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Old 01-10-2017, 11:50 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Name: SANDY
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Default Aubrey

[QUOTE=Aubrey;4018274]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.[/QUOTE


Aubrey, --So sorry it took me long to reply, Christmas & the holidays had me so busy I was unable to visit SM for a while. I just want to say I like the idea you suggested about creating a central application for all rescues. At the time when we were actively looking to adopt, over the course of two years or more I filled out dozens and dozens of heart wrenching applications where I too had to pour my heart out about my dearly departed fur daughter and that wasn't easy to do time after time. And as you said after laboriously filling out these long forms every time the few Maltese or small dogs would already be gone and most of the time no one at all would get back to me.

Due to what someone else wrote further down in this thread {who I will also reply to shortly} I now understand about the lack of reliable trusted help the rescues have that might cause the lack of response but never the less it doesn't make adopting reasonably attainable or even possible at all for a lot of people who try to adopt like myself. At first I felt extremely guilty about having to 'buy' my dog, but nowadays I don't feel as bad because I know how extremely hard and how very long I tried to 'adopt' unsuccessfully. It was really not my own fault that I wasn't able to adopt so I can't blame myself because I was pretty much FORCED to 'purchase' a dog. Now that I am better informed about the realities of dog rescues I can't really blame the rescues either. I have a better understanding now that some of you in rescues have also posted & explained why it is so difficult to adopt from a rescue. It's just a darn cryin' shame it is so difficult to adopt because along with the many bad unsuitable people out there, there are also many wonderful potential adopters out there who would be grateful to adopt a Maltese. Old Maltese, young Maltese, disabled Maltese etc.

*Note to anyone else out there who is reading my post besides Aubrey, who is looking for a Maltese to adopt, I just want to let you know that MALE Maltese are just as wonderful as females. People always assume my boy is a female and are surprised when I tell them he is a male. Sadly though I suppose many out there who want females are looking for them so they can breed them {I'm making a sad face now because I hate BYB --back yard breeders}. But I don't understand why it is someone 'adopting' a dog would only prefer a 'young female' because dogs from rescues & shelters are always spayed & neutered ...
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:06 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MaltsGalore View Post
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.
Maltsgalore,

Thanks so much for writing your enlightening post about the inner workings of a rescue and I'm so glad you took the time to post about it. Your post has helped me understand a bit more about why no one gets back to you when one is a good potential adopter. I can't believe no one wanted your Jill & only two people interested in her. I'm sure I would have taken her in a heartbeat if she had been available to me. {By 'available' I also mean 'attainable' through a rescue at the time when I was trying to adopt for over two years.} I'm glad she is in a good home now & God bless that beautiful little senior puppy! She doesn't look a day over 1 year. I'm praying to be so lucky to have my own little malty boy have such a long life!! God bless you as well for working so hard and helping many dogs!
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