Do breed rescues drive away adoptors?

posted at 4:01 pm on May 10, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

With the passing of Max, (and thank you again for the many messages of condolence) our thoughts have been turning to the future and how we come to meet new pets. For dogs in particular – though it’s equally true with some other species – there are three primary routes which most people follow aside from adopting from a friend or family member. These are adopting a homeless animal from a shelter, going through a specialized breed rescue, or purchasing a dog from a breeder or pet store. We’ve mostly gone the first route, feeling that it’s a huge waste of money to buy a custom dog when there are so many out there in shelters waiting for homes, but that’s up to the pet owner.

The second route, however – going through a breed rescue – was one that we had one experience with when we adopted Mr. Basset. For those who have never done this, it’s an unusual experience, and really different than going to a shelter. Dedicated groups of people collect up specific breeds of dogs who have lost their homes and match them up with new families. There’s a definite appeal to this, and it worked out well for us, but there are questions about the culture of breed rescues which Bridget Johnson brings up this week.

Do Animal Rescues Drive Adopters to Breeders?

Everyone knows that I’m an advocate of pet adoption. But lately I’ve been questioning whether many animal rescues are defeating the purpose and driving prospective pet parents into the arms of breeders.

I didn’t really think much of the motives and modus operandi of rescues until after I adopted my chihuahua, Chi-Chi aka the puppacita. I found her at one of the last old-school pounds in the area. The shelter staff handed her to me, I asked a couple of questions about her history, and a minute later signed a spay contract, waited while they microchipped her, handed over a $70 check and was on my way to PetSmart to spoil the puppa with whatever she wanted.

No counselor screening, no adoptive matchmaking, no home visits, no drama (though I fully acknowledge people can pick a dog that’s wrong for their situation without some guidance). And puppacita’s perfect. And she knows it. I did the things a rescue might do: spaying, shots, dental extractions, and house-training. Rescue groups often note that for the price you pay you get a shelter dog that’s been fixed up, so to speak, with the necessary vet work and training.

Bridget’s story goes on to describe some of the less helpful situations which prospective adopting families can run into when dealing with these rescue groups. There are certain things which it’s only sensible for such groups to know before green lighting an adoption. Do you have a big enough home to accommodate the pet? Can you afford the long term costs involved? Will you be providing good veterinary care and proper food? It’s also fair to consider whether someone is at the right place in their lives to take on such a responsibility. (Adopting an Irish Wolf Hound to a college senior living in a dorm with no idea where they are going after graduation might not be the best move for the dog.)

But I too have heard some of the troubling stories Johnson describes. Some groups will insist on multiple home inspections, even after the adoption. If you don’t have a good reference from a vet, they may turn you down. (So what happens to the person who is looking for their first pet and has never had need of a vet?) Also, the fees which sometimes run up for the adoption process may stagger the budget of a couple who will otherwise be able to afford the normal cost of care. In worst case scenarios, those who don’t read the adoption contracts closely may find that they don’t every actually own the dog, but are instead “secondary owners” with rights that can be superseded by the rescue group later. In short, some of them can get a bit carried away, perhaps to the point of leaving some dogs without homes rather than sending them to a family that isn’t 100% perfect in their profile.

We happened to get lucky. We found Rascal through All Bassets Cherished, and the adoption process was fairly straight forward. Mr. Basset was already a senior dog with a history of cancer when he joined us, but he went on to live to the age of 17 and things worked out great. But apparently, there are other groups which are more problematic. I don’t think this means rescues have no place in this process, but it’s worth thinking about if you are considering a new member for your family.

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labradors, there is, almost, no substitute

WryTrvllr on May 10, 2014 at 9:34 PM

ahhhh, got it!!!!!

WryTrvllr on May 10, 2014 at 9:34 PM

AesopFan on May 10, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Until it dies, then you off a bunch of octogenarians. Nice going!

Joke. It was just a joke.

WryTrvllr on May 10, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Our current dog (a GSD) came from a breed-specific rescue in the Seattle area. I’ve had several GSD’s over the years, but this guy is the best one, yet. The rescue was great to work with, and with the exception of filling out a fairly extensive app/adoption agreement, and a visit from someone to inspect his new living arrangements, they’ve never hassled me. I’m sure some rescues can be snobbish about their chosen breed of dog, but I’ve not experienced it.

Either a rescue, or the pound… I won’t go to a breeder.

Shepherd Lover on May 10, 2014 at 9:55 PM

I actually, think I will breed my labs.

Bad to the bone.

WryTrvllr on May 10, 2014 at 9:57 PM

I eat young children as an encore.

WryTrvllr on May 10, 2014 at 9:58 PM

Yep! I’m 70+ and have had dogs all my life. I have never lost a dog to anything but old age. My vet loves me…he makes a lot of money off of me. When my 10 yr old Newfie passed at age 11 in her sleep I looked to rescues. What a bunch of a$$holes. It would be easier to adopt a child. Their complaint was no fence. I live on 3 acres in a very rural area with a sound on one side and empty lots on the others. No way to fence. I had 2 dogs that never wandered anywhere and if they did, there was essentially zero danger. So a Newfie died in captivity while I got a Choc Lab puppy. Still pisses me off and that was 3 years ago.

Dingbat63 on May 10, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Male, yellow, 78 lbs pure muscle. Half brother to a previous dock jumping champion. Can’t sit still. I happen to like that.

Female, Black, pretty white star on chest, 58 lbs, mostly muscle.

BOTH pointers.

I am such a scoundrel. But, at least, I will screen the buyers. Big time.

No liberals. You wouldn’t know what makes these dogs truly happy.

WryTrvllr on May 10, 2014 at 10:28 PM

We’ve always had dogs (and cats). When our two old dogs died (we had them before the kids), we decided to add another dog to the now dog-less family which now included two kids–one under the age of 6. The rescues around here (seattle area) that I researched all stated no children under the age of 12. That’s ridiculous, especially for a dog-experienced family. So we went to a breeder (after a lot of research). If we had friends or family with a litter, that would have been choice 1. I hate the high and mighty who say to adopt animals from the shelters, but it is difficult and not as easy as one would think.

she-viking on May 10, 2014 at 11:04 PM

handed over a $70 check

This is what’s driving away adoptors. In my small town, it costs $80 to adopt a cat from the SPCA. I think it’s $100 for dogs. And that doesn’t include the spaying and neutering they require you to have done. That’s approaching pet store prices for a non-exotic cat breed. And folks can adopt all the pets they want on Craigslist for free. It’s no wonder most of the animals they take in end up euthanized.

And they have extended that policy to their overpriced thrift store that exists supposedly to raise money for the SPCA. Problem is you can’t raise money if no one buys from you because your prices are too high. They had pretty much the exact same stuff on their shelves yesterday that they had 4 months ago. It makes no sense. They get the building for free, they get the merchandise for free, and their labor is mostly free. There’s no reason for their prices to be so high. Other thrift stores have figured that out. It’s too bad they haven’t.

xblade on May 11, 2014 at 12:11 AM

Either way, that isn’t a response to my point about the ridiculous amount of resources spent on vulnerable animals. Imagine if that money went towards feeding a hungry child, or offering college scholarships to working class kids who graduate near the top of their class. No, we need to make sure fido has a dignified death every single time. I have a dog, but it is gross how much we spend on animals.

libfreeordie on May 10, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Unless you have the same group of people spending tons of money on their pets while neglecting their children, I don’t think the comparison is worth much.

The only real point of comparison between the two is if you’re giving money to charity, and then only if you’re giving money to pet charities but none to any charities that help people.

(BTW, that is exactly why I don’t contribute money to animal charities. It’s better given to people. But that in itself assumes you know a charity that actually gives most of your contribution to people in need. That’s one good reason to give your charity money through a church, that is already supported by tithes and offerings. In our church, if there was a special offering taken for someone in need, you could be sure that every penny given for that purpose would go to that purpose.)

Regardless, it still sounds incredibly judgmental to assume that someone spending money on pets is neglecting children, or is not spending money on children. You have no way of knowing how much they are spending on either.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 11, 2014 at 12:45 AM

Living 40 minutes north of Seattle means I attempt coexistence with some of the most judgmental, passive-agressive people in the US. It only gets worse when it comes to pets.

Tard on May 10, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Living 40 minutes north of Seattle? Doesn’t that make you Canadian?

But I hear you about judgmental and passive-agressive people. When I was living in Southern California, I took the dog along for a ride to the grocery store (she loved riding in the car). The temperature was in the mid-50s and I was in the store for about ten minutes. When I got back to the car, some woman started yelling at me and said that she was about to call the police about animal abuse for leaving the dog in the car. I won’t relate what I told that “do-gooder” because it wouldn’t pass the HA filters.

Happy Nomad on May 10, 2014 at 4:41 PM

It’s hard to imagine people acting so self-righteous about adopting from a rescue of any kind. I actually like the idea of getting a rescue dog. But if you want a dog and want to buy a pure-bred puppy from a breeder or pet store, that’s your business.

Some people really like specific breeds of dogs. Even though I think mutts are under-rated as pets, you can’t force or expect someone to adopt a mutt if they actually want a Lab, or a German Shepherd, or a Doberman, or a Weimarener.

Growing up, I never had a purebred dog. One of my favorite dogs of all time was a mostly-German-Shepherd mutt. I wish I could find another one just like him.

But what we have is a miniature dachshund bought as a puppy from a breeder, and a [mostly] Pitt Bull that someone apparently just abandoned. She’s very skittish about a lot of things, and was probably abused. It took a long time before she trusted us enough to eat within arms’ reach of us. Great dog. Of course, she was supposed to be an outside dog…..

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 11, 2014 at 12:54 AM

As the owner of a rescue in Alamogordo, NM, I understand the concern. A lot of the rescues I deal with are very obnoxious and unhelpful. I had one rescue intervene in one of my fundraisers by telling the people on their mailing list not to donate to us–and we were asking donations for the medical costs of a dog we took off of their hands! (We needed $300, and received $15) I have one vet/rescue that sold off two of my dogs and refused to give me the funds. I have adopters who return dogs because they don’t bark at the door when they need to go out. I had one rescue pull puppies off of a mother and left her to be euthanized (I took her).

It’s a real mixed bag out there. Dog eat dog, so to speak.

I work with three local and several out-of-state kill shelters who have over 80% kill ratios. I try to pull the dogs that appear to have few health or behavior problems and get them new homes. I do try to add value to each dog we take–quarantine, shots, neuter/spay, socialize, beginning obedience, etc.

Although we are not breed specific (I am partial to GSDs, Australian Shepherds, and Huskies) I have dalmatians, pit bulls, lab mixes, and even a blind poodle available for adoption. Do I ask that you pay more than the kill shelter? Yes. Am I trying to give the dog a good foundation? Yes. Do I want the dog to wind up in another kill shelter? Absolutely not–my rescue will be on the chip along with your name and address.

Those long-winded adoption contracts are born from bad experiences, but after Michael Vick, who can blame us?

Bart Fouchard
Fouchard Ranch and Rescue of New Mexico

bartman231 on May 11, 2014 at 12:55 AM

xblade on May 11, 2014 at 12:11 AM

Our city runs a euthanizing shelter, and to adopt a dog costs $75, but they will spay/neuter the dog before s/he ever leaves the shelter and it’s included in the cost. We got both our dogs from there–one arrived at the shelter neutered, and the other was neutered after we adopted him and before we took him home. I figure, anything I spend at the shelter is defraying costs so city taxpayers aren’t paying so much. The adoption process was simple for us–choose the dog, fill out the form, and supposedly have a home visit (which never happened for us, but we’re pretty sure they did a drive-by as they called us wondering if we wanted to also take a larger dog they had).

Both our boys had been abandoned, one had been neglected and the other had clearly been abused at the food bowl–he was so frightened to go near it that I fed him by hand for a year (now I can pet him while he’s eating and he doesn’t flinch). They are the most wonderful dogs–loving and very family-oriented–and I dread how much it will hurt my husband when we finally lose them (it’ll hurt me, too, but you know how hard it is to see someone you love in pain). I think we’ll have dogs well into old age, and if I had 20 acres I’d probably collect shelter dogs. :) Anyway, I think our city has figured out how to do a shelter right.

DrMagnolias on May 11, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Right now there is a huge incentive down here in the south to breed anything to anything because the demand in the Northeast for so-called shelter dogs is huge ( people being guilted) and there are rarely any dogs in shelters up there due to leash laws and spay /neuter. So where there is demand supply is created. People here in the South get paid at least $25 to breed per puppy and those dogs are transported North for sale at local shelters.

I bought my dog from a reputable hobby breeder. Yes money changed hands. And in return I received a healthy well tempered solid dog that besides a few shots has never had any health, emotional, or behavioral issues. And isn’t that what we want when we get a dog. Private breeding is done for the love a breed and to help create wonderful pets for families. Trust me hobby breeders make little $$ breeding.

I have no ill will towards people who choose to buy a dog from a shelter or a breed specific rescue but I resent the often time holier than thou “I am so wonderful I rescued”.

And please never give money to HSUS if you want to support dogs give $$ to your local shelter. Wayne Purcell is a war criminal. See

Ricki on May 11, 2014 at 8:10 AM

And lastly enough with my dog was skittished and probably abused. ” Everybody has a abused shelter dog” -give me a break. Most puppies born on the street are not hand and people socialized. Good breeders spend a lot of time holding puppies and getting them used to hands and people. so when any hand goes towards them they have a reaction.

Ricki on May 11, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Wayne Purcell is a war criminal. See

Ricki on May 11, 2014 at 8:10 AM

A war criminal? Nothing at “Humane Watch” that I could find says that about Wayne Pacelle (although they certainly have plenty negative to say). Did you mean that as hyperbole?

Ricki on May 11, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Skittishness does not automatically mean the dog has been abused, but it certainly can–and there are far too many people out there who are cruel to animals. It shouldn’t be surprising that shelters are going to get a number of those dogs–people who love their dogs are probably not lining up to give their dogs to the shelter.

I see nothing wrong with buying from a breeder. We chose shelter (adult) dogs because they needed a good home after a lousy start in life, and we’re happy with mutts because our sole purpose for having them is to share love with them. If we had children I might be more concerned about making sure the dog had certain traits, but as it is, taking a dog that might otherwise be put down is the way to go for us.

DrMagnolias on May 11, 2014 at 8:46 AM

And lastly enough with my dog was skittished and probably abused. ” Everybody has a abused shelter dog” -give me a break. Most puppies born on the street are not hand and people socialized. Good breeders spend a lot of time holding puppies and getting them used to hands and people. so when any hand goes towards them they have a reaction.

Ricki on May 11, 2014 at 8:15 AM

I guess the “holier-than-thou” snobbish attitudes apply to all sides.

Truth is, you don’t know how your “bred” dog was treated, what with all the BYBs (Back Yard Breeders) out there, and a lot of them are well-rehearsed in trying to impress potential buyers with the “care” their pups have been given. Given the price tag some breeds command, the market is flooded with these types, trying to cash in. You can’t argue the fact that taking a dog out of a shelter is saving them from certain demise, and taking a dog out of a rescue is (while it’s most likely they’d not be euthanized) giving a dog that’s spent most of its life in “transition” a stable home, and a loving family. Besides that, rescues that use volunteers to foster dogs in their own homes (and usually have more dogs than just the foster) give the dog the chance to socialize with other dogs and people. It also gives the foster (and the rescue organization) an opportunity to evaluate the dog, so any behavioral quirks or health issues can be determined before adopting out the dog. The “forever family” will know what they’re getting before they commit. And some, like the rescue I got our GSD from, treats a new adoption like a trial… if the dog really isn’t working out, and you’ve been doing what all good dog owners should be doing, then the rescue will take the dog back.

For the record, I know our dog had been abused/neglected. How else does an adolescent GSD male, that’s supposed to weigh somewhere between 75-95lbs., end up on a roadside weighing less than 40lbs.? When I brought him home, he was still less than 50lbs. (and had some minor health issues), but today he’s 88lbs., and as happy and healthy as a young pup. And you should see how he plays with and protects our 4-year-old daughter…

Shepherd Lover on May 11, 2014 at 8:54 AM

We have two pugs. Pug breeders are crazy, I was surprised they didn’t take a blood sample.

jhffmn on May 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM

I have two dogs, a purebred (from a breeder) and a mutt (a cross between two breeds). If they are so rude as to ask, I tell people I “rescued” my mutt from a pet store. I did. He was too big for the cage and marked down on sale. I ask them, what would have happened to that dog if I hadn’t taken him home?

People have taken this rescue thing way too far. IMHO

Fallon on May 11, 2014 at 11:15 AM

We got both of our “custom blended” dogs through Elmsford Animal Shelter, and it was a very easy process. I don’t think we’d ever go through a rescue; I don’t like the “presumed guilty” tack they take with you, for the crime of wanting to give an animal a home.

Emily Yoffe at Slate had an interesting article on this, and the reasons some of these would-be adopters were rejected were unbelievable. One family that owned a sheep farm wanted to get a Border Collie were turned down because – get this – they might let the dog off leash where it would have the opportunity to herd sheep. Oh, the horror!

Maddie on May 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM

I had clients with rescued greyhounds. If they can’t run fast enough or hit the age limit, they are usually put down by the industry. I don’t recall anyone complaining about adoption procedural problems. BTW, they make delightful pets. Need exercise.
butch on May 10, 2014 at 4:31 PM

I was once walking along our local strip mall, and an elderly Jamaican man was sitting outside the Panera Bread having lunch with his beautiful dog. I stopped to pet her and chat with her owner, who informed me she was a Rhodesian Ridgeless. The puppies are usually drowned at birth. I don’t think I could ever adopt from a breeder that would be so cruel to a defenseless animal that just doesn’t happen to meet breed standard.

Maddie on May 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM

I have had three cats in my life, two of which just showed up at my door and were wonderful pets. I think they know when to show up!

The third was foisted on me by a “cat lady” who I guess would now call herself a rescuer. She lied about the cat’s health (urinary infections) which is probably why she was turned in, and then said she would euthanize her if I returned her. So I kept her and gave her a good life, which stressed out my original cat. Hope I get points in heaven for that!

I had no idea the rescue culture was this severe. I have heard of these adoption interviews and people giving up and going to the pound, but really! The cat people locally are pretty severe. They demand you take two cats, but from what I’ve read, unless the cats are from the same littler they will be stressed forever.

My little cat recently died so I’m waiting for the cat union hall to send me another one to love. :)

PattyJ on May 11, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Daisy came to us through a rescue organization that got her from a kill pound in another county. There was an application process, and the fee seemed high to me, but she was already spayed and had her shots, and had at one time been house-trained and trained to sit. I discovered she had hook worm and a urinary infection which cost a good bit in vet fees to cure, but I’ve never regretted getting her. She’s not a purebred, but she’s a dead ringer for the photo on Hot Air, and she’s one of the sweetest, most loving dogs we’ve ever had the good fortune to know.

RebeccaH on May 11, 2014 at 1:02 PM

But I hear you about judgmental and passive-agressive people. When I was living in Southern California, I took the dog along for a ride to the grocery store (she loved riding in the car). The temperature was in the mid-50s and I was in the store for about ten minutes. When I got back to the car, some woman started yelling at me and said that she was about to call the police about animal abuse for leaving the dog in the car. I won’t relate what I told that “do-gooder” because it wouldn’t pass the HA filters.
Happy Nomad on May 10, 2014 at 4:41 PM

I had just moved to SoCal from Wash DC area. My lab LOVED to ride in the car. Even a 5 minute drive to get gas.
I was in Cali a week, ran into Tustin Target for 10 minutes and came back to see a nasty note on my windshield.
Turns out I was a HORRIBLE pet owner for bringing my pet along, and tying his leash to the stick shift. I only restrained him because he was in a jeep with the doors and roof removed.
If she had bothered to pat him on the head instead of taking the time to write a venum stained note, her sad leftist life would have had one moment of pleasure.

oceansidecon on May 11, 2014 at 4:27 PM

I tried to rescue a dog… I really did.

Last fall I started looking for a purebred German Shepherd. I searched the local breed rescues, and kept my eye on the shelters as well. What I encounterd with the breed rescues during my search was absolutely ridiculous. These rescues wanted to do home visits, credit checks, interviews with everyone in the family, and wanted to know all about my job. Oh, and no fence? Yeah, sorry… that’s mandatory and we can’t adopt out any of our dogs to you. You and your husband both work? Then you can’t adopt any of our puppies. After being denied four different dogs from three different rescues, I said SCREW IT and found a reputable breeder in the area. I understand they want these dogs to go to great homes, but wow.

I now have a ten month old GSD puppy and she’s fantastic. Somehow I managed to housebreak her, train her to stay in the yard without a fence, and socialize her appropriately. I’m asked ALL THE TIME if she’s a rescue, and I feel like a horrible person when I tell them I bought her from a breeder.

Bex on May 11, 2014 at 4:55 PM

No liberals. You wouldn’t know what makes these dogs truly happy.

WryTrvllr on May 10, 2014 at 10:28 PM>

Have you been following the NY Carriage Horse saga? Here we have a bunch of do-gooder libs who don’t GET that certain breeds and animals like to work trying to force the animal into not working. SMH…

And my one dog is very skittish – the latest phobia is rumble strips when we’re in the car. He goes into a full fledged panic attack if we go over them. He has never been abused. I got him at 8 weeks old and that was his nature even then. Some dogs are just that way. It takes a very patient sort to deal with it. When we first got him, he didn’t even like being touched he was that fearful. Now, he is a cuddle monster. Time and patience…..


Lady Logician on May 11, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Breed rescues are great, because they let the public know that not all rescues are rejects. The animals didn’t do anything to deserve being homeless, for the most part, and rescuers should be honest.

My cat Denny was a rescue. He is a flame point Siamese mix, though nobody else knew that. He had been bounced through three homes in as many years after living on the streets. Since being in my home, he has been nothing but nurturing toward a pair of sibling kittens I adopted and sweet to my senior cat and guests. All of my cats are wonderful.

I understand why rescuers conduct such extensive background checks. People adopt pets for all kinds of reasons, and not all of them good. Especially with the purebreds, where they want to sell them.

ezspirit on May 11, 2014 at 5:13 PM

I feel pretty smug with my rescued senior cat, too, because the average life expectancy on the street in NYC is three years, and she is 15! I also paid for her to get a full dental, which cost $1600. But she was prone to urinary tract infections before and is much happier, more confident and energetic now.

ezspirit on May 11, 2014 at 5:20 PM

So the urinary tract infections stopped?

PattyJ on May 11, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Lady Logician on May 11, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Yes. This whole conversation actually shocks me. Holier than thou, because of where you got your dog????? And then forgetting that they are dogs! Yes, you CAN breed them to cat size, and then, yes they WILL behave like cats. If I breed them small enough, damn, you can get them to be goldfish.

They’re DOGS. They were meant to be dogs. The females are vicious, but trainable. The males are energetic, goofy, and lovable, (and leaners). They are HUNTERS. That’s what they do. Might as well ask a bee not to touch the flowers. They thrive for it. My dogs squeal for joy on only 2 occasions. 1. I walk within 10 feet of the tennis balls. 2. I touch the tri-tronics.

If you live in a situation where you can’t give it what it truly needs, buy a cat. Or a goldfish.

And stop pretending you’re a saint because you lock up some “rescued” “sheltered” pet in your home while you are at work.

This world is going insane.

WryTrvllr on May 11, 2014 at 8:16 PM

He’s staring at me now. PITA

WryTrvllr on May 11, 2014 at 8:18 PM

And my one dog is very skittish – the latest phobia is rumble strips when we’re in the car. He goes into a full fledged panic attack if we go over them. He has never been abused. I got him at 8 weeks old and that was his nature even then. Some dogs are just that way. It takes a very patient sort to deal with it. When we first got him, he didn’t even like being touched he was that fearful. Now, he is a cuddle monster. Time and patience…..


That part was a breeder screw up. A good breeder allows the pups to be exposed to loud noises, ie. sneakers in a dryer, so they won’t be skittish later. Tough to overcome.

But unless you’re going to hunt them, so what. Dogs are proof that god loves us. This discussion is proof that we can fuch ANYTHING up.

WryTrvllr on May 11, 2014 at 8:23 PM

damn it. They win. tennis ball time.

WryTrvllr on May 11, 2014 at 8:35 PM

OK. So they are now comatose (and wet, wet them down, it’s getting warm out there) on the floor. Quick anecdote.

My wife and I were hunting boar in South Carolina some years back. Right on the Savannah River. Literally. After a couple days of no luck, we decided to pay the extra and have a guided dog hunt.

WARNING. If you are overly racially sensitive stop here.

Anyway, the guide’s dog is a Cuyahula. State dog of Louisiana. Mix of a fox and a spanish war dog. So, the guide, his dog, my wife and I get into his truck. Dog has a radio collar on. Short drive, he un-kennels his dogs and says…..

[warned ya.]

“RED MAN, Suey”

Dog takes off. We chat for 10 minutes with the guide, and then start hearing a barking in the distance. Guide says, “lets go”.
Couple minutes later truck stops. Guide looks at us and asks “who goes first?” “My wife” says I. Chivalry etc. He looks at her and says “Don’t fire until you hear the word AWAY”. She nods.

Quick scramble through the woods and his dog is circling a 350 lb mean boar. Boar won’t move, dog too fast. We 1/4 encircle the boar, guide asks my wife “are you ready?” She nods yes. Guide calls “Red Man, AWAY” Cuyahula jumps back 5 feet, my wife plants one in the boar’s head.

AT THE SOUND OF THE SHOT, that dog ran in, grabbed the “somewhat disoriented”, but still quite dangerous, boar by the throat, and wrestled it to the ground. This literally took about a minute.

This was repeated several times over the next several days.

THAT trip, taught me what a dog can be, if allowed. What most dogs “want”. And just how lucky we are that they put up with us.

WryTrvllr on May 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Catahoulas. wow screwed that up. old.

WryTrvllr on May 11, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Now my dogs play with tennis balls all day and make you tube videos entitled “we missed that last pheasant, we suck, and we’re sorry”

WryTrvllr on May 11, 2014 at 11:17 PM

We’ve been thinking about a new dog since ours passed in March. We were thinking of a breed specific rescue until we saw this:

“All dogs are microchipped before being adopted. They will be registered under our contact information. If your Labrador is lost and is not wearing an appropriate ID tag, we will be contacted by animal control if the dog is picked up. We will return the dog to you for the cost of the retrieval fee from the shelter as we see fit for the dog.”

So, yes in this case they did drive us away.

Bonhomme on May 12, 2014 at 5:45 PM