People often ask me why I am so opposed to groups that import dogs. And here is why.
Often they bring up a bunch of dogs. And those dogs are adopted out all at once.
There is a rescue that is holding an adoption event next month. And they are bringing 80 dogs from California. Most of them will be little dogs. But not all. Regardless of size I do have a problem with how this works.
80 dogs fly into Vancouver. In less then 24 hrs they will be put in a airport hanger with hundreds of strangers wanting to handle them. And if you are “pre-approved” you will get to pick the dog you want. No matching the dog with the home that is best for them. As long as you are pre-approved you hopefully can pick a dog.
So here are my issues with this.
80 dogs fly for hours to get here and the very next day they are placed in a noisy airport hanger and allowed to be handled and given to strangers. The rescue really can’t know much about all 80 of the dogs. They can’t really know their temperment, and while I understand that they are vet checked, you really don’t know what kind of health issues adopters will face.
How in the world do you follow up with all these dogs? This isn’t the first time that this rescue has done a huge adoption event. (this kind of event is done by several importers). So they have hundreds of dogs here in Canada. How do you keep track of them? How do you make sure that the dogs are cared for for their entire lives. How do you know the dogs aren’t moved from home to home, from owner to owner? You can’t. You simply can not keep track of those kinds of numbers.
I know that sometimes I sound like a broken record. I know that many believe that a life saved is a life saved. But how do we know how those dogs live.
And finally, why are we rescuing dogs from California. The state of California has more people then all of Canada. They have the resources and the people to save these dogs themselves. Instead, they rescue from Iran or Mexico or who know where. I don’t believe that we are making a difference by importing. These are for the most part, healthy adoptable animals that could find homes with rescues in the states.
A few years ago, I failed a dog. I adopted a dog to someone my husband knew. And we assumed that all was good. Jim saw this fellow a couple of times a month. And then all of sudden they moved. And just by chance I found the dog I adopted had been given away to a farmer.
We contacted the farmer only to find out the dog was living at the end of a chain. This pup would run off the farm and onto the road and the farmer didn’t want him hit by a car. After some very upset phone calls, and my being pushy, my husband went to pickup the dog. No dog that came thru our rescue was going to live on a chain. Not EVER.
Please don’t get me wrong. None of us is perfect. Things happen to all rescues. But when I started West Coast Rottweiler Rescue, I promised every dog that we would be there for their entire life. That they would never want for anything. That they would never live in isolation or pain. And I stand by that today.
We are closed for intake. But we have to maintain our status so that we can always respond if one of our dogs needs help. I continue to reach out to adopters from years ago, keeping the lines of communication open so that I know that WCRR dogs are safe and happy.
Rescue isn’t just about finding dogs homes. Its about finding the right home for the right dog. It isn’t about saving them all. It is about doing what is right for the one in front of you.