Once again I find myself doing my year-end statistics for rescue. It’s been an average year for our breed. Nothing like German Shepherd Dogs or Rottweiler’s, whose rescue numbers are in the hundreds.
I thought now would be a good time to reintroduce you all to Corgi Rescue, both Cascade Pembroke Welsh Corgi Rescue (CPWCR) and Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue (SPDR). Both are dedicated to rescuing abandoned purebred Corgis and helping owners place Corgis they can no longer keep. Sounds like a fun job, huh? Well, mainly it’s a lot of paper work, a lot of worry about the little dogs and a lot of time on the phone.
When someone applies to adopt a dog they either phone me or send an application to me from SPDR or CPWRC. I screen the application, mainly to see that all the areas are filled in and whether or not they seem to be an adequate prospect or not. Then I either send them a post card or phone to confirm their application status as a potential adopter. I usually handle about 20 applications per month.
When a dog is turned in an application again must be filled out either by the owner or in cases of “pound puppies” the foster care person (usually me) evaluates the dog and fills it out. I then go thru my stack of adopters and try to find the best candidate. I contact them and we decide if this may be the right dog for them. All of the dogs that come to rescue are examined by Sylvia Lueck, DVM, who gives them all the vaccinations they need and spays or neuters them before they go to their new home.
Sounds easy enough, but those of you who do rescue know it can also be heart breaking. I have spent hours on the phone with heart-broken owners who have just put their beloved corgi to sleep and desperately want a new companion. Or the unwary buyer who got that cute puppy from a backyard breeder, pet shop or puppy mill that is at their breaking point because the puppy has turned into a monster and they have no where to turn. Those are the worst. Several times I have had to take in the unmanageable and have them euthanised because by the time they get to me they are beyond help. Thankfully none of these have been received into rescue this year.
Many calls are very rewarding too! The dog that is reunited with its breeder who takes him or her back! The person who ends up keeping their dog because they were able to work thru a problem successfully. Also there are times when you can place that unwanted dog with the perfect new owner. Realistic rescue adopters are aware of the challenges they face and are willing to use their skill with dogs to overcome these issues.
What is a rescue dog? A grateful 2 or 3 year old who just needs a new home? No. Most rescues are 4 to 9 years old and come with a lot of baggage. Seventy-five percent of them are dog aggressive. Some have health issues such as hip displasia or skin allergies. Some are turned in because they cannot be house broken, hate children, hate cats, or men or women. Some are barkers, some are runners. Not all of them perfect little dogs. Most rescue dogs are very hard to place because of behavioral problems. Most adopters visualize a perfect dog who will be forever grateful for being rescued, not a rescue that requires work and changes and smarts about dog behavior. Please get the word out that rescue dogs are work, but it’s well worth the effort where Corgis are concerned.
Being a rescue chair is both the best and worst job I have ever had. I would like to take this space to thank some of the people who have helped me this year. Rachael Wayman, who will drop everything and run to the Tacoma shelter to check on a dog or pick it up for me. Jon Bauer who has offered free plane fare for dogs who need long distance placements or rescue. Sam and Kathy Beavin check homes in the Seattle area for potential adopters. Sam provides donations of Eukanuba dog food coupons for new owners. Bruce Coyne and Gerald Kyle for all sorts of help from legmen to food donors. My sister Chris Johnson for putting up with all the emails she gets for me. Sylvia Lueck DVM for her veterinarian help. Claudette Longoria for doing all this same work in Eastern Washington.
If any of you would like to help in rescue, whether it’s food, leashes, collars, checking shelters, fostering dogs or any other kind of help, please call or email me. It would be greatly appreciated.
-Mary Day, Rescue Chair of Cascade PWC Club