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shmoo

Attention All People In Rescue

39 posts in this topic

There have been some incidents recently that have really highlighted to me just how disordered and muddled rescue can be. The bombardment of appeals never lets up and keeps many rescuers in a constant state of emergency, rushing to retrieve dogs and rushing to place them, in a frantic effort to keep pace.

Here a some important points to remember:

1. DOL rescue is not the be all and end all of rescue. A hell of alot goes on behind the scenes and not every pound is listed on DOL. There are many other dogs on death row in other shelters that need just as much help. There are also MANY rescuers who are not on DOL, and have not even heard of DOL.

2. Not everybody on DOL rescue is an educated, experienced rescuer or foster carer. If ANY group wishes to pursue a member on the forum offering foster care for a dog it is the RESCUE GROUPS responsibility to check out the foster carer, regardless of how well they paint themselves. This includes a house and yard check, background check with other groups (if possible) and for a member of the group, preferably from the committee, to meet the potential foster carer and mark them as sound to foster.

3. If you see a dog on DOL rescue and want to help, do the right thing. Research which group you want to join with, take the necessary steps to becoming a fully fledged carer. Being a foster care provider takes time, dedication, and genuine caring. Fostering a shelter pet is a full time job. Temperament assessments are always advised before taking on a rescue dog and it is strongly advised you do this YOURSELF to make sure YOU are satisfied with the dog and are 100% positive you can provide care for the term of fostering.

4. If you are unsure on the status on a dog you have seen on DOL. Call the pound directly. www.operationtoby.com is a good place to start looking if you need to view a pound webpage for details. Be patient, be courteous, be clear and be specific. The pound staff do not enjoy the worst part of their job and it is not their fault that not every animal can be saved. If you wish to comment on the procedures of a pound, its conditions or operations, take the appropriate action ie: contact the supervisior, manager or council via email, mail or phone. Unless you are speaking on behalf of a rescue group, do not say you are.

5. When offering or asking for transport, be clear about what is needed. Give as much information as possible. Dates, times, locations, phone numbers.... Everything that might be needed, just might be needed. For rescuers asking others on DOL to pick up and drop off, make sure that all paperwork is completed at each end to save time, confusion and dogs being incorrectly chipped.

6. If you are going to say yes you can take a dog, be sure that all communication between you, the rescue group and the pound is clear. If you are unsure of anything, do not hesitate to ask. This may end in the dog being PTS even if it had a place to go, simply because communication was puzzled.

7. Try to avoid asking others to post on your behalf. This only leads to confusion and inevitably dogs may suffer. While many of us know each other in real life, many don't. One person may not realise which people belong to same groups, or how close rescuers may live to each other etc.

Key points for preventing burn out.

- Recognise and accept that you cannot save every animal.

- Use common sense.

- Learn to say no.

- Ask for help.

- Be patient.

- Know your limits.

- Know when to quit.

For anybody interested in becoming a foster carer, please PM me and I will forward you the first part of my book - A Guide To Foster Caring.

Emotion plays a large part in rescue, but emotion as the driving force can have significant drawbacks. We all have to respect our own and each others abilities and limitations.

And remember: if you have no room for just one more dog, don’t take just one more dog.

Edited by shmoo

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Great post shmoo :rofl:

Rescue has so many different facets

some are community based

others operate within a breed or club network -

DOL is just one of many rescue communication hubs and resource sharing platforms.

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Good post Shmoo, though it is good for people to consider the consequences of saying they will take a dog.

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Good post Shmoo, though it is good for people to consider the consequences of saying they will take a dog.

good point, will edit.

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thanks because it happens again and again where people sit back who could otherwise save don't because there is thought to be no need :rofl:

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thanks because it happens again and again where people sit back who could otherwise save don't because there is thought to be no need :rofl:

yup :laugh:

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Great post Shmoo :rofl:

I would just like to add that if you are considering becoming a foster carer for a dog. PLEASE JOIN A RESCUE GROUP NOW!!!!

It's no use waiting until you see a particular dog on death row that you would like to help. It may be a couple of weeks before your application to join is processed, home checks done, etc, by which time it may be too late.

Joining a rescue group doesn't mean you must immediately foster a dog. Get the paperwork sorted, sit back, and if you see a dog you want to save, then you just have to put your hand up and there is no final mad rush with all the related stress and heartache.

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Great Post Shmoo - Maybe it is worth a request to get this pinned???? :rofl:

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echo . . . . :rofl: , Good post shmoo :laugh:

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Fantastic post Shmoo !!!

GREAT WORK !

Let me just reinforce what you said about jumping in at the last minute !

Emotion plays a huge part in what rescue is all about but we cannot let out hearts rule our heads no matter how guilty you may feel

about a last minute plea !

The sad fact is, some dogs will always be PTS and we can't save them all

Please, if you are considering wanting to foster care, join a group and be a little considerate giving the group time to organise things

for you - this also gives you breathing space to consider the committment that you are making.

Foster caring can really be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience but it shouldn't be an impulsive decision to make.

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What a good post Schmoo.

There is one part that I would question

"Temperament assessments are always advised before taking on a rescue dog and it is strongly advised you do this YOURSELF to make sure YOU are satisfied with the dog and are 100% positive you can provide care for the term of fostering."

If you are aiming your post at an audience that is new to rescue or foster care, then that person may not have the knowledge or experience to conduct an appropriate behaviour test. To say that a dog has been temperament tested, when it has not been tested by somebody qualified to test could have unpleasant ramifications.

I am not saying that formal qualifications are needed, but the person needs to have a clear idea of what they are testing for, what constitutes a pass or fail, and the limits of the testing. I believe that a pre-foster assessment should not be referred to as a temperament test, it is only a behaviour test.

My suggested amendment to your post would be

"Pre-foster behaviour assessments are always advised before taking on a rescue dog and it is strongly advised that the test result is properly documented and fully understood by you, so that you can satisfy yourself that you are able to provide the neccessary care and management of the dog for the term of fostering."

I don't mean to sound picky, because I think that the work you are doing is brilliant, will help countless dogs find their way into loving new homes, and make foster caring a worthwhile and enjoyable reality for many who would otherwise be too daunted to try. I do want a copy of your book please. :)

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Echoing the others - excellent work.

What happens on DOL is that (I am making a great assumption leap here :) ) is that most newcomers don't read the instructions for posting, the pinned posts at the top of individual forums amd just hop on with their ideas and/or queries. Through no fault of their own, many - probably most - have absolutely no idea that rescue organisations exist let alone that there is a huge network of people working for the rescue organisations.

So they see dogs listed in the pounds as needing help and immediately assume that if they personally don't do something, the dogs will die. It is as others have said a very emotive issue and people are very easily drawn in.

They also start to see the good work that well organised and well supported rescue groups do and think: gee that's easy, I could do that. Etc etc and before too long they are over their heads financially and emotionally and have to be baled out.

Recently a relative newcomer rescued a pregnant female, the puppies were born and all those puppies have been homed - UNDESEXED.

Maybe there could be a few pinned topics that could be set up like some websites that you have to agree to the terms of conditions before you can proceed. Another clunky bureaucratic imposition, but it would help in the education of newcomers.

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good post, however, temp testing at a pound is near impossible. perhaps people need to be more aware of their own dogs, and their reactions to sharing their home with a new dog. alot of people have no idea if their dogs are dominant, submissive, good with both sexes etc.

a good knowledge of your own situation, and what you can cope with is vital :)

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What a good post Schmoo.

There is one part that I would question

"Temperament assessments are always advised before taking on a rescue dog and it is strongly advised you do this YOURSELF to make sure YOU are satisfied with the dog and are 100% positive you can provide care for the term of fostering."

If you are aiming your post at an audience that is new to rescue or foster care, then that person may not have the knowledge or experience to conduct an appropriate behaviour test. To say that a dog has been temperament tested, when it has not been tested by somebody qualified to test could have unpleasant ramifications.

I am not saying that formal qualifications are needed, but the person needs to have a clear idea of what they are testing for, what constitutes a pass or fail, and the limits of the testing. I believe that a pre-foster assessment should not be referred to as a temperament test, it is only a behaviour test.

My suggested amendment to your post would be

"Pre-foster behaviour assessments are always advised before taking on a rescue dog and it is strongly advised that the test result is properly documented and fully understood by you, so that you can satisfy yourself that you are able to provide the neccessary care and management of the dog for the term of fostering."

I don't mean to sound picky, because I think that the work you are doing is brilliant, will help countless dogs find their way into loving new homes, and make foster caring a worthwhile and enjoyable reality for many who would otherwise be too daunted to try. I do want a copy of your book please. :)

I tend to agree with you Greytmate... and personally would go even further in your pre-foster behaviour assessments to say that it may also help to see if people that are familiar with the breeds needing assessment are possibly the people to do this...

I believe that all too often opinions are made of dogs that may be solely based on personal preference and in many cases this may be to the detriment of the animal being assessed. Before volunteering to assess an animal.. or before seeking someone to do an assessment for you .. please consider asking someone that is familiar with the breed.. or with like dogs.. and that there will not be any personal opinion in the resultant report of the dog's behaviour.

I believe that I have seen instances of this first hand where a dog's fate has been all but sealed due to what i can only deem to be ignorance of the breed that is being assessed.

And when I think of the cases where this has happened all i can think is god help these people if they are ever to have children and get one that has a personality contrary to the one they deem they should have...

Sorry if this is offensive to anyone.. but sadly these 'assessments' are NOT being conducted correctly (and i am not saying i am any sort of expert or even have a clue as to 'how' they should be done), but if the people who are taking the dogs are aware of the breed and the sometimes (considered) undesirable behaviour... then they might be in more of a position to say yes or no to helping them out. I guess what i am saying here is .. if you want someone to look at a cattledog or a kelpie or mix thereof... I will give you an unbiased opinion of the animal based on the 4 i have owned (for up to the last 15yrs), the many i have known, and the many i have helped out of pounds and helped to rehome through kennels etc. BUT... ask me to assess a staffy, rottweiler, greyhound or any SWF's... and i couldn't tell you that the opinion you would get from me would not be tainted by personal opinion.. cos i can only base assessments of behaviours of dogs on the breeds i know... (which in all seriousness would probably make these seem like pussycats..). By the same token.. you could hardly expect someone who is used to owning layback pussycat type dogs to assess the crazy kids i have without percieving them as having a 'problem'...

as i said before .. i see this EVERYDAY.. and it is killing dogs that given the chance could find the homes they need, want and crave... where they can make their owners glad that they gave these dogs the chance they needed. My opinion if i voiced it here of my likes and dislikes in dogs.. would cause an uproar.. cos i don't find all dogs as appealing as the next .. as i am sure other's don't ... and out of fairness to the dogs.. i will never meet and deem that i have 'assessed' a dog of a breed that i don't know..

pxx

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Good point Liberty.

Poor Schmoo, every time she touches on an important topic, it opens up another range of complex issues to take into consideration.

Has your book reached encyclopedia size yet Schmoo?

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Good point Liberty.

Poor Schmoo, every time she touches on an important topic, it opens up another range of complex issues to take into consideration.

Has your book reached encyclopedia size yet Schmoo?

Pretty much! Everytime I finish a subject, It opens up a whole bunch of new ones!

What I wrote isn't part of the book. Only something I wrote for DOL. The book goes alot more into detail.

I'm going to sound I bit full of myself, but I do strongly recommend that any new person does get a copy of my book. It's going to explain everything.

Hopefully it will be published by the end of the year.

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I'm so glad I don't foster care anymore. Seeing some of the stuff that goes on between groups is enough to make me run a mile.

It's all so complicated now. Almost need a degree for it, or a course in temperment testing.

Your stuff looks good though Schmoo :)

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Almost need a degree for it, or a course in temperment testing.

There should be. It would prevent people looking at a photo and getting it stuck in their head that the dog is just wonderful yet misunderstood.

Too many people look at photo of a sad dog and get sucked in because it "looks like such a lovely dog".. what the?? A photo tells you NOTHING of a dog.

Too often dogs are rescued with an assessment that is so heavily based on emotions instead of actual knowledge... especially the people expected to foster the dog..... when homechecks are NOT done and transport people or foster carers are given completely false information (or completely fluffed up information in order to get them to take the dog) it is TOTALLY unacceptable. Fosters should NEVER be put in the situation of feeling bad about a dog they can't handle or contain (when fences have never been checked or if they have little kids, work full time etc) and transport people should NEVER be held responsible for having to make a decision to take a dog back to the pound because of the stuff ups and lies passed on by the people who organise a release.

Good post Shmoo!

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