Many of you own canine companions. You understand how canines improve your quality of life.
Some of you wish to add a canine to your home. So you go on a well intentioned search to find a dog… you have a list of “needs” and anticipations are high.
“Good with children”
“Not a (fill in the blank) breed”
Through social media you come across a “rescue” with lots of pictures of dogs who are available for adoption. The bios mention age, sex, breed and ALWAYS a sad, sad story of why the dog is being saved. Dogs’ origin mentions other countries and an army of volunteers who SAVE these dogs from certain death.
Yes there ARE good people saving dogs from dismal circumstances. But there are far more people who are cogs of an industry where dogs are commodities for sale. The suppliers can be roadside shelters who take in all dogs whether they are relinquished, stolen or stray. The dogs may be part of the puppy mill industry. The network includes buyers and transporters who may or may not use an umbrella of Charity status to appear as doing the best animal welfare. The prices to buy a dog are (ahem) high.
“You cannot tell the wheat from the chaff” to quote my farming grandfather.
So how does someone know they are dealing with a group who is doing the best animal welfare? The public needs to grab their magnifying glasses and a big bowl of common sense to knuckle down and do some dirty, sweaty research.
“Who orders a dog online and pays for it by etransfer to a stranger?”
When the “rescue” has a very public social media presence and then goes underground… ask why?
When a buyer shares health concerns and the “rescue” says it’s just kennel cough… ask why?
When the “rescue” publicly curses, shames people with questions, threatens people with concerns over vet care… ask why?
When the person is only concerned with themselves… ask why?
When the “rescue” demands that you must take the dog to their vet (yet sold the dog to you in another city!)… ask why?
When you don’t know the last name of the person selling you the dog… ask why?
When you are asked to pick up the dog in a parking lot at night… ask why?
When the person tells you to remove neuter stitches… ask why?
When the sales contract is one page with no specifics to protect you and the dog… ask why?
When the dog comes with no or simple “vet papers”… ask why?
When the shipment of dogs is delayed at the border because they didn’t have paperwork… ask why?
When the person ignores international border rules and Health Guidelines during a pandemic… RUN!!!