View Full Version : Puppy Mill Rescue

20th August 2009, 01:14 AM
Was told today that Lucky Star will not be able to cover puppy mill auctions for a bit because of so many dogs in foster and turn over has slowed :(.I count 32 in foster on the site and there are always some not up yet. Here in the midwest, esp. South Dakota,Iowa,Nebraska-there are few fosters and where are there so many puppy mills-in the Midwest, of course. Tried today to get a S.D. (?) breeder to turn over some Cavaliers but, no, she is going to haul 19 Cavaliers to Missouri to an auction in Sept :bang: . She'd rather sell them for pittance than let rescue take them in-a "true" love of the breed. :swear:

20th August 2009, 01:33 AM
I wish that I was closer, I would love to foster a cav or 2, maybe that would take care of my yearning for more.

20th August 2009, 01:41 AM
Sometimes I wonder what's going on @ Lucky Star...I find it hard to believe that they have such a difficult time placing dogs. Is it because they're all mill rescues and have "baggage"? I would tend to believe there may be some hiccups in the admin side of things that causes the application/approval/home & ref checks procedures to move very slowly.

The other main USA rescue places all of their dogs fairly quickly (I watch) and the rescue I'm involved with places the majority of dogs in about 6 weeks or less, on average- even the older ones. It's a shame that there seem to be some admin problems there, as they provide an amazing service to Cavaliers.

The reality is, though, that fosters cannot have dogs for months or years (some of the dogs on the site have been listed for years!) Fosters will become burned out very quickly if the group is not placing the dogs in a timely manner.

I applied as a volunteer over a year ago and after being contacted once, they fell off the planet. Most of the dogs are in the mid-west, but anyone anywhere can take & make phone calls, check refs, process apps. and I would be more than willing to donate my time. So, if any LS directors or coordinators are reading...willing volunteer here!

20th August 2009, 02:50 AM
Quite truthfully, I also applied as a volunteer for LS and never heard back. I have no written type of association but if I see a possible "pull" I email Kim Olive, Rep., and the process begins. Transportation of Cavalier rescues here is slim in volunteers. There are no short distances for transport, it's always a lot of hours. Minneapolis really got going for LS because of the dedication and determination of one individual and, in fact, that's where my new boy will be heading this week. (I would say, overall, that networking for Cavalier rescues in some states is poor and there is a great need to join with other rescue groups to get Cavalier rescues to well populated areas.) This last is just my interpretation of part of the difficulties.

20th August 2009, 02:20 PM
Here is a way you can help from anywhere. :thmbsup:

We currently have a specialized need for technical help with our website and the online development of a database. If you have expertise in this field and are willing to devote some time to helping us with this need, please let us know!

We need you!!

Cathy T
20th August 2009, 04:33 PM
There are currently two LS dogs here in Ca looking for homes. Both are in good condition but homes are just not coming forward. Or the ones that do are not appropriate for the particular dog.

Many of the dogs that come into national rescue are re-home situations....so much easier to place. Although that is also rapidly changing. The majority of LS dogs are mill dogs, much harder to place. The 7 that came in last October were placed within 6 weeks or so. The most recent 7....there is still 1 looking for a home. The applications (appropriate applications!!) just aren't there.

I am grateful that networking between the San Diego club, the 2 national clubs and LS is fantastic. And the reason for that is the cooperation of those who head up rescue in our area. All of the people I am involved with are wonderful, caring, dedicated and selfless. And they spend an awful lot of time working on rescue.

When I began working with rescue 4 years ago rescues were few and far between. Many people didn't even know there was a Cavalier rescue. Why would there be? There were so few dogs and the majority of dogs that didn't work out went back to their breeder. With the huge increase in backyard breeders, Cavaliers in pet stores and the general gain in popularity we are headed downhill....and rapidly. I am amazed at the sheer number of Cavaliers coming into rescue just in my little corner of the States.

20th August 2009, 06:15 PM
That's interesting insight, Cathy and others.

I think for LS the difficulty has always been the nature of the dogs. Lots of homes do apply, I know that from contacting them before -- the problem is that these dogs are not the best for certain homes and a lot of the homes are not the right place for these dogs. Also mill dogs tend to need a lot of foster work before they can be replaced -- it isn't at all like the average Petfinder rehome. And a lot of the dogs can't go to fosters with younger kids or people gone all day etc -- it is a big task to find the right places for them. If they have a few issues -- then they can be very hard to foster or home.

I have *never* found it easy to place dogs. Lots of people apply, probably at least a third are not appropriate for this breed; and another third find another dog or get a puppy, leaving the majority of another third that wants a young well trained dog only or has toddlers, and then eventually there's the occasional great people who actually really want a dog and are going to make things work. :) It is amazing to me how many people want a cavalier to sit outside in a kennel all day... :(

I'm the only cavalier rescue in Ireland yet I've had several dogs on offer for weeks with no interest in any but the highly desirables (young former pets) -- finding the rest homes in a small population takes a lot of work and fosters willing to hold dogs for a long time.

This is a bad time of year too -- no one is around, school starts soon, people aren't thinking about getting a dog.

Cooperation between rescues makes a big difference so dogs can get to where there are homes. :) I really value my UK connections as over there, are homes wanting cavaliers and over here, I sometimes have dogs needing a place. However the travel logistics can be daunting. But in the US with those huge distances this must often not really be too realistic, to move dogs around. I also think it often seems from a distance like there are loads of people interested in helping and doing things but have found from years of doing general and breed rescue that actually people sign up but then never seem to be able to actually do a transport or a foster so you end up with the same small core group of people who do get burned out.

I can confirm that it takes persistence with me too to get on board as a volunteer sometimes -- people run rescues generally in addition to a Real Life and a job and other demands. I simply overlook or forget to get back to people sometimes and am always grateful when they remain in contact. I have a dog going to a great home that quietly nagged me after I'd forgotten an email exchange a couple of months back!

20th August 2009, 07:14 PM
Sometimes things happen by chance :D. Was on another subject and answered by a rescue 20 mi away and emailed her back about transporting and what they've been able to accomplish. Long story short have the opportunity to get this Cavalier as a hitchhiker with a group heading close to the cities-now it's multiple phone calls, getting travel health certificate and getting up early on Sat. to meet them. Have now a list of rescues that will have the potential to fill transport needs in the future for this area. :xfngr:

20th August 2009, 08:36 PM
I agree that the quality of applicants is not ideal all the time....BUT....I have learned that there are very few "perfect" homes, and sometimes it is best to place a dog in a wish-they-were-a-bit-better home than none at all. There are not that many people out there who have the luxury of staying home most of the time and/or working from home and/or the ability to bring their dogs to work and don't have kids under the age of 10, and don't have other animals, or the wrong kind, etc, etc.

We've had a crazy busy year in rescue (like 3x the # of dogs we normally have per year, so far in 1/2 a year!) but the applications are still coming in. The key for us has been exposure. I don't think LS advertises on Petfinder, do they? With the back log of dogs they have, that might be a good idea to increase the # of applicants.

The thing we've been doing is wherever a foster dog is located, that person posts on their local Craigslist (it's free) in the pets/ community section with a link to the rescue website with a title like "Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue". This has increased our traffic greatly. The last three dogs we've placed have been a direct result of Craigslist...AND we gained an amazing volunteer that way as well. :thmbsup:

Cathy T
20th August 2009, 09:30 PM
I agree that the quality of applicants is not ideal all the time....BUT....I have learned that there are very few "perfect" homes, and sometimes it is best to place a dog in a wish-they-were-a-bit-better home than none at all. There are not that many people out there who have the luxury of staying home most of the time and/or working from home and/or the ability to bring their dogs to work and don't have kids under the age of 10, and don't have other animals, or the wrong kind, etc, etc.

Agreed. But it's just no feasible to place a mill dog in a home where the family is gone 9 hours a day, have a 4 year old and a 5 year old, you get the picture ;) That's why it's so important to actually speak to the applicants rather than just reject their application because you see something on there that doesn't fit. Like.....we had an application from a woman who "keeps the dog tied up in the house during the day"....I knew who this was and thought "no way!!!". Turns out....she marked the wrong box :yikesand her application would have been rejected had we not called and cleared up the confusion. Yep....she adopted a LS dog last year and the dog is doing excellent!! It was a perfect home that didn't look like a perfect home on paper. To be honest I've seen maybe 3-5 absolutely perfect home situations, they just don't come along very often. There's almost always something that you question, so get an answer to your question and you may find it is indeed the ideal home. I've had that happen more times than I could tell you :)

Completely agree that you have to accept that the "perfect" homes are few and far between. Many of them are "good enough" and that's great!! But LS will tell you up front, it's better the dog stay in foster a while longer until the right home is found. It sucks when you place a dog only to have it come back to you because the situation didn't work....and you gut told you it wasn't going to work. I think so much of the time we really have to go on our instinct. For so many of you, you've done this long enough that you really need to go with your gut and your instinct. Don't second guess yourself.....trust yourself.

The thing we've been doing is wherever a foster dog is located, that person posts on their local Craigslist (it's free) in the pets/ community section with a link to the rescue website with a title like "Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue".

What an excellent idea!!! I'd never even thought of that but am definitely going to suggest it! So many people use Craigslist and so many people aren't aware there's such a thing as Cavalier Rescue. Great idea!:w**h**:

20th August 2009, 10:27 PM
I'm not talking about perfect homes, I am talking about acceptable homes :). At least a third that send me applications plan to keep their dog in the garden or a small run while they are at work all day. Fail! I don't even go back and talk to those because one thing you learn in rescue is that very few people will change what they said they originally meant to do, regardless of what they say after someone speaks to them.

I will not place a cavalier to be left outside all day with people not home. That is not an acceptable quality of life, nor is being crated all day. Perhaps more dogs in US rescue arrive in as former pets and are more suitable to be placed more quickly but rehoming as swiftly as I can isn't my goal, and a lot of mine arrive in as ex breeding dogs, or having lived neglected in a garden, having never been housetrained, and are undersocialised. Many have heart murmurs. Most homes don't want a dog with a heart murmur. I won't home 90% of my dogs to homes with kids under 10.

And mill dogs as Cathy says cannot go to homes where no one is there for 8-9 hour workdays, or where there are small children -- the former means the poor dog never gets the focus and attention it needs and is never going to be properly housetrained etc -- it is setting up a problem for dog and home. And the latter is not safe for smaller children -- many mill dogs really are uncomfortable around small kids and could bite out of fear.

I home to lots of places other rescues don't -- I gladly home to good homes where people are at work and who will accommodate a dog within that lifestyle; and I gladly home to people who don't have gardens as those dogs at least are guaranteed walks and activity (see the survey out last week that 52% of Britons with a dog never walk it! That is the problem with having a garden -- it becomes the easy option and a poor one for the dog).

As part of deciding whether I would continue doing any rescue work at all, I had a long talk with Tara on the issue of fostering and she feels a dog needs to be fostered at least 1-2 months for a rescue to be able to know the dog well enough to place (too many problems only show up after the first 3-4 weeks), and to have had time to socialise and train out some of the issues. So I don;t think that's a particularly long timeframe; for the needier dogs I have had, it is way too short. The mill and 'issues' dogs I have had come in have needed on average 3-6 months of fostering and work before they were ready to rehome. The majority of LS dogs fall into that category so anything less than 2 months would be too short I think.

A responsible rescue has to operate within its limits and learns to recognise what those are. For LS with mill dogs, I think longer foster periods are absolutely necessary and if that means fewer can be rescued that is the way things are. It is impossible to rescue every dog that needs or deserves another chance.

It is hard also to recover, from fees and donations, the money a rescue spends if it properly prepares its dogs before homing -- that is another limitation, as is the time it takes to coordinate a foster space that can mind a just-neutered dog. Maybe they are more common already done in the US but I have to neuter almost every dog that comes in :yikes. That would be the case for LS plus a lot of vet expenditure and time, as those dogs will never have had vet care and generally need a lot of work done -- another reason they need long foster as you can't do everything at once.

21st August 2009, 12:28 AM
Well said, Karlin. Don't think you can judge correctly the adaptation of a puppy mill dog for many months. Took my fellow for nail trim today (he's been with me for 3 1/2 years) and tho' he sat very well groomer said his heartbeat was off the charts-pure anxiety-and he's known her the whole time he's been here. He will still scream if touched wrongly-i.e. without warning. That fright is deep and some of those wounds do not heal, but sometimes it is only when they've gotten a degree of trust that you really get to see what nature dog they will be and then can connect them to the right family. Rewarding work but hard. Fosters are fantastic people.