I had someone ask me via message on where to start in regards to adopting an “unadoptable” dog, and we had a rather pleasant conversation, but I feel like something needs to be said in public on this blog due to my history of having owned such a creature.
Ethical shelters and rescues do not label dogs unadoptable for no reason, in nearly all cases. There is something about the dog that will determine it being an extremely poor fit for 99% of homes that would be interested, and typically that 1% would need to make tremendous amounts of sacrifice in order to successfully own them. As nice as it sounds- wanting to give a dog everyone else has given up on a home- ethical rescues and shelters have a responsibility to take care of ALL of the dogs in their care and to not endanger those they adopt to or the general public with their adoptions. Taking in unadoptable dogs and keeping them until that 1% person shows up takes vast amounts of money away from perfectly adoptable dogs and ends up killing the friendly, healthy, young dogs that are deemed “more likely to be adopted”. Don’t believe me?
Someone I know from dobermantalk stopped fostering for her rescue when they took in 2 heartworm positive senior beagles to foster from a high kill shelter and left the young healthy beagle that had been surrendered with the older pair. The “adoptable” dog never got a foster. He also never got adopted. When his time was up, he was euthanized. The older pair did not survive their heartworm treatment. Three dogs died because of a focus on unadoptable dogs. Who does that help?
About five years ago, a woman took in two seriously dog aggressive presa canarios to foster. What was left of her body was found several days after the fact- she had been torn to pieces. It was hard for the authorities to determine if the presas had done the deed or if her personal dogs, one “pit bull” bbm and one frenchie, had contributed, but they guessed that the presas, two intact males known for engaging in serious fights with other dogs, had begun to fight and redirected on her when she tried to break them up. Due to their size, they would have overwhelmed her quickly, especially if the other two dogs joined in the frenzy. From there it’s hard to tell what bites were inflicted post-mortum, when the dogs ran out of food and turned to the only available source of meat, and what bites caused her death. Reports from those who found her described the scene as a bloodbath. All four dogs were euthanized. Who does that help?
A small breed puppy mill rescue dog I personally knew, deemed unadoptable for her extreme fear issues, was taken in by a well meaning family member. In a very short amount of time, this family member had been bitten multiple times for offenses as minor as walking by the dog while she was sleeping. Eventually, the dog slipped her harness after spooking due to a loud noise, ran into the road, and was killed instantly by a car. Obliterated. In front of her owner. Who does that help?
Skoll was a dog that had been failed by everyone in his short life. He’d come from known abuse and had clear abandonment issues. He had terrible health and his fear of people and his learned behavior of biting to make the scary things go away were ingrained into him long before he came to me. I gave him a chance anyway, I couldn’t sit by and watch a young dog be killed for something that wasn’t his fault. He mauled me without provocation and I euthanized him two months into our time together. He should have been euthanized on take in- he had a long, long list of documented bites well before he ever came to me, though I didn’t know it at the time. Who does that help?
Instead of focusing on these unadoptable dogs, there is a better solution. If you want to feel like you’re making a difference, find an ethical rescue or shelter and foster! Transport! Volunteer your photography skills! Learn their temperament and health testing process and volunteer there too! Make goods to sell at fundraisers and auctions! Organize a community donation pool! There are so many things you can do for dogs in need that aren’t things that, more often than not, end up with the dog dying anyway. But wanting to adopt a dog labeled, for good reason, unadoptable? Especially if you are not experienced in intense or extreme issues, temperament or health wise, in dogs? You are asking for a lot of heartbreak.
Adopt the adoptable dogs. Accept that we cannot save every unwanted dog. Accept that not every unwanted dog SHOULD be saved. It’s not the dogs’ faults, but neither is it the public’s for not being able to deal with these sorts of issues.
26 Things Adults Do Who Have Experienced Childhood Emotional Abuse
There’s a lot of compelling research being done lately about how the way we grew up affects our behavior as adults. Studies have linked childhood trauma, for example, to increased levels of alcoholism and depression in adults.
Since Seán asked about this in the newest would you rather video I figured I’d make a post talking about this. :P I always get that weird uncomfortable grit your teeth feeling whenever I hear the sound of rubber but especially wet rubber. Like when people are outside in the rain and then they come inside and obnoxiously rub their wet shoes on tile or hard wood floors and it makes that loud slippery squeak noise, UGH! It always makes cringe and makes me want to just bite my shirt whenever I hear it because it makes my front teeth feel super weird! xD