Rescue Best Practices: Difficult Questions

Jennifer Misfeldt, President of MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue, recently sent us these thoughtful ideas on some additional topics she felt should be included in the Rescue Best Practices Manual. Use the comments section to let us know your thoughts on these challenging topics:

How much do you invest in a dog?

Organizations need to make sure they have a complete understanding of the return on investment (quality of life) when it comes to medical care.  Some dogs arrive with more than the basic medical care needed (altering, shots, dental, heartworm testing).  You need to make sure that you lay out all the pros and cons with your vet.  Also discuss a plan B with your vet.

You may also want to get a second opinion.  Going outside of your circle of supported vets is not wrong, but wise.  Every doctor has their expertise.  Some doctors have so much invested in working with a dog that they do not want to give up.

For our own pets we may tell ourselves we will do everything for our dog, but when it comes to rescue dogs the impact is not on us personally but the whole organization and those dogs that are in line to come in.

I had a situation where a dog needed an eye removed.  I work with three vets in my local area. One charges $800, one charges $350 and the other $150. in this situation as a low risk and common surgery I went with the vet who charged me only $150.

When do you deem a dog unadoptable due to health issues?

How are we given the right to place the title of ‘adoptable’ and ‘unadoptable’ on a dog I will never know but at the end of the day it is part of the position I hold as president.

I hear rescue organizations that have no room but yet they tell me how they have dogs that are in their program living out their life because they are ‘unadoptable’ due to a health condition or behavior.  As an organization you need to put your heart aside sometimes and think with your head on what is best for the dog in question/their quality of life, the impact to those dogs needing to come in that are ‘adoptable’ and your financial obligation that has no return.

I agree that all dogs deserve a second chance, but sometimes the timeline may be shorter for some.

As a rescue you should have guidelines outlined on what health issues deem a dog unadoptable and make sure that everyone is aware of this.

Post to Twitter

This entry was posted in rescue best practices manual and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Rescue Best Practices: Difficult Questions

  1. Shereen says:

    Very valid issues and I believe there is no black & white, no certain “rules” to determine whether a dog is deemed unadoptable. What is adoptable or unadoptable varies. For example, since I have many years of experience I was asked by GRFR to assess Arthur(Bo, now Dudley:) to see if he was adoptable. As I am told 3+ foster homes moved him because he was needy, incontinent and nervous. I took him in and after 3 days & nights of laying next to him, reassuring him, feeding him, getting necessary vet care for his pain, he began to make progress. 4 months later he found his forever home!!

    MHWR is extremely devoted to finding vet care & training needed for incoming dogs. It doesnt matter if they have anxiety, cancer, or other issues…we WILL raise $ for their care!

    Now, with any rescue if it comes down to quality of life that’s an entirely different story. If a dog has no or little chance of having good quality of life, we will make that tough decision. But with MHWR, our decisions are 200% based on the happiness of the dog, not our finances.

    So even when working with a rescue(no-kill) there is still a chance of having to let a dog go….but only if it’s in best interest of each dog

  2. It breaks my heart to think of any dog that ends up with an “unadoptable” tag but I do see the logic. There have to be some rules which view the quality of the dog’s life as well as his or her ability to fit well into a human household.

    Having said that, I have a friend who adopts only “unadoptable” dogs and makes it her life mission to bring them back to mental and physical health. She’s adopted one “unadoptable” golden retriever and he’s been the apple of her eye for the past 10 years.

    What I’m trying to say that people should understand that “unadoptable” does not necessarily mean “hands off, this animal is undeserving of your love and attention.”

Comments are closed.