There has been a bit of radio silence here on the blog for a few weeks...
I was actively searching for a missing dog (a former shelter dog that I worked with while he was at the pound and of course fell in love with, like most of the dogs I work with).....Luckily after a few weeks, the dog was found alive and in rough shape but was easily rehabbed by a little vet visit and love.
Since the dog was found, I have been struggling with my emotions and thoughts about "rescue". I am mostly angry. This isn't the first dog I have witnessed being failed by a rescue, but it sure is the most blatant example of carelessness. I have been processing my anger about how the dog was able to fall through the cracks and change hands 6-7 times, live on a chain, all while in the care of a rescue.....
I get that we are all human, no one is perfect, and we are all capable of making a mistake here and there, but a series of mistakes with this one dog were made, and in that carelessness, this dog could have surely died. That bothers me.....a LOT.
I know rescues aren't perfect. They do the best they can - I get it, but I expect them to at least make an effort to do better than the local animal control shelter here when it comes to screening foster homes. If the rescue is too overwhelmed with animals to do what is expected, and required by law, then it may be time to slow it down and focus on quality of life over quantity of the animals 'rescued'.
So many things I found to be very alarming "red flags" regarding this rescue & dog:
~the dog had not been microchipped (It had been in rescue for several months, and I am aware this isn't the law, but most reputable rescues ensure their dogs are chipped simply because it is the responsible thing to do)
~the dog wound up in another county's animal control after being picked up by an officer (again, things happen, and dogs jump fences, escape collars, etc.), but the rescue never followed up with animal control as to why the dog had been picked up (the dog was picked up from a very questionable situation, and had the rescue called to find out why it was picked up, I don't think they would have allowed the dog to go back)
~the 'foster' refused vet care for the dog
~the rescue never went to retrieve the dog from the neglectful foster before he was then given away
(supposedly illegally, but no documentation of this was never provided to police to prove this)
~no public plea from the rescue was ever made to search for this dog
~no one can be legally held responsible for the awful condition in which this dog was found.
So here we have a dog who fell through the cracks, but luckily is back on the map and accounted for, however this makes me further question common rescue protocol.
I praised this rescue, trusted this rescue, and encouraged friends to use this rescue. Several of my friends have fostered through this rescue because I encouraged them to, and I found out that more than 90% of the friends I encouraged to foster through this particular rescue group, never had a home check. NEVER.
This post was mostly about one dog in particular and my anger about it, and getting it all out helps me process things, this time being the anger over this dog, this rescue, and the carelessness that seems to be a routine thing. Maybe it is because the rescue is too caught up in "saving a dog" that they loose sight of the responsibility they have as a rescue to help that dog after it leaves the shelter.
One dog, one mistake, well, that is bound to happen. No one is perfect.
Multiple mistakes, multiple dogs...... well, what would your opinion be?