "dating service".

Beth Widdows
Westie Rescue, SE Michigan


Subject: CLASS: re: Referral Forms
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 04:22:02 -0400
From: Vicki DeGruy - 72074.676@COMPUSERVE.COM

Judy was saying,

This sounds good but we would need to include the word "not held liable" from the referral person. I think together we can all come up with a good form for referrals.

Since our group doesn't get deeply involved in the referral process (as I said yesterday, we seldom screen the people we refer to dogs in shelters or those with private owners), we use a little different process. We screen the -dogs- before including them on our adoption referral listings.

Some groups that use this technique personally evaluate all dogs presented to them. That's not within our means so we do the best we can by interviewing the shelter, owner or caretaker. I have a form that's mailed out to owners that asks basic information about the dog (age, sex, color, training, personality, suitability for children & other pets, etc.) It contains a statement the owner must sign attesting to their truthfulness and a disclaimer from us that says we retain the right to use our discretion to determine a dog's suitability for our listing.

The listing itself contains the following disclaimer:

"Wisconsin Chow Chow Rescue provides this list as a service. It is not affiliated with nor reponsible for private adoptions. It is not an endorsement of any particular dog, rescue volunteer, animal shelter or private individual."

Just as we will not foster and place dogs with bite histories or aggression issues, we don't knowlingly include biting dogs in our referral listings either.

Take care,

Vicki DeGruy, Wisconsin Chow Chow Rescue
72074.676@compuserve.com


Subject: CLASS, CHAT: Referral as rescue
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 11:36:25 EDT
From: Barbara Ross - SOSDOGS@AOL.COM

I'm glad to see there are a variety of ways to operate a rescues, such as myself, are only one or two persons working out of their homes, not groups. They just don't have the ability to take in and foster all of the dogs. If they had to, many many dogs would be left to the pounds. I also am a dating service and foster in emergency. I've taken in dogs and worked with them, literally, for years until they were adoptable, if this was necessary. I have one now who has had four operations and is still with me, going on a year. But when it's not necessary and the dogs are ready to be adopted, why shouldn't they go directly to their new homes? I work with two AKC clubs who know my work and approve. Actually, one AKC club rescue is the one who TAUGHT me to do it THIS way!! I take applications, check references, including vet references, have a signed contract required, and will not adopt to anyone who doesn't have a vet who can tell me they've taken PERFECT care of their current or former dog(s). No first time adopters. I then match them up with the owner who is fostering their own dog. This minimizes trauma to the dog too. Someone said it didn't upset dogs to be in their rescue's care, then go to a new home, because it was a "business arrangement". I wonder how the dog knows that??? Have they asked the dog if it is confused? I personally feel leaving them in their current homes until they go to a new home is best for the dogs. However, each rescue must do what they can and whatever they do is better than nothing! I'm very tired of people on this list preaching that only THEIR way is best. We each do what we can and thank goodness we are there to do it. Let's give each other support rather than criticism!

Barbara
SOS DOGS - Small Breed Rescue
NJ
sosdogs@aol.com


Subject: Re: CLASS, CHAT: Referral as rescue
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 12:42:32 EDT
From: Sandra Delaney - Ditzydog@AOL.COM

In a message dated 9/10/98 3:40:11 PM SOSDOGS@AOL.COM writes:

No first time adopters

I'm curious as to the reason for this. We were all "first time adopters" at some point. Although I can certainly understand and agree with the reasoning where certain breeds are concerned, a blanket policy like that leaves me speechless, to say the least, particularly where small dogs are concerned.

In my case, this rule would have precluded me from adopting my first rescue (a mixed breed), Daisy. I enjoyed her so much, I adopted 3 more (not at the same time, of course, but over a period of about 2 years) -- 2 Shelties and 1 PomX. Also, if I hadn't been allowed to adopt the first dog, I would never have gotten involved with rescue or become a foster home for our local Sheltie Rescue.

Sandy Delaney
Ditzydog@aol.com
Van Nuys, CA


Subject: Re: CLASS, CHAT: Referral as rescue
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 13:53:27 -0500
From: Brenda Bass - basswood@HOME.COM

In a message dated 9/10/98 3:40:11 PM SOSDOGS@AOL.COM writes:

No first time adopters

By "first time adopters," are we are talking about people who have never adopted that breed before, or those who have never owned that breed before? If they would be a first-time boxer owner, *and* never had dogs of similar temperament, I am inclined to agree with turning them down. However, if someone has had boxers before, but never adopted, I wouldn't penalize them just because this would be the first one they *adopted.* After all, everyone who adopts has to have had a first time.

I did make a placement recently with a girl who had never had a dog larger than a miniature schnauzer. She was *great* with my boxers here, but had insufficient knowledge of big dog temperaments and dog psychology in general, and the placement didn't work for that reason. That decided me that a rescue - especially if I, myself, don't have a *lot* of knowledge of that particular dog - should only be placed with someone who knows the breed well enough to deal with problems that may come up.

Brenda Bass
basswood@home.com
Brentwood, TN USA


Subject: Re: CLASS: re: questions over the phone
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 17:03:07 -0500
From: Pete & Judy Tomlinson - tomlinsn@IONET.NET

I do retired racing greyhound placement - don't really like to call it rescue as our Oklahoma breeders are *mostly* very good to their dogs and give them to us willingly.

We mail applications to people who inquire about our ghs at Petsmart or wherever we are showing the dogs at that time - after receiving the apps back, filled out, we then call their current vet (if they have an animal) and also their 2 references--As with all breeds greyhounds have special needs--so our application form incorporates most of those needs.

My question to the class is this---- We refuse to adopt to anyone who has a current dog that is not spayed/neutered - you would not believe how many people get very upset with us for "presuming to tell them what to do with THEIR own dogs!" --do you all get this kind of response? Do other rescue org. require this - ?

Another question on our app has to do with heartworm preventive - we always ask if their current dog is on it - I am surprised at how many people do not even know what heartworm is! The way this ties into questions over the phone is that we call them regarding these 2 things I have mentioned. Of course we have other things come up, but these are the ones that are happening so much now!!

Thanks,
Judy Tomlinson
http://www.suite101.com (Greyhounds)
Greyhound Pets of America/OK
http://gpaok.pair.com
AOL IM - RoseyJo3


Subject: Re: CLASS: one VERY important question
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 19:53:49 -0400
From: Judy Marion - iluvdogs@HUSKYNET.COM

Hello list,

Sorry I haven't been able to participate all day, have this rescue league here to run. Anyway, before we go on, regarding the adoption application, there is one VERY important question I never see on anyone else's. When asking about having other pets and the applicant answers that they have another dog PLEASE put on your forms this next question:

*has your dog ever lived with another dog before*?
and make sure you have a spot to ask the dog's age!

Many return adoptions are because the applicant in totally convinced that their dog would LOVE another one to live with because it plays with all the neighborhood dogs. Not so! Trust me, these one dog families do not think that their beloved pet knows that those neighborhood dogs aren't staying. I have had more return adoptions from people that have one dog and refuse to beleive me when I tell them that it may not work! The age of the current pet has everything to do with that. If someone has a very young dog then yes it usually works. But try to adopt a dog into a home with a 5 years old *only* pet and it doesn't usually work. Any dog that has been the focus of the familie's attention after a few years is not going to move over and share. This has been my experience. Perhaps someone has had better luck?

Judy
NoVa Rottweiler Rescue League, Inc/MD,DC,VA
http://waikaloa.huskynet.com/rottirescue/rescue.htm


Subject: Re: CLASS: one VERY important question
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 11:06:15 -0400
From: Debra Freund - u14001@SNET.NET

I agree. I also found when looking to adopt our dog that many dogs were returned to breeders or in rescue because they didn't "get along with the previous pet". A complete family picture includes living environment, family members and ages, and all pets (breed, age, temperament, etc..).

Debbie Freund


Subject: Re: CLASS: one VERY important question
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 11:44:23 EDT
From: Janine Peters - NenePeters@AOL.COM

In a message dated 9/10/98 11:14:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Debbie Freund writes:

I agree. I also found when looking to adopt our dog that many dogs were returned to breeders or in rescue because they didn't "get along with the previous pet".

This is one of the main reasons I am slow to place with out of my days drive area. Dogs have very personal ideas about who they will get along with. I have dogs in groups and usually can tell very quickly if a new dog is going to make it in a certain group or not. Even a pair of usually friendly dogs may take an instant dislike to each other. It is nice to be close enough to visit a few times and let them meet on neutral territory! I cannot do that far away.

Far off is better if the old dog died and they want another one.... no competition.

Janine Peters
Louisiana
Basenjis and all breed (some all breed in one package!) ;>


Subject: CLASS: Forms
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 11:46:17 -0400
From: "Beth E. Widdows" - bew1234@TIR.COM

Judy said:
We refuse to adopt to anyone who has a current dog that is not spayed/neutered

We don't ask this. I guess I feel that if the dog I am giving them is spayed/neutered, it will not be impacted by the other dogs status. I guess I can see how, in theory, you might want to give them a lesson in what should be done, but I don't think I have the right to push my view beyond the dog I am handling. On our application we ask if they have a problem with the spay/neuter policy and if they did, we would discuss it in detail and they would not get a not s/n'd dog from us...but, esp. if their other dogs are show dogs, I guess I wouldn't let that stop the placement. The only place I would hold back would be if being unneutered would make the existing dog overly agressive. I would bring this up to the family placing the dog and ask them to see the dogs together before leaving the new dog. (Remember, we are a referral operation and we don't actually go to the placements at this time.) To date, this hasn't been an issue because all of the applicants have agreed to spay/neutering and all of the dogs involved have been spayed/neutered. I know that this is a controversial issue and there are many who don't agree with me.

We always ask if their current dog is on it - I am surprised at how many people do not even know what heartworm is!

I have never asked this but I think it is a great question. I would like to add it. It really didn't occur to me that anyone would not do this or question it...but I bet there are some. I think we weed out those types largely by asking for a $25 donation with the application. People who aren't going to spend anything on a dog and have it treated by a vet on a regular basis, generally aren't going to send in an application with a check for $25. While the donation isn't a requirement and I don't really "favor" those who don't make the donation, I think maybe I should ask this type of question to those applicants especially!!

Beth Widdows,
Westie Rescue, Michigan


Subject: Re: CLASS: Forms/and information
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 12:17:36 -0400
From: Judy Marion - iluvdogs@HUSKYNET.COM

We refuse to adopt to anyone who has a current dog that is not spayed/neutered.

We don't ask this. I guess I feel that if the dog I am giving them is spayed/neutered, it will not be impacted by the other dogs status. I guess I can see how, in theory, you might want to give them a lesson in what should be done, but I don't think I have the right to push my view beyond the dog I am handling.

BUT, part of our mission in rescue is to point out the health risks of keeping dogs intact which most vets do not tell their clients. Also, if you adopt a spayed female into a home with an intact male, do you think the intact male will have playing on his mind? The poor newly adopted dog is nervous enough in a strange environment without having to tolerate some male dog that keeps trying to climb on her back. This is what I point out to people with intact dogs. Health risks (which we can go into here) and the fact that the playmate concept isn't what usually happens. Alot of people do not neuter their pets and most of them would if they understood that it would keep them healthy, focused on playing and also learning obedience mush better and more inclined to bond with a new companion just to *play*.

Judy NoVa Rottweiler Rescue League, Inc/MD,DC,VA http://waikaloa.huskynet.com/rottirescue/rescue.htm


Subject: Re: CLASS: Forms/and information
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 12:26:51 EDT
From: Janine Peters - NenePeters@AOL.COM

In a message dated 9/10/98 12:14:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time, iluvdogs@HUSKYNET.COM writes:

The poor newly adopted dog is nervous enough in a strange environment without having to tolerate some male dog that keeps trying to climb on her back.

But, the climbing on the back is not just sex related. Growing up, no one neutered dogs and our males only tried when there was a reason! (with spayed it would not matter-- they did not cycle) I have some neutered males and some pushy females that try to "climb on their backs" much of the time as a dominance thing.

One family had a male that was about 6 years old that was so mellow and laid back they were afraid he would fade into nothingness if they neutered him. The vet said he had so little testosterone that he was almost a neuter as it was. I place a mellow female (already spayed) and she ran him ragged! She was the boss, no question, and if the poor boy had less testosterone, he would have slunk like a snake on the ground.

They and their vet said not to neuter him. He did not even lift his leg! Why refuse a great home for this? It all depends on the home.

BTW, I would still not have placed any un-spayed dog withthem, but with a spayed dog, I saw no harm. And the dogs are now happy, the family is happy and there are no further puppies.

Janine Peters
Louisiana


Subject: Re: CLASS: re: questions over the phone
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 07:39:51 -0700
From: Karen Berggren - kbergg79@CYBERTRAILS.COM

I am rather surprised at the idea that homes with unspayed/unneutered dogs are not suitable placement homes. Some of our best supporters are serious breeders. I am far more concerned with what they are DOING with their dogs, so I ask what breeds they have (an unaltered mixed breed WOULD raise a warning flag!), the types of activities they do with their dogs (obedience? water work? agility? therapy assistance? freestyle?). If the dogs they have are unaltered, what health tests have been done on them? All of this is to separate the serious breeder who is striving to improve the breed from the puppy miller... and to me, anyone who produces even one litter without a lot of thoughtful care is a puppy miller.

Karen Berggren
Planalta Portuguese Water Dogs
kbergg79@cybertrails.com


Subject: CLASS, CHAT: important question
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 12:15:07 -0400
From: Laura Georgi - georgil@CLEMSON.EDU

Judy,

Now, I'm a sheltie person, and shelties are a different animal altogether, but I had Rose for 5 years as an only dog before bringing Meg into the household (as a pup). Meg grew up beta and VERY attached to Rose (Rose was half again as heavy); oddly, once she had a full-time canine companion, Rose became MUCH less interested in being friends with neighborhood dogs ('course, a couple of the neighborhood dogs are real dogs, but that's another couple of stories). When I lost Rose to cancer this past May, I was really worried how Meg would adjust to being alone, and yet, she could have had Penny the Beagle for a companion -- but she got very possessive of ME and growled at Penny. You can warn people that their only dog might react this way to a newcomer, but basically they won't really know til they try -- and in fact even if the dog HAS lived with another dog before, it's not necessarily going to accept the next one.

Laura Georgi
georgil@clemson.edu
(864) 656-3060


Day Four - Part Two








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