My Photo

Keep Up


    christiekeith's items Go to christiekeith's photostream

« Maddie ' s Fund sneak peak | Main | Oh, AKC, I wish I knew how to quit you! »

19 October 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Judi, prices from breeders and rescues vary widely from area to area, and even sometimes from person to person.


Hey Julie - last I checked, the price for a Doberman from a breeder was around 1200.00 - 2000.00 and the rescues around me are 400.00 for a Dobe.


It's not the "people" or the "public" or the "rescue group" or "shelter". It is all about what is best for the animal. That's it... not rocket science. A dog or cat sitting in a shelter or in a foster home becoming more depressed by the day is better served in a good home that staying another week, month, year waiting for the ideal home.


An article about how some of the different organizations out there handle this:


Julie, actually, a Responsible Breeder will also include a takeback clause in the contract you sign when you buy a dog from them.

When used correctly, the takeback clause is a safety net for the dog, not an ongoing threat to hold over the head of the adopter.


Petfinder's statement about the M&M debacle includes this: "Research, however, suggests that there is no difference in the success rates of the adoptions between organizations that screen heavily versus those that have more open adoption policies."

So late last night, I started a new topic on the Petfinder forum. I pasted the above quote, and asked a few simple questions... Who did this research? Is it published somewhere? If so, can someone please point me to it?

That's it.

I expected to check back this morning to see some lively discussion. Instead, I see that the Admin deleted the entire topic. There is no email or message explaining this action.

Gina Spadafori

Laura ... WOW.

As we say here (all the time), show us the science or shut the eff up.

Instead, they decided to shut you up. Hmmm.


I know that working in adoptions for a shelter with a municipal contract did put me in the position of making what I thought were "questionable" placements sometimes *because* we were trying so hard to get the animals out the door before the next animal control truck pulled up. I don't think they were irresponsible decisions, but it's difficult to know (especially with a budget/staff that did not allow the luxury of home visits). The list of "zero-tolerance" things we flat denied anyone on was very short. Sometimes this seemed a blessing, and other times a curse.

But at the same time, being on the foster and adopter end of the shelter relationship made it evident just how easy it is to make a "bad" placement. We adopted a dog who got on well with us and the rest of the pack, we went through a home check, but the dog was miserable with us! She bayed and whined, destroyed everything, and was often sullen. She went back to her foster family (who missed her terribly) and was happy as a clam. We were/are a great home, but not the *right* home.

Unfortunately when working in a shelter situation it's difficult to keep in mind the difference. You want any "good" home to stick and you never want another animal to go to a "bad" home. But you can get jaded and forget that "good" and "bad" need to be taken in the context of the life you're trying to improve. The life of the animal.


I believe the intent - at least where I live - is for the adopted family to return the pet to the agency if it doesn't work out rather than just abandoning the pet as so many people do. Seems that a middle ground should be found. Can believe rescue people are bitter after hearing all the stories and idiotic reasons for giving up a pet.

I adopted a little cat from a local humane society a few years ago, and she immediately developed severe health problems. I did call the group to let them know that she was unhealthy (they spayed her even though she had an ongoing upper respiratory problem)and was immediately subjected to a diatribe about how they couldn't afford to take her back, etc. Well, that wasn't my intent - just wanted to inform them that spaying a young kitten who was already ill was not a smart thing to do. Will never contribute to them again - there are too many good humane groups out there!

Bottom line is that good owners shouldn't be punished. However, there are many places to get a rescue without jumping through all these hoops.


Maybe all the good folks here could email the Ellen DeGeneres show respectfully suggesting she learn about Nathan Winograd's No Kill Movement with the objective of having him on her show. And/or suggesting she do a show about the value of rescue when all parties involved behave responsibly and in the best interest of the dog (worded a little more gently, of course - she's probably still feeling pretty emotional about this whole situation).

Here's the website to email her:


It seems that Nathan Winograd has found the heart of the problem - as far as too many shelters and rescues are concerned, the "public" is the problem. But "people" are the solution!

Some rescues know this. More need to figure it out. An "ideal" home may never happen. But "good" homes are out there to be had and should be taken advantage of.


Great post, Christie!


Rescues, like municipal kill shelters, have missions which are in fundamental conflict. And their work is made more difficult by the fact that their product - "used" animals - can be obtained at little or no cost, especially in the case of mixed breeds.

Me - I come way down on the side of "Mooove 'em out! Get those furballs in homes STAT!". But I'm not in rescue, and probably won't ever be, and it is not a job I covet. I sympathise with animal welfare workers, while simultaneously feeling frustration with some of them.

Perhaps good things will come out of this Ellen brouhaha. Fresh ideas, energy, focus, cold hard cash....


You know, someone in one of the threads suggested that Ellen should have Nathan Winograd appear on her show. Surely between Christie and Gina and their contacts, such a thing could be arranged . . . . .


Go, Christie!

I'm so grateful my dog came from a reasonable adoption group that found my home "perfectly good".


You go Christie!!!! If people would just use some common sense half this bs would not be happening.

If you take Ellen out of the picture and just go with the rest of the story - that rescue shot themselves in the foot by the way they handled the whole thing. They should have done a complete home check. If they found something wrong - at least they would have done their due diligence and had 'proof' to stand behind. Now they just look like rescue nazis and people will be afraid to adopt from them. Btw - I hope neither of the principles have children under 14 !!! Otherwise, they could not foster the dogs in their own homes now could they?


You know, M&M could STILL turn this around. They could complete the home check on Ellen's hairdresser (I'm presuming here she'd pass a reasonable inspection). place Iggy there, and then go on Ellen's show where everyone would kiss and make up and discuss the need for rescue, for reasonable home screening standards, and why takeback clauses can be such a wonderful safety nets for dogs.

I can dream, can't I . . . . . . . . . . . . .


A lot of people who adopt pets from rescue groups do not read the contract they sign that says they will return the animal to the group if they are unable to keep it.They pay an adoption fee which is almost the same that it would cost to buy an animal from a breeder.In essence,this animal is never really theirs.These animals are chipped and at any time could be returned to the group if they determine it is not being cared for properly. very unlikely but possible.

Nadine L.

Comment by The OTHER Pat — October 18, 2007 @ 8:15 pm

"I can dream, can’t I . . . . . . . . . . . . ."

Your scenario would be the way intelligent, reasonable, responsible and mature people would end this saga. That certainly would set a positive example by all involved, demonstrating how much all truly do consider the best interests of the dog as a priority. At the same, it is a golden opportunity to educate the public about responsible pet ownership leading to a no-kill nation status.

Earlier I suggested that Ellen could be a wonderful spokesperson for this effort, using her television show as a starting point to get the ball rolling.

You are not dreaming, Other Pat. I see an open door. Wide open.


Here here, Pat. (Or is it "hear, hear"?)


Well said Christie! I was thinking the same things, but you put it into words.

I've been lurking on Petfinder, reading the 50 pages (and growing) of posts on the Ellen story. I've come away feeling that a lot of rescue volunteers (not all, of course) are quite bitter about their fellow human beings, and have a dark and warped view of reality.

OTHER Pat, that's a great idea to get Nathan Winograd on Ellen's show. He is very articulate, and makes a convincing case.


Here here, Pat. (Or is it “hear, hear”?)

Comment by Liz — October 18, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

If we're being picky, it's "hear, hear", but I'm posting this because I want to second that! And Bravo! to Christie.


Comment by Jessica — October 18, 2007 @ 9:49 pm

i've heard that also, but who knows where iggy really is with all the stuff going on :(

if they do an adoption show, i sure hope they show the link to LA city/county shelters and people can see how many pets are available. and yes, they have small fuzzy young ones too. also, kern county shelter has many small young pups and it's not THAT far of a hike from LA. in some cases it may be easier to drive there than to cross LA to a shelter!

the pet harbor link needs to get out there along with petfinder.


I hate to burst the bubble (because I think that would have been a great ending as well), but I thought the dog had already been placed in a new home. I do think, regardless, Ellen should consider an adoption education show.

Jennifer J

I volunteer for a 501(c)(3) breed rescue. my husband is the treasurer. Some of us joke that it is a matter of "flip that dog" after the TV show about real estate and getting distressed properties turned around and sold, quick.

It's a bit light hearted but we don't mean that they should just get tossed off to the first person willing to adopt.. What it means is that a basically healthy dog without significant behaivioral or training issues should not spend alot of time in rescue if we have prescreened homes waiting to adopt.

We unfortunately get plenty of sick, injured or behaviorally or emotionally challenged dogs in who will need a long term stay in foster care. The essentially healthy happy dog who comes in does not need to take up that space for long. Nor does he need to go through bonding with a rescuer only to be separated again, not when there is a qualified, decent person or persons wanting him.


I've done rescue for seven years. I'm picky in choosing the homes I place my dogs in, yet flexible. The only hard and fast reason I have for denying people is not giving heartworm preventative. Everything else is taken on a case by case basis. I've only had two dogs returned, one of which is my own Aussie because the resident Shih Tzu of his adoptive home picked on him. He was returned for the safety of the smaller dog. I've noticed that some of my colleagues with a list of rules have had many more dogs returned than I have.



I'd really be interested in the stats, too. I just HATE it when someone posts that "studies have shown" and then cites no references to support. Not credible at all.


Comment by Erin — October 21, 2007 @ 1:45 am

"But it’s sad to think that the people who are turned away will usually just buy from a breeder anyway."

Not a problem if they buy from a Responsible Breeder, of course. But sad if it drives them to buy from one who does not merit that title.


Thank you for this great post! I've heard various stories about people turned down to get a shelter dog. I was also 'rejected'. For awhile it made me worry that I WASN'T providing a good enough home for my dogs. But now I realize that everyone has a different idea of the 'perfect' way to raise a dog, just like a child. But it's sad to think that the people who are turned away will usually just buy from a breeder anyway. I think the most important attribute of a home for a shelter dog is someone who will love them and care for them. What else is there?


Ah, but there's the rub. Definitions of what constitutes "maltreatment" vary widely. And in some people's minds, the definition includes a LOT of things that don't necessarily seem very realistic (like leaving a dog at home while you go to your 9-to-5 job as just one example).

Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski

Unless there is evidence of abuse or potential mal treatment every dog (and I guess kitties too) deserve a home over death.

And thats all I have to say about that...

The comments to this entry are closed.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner