Guest Blog - Sue of Toy Poodle Rescue makes some excellent points in this blog from September, 2010. 

The responsibility of dog rescue groups

This of course is my opinion but then it is also my blog so I am allowed it.
Recently, more so with the amount of surrendered dogs that are coming into rescue groups, we see some very inappropriate behavior and approach by other rescue groups on the surrendering of peoples pets.As in  my previous blog I had heard that rescues are insisting on a surrender fee to surrender a dog/Poodle. I understand the economy is very bad and rescue groups are not receiving donations, but when you enforce that a surrendered dog has to come with a $100 donation that will make owners go running to abandon their dog or drop it off at the local shelter, many of which are kill shelters! This is just unacceptable and totally defeats the purpose of rescue. 
We receive surrender requests from all over the country and work very hard to find a rescue in the area to help.
We recently had a surrender in California and although that is too far away for us to help, we always offer resources and point people to breed and small dog rescue groups in their area. The owner was an elderly lady of 87 years who had fell and broken her hip and the daughter had contacted us to see if we could help find a home for her elderly mothers Poodle. The daughter was also going through serious health issues and was also now caring for her mother and was not able to care for the dog. 
We gave her numerous rescue group contacts to no avail, most of the Poodle rescue groups did not even acknowledge her email to them and others were not able to take in a 9 year old dog (if it had been a young dog I'm sure it would have been a different story). The daughter emailed me again and we tried other small dog rescue groups and she wrote a letter explaining her circumstance to get a scathing and demeaning email back for having to surrender her mothers dog. I was forwarded on the email and I was totally appalled that a rescuer could write such a horrific email to someone who needed to surrender their dog. 
Rescue groups exist because of unfortunate circumstances that befall an owner who has to surrender their dog, it is NOT a rescue groups place to judge that circumstance, it makes no difference to the dog that it has to find a new home, it just does and that is our job. When personal feelings come into play when rescuing a dog that is the time to step down. 
It is not our place to judge, but to rescue, and judging the person can then impact an innocent dog. At Toy Poodle Rescue, we are not about judgment but all about rescue and helping you to get your dog into a safe, kind and happy environment, until it can find it's new forever home.

The other foot.

There is also another side to rescue, as we must not judge the reason or person for the surrender of a dog we MUST judge and evaluate the potential new home and environment the dog could go into. This is when rescue groups receive a lot of abuse and nasty, nasty attacks. Dealing with the public at this level when they want a specific dog and we/the rescue group feel it is not a match can be brutal and you have to have very broad shoulders and keep reiterating that your gut and extensive knowledge know when it is right and not. I cannot tell you how much abuse we received when Lucy was up for adoption, EVERYONE wanted that dog!!! We must have received about 500 applications for Lucy, but Lucy needed a fenced in yard without exception and someone home to train her. Most of the applications we got did not have a fenced in yard, many were going away on vacation and expected for us to 'hold' her until they got back, some had small children and nearly all worked for several hours a day. When we had to say no because they did not meet the requirements, the abuse we received was so disgusting, attacking us/me personally or threats to report us? The ultimate is we must want to keep the dog for ourselves! I really must address this last statement so it is CLEARLY noted. All the dogs that come into Toy Poodle Rescue are evaluated and temperament tested, groomed and placed into the appropriate foster home for that specific dog (fenced in yard, another dog or not, someone always home, someone home several hours etc) I/volunteers and foster homes have every opportunity to say they want to adopt a certain dog before it is placed on the website and we are accepting applications, so that would NEVER be the case.
We never wavered with Lucy, we held strong and never gave into the pressure because we knew the right home would come along and our gut would tell us when it was right and they met all of the requirements to adopt her.
That is what we do with EVERY dog that comes into Toy Poodle Rescue, it does not matter that it may take longer to find the right home, it just has to be just that and no less. My gut has not let me down yet and I trust it 100% along with my eyes, ears and instinct and that is how we place our Poodles at Toy Poodle Rescue.
Another rescuer from another Poodle Group recently asked me how we get such beautiful and great Poodles and my answer was because we answer our phone, do the hard work (including doing a home visit for EVERY dog we place), and make a promise that we will care and place these dogs/Poodles as if they were our own with the same high expectations.
Therefore even though we get constantly attacked when we will not adopt to certain people and homes that do not meet the requirements for our Poodles, the previous owners of them are so, so grateful and without the surrender of that Poodle we would not need a new home.

I am a rescuer, not a person who should judge the reason to rescue, that is a given, it is for the well being of the dog and no amount of abuse should ever cloud the surrender or placement of one, it is my job! 
Sue 
Toy Poodle Rescue

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