Friday, August 8, 2014

Breeders vs rescue

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!


  1. Those are all sad stories. One of the complaints I hear is that breeders are irresponsible and yet, these breeders are trying to take responsiblity for a dog that might be one of their animals that needs to be rehomed, not enter a shelter.

    We've been blessed to get both our dogs from our Regional rescue. I know many of the foster parents have themselves bred dogs for show and have a respect for both sides of the coin rescue and breeding and I think that makes a difference.

  2. This just ticks me off. I love the idea of Rescues and all that they do, but I think they tend to be too rigid. In the first case, the dog should be returned to the owner whether she breeds the dog or not!

    I am against puppy mills, not responsible breeders and it seems from what your post says, this woman is a responsible breeder.

    As for the second story, well most legitimate rescues have the same type of contract stating the dog must be returned to them for any reason. It would seem to me they more than most should understand this!!

    Rescues like these are the kinds of rescues who turn people off. Clearly it would seem in both of these cases, they are doing more harm than good. I hope both cases get resolved.

  3. We recently had a case here in town of a young girl of 10 who had a specially trained lab - it was trained to warn when her blood sugar was dropping and he did a great job but he still needed a bit more training in other area. The family and community raised $10.000 for that dog. It was sent back to Colorado to complete it's training and the women who trained it then tried to claim it was being abused and refused to send it back. They ended up having to take the women to court to get the dog back (which had become the little girls best friend). It turned out the women had plans to resell the dog for another $10,000. It is sad and so wrong when you have to go to such lengths to prove that a dog you bought and raised is your own.

  4. What terrible stories. Things like this give rescues a bad name just as much as backyard breeders and puppy mills give good breeders a bad name.

  5. That is horrible! :( I can't even imagine what the sheltie owner is going through..and the poor collie breeders!! It's so unfair that they won't work with them.

    Both of my dogs are shelter rescues from the Humane Society and we didn't have any problems with them and they did a wonderful job working with us.

    However, before we got our girls, I was looking at a puppy from a rescue and I sent a glowing app in with a letter of recommendation and everything and they refused to adopt to us because we didn't have a fenced yard.. I was so sad. I've been involved with dogs my entire life and they wouldn't even look at any of that. :(

    Our next dog we are going with a breeder. I am wanting a purebred whippet. I'm being very careful with my selection and I want to make sure the breeder I go with isn't a byb.

  6. The rescue and shelter were unfortunately clearly not knowledgeable enough about the world of ethical/unethical breeding, in my opinion... but this subject really could fly way into moral grounds for both sides if it wanted to. :\

    and puppy bellies are good! LOL

  7. This makes me sooo sad to read about!! I sure hope that both situations can be fixed and the right people can get their dogs back. Rescue people do great things, but sometimes it seems like they believe they are far better than any other animal person (be it a breeder or person who owns purebred dogs).

  8. I worked in rescue long enough to determine that most rescue people - are crazy. I know you kind of have to be a little bit to do what they do - it's not easy. But I ran into too many that were just so rabid about their views, they couldn't see beyond their own beliefs. Just like there are bad breeders, there are bad rescues as well. Sad, but true. These stories are so awful. I just wonder why they can't see how ridiculous and irrational they are being? Ultimately, it's the dogs that suffer as they are separated from people they are so attached to.

  9. Unfortunately all to frequently you run into these rescues. The people in them seem to have no common sense. It makes you wonder if they are attempting to help the shelters or shut them down.

  10. This is very upsetting. In the end, a lot of time and money has been wasted because of the ideology of this particular rescue. The breeder has not been accused or proven to have caused any cruelty - the dog belongs to her and should be returned.

  11. Because of the lengths these rescues have gone to, I have to wonder if there's something more going on than antipathy toward people who show and breed dogs.

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