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Curious as to what you guys think

Golden Girls
August 10th, 2009, 11:51 AM
This situation has been really upsetting ...

Received a cross post that a 6 yr old golden was looking for a new home. It was said she had good temperment, lived and gets along with dogs and cats and children. Although not spayed it was also said she was UTD with shots.

I was asked to foster but the woman didn't approve of her dog going into rescue. So I called this woman and asked if I could go visit. Although I seen a photo of her I was shocked at how skinny she was (unlike the photo) and found instead a frightened golden x NS Duck Tolling I decided to take her anyway to a closed baseball field to see how'd she be away from the owner. I kept her on leash and she appeared friendly with Brandi but as I reached to get water from my bag she bolted from my grip (terribly bruised my inner arm) and squeezed through a tiny opening in the fence and attacked/bit a leashed spaniel x. Thankfully when the woman screamed the golden went down as if expecting a hit.

The woman didn't notice right away but unfortunately the skin did break and needed vetting. The bill came up to $97

I called the owner telling her this ... from there everything went down hill. Basically she told me I was responsible and as far as she's concerned because she wasn't there it could of been any dog that attacked this ladies dog. I also asked if she could provide the record of vaccination pfft her lawyer was contacting me and hung up in my face (guessing another lie) and proceeded to tell me she was euthanizing her dog that afternoon.

(found out Saturday that didn't happen)

The owner is sending a registered letter to this owner (if she doesn't pay I will out of respect for the victim) BUT my question is because she said her dog was friendly is she responsible (legally)?

Scary because many people are in rescue ... these things could happen to any one of us. Could even be worse where after you rehome that dog bites a child or kills a family pet :shrug:

TacoGrl
August 10th, 2009, 12:12 PM
As far as the dog laws go, it is the responsibility of whomever is in control of the dog at the time of the bite...if no one is present, then it is the last registered owner unless they can prove adoption prior to the bite.

As far as the moral end of things, the woman lied to you and should pay while appologizing profusely!

My guess is that you will never see a cent out of her...

I would check with bylaw to see how many bites this dog has...of course, it may mean euthanizing it, but if it is aggressive, but if it is aggressive because of its cirumstances...

What a terrible situation. :sad:

BenMax
August 10th, 2009, 12:29 PM
Ok GG - as much as you are going to hate hearing this - who ever is in control of the dog at the time is responsible for the vet bill. The big problem here is that the dog was loose, so this does not go in your favour at all.

I hear where you are coming from but that is what is going to happen. In rescue, and once the adoption papers are signed and if this happened, it would be the new owner that would have to incure the costs.

This is not a good situation at all. BTW - did she put the dog down?

Bailey_
August 10th, 2009, 01:12 PM
Okay, seriously, I have about ten THOUSAND names to call this woman you delt with, but for the sake of being 'family friendly' I'll refrain. :evil:

I'm so sorry GG, that sounds like a crappy situation. Especially since you were only trying to help out.

Unfortunatley, the ladies above are right.

Keep us posted and let us know how it goes...Gosh, people can be terrible! :sad: That dog needs to be placed in a NEW HOME.

kandy
August 10th, 2009, 03:28 PM
So just for my own clarification here - if someone wanted to turn their dog over to a rescue, and said that it was friendly - the rescue doesn't just take the previous owners word for that right? They would do temperment testing, that kind of thing - no matter what the owner might have said, right???

Frankly I don't know what our laws are regarding financial responsibility for an attack (owner vs whoever is in possession of dog at time of incident), but I do know that it is covered under homeowner's insurance policies here. How sad for the dog though. I hope someone gives him a chance at a better life other than the one his owner is apparently considering sending him to. :sad: But I do have to say that if the woman had told you that the dog could be aggressive, you might have been more 'alert' and wouldn't have let your guard down, even long enough to try and get some water. So a little honesty on her part may have prevented this dog from ever getting away from you.

chico2
August 10th, 2009, 03:48 PM
Awww GG,how do you manage to get in to these situation:shrug:
I know,you follow your heart:grouphug:
This poor dog has probably been abused and obviously not been getting enough food:sad:
I don't know about any dog-laws,but assume like the others say,it's the responsability of the handler.
However,the owner lied and said he was good with other dogs,cats and kids:frustrated:

Golden Girls
August 10th, 2009, 04:04 PM
Ok GG - as much as you are going to hate hearing this - who ever is in control of the dog at the time is responsible for the vet bill. The big problem here is that the dog was loose, so this does not go in your favour at all.And so you told me. I didn't ask the question in the hopes that everyone would side with me. I will pay seeing the dog escaped my hold but never did I say the dog was loose. Lucky for me the woman rescued her *the victim* dog from Berger Blanc and has a good heart. The point was she lied.

Kandy exactly, that's what I was doing - testing. Unfortunately this abslutely beautiful dog had been obviously abused and starved - I should of walked away. Then again I care which ends up always being the problem. As you said had I been told the truth I would of taken more precaution and doubt very much I'd of taken her to the park being the point of this thread, actually. If I took her to small claims court would I win since she lied about her dog's temperment? I have all the exchanged emails of her saying so

I was so shocked by how unreasonable/unresponsible that woman was

Thank you Bailey and Tagogrl for your replies.

Chico like you my heart is with the animals, I don't care about the human race frankly.

chico2
August 10th, 2009, 04:10 PM
Well GG,humans can take care of themselves a poor animal cannot,he/she is at the mercy of us humans:sad:

Golden Girls
August 10th, 2009, 04:18 PM
Exactly Chico :)

Bailey_
August 10th, 2009, 04:43 PM
Unfortunately this abslutely beautiful dog had been obviously abused and starved - I should of walked away.

No you shouldn't have!!! Don't second guess your decision to take the dog for a walk and assess her. You were misled about the dogs behavior which was coming from the OWNER herself, and I can also tell you that if it was me - the same thing most likely would've occured. Sometimes our hearts are bigger than our brains, and we get the shnizzle end of the stick because of it, but that doesn't mean I'd want my heart to be any smaller! (Did I just say I have a small brain??? :laughing:)

I'm really sorry you may get stuck with the fee of the cost, but I'm VERY glad you found this rescue and will hopefully be able to remove her from that evil woman. :evil:

Proud of you GG!!! :highfive: Keep us posted!

14+kitties
August 10th, 2009, 04:47 PM
:grouphug: So sorry you are going through this GG. No advise to offer. You have had lots. Just wanted to give you a :grouphug:.

kandy
August 10th, 2009, 04:58 PM
If you accept a surrender regardless whether or not a fee was exchanged, you as a rescue is responsible should that dog do damage just as I am for walking this dog ... as you pointed out. I think people need to realize the risk they are taking when involved in rescue of any sort!

Fair, no but the law says so!



And that's exactly what I was getting at. If a person surrenders a dog, tells the rescue that it's friendly and the rescue just takes their word for that - then who is responsible when the dog is adopted out and bites someone on the very first day? Would the law say that the new owner is responsible when they've had this dog less than 24 hours and have no idea of it's aggressive history? Or would the law say that the rescue should've informed the adopters about the dogs aggressiveness or even not adopted it out? I'm thinking the rescue would be found at fault - either for not having the animal assessed, or not informing the potential adopters, or even for knowingly adopting out an aggressive animal.

I know that you'll keep fighting for this dog GG - once you set your sights on an animal that needs help, you do your damndest to do what you can for them. We need more people like you in the world - you may not have the resources of a full rescue at your back, but you do more for animals than most people even think about.

Love4himies
August 10th, 2009, 06:05 PM
Unfortunately this abslutely beautiful dog had been obviously abused and starved - I should of walked away.

But that is just not you :grouphug:

Golden Girls
August 10th, 2009, 06:06 PM
Thank you Bailey, L4H's & Kandy :2huggers:

Kandy (post # 12) I mistakenly edited that part of my post, I do wonder what would happen if this dog was rehomed and a tragedy happened, legally could the rescue be held liable?

BenMax
August 11th, 2009, 12:01 PM
And that's exactly what I was getting at. If a person surrenders a dog, tells the rescue that it's friendly and the rescue just takes their word for that - then who is responsible when the dog is adopted out and bites someone on the very first day? Would the law say that the new owner is responsible when they've had this dog less than 24 hours and have no idea of it's aggressive history? Or would the law say that the rescue should've informed the adopters about the dogs aggressiveness or even not adopted it out? I'm thinking the rescue would be found at fault - either for not having the animal assessed, or not informing the potential adopters, or even for knowingly adopting out an aggressive animal.

I know that you'll keep fighting for this dog GG - once you set your sights on an animal that needs help, you do your damndest to do what you can for them. We need more people like you in the world - you may not have the resources of a full rescue at your back, but you do more for animals than most people even think about.


It is the rescues or the shelters responsibility to assess dog's temperment and behaviour. They should not take anyone's word for anything. That is why all rescues and shelters have people that know how to temperment test.

If a dog passes the tests or even if not, it is the responsibility of the rescue or shelter to divuldge all findings based on the evaluation. This is why rescues and shelters talk to people and fill out forms before a dog is adopted out. This way, the organization can determine if this is the right dog based on certain needs for this specific family or individual.

That being said, if a dog (or even cat) happens to have an incident once adopted, and depending of course on the circumstance, that organization is not held liable. The norm would be of course the rescue or shelter returning the adoption fee and taking the animal back. Again, it depends on the circumstances.

For instance: I fostered a dog years ago which killed my cat after 3 months of them living together. The dog was returned however do I then 'charge' the shelter for this loss? Or is it my responsibility since I had all animals together? Everything was great for 3 months and then something happened. Who is liable or who is responsible? In my mind - I was. They were in my care, under my supervision or there lack of - therefore I am responsible. Even if I wasn't, I would absolutely assume that responsibility - it was my fault.

Such an interesting thread. I wonder if we would consider the liability if purchased from a petstore or a breeder. Would they be held responsible if the dog attacked and caused damage to an animal or human?

No disrespect to anyone, but I have to add my :2cents:. (for what it's worth):)

GG - this could have happened to anyone. When you focus in on an animal in need you go all out! I hope that this situation resolves itself and please keep us updated on what transpires.

kandy
August 11th, 2009, 12:18 PM
I agree that if a shelter does their own assessment, and fully discloses those results, then the adopter should be responsible for the dogs behavior. However, I also believe that if a shelter had not disclosed known behavioral problems to the potential adopter, and the dog attacked within a very short time frame of being adopted (ie, less than a week or so), then the rescue should be held responsible for not disclosing the facts. I know for a fact our local HS does not do any temperment assessment, nor do they do any kind of home checks or any follow up with dogs that are adopted. It would not surprise me in the least to find that they had either mislead (or even outright lied to) a potential adopter just to move the animal out the door.

If a person adopted a dog and had possession of it for more than even just a couple of weeks, surely they would see the behavioral problems surface in that time frame. For instance, if this golden had been adopted out to someone - it sounds like it would only take one walk or one encounter with a strange dog for the problem to become glaringly obvious.

I hope something can be done for this poor girl GG - and I know that if anyone has a chance of making something good come out of it, it's you.

Sylvie
August 11th, 2009, 12:38 PM
GG your story makes me very sad. You ended up in a situation that would not have happened if the woman had been honest with you.

Right now we have a beautiful shep with Lupus. Believe it or not someone is interested in adopting her. We are going to do the home visit tonight. Last weekend the dog was very ill. I will be mentioning this to the prospective adopters as they should know everything that we know about the dog. I am only telling this to show that our Rescue is honest with the fosters and adopters. If you are not honest, it is unfair to the people and thedog.

I cannot believe that the woman did not tell you about the dog. Now I feel for you, because what happens to that dog now? But, I can say thank you for caring and trying to help.

BenMax
August 11th, 2009, 12:54 PM
I agree that if a shelter does their own assessment, and fully discloses those results, then the adopter should be responsible for the dogs behavior. However, I also believe that if a shelter had not disclosed known behavioral problems to the potential adopter, and the dog attacked within a very short time frame of being adopted (ie, less than a week or so), then the rescue should be held responsible for not disclosing the facts. I know for a fact our local HS does not do any temperment assessment, nor do they do any kind of home checks or any follow up with dogs that are adopted. It would not surprise me in the least to find that they had either mislead (or even outright lied to) a potential adopter just to move the animal out the door.

If a person adopted a dog and had possession of it for more than even just a couple of weeks, surely they would see the behavioral problems surface in that time frame. For instance, if this golden had been adopted out to someone - it sounds like it would only take one walk or one encounter with a strange dog for the problem to become glaringly obvious.

I hope something can be done for this poor girl GG - and I know that if anyone has a chance of making something good come out of it, it's you.

That is unfortunate that your local HS does not access - it is so very important and only adds success to animals given a second chance. I think this is wrong not to do such temperment testing as this can result in some serious problems.

Indeed, if the testing is done by the organization, obvious problems such as food aggression, dog aggression, people aggression, leash aggression, high value items aggression, leash manners, normal manipulation, basic commands etc are seen before adoption. Also, for 'power dogs' that are found stray - other testing is done to see if the dog was trained for protection/guard. These tests are specific and also must be known. I think it only responsible and right to test everything possible to ensure to the best of anyone's ability that the dog is sound. If issues arise, then the appropriate measures taken. Either source out rescues that are willing and ABLE to deal with issues.

The woman in this instance lied or just did not know her dog well enough. She absolutely should have been honest and upfront about this so that it did not leave GG at a disadvantage. It just proves that you cannot trust people at which again is unfortunate. Most people who want to re-home/dump, get rid of their pets will not tell the truth. They will do whatever they can to relieve themselves of the responsibility and put it on others. It is for this reason, rescues and shelters are responsible to not take anything said as truth. We must go through the motions to ensure the dogs are sound or that all information is given to the adoptive family. It would be up to the family to decide whether or not they wish to follow the recommendations of the rescue or shelter - to pursue a trainer or behaviouralist. Rescues I know do give these recommendations.

Golden Girls
August 12th, 2009, 09:20 AM
1st thank you Sylvie & Melinda for your offer to help, that's very sweet but it's only $100 it's totally fine :2huggers:

I agree it's so important for the success of the animals to be honest and upfront. How did the home visit go last night? :goodvibes:

I have no idea what's going to happen to this dog :sad: A rescue has once again taken this girl on but I called and suggested to get a CPDT to evaluate properly otherwise everyone will lose. I do not see this a happy ending. I have a foster (no other animals, lots of land) waiting whose on vacation this week but it's Wednesday ... it could of gotten her out for one and two a closer assessment could of been done. But then this woman changes her mind constant, so frustrating.

All I know is the victim's owner is sending a lawyer's letter along with all exchanged emails stating how the dog is socialized and that. After 10 days if no reply I'll pay and should I chose I'd have to go after her.

Ben Max when you say shelter are you speaking of the MSPCA, if so do they have a Proffessional Certificate Dog Trainer's license or just experience?

And when you speak of a rescue, same question?

As for me this one instance won't stop me from helping another in need however a lesson was definately learned and I will protect myself in the future.

I already agreed to doggie sit a neighbor's 11 yr old golden - after this I emailed them requesting to put in writing that they will not hold me accountable in the event of something happening that was out of my control, geesh!

BenMax
August 12th, 2009, 10:54 AM
GG - some are certified (which really does not mean anything here in Quebec) and others are experienced with dogs of all breeds. Each evaluation is different based on breed. One must know the breed and characteristics of each breed in order to evaluate accordingly. In other words, one would evaluate a Rottie differently then they would a Lab. Again, the evaluations must be altered as each breed and each dog are individuals and therefore there is no specific set template on how you would evaluate. There is no set rule however there is a difference based on breed. If this was not taken into consideration, then many dogs would be considered unsuitable for adoption if there was only one standard to temperment test. Indeed it gets complicating, but it is imperative to know animal behaviour and know the breed. I always say, if in doubt, contact someone who is breed specific on doing the temperment test. I for one am totally inexperienced in temperment testing or evaluating a shar pei or chow chow. I personally will forward the request onto a rescue that specialize within this breed to evaluate. It's the only responsible thing to do I believe.