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Shelter Sheltie

Discussion in 'General Dog Chat' started by Fasb's Owner, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Fasb's Owner

    Fasb's Owner Forums Enthusiast

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    What do people think about adopting from an animal shelter (dog pound) vs. adopting from a rescue that places dogs with foster parents? Or adopting a dog you don't have a great feeling about.

    Wife and I work with an animal rescue and currently act as foster parents. I'm not keen on adopting from "the pound." I find the conditions kinda depressing, the animals often only get basic care there (the rescue we work with solicits private donations so rescued dogs get dental care, arthritis meds, fairly complete checkups, nail trimming, etc.), the help can't tell you much about previous care or conditions.

    Anyway, over the weekend at another rescue's open house, one of the workers was trying to convince me of the merits of "dog pounds." She argued that the local one takes good care of the dogs and since it's a kill shelter, you're quite possibly saving the animal's life.

    Fast forward to this morning. I'm dumping a load of cardboard at the recycling center - which is located next to the local pound. I look over and a woman is unloading a sheltie out of her SUV. I'm curious, so I go over and talk to her and, yep, she's dropping off a sheltie.

    I'm... a soft touch, so now I feel bad for the dog. So I mentioned the encounter to my wife over lunch and suggested we adopt. I'm still not wild about adopting from a pound instead of our local foster network, but that's not the dog's fault. And, in this case, I met the owner and still have misgivings. I took the opportunity to ask the owner about the dog's temperament and previous care but her answers were often either unconvincing, incomplete, or contradicted what I observed. The dog was completely unresponsive to me and didn't seem inclined to respond to her either. Had to be carried into the shelter. Scared? I dunno. I've seen plenty of shelties and never met one that unfriendly or disintested in new surrounding. Owner claimed dog was well cared for, but hair was badly, unevenly cut; fur was matted in places; dirty, matted hair around paws, a bald spot with scabs on it's back, etc. She said Simba was a house dog with a good demeanor. but I'm not convinced the dog was getting good care at home or regular vet check ups. Basically, I think all of what she told me was questionable. I was also put off by her demeanor inside surrendering the dog. No... warmth or regret. Basically the same emotional involvement I show when I drop off suits for dry cleaning. I suggested she let me place him with our foster network, but the owner didn't want to wait to arrange that

    Simba is seven years old (supposedly), so he's a little older than we're looking for (puppy-5 yrs. old). I'm going to go back to the shelter later this week and see if he's friendlier after he gets settled.

    I dunno. I'm kinda just talking out loud. We're looking for a sheltie, but we also already have one dog + one foster in the house. The sheltie adopt would be "my" dog and this dog seemed completely unfriendly/disinterested in me. Not sure if I should pursue this or not....
     
  2. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    I'd go with your gut instincts....if it were me I'd probably go and see the dog again to see if it's happier and see what she told the people there. Very strange indeed.
     
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  3. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

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    I always go with my gut. That said, I have volunteered over 10 years with a no-kill shelter, and I have seen dogs arrive that are "shut-down" like it sounds this dog is. The really sensitive breeds like Shelties, border collies etc do not do well in a shelter, so I will bet you Simba will not appear any friendlier once housed in a kennel in the pound! I fostered a Border Collie and she was so completely different in my home than in the shelter, from day 1. From your description, the dog has been neglected, or worse.

    I would at least visit this dog; if the shelter allows you to take it for a walk away from the premises I would certainly do that, and see what you think. Unfortunately shelters usually euthanize very shy scared dogs as problems, when they might blossom in a good caring home. Good luck. I feel very badly for that little dog. It tells you a lot that he was uresponsive to his owner!!

    PS We got Brooke at 7 almost 8 and she keeps up with her 5 year old granddaughter Faith just fine! She is now 12.
    PPS If you have a local Sheltie Rescue, alert them as well! Often shelters will relinquish dogs to breed rescues, and at least Simba would be safe.
     
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  4. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    It sounds to me like this poor dog has had a hard life with people who didn't take care of him. He likely will need lots of patience and remediation if he's been mistreated, which sounds like it's a possibility. And he won't get better in the shelter. A Sheltie's sensitive temperament can only take so much before they shut down, which may be why he seemed unresponsive to you. If ever there was a dog who needed rescuing, this boy sounds like it. Is it possible that you could take him and put him in your foster program if he doesn't work out? Just to get get him out of the shelter situation and into a better environment.

    There's a reason you were there just at the time his owner was discarding him.....
     
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  5. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    There have been many times in the past that I have contacted our local Sheltie rescue about Shelties dumped at shelters! They will always try to take them in to get them out of an environment totally unsuitable for this sensitive breed as others have mentioned! The experienced Sheltie rescues do a great job in evaluating and giving the dog time to recover.
    Then they can give you an idea on how to help.

    If I was not totally educated in how to help this shut down dog... I fear I could possibly make matters worse!

    That said, the dog needs to get out of that shelter!

    As I have only rescued dogs from established Sheltie rescues I have total faith in their guidance.

    I would go and see the dog in the morning and I agree with trying to help! See if the rescue can get the dog out!
     
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  6. Fasb's Owner

    Fasb's Owner Forums Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the feedback. Spent a good chunk of the evening on the phone figuring out how to get him out of the pound and into a foster home. The rescue group we volunteer with should be able to take possession of him tomorrow and there's a foster available to take him in. Hopefully, that all goes as it should. I'm still considering adoption, but I want to get a better feel for his issues first. I kinda think there's some sort of neglect/socialization issues there and there are probably people more experienced and better able to handle that (the foster parent that volunteered to take him, for starters).

    Whole encounter really feels wrong to me. It more or less confirmed my negative impression of "dog pounds" and people who dump their animals there. I'm sure there are worse situations for a dog to be in - the dog does have shelter, food, some attention, etc. - but it also seems kinda sad to me. I feel like I should adopt all the dogs and rehome them myself. It seems like that sort of shelter is set up to provide the least amount of assistance necessary for the animal.

    The owners just really set me off. Probably not bad people or anything, but there was no empathy for the animals they were dropping off (they also dropped off a cat). It wasn't even the adult that really disturbed me. There was a pre-teen girl there - presumably the woman's daughter - and she also didn't show any emotion for the animals. Just... everyone detached from everyone. I mean, I usually ended up petting and talking to Fasb to reassure him when I left him with the groomer for a couple hours. The girl was probably 6 or 8. I would have expected it to be harder for her to let the animals go. But nope.

    We'll see tomorrow. Hopefully, we can get him into a foster environment and he'll respond to that.
     
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  7. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

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    OMG I am both mad and sad at your description of this family. That poor little dog (and cat). I've seen that kind of callousness and it just sends me through the roof. They have obviously passed on the attitude to their daughter that the animals are totally disposable, and there's no need to give thought to their feelings at all. :mad1:

    THANK YOU for your effort to get Simba help, even if it's not with you - you will be blessed many times over by the good feeling this kind act engenders.

    I am so glad someone in your organization will foster this sad little dog. I am sure he will respond with time and patience. Dogs have such a forgiving nature. Please keep us updated on what happens, because I will be thinking about Simba and his fate! :fl
     
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  8. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    I can't agree more with the path you are taking! To all of us here at Sheltie Nation we consider your thankless act of kindness so commendable! You are a blessed soul too! Caring is one of the most precious acts we can bestow as humans towards each other and our animals.
    I would have to be dead or gravely I'll to give mine up!
    Thank you so much for helping! Please keep us updated on progress!
    Virtual hugs to and your rescue pup. I am certainly the new foster will help this dear little one to understand love once again!
     
  9. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    Bless you for your efforts on behalf of this poor little boy. I hope you can get him out and into the foster home. Please let us know what happens. Fingers are crossed!
     
  10. JacqueZ

    JacqueZ Forums Enthusiast

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    Oh I'm so happy you were able to help him! I agree a hundred percent on being cautious taking in an animal you're not sure about, especially when you'd be bringing him into a home with other dogs. If it does have any socialization or aggression issues (totally not its fault given the apparent temperament of it's "family") you don't want to risk it passing those onto the other dogs in the home.
     

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