Depending on how active you are on certain social media websites, you may have read the story about a little sheltie and the battle over her fate. The sheltie lived with her mom, who was also her breeder. She was a show dog, but she was also her owner's beloved companion. From what I have read so far, the sheltie was being cared for by a friend, while her mother was out of town. While her friend was caring for the sheltie, she lost her, and it took a few days to locate her.
While people were looking for the lost sheltie, she was picked up by animal control as a stray. And after the mandatory stray hold time was up, she was pulled from the shelter by a sheltie rescue. It was at this time that the woman discovered that the sheltie was picked up by animal control, and when she contacted them, she was told the sheltie had already been released to a rescue. Both the woman caring for the sheltie and her owner began contacting the rescue, and this is when the battle began. The rescue refused to return the sheltie to her owner. They demanded proof that the sheltie actually belonged to the owner, which she provided. However, the rescue claimed that the AKC registration, pictures and veterinary records were not enough. And even though the sheltie was microchipped, because the owner hadn't registered the microchip, the rescue continued to refuse to release the dog.
And ongoing legal battle began, with the rescue refusing at every turn to release the sheltie. After months, a decision was finally reached by the courts. Finally, on Wednesday, a judge ruled that the sheltie was to be immediately returned to her owner. However, when the sheriff arrived to pick up the sheltie, the rescue refused to relinquish her. They have been given five days to turn her over to the sheriff’s department, which means they have until Monday to produce the sheltie. When I visited the rescue's Facebook page, I read that they are refusing to discuss the case, and they are tired of being harassed over this issue.
Now, I cannot give enough praise to rescues and the people who tirelessly work to save the lives of dogs, cats and other animals. But I have started seeing a trend where some rescue groups are demonizing all dog breeders. This just is not fair, as reputable, ethical breeders genuinely care about the animals they breed. We have our puppy buyers sign a written contract, in which the new owners promise to return the dog, at any age, to us if they cannot keep the animal. Many dog breeders are members of their local breed clubs and they too work in rescue. And they are involved with their chosen breed because of a deep love for that particular dog breed, they are not simply "in it for the money." In fact most dog breeders barely break even, as every dollar from the sale of their puppies gets funneled back into the expense of caring for their dogs. So when I read of a rescue group refusing to return a dog to its owner, just because the owner is involved in showing and breeding dogs, it breaks my heart. Both the rescue groups and the dog breeders are involved with dogs because of their love of dogs, so shouldn’t everyone be working together?Which brings me to my next story. Two days ago a fellow collie breeder wrote a post about a smooth collie puppy that was surrendered to a shelter by his owner. The owners left him there, along with his AKC registration papers. A few of the collie breeders in the area of the shelter have contacted the staff, concerned that this could be a puppy from their kennel. The shelter is refusing to let them know if they are listed on the registration as the puppy's breeders. Even after someone explained to the staff that when a breeder sells a puppy it's with a contract, which states the puppy will be returned to the breeder and not surrendered to a shelter, the manager refused to cooperate. The shelter manager said that it would be an issue between the breeder and the puppy's owner, and that it does not concern the shelter, and the breeders should contact the puppy's owners. But if the staff will not release the name of the collie's breeder, then how is anyone supposed know if he is a puppy they bred, and thus contact the puppy's owners?
It is very disheartening when people continue to vilify dog breeders, and refuse to work with breeders for the benefit of the dogs involved. What do you think? How should these two situations have been handled?
|And just so this isn't only a sad post, here is a cute puppy belly!