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Old 11-15-2016, 09:35 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubrey View Post
Hello Snowbody, I totally agree with your post and please understand, I was not saying that the rescue organizations are a myth. My family used to run the Bay Area Arctic Breed Rescue. And trust me, I've paid for many the expensive dental procedure on our rescued dogs. My point was simply similar to yours, that Maltese in good condition tend to stay with their families, even the ones that are sold by backyard breeders or puppy mills with no screening of owners. The "Myth" I was referring to is the oft told tale that an abundance of puppy mill and pet store Maltese end up as adoptable rescues when abandoned by their owners. They simply don't.

Yes, I am being picky about this particular dog. She has to be a working therapy dog as well as a family pet. I am a therapist and my Maltese did wonders for anxious adult patients and hard-to-reach children. As for what I am looking for, I don't insist on the postcard purebred but she has to have an appearance that will not be intimidating to timid kids. The absolutely "perfect" look of a dog for me would actually be AMAR's "Fawn". Sadly, she has been so abused that she will always be traumatized by meeting strangers. Otherwise, I would take her in a hot minute and just work with her gently until she felt more secure. The dog I need also has to be a female because of the nature of our other rescue who needs a female companion. And she has to be under 8 pounds because I have to be able to carry both dogs up the stairs safely.

Buying from a reputable breeder is most certainly not out of the question but a puppy isn't suitable for therapy work and available adult females are even more rare than rescue dogs that fit this description. I know my search will not be a short one, I have already been looking for 6 months because my 17 year old who just passed away hasn't been able to work in that time.

MSS - you are so sweet to help, I greatly appreciate it. I do check the websites twice a day. I have applied to quite a few but they seem to be always already placed. For example, just this morning, I heard back about Macy who was first posted on RescueMe.org two days ago and placed immediately.
I will keep your needs in mind and keep and let you know if we have any dogs that may fit the bill. I'm glad you shared what you're looking for and hope that we might be able to help. I recall on the east coast that we nearly got in a dog who had been a therapy dog and was 6 lbs. But the owner ended up placing her herself.
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:22 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Thanks very much. I do have a general application submitted with AMAR here in CA and have spoken with several local members who are keeping watch as well. In fact, I just helped with the adoption of "Jake" by a friend this weekend I would have taken 8 year old Jake myself if he had been a she but our other Maltese wouuld not have been okay with that-the barking would never have stopped. It was actually Jake who brought home the point that there are a high number of applications for each suitable dog, even with organizations like AMAR which have strict scrutiny of potential homes.
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:38 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Snowbody,
I know there must be great rescues out there such as your AMAR because you are proof of it! My husband & I just couldn't find one at the time that we could adopt from. I was just venting my frustrations earlier when I was identifying with the other poster. Unfortunately I didn't know about AMAR or SM at the time that we were looking for our forever fur child, I wish I had.

Personally at the time when we were looking to adopt, we weren't looking for a perfect looking dog or an extremely young one, we were open to a middle aged dog or one who was not looking his best or one that might have some issues. In our particular case we weren't looking for perfection. Our one condition at the time is that we didn't want to start with a senior dog because although it would be my second dog, it would be my husbands very first dog. I didn't want my husbands very first experience as a dog parent to be loosing {the passing away} of his dog so soon after we adopted it. I wanted his first dog to be a positive experience so that he would want us to get another dog again someday.

But now that my husband has become a more seasoned dog parent after 4 years of having Baby, I think next time he might be ready for anything, possibly even an older senior dog if need be if my husband agrees to it. A mix was always something we would have considered. I would have tried adopting from you first.

But thankfully it all worked out OK for me in the end because I am absolutely in love with my fur child Baby who we had to purchase, & I am so glad he is part of my life. I wish I could have 'saved' a life though instead of purchasing. If someday I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to welcome another dog in my life, I will be sure to contact you at AMAR first. That will be an extremely bittersweet day though, because if I'm adopting another dog that would mean that my Baby has gone to the bridge & I don't even want to think about that! AMAR sounds like a wonderful rescue & all of you who volunteer for it are unsung heros , you deserve so much credit for what you do!
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:00 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Hi Sandy, I also found that anywhere within 300 miles of California, AMAR doesn't have that many dogs available either. AMAR is fabulous at providing for the needs of the dogs they take and they are highly protective of them in terms of screening applicants but as Snowbody pointed out, that is very resource intensive and so not very many dogs can be lucky enough to be taken in by them.. And many other rescues insist that the adopters be local resdents even though I offer to travel to the dog and transport her with me myself. In the past week, I have applied for three dogs out of which two were spoken for within hours of listing and the other one was firm about only consideing local residents. I think this experience is more typical than is acknowledged which is why I posted. Honestly, I just got frustrated that when I contacted breeders about possible retirees, they were very kind but I kept being told to look at rescue as though it is an easy option.

If rescue is going to be en effective mechanism for both the adopters and the less adoptable dogs, there needs to be a central listing site where we submit a single application that is accepted by all rescues. I am so tired of filling out these lengthy forms for each organization that has one or two Maltese and then finding the dogs are unavilable. When they won't even tell you whether the dog is available until you fill out the form, it feels intrusive and disrespectfu for them to demand so much personal information for no practical reason. And it is not so easy to keep describing the loss of a bonded dog over and over. Even private colleges use a "common app", all these tiny separate rescue sites should do that as well.
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
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A rescue can operate only where it has volunteers. AMAR used to have volunteers in some other locations who unfortunately had to stop due to personal reasons. I myself have not been able to do so much in recent years because of cancer. I think I was the first AMAR volunteer in Sacramento. Fortunately now we have more in this immediate area, and there are a lot more people active on the East Coast now, too! but I am saddened that more people are not able to help.
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Old 11-17-2016, 02:06 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I can not speak for any rescue's procedures, but I know that in past years when I did independent rescue, I'd get a lot of "lookie lou" type email inquiries. But worse, insincere applicants-- one cute older dog had a lot of those. One couple who tried very hard to convince me that they wanted this cute old female who had had multiple mammary tumors removed but was doing great after many months ... I finally allowed the couple to pick the date and time to meet. They picked a date 4 days away. The day before, they excitedly called me and said they had gone all the way to Modesto and adopted a 3 month old male. Very unlike my dog which supposedly was just what they wanted. I have more stories like that. :/ That's why I decided to be a foster for an established rescue group and let our leaders do the screening.
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Old 11-17-2016, 02:18 PM   #27 (permalink)
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AMAR's application process is straightforward and thorough. I just wish the other organizations would use it as the standard and accept the same application so that when someone inquires about an animal, it would be easier to get the information about that dog to the potential adopter. It could work like the TSA precheck at the airport. You still go through the metal detector and get your bags x-rayed, but you don't have to unpack your laptop or take off your shoes.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:35 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I'm not sure I'm adding anything useful here but a lot of the comments got to me. I did Maltese rescue nationally for several years and the number of dogs I placed was in triple-digits. Here's some things that most people don't think about:
- Dealing with unwanted dogs is very emotional and time consuming.
- City shelters only have so many spots, yet they cannot refuse dogs. What would you do if you were put in that situation?
- Everybody wants small, young female dogs. I hated dealing with puppies and younger females. I would get over 100 applications and dozens of calls on them. Most of the people who didn't get chosen took it personally and would call or email either to complain, ask what went wrong, or tell me off. But I would endure this because the adoption fees for a healthy young dog helped pay for vet bills for the sick ones. Meanwhile, dogs like my Jill would not get any calls. This is Jill:

I had her ads up on petfinder and other sites for over a year and got 2 calls. She was 10-1/2 at the time and nobody wanted her. She was and still is a perfect little 5 lb dog at 17-1/2 years old.
- Like most rescues, I would always take back dogs that people would return to the rescue. That is how I got Jill. I can't remember but she was originally adopted when she was around 4 years old and she was returned. I was very careful screening people. We had a 4 page application and I would call the vets and at least 3 references and have nice discussions with potential adopters and often home visits. Yet about 10% of the dogs I placed over the years were returned. Half of those dogs had some level of neglect. I know there was a percentage of people who instead of returning them gave them away, turned them in to animal control, or simply put them on the street when they no longer wanted them, but I have no idea what the percentage was. A couple were caught due to shelters calling when they scanned chips. One of those was Jill. What do you do? It's not illegal. You just pick up the dog from the shelter.
- Despite what is written here, there are a lot of wonderful, healthy young Maltese available on any given day. Most don't get posted to the internet, or at least they didn't a few years ago when I was at the height of my activities in rescue. They would be taken home by people walking into the shelter, or a rescue might take them and send them to a home they had pre-chosen. When they do get posted, they may only be up for a couple of hours. You need to be diligent to find them, visiting the local shelters, calling immediately, and being flexible. If you're not willing to do that finding a young healthy female dog will require lots of luck.
- You find out how many dogs really come in to animal control facilities when you create relationships with the shelter managers. I would get calls every week from shelters across the country. I had a policy of never turning them down, but our rescue could not come close to taking them all. So I would end up on the phone to other rescues and I drove all over the eastern half of the country transporting dogs. It is a great way to make friends!
- Some "well-respected" rescues would never take older or sick dogs. Never. Our rescue would always take them because otherwise they would get put down. So the majority of our dogs were older or special needs. All of us ended up with our own little doggie pack of dogs that nobody else wanted. I had 7-8 of my own dogs for years including a barker, a biter, and a blind and deaf dog. I loved them all.
- I was the one that would take in a sick dog and nurse them back to health. I got up at 3 AM to drive hundreds of miles. I cut off the matted fur filled with fleas and feces while the dog in pain was nipping at me, I cared for the open sores, I hand fed them and gave them medication multiple times a day. So yes, I was particular about where they were going to go. Particularly when I would get 1 in 10 back.
- People have all kind of ideas how to make rescues better or more effective. They can't believe rescues don't do them. I spent 35 hours a week doing rescue in addition to my 50 hour a week job. Those two things were all I did. I had no time to set up national application databases or weekly newsletters, and neither did the other volunteers. If you have a good idea, then volunteer and do it. Otherwise, your criticism will be ignored. Trust me.
- People often said to me that the toughest thing to deal with must have been the people turning in dogs. Not even close. The toughest thing I dealt with was some of the volunteers. Most were wonderful, but more than a few were not. Fosters were screened as carefully as adopters, yet many would just sign up intending to take the dogs on a "test drive" to see if they wanted them. If they "flunked" fostering and kept the dogs and then stopped fostering, that was perfectly fine. But others would take in a foster, then want me to move the dog quickly when it wasn't what they wanted. I had one person call me at 2 AM asking me to take the dog from them that they picked up that afternoon because the dog was crying. I was 3 states away! I won't go into that conversation, but there were multiple times that I had to drive hundreds of miles on a few hours notice to pick up dogs from fosters. That's a huge downside to running a national rescue. I had over 130 foster homes across the country at my peak.

Look, this is not intended as a rant. I just want to give some insight to people that will visit this thread as to why rescues are the way they are. Rescues and shelters develop the rules they have based on their collective experiences.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:44 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Back in the days when I was doing independent rescue, I had one adorable older guy returned to me after a year ... going on 3 legs. I took him to my vet, the senior vet and owner of the practice, who said he had a torn cruciate ligament. The former adopter doubted the diagnosis and said I should get a 2nd opinion. (She did not offer to pay for it, nor did I ask.) Then I never heard from her again. I ended up keeping him for the rest of his too-short life.

This is a "much after" (as my own pampered boy) picture.
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Last edited by mss; 01-08-2017 at 07:57 PM. Reason: deleting "before" picture which makes me sad.
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:00 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Both of ours came out of our local shelter. Our shelter is the largest in Ohio and has far more Pit bull mixes then little dogs. Guess we were lucky but it does happen.
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