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Week Four:
September 21, 1998 - September 25, 1998

Screening - Dogs and Adopters


Day Three

Subject: Re: CLASS: "Startle test"
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 10:40:30 -0700
From: sanya - sanya@LIPS.COM

Elizabeth Sommers wrote:

... And from sensitivity around his hindquarters, I wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't been hauled up by his collar and booted! -and- (We are checking out possible physical problems thoroughly.)

Sensitivity in the hindquarters region could signal hip dysplasia.

-Sanya
Rescue Individual - mostly terriers


Subject: Re: CLASS: re: Screening Temperament
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 11:05:58 +0000
From: Pam Bishop - dobra@pe.net

Cinnamon wrote:
is a dog who fails these tests, completely unadoptable? Is it possible to work with them? (Possible as in changing behavior and responses -- I know it may not be financially feasible or practical).

Vicki wrote:
I don't think this question can be answered in a "one size fits all" way. It's going to depend on the breed, the individual dog, the resources the rescue has and the range of potential adopters available. I think you need to take what is normal for that breed into consideration. I know a lot of terriers that wouldn't pass a "startle" test, for example, yet a certain amount of reactivity is expected in some terriers.

I handle a very high activity level terrier breed. Yes they would most likely jump, but I would use this test, because the Fox Terrier that would turn to bite, would not be a dog that I would place. It would be a rare dog indeed, that I'd feel that I could work out of that.

Terriers do not back down. Training is usually very different, but a reaction test like this would be good even for them. Jump, spin around and check you out...yes, that's what I would expect. Turn and snap or bite without looking first, that's not exceptable.

Another comment was made about a dog that was "willing to learn". Terriers and Hounds were bred to work independent from humans, so their natural instinct is not to "follow orders" to do their work. They can learn anything, but do not have that instinct to "please" all humans. Many of them think we(humans) are an interesting pet to have around (if we are well trained - :-}}})

So always take into consideration the job that the dog was bred for. And the instinct he will have to react to a specific situation. The breed that is supposed to be aloof to strangers is going to react differently from the breed that see's everyone as their best friend. None of them should react by biting or snapping. If the dog does you need to very carefully check for a reason. Even if the dog has a good reason (abuse) he may or may not be able to be placed.

I have a wonderful Smooth Fox Terrier that I found in a shelter. I'm sure he was abused and he did try to bite you if you tried to take something from him. He has been with me for 3 yrs and will always be with me. I could never have placed this dog. Even though he is long past this behavior, he will stay with me. (We are doing agility right now and he loves it!)

Know your breed characteristics. But be very careful about a biting dog.

Pam
Fox Terrier Rescue
dobra@pe.net


Subject: CLASS: screening dogs
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 14:38:45 +0000
From: Pam Bishop - dobra@pe.net>

Another thing to look for when screening an incoming dog, is it's health. And for those that are effected by it, Heartworm has to be the most serious. Do you take a known heartworm case? Or what about any other medical problem? We will talk about dealing with these problems later in the classes, but right now if you know ahead of time, do you take them?

What about if the dog will need surgery? Medication for life? Is age a factor? We will also talk later about placing senior dogs, but for now, do you even consider taking any of them. And what do you consider "senior".

For those of you working with coated dogs, what about the dog that is heavily matted? Big grooming project ahead. How do you handle that?

Lets hear some ideas on these things.....

Pam
dog rescue class
facilitator


Subject: Re: CLASS: screening dogs
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 18:53:49 -0500
From: Brenda Bass - basswood@HOME.COM

Pam Bishop wrote:
Another thing to look for when screening an incoming dog, is it's health. And for those that are effected by it, Heartworm has to be the most serious. Do you take a known heartworm case? Or what about any other medical problem? We will talk about dealing with these problems later in the classes, but right now if you know ahead of time, do you take them?

I take whatever comes my way. If it is a heartworm case, I have the vet evaluate it; if it is too heavy an infestation, I will have the dog put down, but if the vet thinks the dog can recover, it is treated.

So far, I guess I have been fairly lucky. I am doing boxer rescue, and I don't get a lot of calls here in middle TN. I presently have a 7 year old bitch and a 7-8 year old male (was hw+), but neither needs meds, and both seem quite adoptable. The rest of mine are younger. Basically, I figure a dog is better off with me - even if it ultimately must be euthanized - than dumped in the pound where it may be adopted by someone who doesn't know about boxer health problems and wouldn't take care of them if they arise. I usually seem to find people willing to take a "hardship" case, although it may take a long time.

Brenda Bass
basswood@home.com
Brentwood, TN USA


Subject: Re: CLASS: screening dogs
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 20:44:54 -0500
From: Dixie Davis - dixie@FLASH.NET

I take some heartworm positive dogs, knowing that I will almost certainly spend more than I will get for these dogs. If the dog has other medical problems, it depends. I just placed a dog with dry eye. If the medical problem is easily treated, if any medication it requires for life is not terribly expensive, then I will take the dogs. If the problem is not easily treated, or it requires expensive medicine for life, then whether I will take it or not depends on many other factors, including how full I am, how many prospective homes there are, temperament and age of the dog. It's an individual decision.

I haven't been faced with the 'senior' question yet. I know I will take a dog up to 7 years. After that, it becomes more iffy, depending on the above questions, plus how healthy the dog is, etc. Again, it's a case by case basis.

I'm just grateful I don't deal with Rotties, Dalmations, or Pits. Fortunately, while we have been getting a lot of Corgis into rescue, we don't face the same issues as rescuers of those breeds.

Dixie Davis
Austin Area Welsh Corgi Rescue


Subject: CLASS: screening dogs
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 22:29:37 -0400
From: Susan Feingold - feingold@MINDSPRING.COM

We're very fortunate in that Sheltie Rescue of GA is able to take in everything. We take in all heartworm positives, all that have medical problems, all that need surgery, all that need medication for life, and all senior dogs. In the past few months we've had about 6 that were HW+, we've had two with thyroid that will need meds for life for that, plus lifelong eye drops for dry eye, we've had one with pancreatic insufficiency that will need meds for life for that, two with bad hips due to accidents and a few 10+ year olds. Adopted them all out except for a couple (Toni and Tramp) that we sent up to another sheltie rescue and they adopted those out for us. (Thanks!) We currently have two 8 year old siblings that were extremely neglected and one of them had a huge tumor - it was just biopsied and came up clean and I think it will be removed during the spay. Our vets give us great discounts and we now have an orthopedic surgeon who gives us great discounts for the surgeries.

If the dog is heavily matted, we have two wonderful groomers - one groomer grooms ALL of my rescue dogs for both groups I work with for *free* regardless of how bad the situation is (I told you she was wonderful), the other charges $9. Since it is shelties we always try to save the coat if it is possible.

-Susan Feingold
Sheltie Rescue of GA
Pet Orphan Rescue and Adoption


Subject: CLASS:screening dogs
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 21:36:15 -0400
From: Grannie Annie - grannie.annie@SHORE.NET

Hi All,

The New England OES Rescue, Inc. takes in all OES regardless of age, health, [and some quirks!] All are updated on shots and heart worm tested immediately. Those that are positive are treated. [The new IM treatment is sooo much cheaper and less invasive for the dog] It isn't like the old days with the arsenical compounds. With the Ivermectin and a low infestation, we have found no problems.

We have been blessed with adoptive homes willing to take hardship cases such as HD and we place deaf OES as long as the temperament is OK. Our overwhelming problems are temperament/behavior related. Herding instincts including the stubbornness associated with this breed make it a poor choice for homes with small kids and little dog experience.

The OES presents huge problems because of it's dense coat. We treat maggot infestations, allergies, flea dermatitis,etc. There's no telling what we'll find under the thick pelt we shave off with a #10 or #15 blade. I am amazed by in what good condition we have found the skin, under some of those mats as well. Our policy is to take it in, evaluate medically, and groom. By the time the dog has endured all that, we have a good idea about its tolerance levels.

I love this Class, Pam!

HAVE A GOOD DOG!
Grannie Annie

email: grannie.annie@shore.net
New England Old English Sheepdog Rescue, Inc.
Home Page: http://www.shore.net/~neoesr
Hotline: 781-259-8173 Fax 781-259-0720
NEOESR Inc., 49 Stonehedge Road, Lincoln, MA 01773


Subject: Re: CLASS: screening dogs
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 21:07:33 -0700
From: Karen Mayer - rottlover@SYSPAC.COM

Tammy and I took a dog whose anus was skewed way off to the side. Turned out he had a hernia and needed surgery, but we got donations to cover most of it. He had been kept on a chain for 2 years, but was the absolute coolest dog I've rescued so far and I miss him *terribly*.

In May this year I rescued 5 puppies who were nothing but skin and bones. They were 12 weeks old and weighed *half* of what they should have weighed. Turned out they had parvo and coccidia on top of the malnutrition. I didn't know it at the time, and I ended up risking my own dogs' lives by bringing those puppies home (the owner said they did not have diarrhea or vomiting, but they did). Only two puppies survived, and the total vet bill for treating them was almost $4000. Although I'm glad Green and Violet survived and they are wonderful, lovable pups, if I had known they'd had parvo at the time, I would not have risked infecting my own dogs by bringing them home. It turned out fine, BTW -- none of my dogs (including a puppy of my own) contracted it.

Karen Mayer - Mesa, AZ - rottlover@syspac.com
******************************
Be Someone's Hero Today
Save a life, make a friend
******************************
Phoenix Area Rottweiler Rescue
http://www.rottlover.com/rescue


Subject: CLASS: screening dogs
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 22:06:26 -0400
From: Tallanwood - malamute@MAIL.BANCOM.NET

Luckily, at this time Heartworm is rare in our area. We have taken in blind Mal... Stevie (yes, for Stevie Wonder) was blind to due renal failure, a progressive condition that the vet believed was due to his having lived in an abusive situation (lack of food/water). He required a special diet and some medication.

Stevie was the cornerstone on which we built our "foster dog" program. Members/supporters of our group send in postdated cheques to cover the care/feeding of our "unadoptable" dogs. Stevie lived in our rescue facility for 3 years, and was quite happy within the limitations of his condition. He did not deprive any other rescues of space or resources, and he did inspire us to find new ways in which to save and support Mals.

Incidently, Stevie's last two summers were spent as the "Mal in a bubble"; due to his blindness, he was easy prey to all biting insects. One of our members donated a dining tent which was set up over his pen (also donated). I think he was a lot more comfortable than I was!

We also take in senior dogs. Any Mal over the age of 6 is not young. We do not charge an adoption fee for our seniors. Of course, no donation is refused.

We do not use professional groomers. If a dog is matted, we deal with it.

The most matted dog we ever had was a rescue transported all the way from the east coast to our kennel in Ontario. She was a Mal mix who looked like a Samoyed with a very long coat. We did the best we could in getting out the mats. She was adopted by a woman whose daughter is a dog-groomer! Sometimes these things just work out.

Molly


Subject: CLASS:screening dogs
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 20:00:10 -0700
From: boreas - boreas@NETWRX.NET

This issue of dogs that are not of good temperament being placed after a history of biting, concerns me. I often wonder if our breed will be on the next hit list for high insurance. Yes, when we know that an OES bit several people and then we place this dog and he bites again, I am sure that this same dog, being transported from state to state will actually show up as several OES other than just one. Rescue must not feel that they can save all the dogs or that they have a magical pills that transforms biters into loving dogs.

I love Pam's approach to temperament testing of the dogs , that I have printed it out and will send to all people doing rescue for SW that are not presently signed up for the rescue class session.

Our policy is to take it in, evaluate medically, and groom. By the time the dog has endured all that, we have a good idea about its tolerance levels.

Victoria Kremer
http://personal.netwrx.net/boreas/southwes.htm
Southwest Old English Sheepdog Rescue, Inc.
Arizona, 602-391-0999


Subject: CLASS:screening dogs
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 23:13:07 -0700
From: boreas - boreas@NETWRX.NET

I didn't want anyone to think my previous post was directed at anyone. It is something that happens in rescue.

As far as screening dogs, WE ALWAYS have the rescue dogs vet records faxed to our vet before pick up. We got burned once with a dog that had Valley Fever.

In the desert we really don't see many heartworm cases, it is usually a Valley Fever case which is very expensive to treat. SW was just starting out and took in a dog that had Valley Fever and it could have bankrupt us. We however, were lucky as list members came to our rescue and donated money to help our logo dog Humphrey survive. We even had someone contact the pharmaceutical company and they donated the medication. So, words of wisdom, never pick up an owner turn in unless you have their vet records faxed first.. Proof of their vaccinations are not enough, a complete history of the dog's medical records is very important.

Otherwise, how will you know if this dog is on medication for heart problems, epilepsy, etc.. It is pretty scary seeing a dog have a seizure. Just be careful, too many sick dogs can bankrupt you.

Victoria Kremer
http://personal.netwrx.net/boreas/southwes.htm
Southwest Old English Sheepdog Rescue, Inc.
Arizona, 602-391-0999


End of Day Three

Day Four








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