Moral Superiority of People Who Rescue

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

  1. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    Yeah, my shelter (in Mississippi, where there actually IS overpopulation, if only regional) wouldn't be almost approaching "no kill" status if it weren't for sending dogs up north. We send mostly puppies, which apparently northern shelters don't have much of. My shelter probably gets in 5-10 litters of puppies every day, if not more. It takes forever to adopt out puppies of any size and shape here, especially black lab/mix pups, and from what I've heard, they get snatched up in northern shelters.

    So if they can get adopted quickly in the north as opposed to dying here, why not send them?
     
  2. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I see this attitude a lot. Why do 'breeder' people care if people feel good about rescuing? Why shouldn't they feel good about rescuing? They took a dog facing an unknown fate and loved that dog and gave it a good home. It's a good thing to do. Saying rescuing is a good thing to do doesn't mean it's everything everyone HAS to do. It doesn't mean I did a BAD thing by purchasing my dogs from a breeder. It seems like as much as certain rescue folks are out there to demonize breeders, there's a section of people that purchased pets out there trying to prove that rescuing dogs does no good. Both are extremely irrational thought patterns.

    One of my friends wears rescue shirts all the time, has rescue dogs rock bumper stickers and things like that all over her car. It has NOTHING to do with me and my dogs. Why do people see that as 'holier than thou'? It's a cause she's active in and devotes a lot of time to so she 'advertises' it. I volunteer quite a bit in non-dog ways and I wear my shirts and things from my causes. How is hers different? All her dogs are rescues, she fosters dogs and cats all the time for rescues, and... that has nothing to do with me at all. I love her dogs, she loves my dogs. Why do people seem to want a divide there when there is none?

    I do think her decision to rescue and foster dogs is a GREAT thing and something all dog lovers should praise and encourage. She definitely gets 'brownie points' in my books for helping out so many lives. Volunteering and doing good things should be recognized and encouraged.

    Very rarely do I come across people that are judgmental about my dogs being from a breeder. And those that are are usually not dog people at all. In fact the only one that I really got berated by was a guy that admittedly hates dogs and never wants a pet. And yet he insinuated I didn't care about dogs if they didn't have a pedigree simply because I purchased my dogs.... I'm not going to take someone who hates dogs opinion and give it much value.
     
  3. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    :hail::hail::hail:

    I agree with absolutely everything you said.

    ------

    Friend and I just drove down to rural Virginia this afternoon and adopted a lovely little hound for her that would have otherwise languished in the shelter for a great length of time (or not as long, if they filled up rapidly). The lady at the info desk said they got 29 dumped hounds yesterday alone.

    I absolutely feel good that my friend chose to give a dog a great life outside of a kennel, and I was able to help her navigate and work through the process. Why shouldn't I feel good about that? Doggy is happy, person is happy, shelter is happy. No downside.
     
  4. ruffiangirl

    ruffiangirl New Member

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    I think swapping dogs from a highly dog populated area to a less dog populated area, especially when done between shelters/rescues is different then a separate group importing dozens or hundreds of dogs, from other countries, with no regard into what dogs are already sitting in the local shelters.

    Thats why I wonder will people choose random shepherd mix A over random Shepherd mix B simply because its from Greece via pictures on the internet?
     
  5. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Well, if they did... don't both dogs need homes? Other than maybe not being the most efficient use of monetary resources, is it inherently wrong?

    What I'm interested in is that once a dog is taken into a home, it stays in that home. And if someone bonds more strongly with that dog from Greece, that's ok with me. Because honestly how different is it, really than shepherd mix A and shepherd mix B in adjacent kennels at a shelter?

    The assumption is that the hypothetical person would choose dog B if dog A wasn't there, but maybe the person isn't going to click with dog B no matter what.
     
  6. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    For me it's not really the country of origin that matters but use of resources... there are apparently dogs in Canada that are perfectly adoptable and being put down, there are hoards in the US. Dogs that are caged and have 1 week left before they get the needle/incinerator treatment. Seeing as how they're closer (presumably cheaper to import) and their situation is more dire, it makes more sense to me to bring them to where there are dog shortages. Street dogs in a place like India have been living like that for millennia, it's natural for them, and it's totally possible I've got the wrong impression but in all the random photos and videos I've seen of them, most look pretty happy and healthy. If a person wants to spend money on them, it makes more sense to me to spend it vaccinating and sterilizing them and treating mange and injuries vs importing halfway around the world and putting them in a pet home.

    This is true, but it's for all good deeds. People do good things because it feels good or NOT doing the deed would feel bad. I mean, someone rescues a random little girl from a hurricane at some risk to themselves. That person shouldn't get any extra credit because they would feel terrible leaving her behind and they feel really good having saved her? (no I'm not saying taking in a shelter dog is equivalent rescuing children, just illustrating why I think good deeds exist with a clearer example).


    I certainly don't think it makes you a superior person either either. And I'm totally OK with judgment at the level of "hey you got a dog from a breeder, yay he's very cute!" vs "oh, you got a dog from a high kill shelter, good on you for saving him, that's wonderful, he's very cute!"... I really can't see what's wrong with that.
     
  7. ruffiangirl

    ruffiangirl New Member

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    And this is what makes me wonder, if it is just about the dogs why are so many being flown in from spain, greece, india, china etc. when for the same dollars so many more could be save from similar fates in the USA?

    Just interesting side note--When I was in Mexico we came across a lady with a rescue down there that you could adopt a dog form, its was $125 and about a weeks wait, that included transporting the dog anywhere in North America...it costs something like $300 from our SPCA up here, LOL.
     
  8. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I think it's rather clear your friend is not the person people are upset about. I don't think it plays out the same.

    There are plenty still around who judge those of use preserving the purebred dog.

    Guess what? My breeder bought dogs could be facing an unknown fate if I didn't buy them or if I didn't keep them. It's fair to say that "well, I saved my dog" mentality alone is rather elitist.

    Honestly, I don't care, but I *do* see the "oh, you didn't rescue" <undertone:you monster!> a lot in my line of work. I don't think everyone who rescues is the same and I don't think that's what this article was arguing
     
  9. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I like my husband's philosophy and attitude about getting dogs. He said to me recently, "I like my dogs like I like my cars-preowned."

    I guess I don't know any extreme rescue people in real life. Most of my "dog friends" who rescue also have at least one breeder dog as well.
     
  10. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    :hail: Awesome post!!

    We "imported" a dog from southern Indiana who will being going to Michigan to live with his new family soon. My friend runs a rescue I volunteer with (and does own one dog from a breeder BTW) and got an email from the shelter asking her to pull any dogs she could because they were full.

    We picked up a fantastic young male black lab. I truly cannot say enough good things about this dog. The only down side of the deal is that it gave me major black lab want. I do feel good that we were able to get that boy into a forever home and anyone who has an issue with that can go pound sand as far as I'm concerned.

    As far as people importing rescue dogs--who cares? Really, dogs everywhere need homes. That's like criticizing someone for adopting a child from China rather than the US. My old landlord and the trainer at my old barn have 3 dogs between them that they brought up from the Dominican Republic (they physically picked them up off the street and flew them up themselves). They were mostly feral street puppies that were starving and covered in parasites. Did BeBe, Mouse, and Nikki deserve to die down there because there were dogs here in shelters?

    So go ahead and rescue, Bleedingheart, but don't you dare feel good about doing it and only get your rescue dogs from certain geographical locations. I swear some people just LOOK for things to b!tch about.
     
  11. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Speaking for our area, "imported" dogs, either from out of state or out of country are pretty much the only dogs you are going to find for adoption. We don't have an overpopulation issue in our area. At one point a few years ago, when my friend's fairly new rescue hit 100 dogs adopted, she actually looked back. Something like 11 were local dogs. She take surrenders, plus strays from various towns that she adopts out if they aren't claimed...and 11 were local. 89 were "imported". Mostly from southern states. She also gets dogs in from Puerto Rico.

    The dogs from Puerto Rico are shipped here by the rescue there. I believe they are all spayed/neutered/vaccinated when they arrive. They are, generally speaking, a very adoptable type of dog for our area (small to medium sized, young, friendly). She spends no more in "resources" than she does on local dogs (less, probably, since the few that come in locally are rarely neutered and have unknown vax histories). Who loses here? I actually will strongly consider a PR dog when I get my next dog; there have been a few who were really appealing to me.

    Meg was "imported" from out of state (West Virginia). I talked to my friend about what I was looking for, we poured over some pictures of dogs that were in overcrowded shelters looking to be moved out, and picked out one who fit the general idea of what I wanted. If I'd waited to find a dog fitting those needs locally, I probably would have had to look for months and months.

    I don't judge people who go to good breeders. I barely judge people who go to bad breeders. If you get a rescue, from down the street, across the country, or halfway around the world, that's cool too. Give the dog a wonderful life, where ever it is from. Yes, I might think a bit more of people who get a rescue and really do something with it, because that is my thing and a cause I support and it makes me happy. But if it isn't your thing, and your thing is supporting the great breeders who do their best by their breed, that's fine with me.
     
  12. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Just wait until you purchase a cross bred, oops litter, uncertain paternity dog (even at a bargain basement price), drive halfway across the country to pick him up... and THEN see what people think! :eek:
     
  13. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    As I figure it, as long as people are taking good care of the dogs they have and keeping them out of the shelter system, and doing what they can to avoid financing commercial puppy factories, they are doing just fine overall.

    I've been pitied and praised for having rescues. I've been derided and accepted for having well bred purebreds. It bothered me at one point, but now I mostly just focus on giving my dogs a good life.

    As for the soapboxers...there's an old saying about glass houses...
     
  14. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Quote from the article:

    I think that's just a bitter, horrible attitude to have. Why are you assuming that people who have rescue dog bumper stickers or talk about how awesome rescued dogs are or whatever are trying to set themselves up as having made this huge sacrifice?

    Yeah I come across a few people that ask if my dogs are rescues. I say no. Sometimes they look a little surprised. I don't really take that as some horrible judgment on me and my dogs but maybe I should? Like I said, very few people have been outright hostile about it.... and those that have haven't been 'dog people' at all.

    I really do think people are reading into things more than they should. I think there is equal amounts of judgment coming from the 'well you may have rescued but you really didn't do anything special and curse you for feeling good about rescuing' crowd.

    My breeder dogs weren't facing the needle like a lot of dogs will. But then again, papillons generally aren't ever just because of their breed. There's not many in rescue and they are very desirable dogs. I know the pap rescues often refer people to breeders because there's not enough in rescue to go around and those in rescue are often mill dogs with some serious baggage that most people looking for a pet aren't equipped to handle.

    But I've worked in a high kill shelter before. We could have essays written on the ins and outs of why the shelter didn't operate at a maximum level but many of those dogs were certainly in a danger that my dogs weren't ever in.... Of course who knows 100% for sure what would have happened to my dogs if I didn't have them but if I hadn't bought them they would have just stayed with their breeders. In fact I don't believe Summer would have ever been for sale at all to anyone other than me.
     
  15. Oko

    Oko Silence, peasants.

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    I actually tear up every time I see those 'Who rescued who?' bumper stickers while on the road. :eek: *dork*
     
  16. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    I just wanted to chime in with the fact that I normally get the opposite end of the spectrum here. Normally people are like, "Oh, you got a rescue. I'm sorry." type mentality. Like just because they ended up in a shelter, they automatically failed at life and will always have issues. Now, we all know that Rider isn't perfect, but Lord, he's turning into a FANTASTIC dog. I would have missed out on a whole lot without him.

    Some clients I encounter at work do have the "I rescued, thus I'm awesome" thing going on, but it's not to the point of the you buy, a dog dies going around.

    :shrugs: I foster, I rescued, I have a BYB dog, and two reputable breeder dogs in the plan. I don't think any of my dogs are better than anyone else's, nor do I feel like I'm above anyone for working in rescue. I think all that matters is that you do the best you can by your dog and that you look to their best interests as well as your own. It shouldn't matter what you are advocating. I personally really like reputable breeders who support rescue, and rescues who support and encourage reputable breeding. There is actually a working dog rescue in Australia that I know from another forum who just got a reputable ACD bred puppy. I thought it was the coolest.

    I guess some people just like to have random sh*t to rant about, though I don't think this helps anyone.

    One thing that really bugs me, though, is when people think just because you don't want to do anything special with the dog (such as dog sports) and just want to have them as a pet automatically means you should go pull a shelter dog. No. Just no. Buying a reputable breeder dog as a pet is just fine if that is what you feel is best! Okay, I will be done now. :eek:
     
  17. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I've never met anyone happy with their choice (breeder or rescue alike) who felt the need to bash and/or freak out over moral superiority of those who made a different choice than them.

    I don't care if people who rescue feel happy with their choice or morally superior.. what's it have to do with me? honestly.
    If you are being responsible and going a route that you are happy with and a dog is getting a home... then go ahead! be happy about it! shout it from the rooftops! feel morally superior!

    I know my dog is awesomesauce and I know I made the right choice for me so..long hair, don't care lol

    IMO the MAJORITY of people who work in rescue, as crazy as this article portrays them to be, would never actually cause a fuss or directly confront someone who got their dog from a breeder. It just doesn't happen. People don't like confrontation and frankly, rescue people have bigger fish to fry lol

    So really, all of this moral superiority happens behind closed doors..with each other.
    (and it's the same kind of silly thing that happens amongst people who got dogs from breeders)
    ..so who cares.

    Work together or stop bitching.
    but either way, the internal moral uptitude of either side is a dumb thing to dwell on.

    "I feel morally superior to all of you because I take the subway to work everyday instead of driving"
    now, if I thought this, every single day.. does it effect you AT ALL?
    NO.
    because chances are, unless I'm jumping in front of your car to tell you.. it doesn't matter what I think lol
     
  18. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    I actually do have a bit of an issue with the imported dog (from other countries) thing, because I see that as getting dogs from what is essentially the worst puppymill in the world. Instead of improving the lives of the dogs in that country, people pick out the most adoptable of the dogs, and send them off to be sold in wealthier countries, while the population is left unchanged, to keep producing these adoptable dogs.

    That said, my own sister & her family have a former Mexican street dog, who they adopted through a local rescue they were volunteering for. And the dog is mostly a good fit for their family (she's very mellow and easy to deal with, except for being kind of dog aggressive, but in a manageable way), which likely wouldn't have been the case with a rescue from a local source. So whatever, they're happy. Not my business.

    I'm generally in favor of moving dogs from one area of this country to another area that has more demand. I regard that as different, because in this country, there are generally programs in place to try and stem the tide.

    Anyway, while I'm all for rescue, and encourage people to get dogs from rescues/shelters if I think that's the right dog for someone, I still know where the writer of this piece was coming from. Yes, it was worded harshly, but there is a huge contingent of rescue people who push the rescue agenda relentlessly, and will accept no excuse for breeding, or for getting a dog from a breeder. Actual argument with someone like that (I like beating my head against walls) (okay, I paraphrase a little):
    Rescuenazi: "Breeders are all out for money! That's all they want"
    Me: "Actually, I've never made any money on breeding"
    Rescuenazi: "YOU LIE!"
    Me: "No, really. I've spent a ton of money. It's very expensive to breed.
    Rescuenazi: "You could have spent all that money on rescues!"
    Me: "But I'm not indifferent to rescues. I donated my previous vehicle to the shelter, and they got $2000 for it at auction. That's a lot of money to me."
    Rescuenazi: "If you're not making money, you're wasting money that could go to rescues!"
    Me: "....."

    These people can get nasty if you admit to breeding. And as you can see, it's unwinnable. If you can convince them you don't earn money for breeding, then you are wasting money that should be spent on rescues. If you do make money breeding, then you're an evil greeder. And they spread that poison everywhere. Certainly, there are tons of people actively involved in rescue that are sane and not like that. But the people with the extremist views are really vocal. And they really influence legislation. So they can't be completely ignored.

    And yes, there are people who parade their moral superiority with their rescue dogs, and sneer at dogs from breeders. I see it happen. I've seen it happen in a FB photo contest. Most of the online photo contest are going to be won by a rescue dog, primarily by harping on the fact that the dog is a rescue.:dunno:

    This doesn't make rescuers or rescue dogs bad. It makes some people very rude. But still, tough to deal with sometimes, so as I said, I understand where the author of that piece was coming from, even though I myself wouldn't use such harsh terminology.
     
  19. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    That's a sad, sad way to look at it. There are people that don't only do things because there's something in it for them.

    I sure as hell hope people feel good when they rescue a pet. I mean, THEY JUST GOT A NEW PET. Same way as I hope that people feel good when they bring home their breeder pet. Because, again, they just brought home a new pet. If a new pet is going to make you feel anything less than good... you should probably reconsider why you're getting this new pet.

    I read the title of the article, rolled my eyes, and closed the tab. Sure, maybe you can find some people that act like they say people who rescue do in the article. You can find just as many people on the other side, too. Just as many people who believe the same thing, in regards to breeder dogs.

    I find it sad that people find this important enough to take time out of their day to write about why they THINK other people get their pets how they do. Go spend some time with your pets instead of putting that time towards worrying about other people's pets.

    It's sad that when somebody doesn't agree with how a stranger obtains a pet, they feel the need to degrade the means that stranger took.

    How is this article helping anything, at all?
     
  20. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    This is pretty much what I think. We have imported dogs, breeder dogs, rehomed dogs, rescued dogs, and a retired dog from a government program....AND a foster dog on the way. Does that make me better than anyone else, or worse for that matter? No. I don't care what others think and I don't feel morally superior. I do what I want with my dogs with the money I've got and the dogs that I think suit.
     

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