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Old May 14th, 2009, 02:09 PM
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Question Help Finding A Rescue

Okay, so I'm not sure if this is the place to post this, but none of the subtopics in the Rescue forum seemed quite right for this thread...

My boyfriend and I have been looking for a friend for our Pug, Milo, for a little while. We're no longer actively looking, but I am keeping an eye out for dogs that could be the right fit.

Here is my dilemma: I have never been the go-to-a-breeder type, and I haven't supported purchasing from a pet store since my mom got me a ferret from PJ's when I was 7 years old (yes, I know how irresponsible that was on all accounts - but I treated her well). But I am beginning to become increasingly frustrated by the rescue community.

I've always been all about rescue. I had wanted a dog since I could remember, and never entertained the idea of going anywhere other than a shelter (I have NO clue where I learned that). But now that I spend more time educating myself about it, I'm hearing all sorts of terrible things about illegitimate rescues, organizations knowingly adopting out puppies with parvo that had never seen a vet, etc. I don't know if I can (or should) name names on this board, but I will choose not to until someone tells me otherwise.

We applied for two dogs a few weeks ago. One rescue got back to us via e-mail and said our application "looks great!" and that they would seriously consider us even though they had a few other applications for the same dog. I have since found out that the dog was updated and not one of our references was ever called. I'm not saying this rescue did anything wrong, but needless to say I was disappointed that being "seriously considered" didn't mean having our references checked. Is this common practice for rescues? (Please don't misunderstand me - I am very happy this dog found a home, I'm just wondering if they would check references for all applicants or just the one they thought was best).

The second rescue raised red flags for me. They got back to my boyfriend for a telephone interview. This dog was much younger than the first (8 months) and had been in rescue for 2 months (since the age of 6 months). Her description read that she was not housebroken but was "coming along well" or something to that effect. But the foster mom who spoke with my boyfriend told him that the dog was not at all housebroken because she didn't "have time to work with her" and that because she was "paper trained" she would pee on "any mat she sees". Yes, I was prepared to work on housebreaking. But what kind of rescue has fosters who take in puppies and then don't have time to work with them over 2 months? Am I being too suspicious, or does this seem wrong to anyone else?

So my question has two parts. Please, can anyone renew my faith in the rescue system? I will never buy from a pet store but I am starting to consider breeders and that scares me - a lot - because it isn't something I ever thought I would do. And no, my opinion isn't being changed by these two small experiences...refer to my next question below!

Secondly, does anyone know of a good, reputable rescue - especially ones you have dealt with and volunteered for/adopted from personally? I am becoming wary based on some recent horror stories, and can't even take the THS seriously after some reports I've read.

Sorry for the ludicrously long post. I'm new here, but I'm notorious elsewhere for my lengthy posts and verbal diarrhea Hopefully either I'll get better or you'll all learn to put up with it, HAHA
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Old May 14th, 2009, 02:12 PM
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I am sure you will get some great responses. There are a number of members who are very active in rescue and will be able to point you in the right direction.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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Thanks for the encouragement. I'll be checking back frequently!

Oh and let me take this opportunity to stress that I am not suddenly against rescues, and I don't think that all rescues are illegitimate or anything of the sort (I don't want my words to get twisted). I am just concerned about finding a trustworthy one as there seem to be so many of them all of a sudden - and sites like Petfinder don't have the will or the resources to check on the rescues which post on their site. I've also been trying to find a group I can volunteer for, and am hearing that some rescues treat their volunteers/fosters very poorly, etc - plus I'm getting the feeling that nobody wants my help, despite the pleas posted on their sites!

Hope you all understand I'm not knocking rescue! Just need a little guidance, that's all
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Old May 14th, 2009, 03:27 PM
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There are alot of people on here into rescue and shelters that will be able to help, also if you look on petfinder.com alot of the dogs on there are rescues
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Old May 14th, 2009, 04:00 PM
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I go on petfinder.com frequently (it's a daily thing, if I'm going to be completely honest!). My problem is I've heard about issues other adopters have had with at least two of the rescues that come up on petfinder (in my area, specifically). Again, I don't want to name the rescues in case the experiences these people had were isolated incidents...but I would be okay with PMing if someone wants to know more. (Just have to figure out how PMing works, first!)

I also check the Toronto Humane Society site frequently, but I've been hearing terrible things about them lately, which is a shame. I still check and if I found a dog that seemed to be a good match I would probably still go to the THS, but I'm just feeling very wary of it - even though we got our cat from the THS and had no issue.

I'm also wondering about the rescue which called us for the phone interview. I wanted to know other peoples' thoughts about whether the foster parent's attitude should be a warning for us (read my first post for more info if you haven't already).

Thanks everyone for your input!
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Old May 14th, 2009, 04:16 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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EndofFashion - I am so glad that you have come to this forum to ask this very good question. I deal with about 8 rescues in Ontario, 2 in Alberta, and 2 in Quebec.

Reputable rescues should be able to provide you with the following:

Approximate age, breed, past history, a disclosure of all medical history if possible, medical status now, any quirks, a STERILIZED and fully vaccinated dog or at the least a follow up on sterilization at due date, a health guarantee of at least 30 days. You ask for copies of ALL medical documentation.

If in foster, you should have one on one contact with the family to ask all the questions that you want to know.

Also, a rescue that puts a dog in a 'foster with intent to adopt' is ideal. This gives you a great opportunity to ensure that you and your new companion mesh well before making that commitment.

Not that I am the all be all, but I do know a few really great rescues that can help you. I've been doing this for years.

If Marco will give the permission, I can provide you a list of very good rescues that will help you and you will feel confident about the service you are getting. There are no hidden facts or agendas with the rescues that I heavily rely on.

If you need help - I will be more than happy to assist and put you in the right direction.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 04:32 PM
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Forgot to ask - what breed or mix are you looking for?
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Old May 14th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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EndofFashion, I didn't know that the THS was having problems. I did hear on the news hat the City of Toronto was doing bad things to the animals they pick up..but nothing was said bad about the THS. It just said that it was the CITY and NOT the THS they were talking about.

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Old May 14th, 2009, 07:19 PM
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Tundra_Queen: I've been hearing that they treat their volunteers terribly. Some of the current and past volunteers have started a Facebook group about it. Volunteers can't walk "difficult" dogs until they receive the proper training, but their training sessions keep getting canceled (be aware I am just relaying what I've heard/read), so some dogs go days or weeks without being walked, causing them stress. Some of the paid employees were fired for no reason, or for making complaints about the way things are run. Futhermore, they are getting more donations (both monetary and in kind) than they know what to do with - I've heard that they literally throw out beds, collars, etc. that they have no use for (why not pass them along to another rescue?).

Finally, because they are such a large non-profit organization, their tax information is made public - as such, it has been discovered that the president (Tim Trow) personally makes about $160,000 a year. Two members of the upper management make about $80,000 per year - and neither one has any education beyond a high school diploma. There's nothing wrong with making an income while doing what you love, but (correct me if I'm wrong) you don't go into animal rescue to make money. I'm sure if you Googled the THS you could find some of this info. I'm not even going to go into their adoption policies - but I've heard many complaints about that as well. It saddens me because I have always supported them.

BenMax: I would definitely appreciate any help! We're holding off the search for a little while (at least I'm trying to) as we've decided we would like to purchase a home before the end of the year, but I would love to start looking into some rescues in the meantime to educate myself. As for breeds, I'm not horribly picky...and I'm definitely not against mutts . For some reason, I don't find myself too drawn to most hound breeds - beagles, coonhounds, etc. We love Pugs (I've heard of Pugalug Rescue and they look good), but think the more energetic Boston Terrier might be a better match for our unusually energetic Pug! We also like Bulldogs (we're partial to the brachycephalic breeds!), most of the terrier breeds (not sure about the uber-energetic JRTs, though), dachshunds...really, for me the temperament is more important. We don't consider ourselves experienced dog owners, so a relatively trainable and easygoing individual that gets along with other dogs and cats is ideal - which is why, although I love Shiba Inus, Basenjis and Shar Peis, they're probably not a great match for me. Also reasonably active - we walk a lot and love to hit the dog park every weekend.

Okay, once again I've droned on - I apologize!
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Old May 15th, 2009, 07:51 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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The pug rescue you quote is reputable. I know many of our Quebec guys went there not through me but through others. Many good things are said about them.

If you can get permission from Marco to have access to your PM - I will forward you a list of reputable rescues that are either breed specific or non breed. I will also provide you with HS that are compassionate and diligent.

Actually, in Ontario you are fortunate enough to have so many wonderful rescue groups and HS that have been instrumental in saving our Quebec dogs. There is collaboration from both provinces luckily. Interestingly enough, many of our adopters are from Ontario. They actually travel quite the distance to adopt.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 08:00 AM
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You've got some great questions, endoffashion. I've done home visits for rescues and have a fair bit of exposure to them. Rescues are largely volunteer run, and it does take a good bit of time to research prospective owners.

Perhaps the dog you were looking at was a better fit with another family, and the Rescue didn't have time to respond to applicants that were no longer considered? I know that my rescue looks at matching very carefully with prospective owners (ie home life? shift work? children?) and references are the last thing checked after home visits. Each rescue runs with a different adoption policy.

Don't worry, your perfect match will come along, it just takes time.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 08:00 AM
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Go for a boston terrier, they have really neat personalities, little stubborn but very loving. Not good for active movement in really hot weather, they get exhausted quickly. I love my girl....... Glad your trying to rescue, good luck.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 09:30 AM
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BenMax: who is Marco and how do I get in touch with him? lol. I would drive to Quebec if my perfect match awaited me there, but if you have contacts here in Ontario then I would love to know, for sure. Let me know how to activate my PM.

BearsMom: Thanks for the encouragement. I figured it had something to do with them finding a better match before they got around to checking references. It's just disappointing because I got my hopes up after getting such a positive initial reply from the rescue. But I do completely understand - like I said, I don't honestly feel that they did anything wrong, I just really liked the little guy we applied for! :sad: Now the other rescue...that one is still up in the air.

Marty: we ADORE Bostons! The one dog we applied for was a Boston, but I feel like they so rarely come into rescue. I know the Canadian Boston Terrier Club of Canada Rescue (or something like that, lol) is a good place to start, but like I said...I don't often see them, and when they do become available, they get a LOT of applications! I feel like we have so many strikes against us when compared to other potential adopters (we're young, not married - though that doesn't seem to mean much anymore! - and we rent).

But yes, long story short, after much research we do think a Boston would be perfect for us! As for the hot weather thing...yeah, that doesn't happen because of our Pug anyway! (Oh and I should mention I also do VERY poorly in hot weather, haha!)
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Old May 15th, 2009, 09:34 AM
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Marko is the admin. On here. He can allow you access to the PMs. Run Search for marko.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mat&Murph View Post
Marko is the admin. On here. He can allow you access to the PMs. Run Search for marko.
Thanks Mat&Murph!

Please do get a hold of him as I would love to share this information with you. There is nothing worse than loosing an opportunity and to see a wonderful little soul finding a forever home.

Please note that I will not be on line until Monday. If you get access I will provide you with whatever you need.

Best to you.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 08:41 PM
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EndOfFashion, you need a certain number of posts before you can PM someone...not sure how many...but I'll PM marko for you and ask him to activate yours
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Old May 16th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Too bad you don't live in Montreal because there are several well respected dog rescues here. Maybe you could drive to a smaller town and get a dog there? Some rescuers think they are GOD and give the public a hard time by making it difficult for them to adopt. They are too strict and too regimented ????? Aren't they there for the purpose of adoption???? (I guess different needs are necessary when adopting out a dog, a backyard or someone being home a lot). Adopting out sick animals to make money is a disgrace and it gives the good rescues a bad name. Never heard of asking for references. We are a cat rescue and our adoption application is lengthy. We have a $150.00 adoption fee. If people seem suspicious to us, we will not let them adopt. If you read my previous posts you will see that I have been warning people about bad rescues!!! I have seen it all in the 12 years I have been rescuing. There are many good rescues out there, but you have to watch out for the bad ones!!!
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Old May 16th, 2009, 02:56 PM
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BenMax: I won't be on much until Monday either, as I'm working Sunday :sad:

hazelrunpack: Thanks for the help! Let me know if he'll activate it for me!

Kiara: I know what you mean. Most of the time I try to see the rescue's point of view, and I can understand that there are a lot of people out there who simply shouldn't own pets - and I guess on one level they're trying to filter those people out. On the other hand, they're also trying to match the dog to the best possible home, and I think to myself: "well, it's actually a big help that the rescue will help me find a dog that will suit my lifestyle and integrate well into my home". But then again, yes it is frustrating that some are so stringent! And because I'm on the other side of it, I never know what reason the rescue has for choosing someone else over me. I think that's the worst part of it. I will check out your other posts about illegitimate rescues. I, too, am really angered that someone would pose as a rescue for personal gain and give rescue in general such a bad reputation. And then there are the ones who are trying to do good but just get in over their heads...

I meant to add, I would definitely drive to a smaller town. Right now I'm looking at shelters within about a 2-3 hour radius of where I live. I'm keeping my options open
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Old May 16th, 2009, 07:02 PM
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I contacted Marko, but he said you should already have access to Private Messaging. So when you log on, BenMax, send away EndOfFashion, you'll get the notification when the message arrives
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Old May 18th, 2009, 07:50 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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I contacted Marko, but he said you should already have access to Private Messaging. So when you log on, BenMax, send away EndOfFashion, you'll get the notification when the message arrives
Thanks so much Hazelrunpack!

PM sent.

Last edited by BenMax; May 18th, 2009 at 08:01 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 09:54 AM
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So I told you I would keep you posted...here's my update! (Unfortunately not so good...)

BenMax very kindly sent me a list of good rescues. I've been checking them regularly to find the right dog! Yesterday, I thought in the meantime I would go and check out the Toronto Humane Society...all their dogs are supposedly posted on the website, but there's nothing like going to see the dogs in person. Well, what a shock I got.

Apparently the THS has changed their adoption process. Now you have to fill out an application and be approved to adopt before even being allowed to see the dogs! How am I supposed to show "intent to adopt" without knowing anything about the dogs they have for adoption? I thought to myself, "I would never adopt a dog sight unseen". Of course, after pondering that for a second I realized that's kind of how most foster-based rescue groups function (although of course you meet the dog before signing the adoption contract, I'm sure).

I figured out that what was bothering me was that I had absolutely no information about the dogs up for adoption. I was being asked to select a dog based on its photograph and nothing else. Rescues will at least post a pretty thorough description of each foster that is available. At the THS, I had no idea which dogs got along with other dogs, cats...etc. When I asked an employee if we could ask questions about the dogs in their care prior to selecting one to apply for, she said no and then mumbled something about the application!! In fact, she was quite rude...but I've heard lately from a lot of people that the THS employees wouldn't give them the time of day, so I was almost expecting that. Needless to say, we walked out of there after that.

Ugh I'm getting frustrated again. I was trying to give the THS the benefit of the doubt but I won't be returning any time soon.

On a HAPPY note, late last night one of the rescues BenMax told me about posted a dog that pretty much sounds perfect for us, so I went ahead and sent in an application! I don't know what our chances are of being chosen (since they don't work on a first come, first served basis), but here's hoping...wish me luck! I'll post the outcome when I find out!
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Old May 25th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Best of luck to you EndOfFashion.

It is too bad that THS has this policy. I can understand filling out an application first, but you should be able to view all dogs once the application is complete. This is a little odd! Anyways - this is the way they operate and I guess they have somesort of success with it..

Honestly, and I have nothing against shelters or the human society but rescues have a better handle on what they have available and if the dogs are in foster, they have a good idea as to individual needs of the dog, and what type of family is required. Due to having less animals in rescue, it is easier to manage I guess.

I always say 'if it's meant to be, it will be. If not, then something more suitable will come my way'.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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Best of luck to you EndOfFashion.

It is too bad that THS has this policy. I can understand filling out an application first, but you should be able to view all dogs once the application is complete. This is a little odd! Anyways - this is the way they operate and I guess they have somesort of success with it..

Honestly, and I have nothing against shelters or the human society but rescues have a better handle on what they have available and if the dogs are in foster, they have a good idea as to individual needs of the dog, and what type of family is required. Due to having less animals in rescue, it is easier to manage I guess.

I always say 'if it's meant to be, it will be. If not, then something more suitable will come my way'.
I thought it was odd, too. But the employee made it clear that you had to select a dog to apply for, then fill out the application and go from there. Maybe she was wrong? I know other shelters (I think Hamilton-Burlington is one) have a questionnaire that allows the shelter staff to give you a "colour" that corresponds to certain dogs in the system. But I don't think that's how the THS's new policy works. The employee said they had to set up this new system because people were going in an vandalizing the cages.

I have the same attitude! That's why I've spent so long looking and don't just apply for the first cute dog I see (however tempted I may be), and that's also kind of why I liked going to the humane society in the past...I can feel that it's meant to be if I meet the animal in person (that's how I "knew" about Charlie, our cat. And he is honestly the best cat I've ever met ). But you're right about rescues knowing more about the individuals in their care, and like I said I've applied for a dog at a BenMax-approved rescue (not being sarcastic! I really appreciated the help!!) I really hope we hear some good news.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:15 AM
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What breed did you apply for EndOfFashion? (I am so darn nosey!)
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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:40 AM
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A Pug! I'm a big dog person, myself, but since we got Milo I've fallen head over heels in love with Pugs and this one seems to be a perfect fit I don't know if I'm allowed to name the rescue, but I'm pretty sure you can figure out which one it is based on the breed

(And you're not nosey! I actually feel all warm and fuzzy inside that people even care about what I'm going through )
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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Endoffashiion, where abouts in etobicoke are you.i'm in etobicoke too. There is a shelter on Eastmall. two seperate shelters in mississauga and an excellent one in Oakville.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:51 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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A Pug! I'm a big dog person, myself, but since we got Milo I've fallen head over heels in love with Pugs and this one seems to be a perfect fit I don't know if I'm allowed to name the rescue, but I'm pretty sure you can figure out which one it is based on the breed

(And you're not nosey! I actually feel all warm and fuzzy inside that people even care about what I'm going through )
Ok I know which one!. They are very good. YOu are in good hands.

Best of luck to you and please let me know how it goes. Since I do not know their service when it comes to adopting, I would be curious to know. I do know that they are very thorough however. I do know of a group that has a pug that is blind. I sent this one from Montreal to Ontario. If this interests you, let me know and I will let you know which group has him. He is an angel.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Hey Aslan,

I'm in the southwest end (near Lakeshore and Brownsline). I know which shelter you're talking about on East Mall - I worked about 2 mins north of there for 2 years and used to drive past it everyday. I also used to volunteer there as a "cat cuddler" I do check their site on a regular basis for new dogs. They don't seem to get very many but I've called them a couple of times to inquire about dogs I was interested in. Alas, none of them were right for one reason or another (usu. not good with other dogs or cats). But I keep checking!

I only know of the Mississauga Humane Society in Mississauga. What's the other one? And I'm assuming the one in Oakville is the Oakville HS. I check the Mississauga HS and the one in Oakville often, too. Okay, yes, I'm crazy I think I have a touch of OCD! But definitely let me know about the second shelter in Mississauga. I'm that I won't need to check it, because hopefully we'll be chosen for this Pug, but you never know...that rescue seems to get a LOT of applications.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
Ok I know which one!. They are very good. YOu are in good hands.

Best of luck to you and please let me know how it goes. Since I do not know their service when it comes to adopting, I would be curious to know. I do know that they are very thorough however. I do know of a group that has a pug that is blind. I sent this one from Montreal to Ontario. If this interests you, let me know and I will let you know which group has him. He is an angel.
BenMax, I know the one you are talking about! He's on one of the sites you mentioned. I was quite taken by him (okay in love with him), and he sounds great except for one thing: in his description it says that he would do best in a situation where someone is home "a great deal", and unfortunately that's not the case with us. Milo is never alone for more than 8 hours a day (unless we go out after work, but we always make sure we tire him out before leaving again, and actually this doesn't happen often because we have no social life lately!), but I'm not sure if they mean they are looking for someone who does not work/works from home? Aside from this one requirement, I think everything else would be a good fit. Unfortunately, most of the dogs I have to "decline", I do so because I don't think our home is good enough for the dog, not the other way around!
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Old May 25th, 2009, 12:07 PM
aslan aslan is offline
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lol, i could walk to your place, i'm Lakeshore and 26th street. The second in mississauga is the Mississauga animal services shelter. if you google that it will come up. they only have two dogs right at the moment but you never know.
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