Moral Superiority of People Who Rescue

Discussion in 'Dog News and Articles' started by Cardiparty, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Cardiparty

    Cardiparty New Member

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    http://www.thedogpress.com/Columns/Shelter-Moral-Superiority-Romeo-134.asp

    I saw this on Facebook today and thought I'd post it for discussion.

    I thought this article was interesting; not because I agree necessarily with all of the sentiments of the author, but because its sort of the other side of the coin.

    I've fostered, rehomed, and I've bred, so I've been on all sides. I totally get the author's frustration, but I do think she's a bit harsh.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Oh...and it is pretty inflammatory, just fair warning. I know that there are some people and some topics that I really just *have* to avoid or else I show my butt lol
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    What a harsh and emotionally driven essay, I can't say I pat anyone on the back for choose rescue over breeders and I also tend to roll my eyes at the staunch will-never-buy pet owners but, meh, to each their preachy own.

    I have started to try to best to just ignore the long standing battle between rescuers and rescuers because in the end we all rescue in one way or another, be it by training, networking, or just plain old not dumping the dogs we have, and the rescuers are fooling themselves with their better than thou attitude just because they don't see some of us actively housing death row escapees.
     
  3. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I couldn't justify spending any more of my time wading through it once I hit "Mr. and Mrs. Bleedinghart," sorry.
     
  4. Moth

    Moth Mild and Slightly Nutty

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    Yeah...I stopped reading and processing after the first paragraph.

    I don't give the time of day to the folks that foam at the mouth about how horrible breeders are so I am not going to give my attention to the camp that hangs out on the opposite end of the spectrum either.

    I will go and spend my time where all the reasonable people are playing with their dogs :)
     
  5. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    That was a...painful read. One thing I've never understood, why is it okay for someone to be proud and feel good that they bought a dog from a breeder, but it's not okay and it's preachy and "holier than thou" to be proud and feel good about rescuing a dog?

    I will probably get the majority of my dogs from breeders, but I do feel pretty **** good that Maggie is alive because of me. If that makes me preachy and a bleeding heart, then so be it :p
     
  6. Airn

    Airn New Member

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    I guess I don't see all the 'holier than thou' that this blogger is raging about.

    Sure, both sides have the extremes. People who are 'purebred snobs' and people who are 'adopt, don't shop' but that's normal.

    If it's REALLY bugging her so much, maybe she should delete some FB friends or something :rofl1:

    I know people who would never buy a purebred dog, but they don't think breeders are the spawn of satan. And to be honest, a lot of 'breeders' that most people know are probably BYB by Chaz standards anyway. (The few I know are just gross. And they breed small dogs. All the poo's.)

    I had to skim it since 3/4 of it was straight up bitching.

    I'm just not seeing what she's talking about.
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Y'all got farther than I did. Didnt even get past the thread title without eye rolling. And the first line of the article was completely obnoxious to me.

    It seems like the author is not very secure in her decision on where she got her pets? And so she's lashing out? I honestly have no idea why else someone would care that much about it.
     
  8. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    It's a discussion that should be had, but it's hard for people to do it unemotionally. I do see what she's talking about to some degree, and if I were a breeder I would probably notice even more of it. I probably notice it more than I do since I started hanging out at places like Chaz.

    Honestly I've seen plenty of rescue groups that just want to get dogs out into homes without very careful consideration given to compatibility or objectively and honestly evaluating dogs and their faults as well as their good traits... it's an excellent point. The just get 'em in, get 'em out mentality is one of my HUGEST pet peeves. I've come over the years to really feel that simply Keeping. Dogs. In. Their. Homes. is the holy grail of solving "overpopulation" so the "any home will do" thing just drives me bonkers.

    But... there are constructive and not so constructive ways to frame the conversation, and bringing your personal rant/vent to the table probably isn't the most constructive way to do it. Go blow off your steam and come back to the table... but reading the rant itself isn't a good use of my time.
     
  9. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Yeah, silly article.

    Not in my experience they're not!!!

    Does anyone know if that's actually true? That seems like a lot, not that it's relevant, because of course when your goal is to save the most dogs it makes perfect sense to do so. You don't push "less desirable" dogs on people who don't want them (or don't know enough to know they don't want them). Dogs are going to be put down either way, best make room for the ones that will fit into new homes well.


    I think I've said it before, but I do believe you get a brownie point for adopting a dog that would otherwise die vs buying a breeder dog. There's a hell of a lot of dogs in shelters and rescues and unless you're set on breeding or showing or *insert task that cannot be done by a shelter dog*, I can almost guarantee everyone that a dog that would have made them really happy was euthanized sometime in the past year on this continent. Probably there were many dogs that would have. To me it's crystal clear that seeking out and taking in that dog where possible is the most compassionate choice.

    That said, there are a number of reasons why getting a shelter dog might not be entirely practical, or maybe you're set on the security of a breeder dog, or maybe you refuse to compromise on anything, even small things. That's fine by me, I don't think anyone is in any way obligated to get a rescue/shelter dog. I know many foster, help rescues financially, etc., and of course they get brownie points for doing those things, but I still think when it comes to taking in a new dog, rescuing a dog that would otherwise be put down is the gold star option. Encouraging rescue is great, as long as people keep in mind that saving a dog isn't the be all end all of morality or most people's lives.
     
  10. Cardiparty

    Cardiparty New Member

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    sassafras, that's pretty much how I felt about it and I have encountered both ends of the fanaticism and I just wish that people could meet in the middle.

    Regardless for me personally, whether you show, breed, rescue etc that shouldn't be the only thing that defines "you" as a person, and I think alot of people use their dogs as a way to define who they are.

    And that's fine, but it should be one facet and not the only thing even if it is a really important thing.

    I think too many people try to find the enemy in the situation, when really it should be everyone working together.

    ETA- People don't get brownie points in my book for rescuing. I just look at it as a decision they chose to make.
     
  11. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    How does that article encourage people to work together?
     
  12. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    It's a decision that saves a perfectly happy healthy dog from dying, don't you think that counts for anything?
     
  13. Airn

    Airn New Member

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    I was also confused by the two parts you quoted. Again, I doubt most people I know who are involved in dog things locally are breeders. And, if they are, they certainly aren't ones I would suggest.

    I also don't know of shelters that spend thousands to import dogs. I know several in the north bring up dogs from the south. But I have a hard time believing they spend thousands of their money doing it. Or that it's so they can kill all their dogs. So many random assumptions.

    I agree with you on the brownie points as well. I have no ill will towards people who have purebred dogs/go the breeder route. But I think taking an animal you know little about, except that it's probably suffered, and turning it into a happy pet, is a great achievement. I feel the same way about people who adopt human children.

    Honestly, I would rather have people advocating adopting animals than buying them. Some do get a little overzealous about it, but it's still my preferred method of people getting a pet. (Not to mention most people aren't going to drop $2,000 on a dog. You know you're a dog nerd when....)
     
  14. ruffiangirl

    ruffiangirl New Member

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    One would be hard pressed to find a dog in my area in danger of being euth'ed that would be any kind of family dog. Most dogs here that are euth'ed are dangerous, weather they are sick (and they have to be incurable) or have a huge bite history (there was a Shih-Tzu at the SPCA here that bit my son when we were walking it and the next day another young child was out walking it).

    And the SPCA in Edmonton brings dogs in from some place in California that brings them in from Mexico so I know we bring them in. Maybe its an exchange program, here we will trade you husky mixes for chihuahua mixes?

    I get what she was trying to get across, even in her rantish way. I have gotten attitude from people because I want to buy a purebred next time because I want to show again. It doesnt matter that 2 of my current dogs are re-homes and my third is the result of a dog that showed up pregnant at a friends place. All that matters is that somewhere some random dog might die because I dont pick up a stray.

    I am all for rescue, but no I dont think one gets brownie points for it, I think you get brownie points for doing whats right for your dog and giving it the best possible life you can.
     
  15. ruffiangirl

    ruffiangirl New Member

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    Why is it automatically assumed that the dog had a crappy life? Both mine had good lives before me. Diesel was a pampered pet, they perhaps didnt socialize him as much as they should have, but he was well cared for, loved very much, it was a job change that caused him to need to be re-homed.

    Gage was also a much loved pet, his original owners were getting a divorce and neither could find a place to rent that would allow such a large dog.

    She says spending huge amounts of money to import hundreds of thousands of dogs, fwiw.
    http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/03/28/give-us-your-mangy-masses/
     
  16. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    We dont' have an overpopulation problem in Vancouver either (at least that I'm aware of). I'm right on the border so I could quite feasibly go south a ways until I found a high kill shelter. There are also rescues that import dogs (not just chihuahuas), and you can often get free or very cheap transport from further away areas. I get that that may be impractical though, and again, I see nothing wrong with going to a breeder.

    Of course taking good care of your dog is good, but how you take care of an animal is a different set of choices than how you acquire it, and I still don't see how saving a dog isn't an extra good deed.
     
  17. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    I didn't read the whole article but I didn't see anything about hundreds of thousands, only:
     
  18. ruffiangirl

    ruffiangirl New Member

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    Ya just linked the article because it does show proof of dogs being imported in great numbers, and thats just the ones they know about. I really dont think its hundreds of thousands, but tens of thousands i think is realistic. Into both Canada and the US.

    It is a good read though, and I think it adds to what one person said on this thread about people who make their "rescued dog" their persona. How many dogs would be in our shelters if people adopted them instead of these imported ones?? Is the dog born in this country more deserving of a home? Do people adopt the imported ones for bragging rights? I know many people, as im sure we all do, who use the "well hes a rescue" as an excuse for its behaviour.
     
  19. Cardiparty

    Cardiparty New Member

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    No, I don't look at it that way.

    People who want a dog will get a dog, whether it's through rescue or a breeder. People don't rescue dogs to ONLY do a good deed: there's something in it for them or else they wouldn't be doing it.

    I don't think people rescue only to save the dog's life, in other words. They do it because the feeling of knowing they rescued a dog does their own heart good. Something for something.

    I'm not saying it's a bad thing to be proud if you rescued a dog. But, looking down on people who don't rescue is where I draw the line and have a problem.

    I've fostered. I've rehomed. Should I feel superior? Well, I don't. I fostered because that's what I wanted to do, not because someone forced me to do it. It was a choice I made because the dog fit into my household and it was a temporary situation and an opportunity to help out a friend and a dog.

    I don't think that makes me better then someone else who maybe wouldn't have been able to help or wouldn't have wanted to due to whatever circumstances.

    I just don't think it's right to judge people from a high horse because they make different choices.

    So no. No brownie points. No cookies. No dog biscuits. ;-)
     
  20. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Well I can only speak for my area (and I do think these population dynamics are very regional), and I'm talking about dogs "imported" primarily from the southern US, but in the metro areas up here we generally have an excellent shelter system including pretty good AC departments. The largest shelter group serving my metro area is well-funded and has a good support system for owners* and a good retention rate for adopted pets, plus a ton of small individual rescues and breed-specific rescues have cropped up.

    So many of these groups bring animals up from southern states just to fill the shelter. Nothing more nefarious, they just... actually have room for dogs that otherwise would be killed for lack of space in states that don't have the same circumstances and resources. You can actually see a shift in the populations of dogs, from mostly black labs to a lot of hound and ACDs.




    *They've made a few minor changes in their intake system including interviews for surrendering a pet and offering owners help, support, and education for minor behavioral issues and have decreased their re-surrender rate by an amount I can't remember off the top of my head but that I was impressed by.
     

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