Thank you for the reminder about Petharbor. I have had an unproductive breed interest request registered with them (and many other individual rescues). Although it is not an easy site to use for larger geographic searches and provides almost no information about most of the animals, I just searched there again with a 200 mile radius and they do list just a few that do not appear on the other sites but not many and the same issues apply. Most are seniors, larger mixes, or significantly health compromised.
No knocks to that avenue, these animals need and deserve good homes and I have taken on more than my share over the years. But my point still stands that there do not seem to be an abundance of specifically Maltese "hobby breeders" whose dogs are ending up homeless.
In no way is this a defense of poor breeding practices or exploitation of dogs. I know birth is hard on these tiny creatures and I support any protections we can offer them. I would never knowingly provide profit to someone who did not love and protect the breed or their own animals. I'm just sayig that there do not seem to be as many homeless Maltese as is often assumed and the ones that are listed do generate a great deal of interest among potential adopters.
I will keep an eye out specifically for Contra Costa, thanks for the tip.