Just been turned down by a rescue centre, need some advice.

(34 Posts)
Callisto Wed 09-Jan-13 12:16:22

Hi everyone,

I'm currently after a recue terrier/toy/cross breed puppy to go with my existing jrt and rescue greyhound, and this morning I found what looked like the perfect pup who was within an hours drive and filled out an application form.

One of the questions was whether my current dogs are innoculated. I wrote that they had been as pups (the jrt certainly, I assume the greyhound as she is an ex-racer) but that I don't keep up with jabs as my dogs are never kenneled and I don't see the need. I have read a bit around this subject and it is a decision I have made, rather than a can't be arsed/afford the vet bill thing.

The rescue rang me and told me everything was fine apart from the lack of innoculations. The lady told me they wouldn't home with me because of the risk the pup posed to my other dogs and that as I didn't get mine done I would be unlikely to keep up with the pups jabs. Fair enough, though very disappointed.

Anyway, I wasn't asked about innoculations when I homed my first mongrel rescue, my first greyhound (both now dead) or my current greyhound. I'm wondering if this is going to be a problem with other rescue centres? It isn't a question that has come up in the other couple of applications that I have filled in.

OwlLady Fri 11-Jan-13 10:41:07

that sounds good

Sorry, I appreciate this is slightly 'off topic' but we have a monthly scheme going on with our vet practice. I pay £13 a month (think!), which covers ALL vaccinations, worming, fleas, screening, health checks, reminders, 3 x consultations at no charge, nails clipped etc, as many phone calls for advice etc. This included our first two injections for our puppy.

Appraciate also it's 'another' expense, but for a new dog owner like me who feels like I did when I had DC1, it's great.

We have midr ange cover, there's lesser and greater cover available, cost depends on dog size too.

Just takes all the faff out of the situation for me personally.

OwlLady Fri 11-Jan-13 10:35:07

there not their, sorry!

OwlLady Fri 11-Jan-13 10:34:48

I also think the other thing to consider is if they are not up to date and need to be admitted to the vet hospital for any reason then they are more at risk of contracting one of these diseases if their is another dog in with it iykwim. i recently had to have my older dog admitted to hospital with severe gastritis which came on very quickly and was bloody awful tbh but again we knew she was vaccinated to go into the vet hospital so hopefully wouldn't pick up anything else whilst in there, which she didn't. I love my dogs but it's a very big responsibility having one and I do in a way feel more responsible for them than that of my children, because at least with a child a dr will take over and make a decision if they ill, with a dog i always feel it's your call as a owner. It might just be me though blush

OwlLady Fri 11-Jan-13 10:31:52

Marne, I would get your other dog done if I was you. My own vet said she felt the risk of parvo was low in our area as she hadn't seen a case for 5 months (it's medivet, so they cover a large area) but she still felt it was best to be up to date. We also discussed advocate and lungworm as I have been using frontline but again she said wrong time of year not to worry about that. Also they gave her a check up and 10 years old she is apparently perfect apart from a bit de-scaling work to be done on her teeth smile It is reassuring to have them checked over I find and to know everything is up to date

Nigglenaggle Thu 10-Jan-13 21:46:36

As others have said herd immunity is an important factor and those who don't vaccinate are only protected by the responsible majority. If a large enough pool of people who have read its not safe/can't be bothered/purchased the puppy for £800 but think paying another £35 annually to keep it healthy is a rip off are together in one place then the whole thing breaks down. So really, IMO it shouldn't be a personal choice, as your action affects the overall incidence and indeed very survival of these viruses. The eradication of smallpox shows what can be done if blanket vaccination policies are followed.

Another thing - no-one whose primary interest is money chooses to work with animals.

Marne Thu 10-Jan-13 20:21:19

Thank you for you great advice, our pup has had his first vaccinations but we are having problems as our vet is saying he had the vaccine too early so will now need 3 lots (i have started a thread).

We are ment to be picking the pup up on mondeay but as far as i know the 'vet check' has not been done (as i spoke to the vet yesterday). They usualy do a home check before dogs are homed and then they check up on them a few weeks later, for some reason they felt a 'vet check' would be ok as i already have pets (including a dog). I'm hoping all will be ok and i can bring the pup home on monday and vet check will be sorted. I am happy to get my other dog vaccinated but was told by the vet that most dogs hold imunity after the 3rd lot of jabs (not sure how true this is?).

poachedeggs Thu 10-Jan-13 19:12:46

I'm a vet. Two points to raise.

Firstly, vaccination for the majority of canine diseases need only be given every three years. Those who have vaccinated dogs need only check their certificates to see that different vaccines are given in the two interim years. Leptospirosis requires annual boosters, and can be contracted from waterways, farm areas, and anywhere rats are to be found. So even dogs who never socialise are at risk. In addition, a dog seeing a vet annually is like you seeing your GP every 7 years, except your dog can't tell you if they have a health problem. So I think at the very least an annual examination is important even if you don't vaccinate.

Secondly, "vets have a vested interest in pushing treatments of any kind" is a concept I take issue with. If you were a vet, would you honestly consider income over the welfare of the animal in front of you? Of course there are bad apples in every walk of life, but if money is a person's primary concern then I fail to see why they'd devote 5 years of their life to studying, only to enter a career with incredibly long hours, a stressful and demanding workload and a high suicide rate, not to mention the lowest remuneration of all the professions. My income isn't meagre but is less than half what a dentist or GP makes. If you have animals then you need a good relationship of trust with your vet and this will never be achieved if you're convinced the profession is populated by cash hungry cowboys. So if you think your vet is ripping you off, challenge them and/or move practice, don't just decide your animals are better of without healthcare. This tightfisted attitude makes me incredibly angry.

Cuebill Thu 10-Jan-13 17:46:53

Vaccinating is always an emotive issue however owners are foolish to leave things to chance. I am not saying in this case here but the over vaccination argument is often used when people can't be bothered, don't want to spend money etc. Luckily all owners can have access to Titre testing and that means caring owners can check if the boosters are required or be safe in the knowledge that their dogs are still protected.

All owners should be responsible for ensuring their dogs are protected but that does not necessarily mean yearly vaccination for all the diseases.

No dog should have to die from these awful diseases and having seen dogs in rescue die from parvo I am speaking from experience.

Paddlinglikehell fingers crossed your puppy is fighting through this awful disease. He was lucky that you got him medical care promptly .

JustFabulous Thu 10-Jan-13 17:27:29


I think I have a crush on your dad blush.

Parvo is widespread in ROI and in many overseas countries, so is a risk when rescues bring in dogs from these countries and mix them with UK based dogs, as well as the risk caused by unvaccinated dogs, and the longevity of the virus in the environment.

Our local pound has had an outbreak recently (we are in S Wales) and have heard of a number of other cases.

Marne, many rescues use a network of volunteers to do homechecks/transport runs/dog assessments - for instance, this is something both Dooin and I do. We all are happy to do these for other rescues in our own area, precisely to avoid the problem you are facing. I'd be very worried about a rescue that didn't do a thorough homecheck. A vet check is no substitute. These days, with easy IT links, it is very easy for a charity in Scotland to arrange a homecheck in Cornwall. I homecheck and transport regularly for charities who are based in England. If you'd like to PM me the name of the rescue, I'd willingly get in touch with them to let them know of the various FB groups, forums etc that could help them.

For a puppy, I really think vaccination is essential and testing for your adult dogs. Can't imagine how upset your DC would be if their new pup was to be ill.

Callisto, I don't think anyone has "sweepingly" discounted anything. The link I posted to actually gives quite a nuanced discussion (backed up by plenty of referenced papers) on the issues, and doesn't give an ALL VAX GOOD message at all. It acknowledges the need for further research, recognises this is a changing picture and discusses the issues for different diseases. It aslo emphasises the need for discussion with clients. Hardly the evil agents of big pharma. I'm genuinely sorry that your opinion of vets is so low that you think they are "pushing" vaccinations as a money earner. I am not saying vets are perfect, but I've personally seen countless examples where rescue bills are "forgotten", considerably reduced or extra time given for payments. For instance, one of the charities I volunteer for recently had a lurcher. Victim of a bad RTA with a broken leg - awkward break which needed complex surgery and a great deal of after care. A local vet surgery saw the FB appeal for help, came forward and took on the care of the dog for free (care worth thousands, I'd add). I could list many more examples, including the care of wild animals (my parents are/were badger activists and see a lot of injured badgers as a result of RTAs etc). As others have said, the annual vaccination visit is also an ideal opportunity for a check up. Like most people I go for a regular check up with my dentist. Most of the time, there's nothing to find, and not much for him to do, but I don't regard it as a waste of money.

Paddlinglikehell Thu 10-Jan-13 16:33:49

Marne, can I suggest before you get your puppy, you get your dog tested.

I didn't realise that Parvo was so on the increase, luckily our existing dog is vaccinated, although should have been redone before Christmas, but the vet said that was ok.

You would never forgive yourself if your dog died because of something the puppy bought in, remember, your puppy may have only to have been in contact with the parvo virus before you bring him home, it adheres itself to hair, pads, utensils etc. dogs can be carrying and passing on the virus up to 10 days prior to any symptoms showing. They can also,do the same after recovery, for up,to 14 days. Your own dog is at risk. Check out the parvo alert Facebook page to see if parvo is in the area that your pup is coming from.

Our puppy is still with us, the vet said he has eaten a little on his own today, so no longer tube feeding. Still on a drip and not out of the woods yet.

Marne Thu 10-Jan-13 13:42:36

We are rescuing a pup on monday, i was a little worried as the rescue are doing a vet check rather than a home visit (due to the rescue being quite far away), my dog is not up to date with her boosters as the vet told me after the 2md or 3rd booster there is no need for anymore unless they need a passport or are going to kennels so we have never bothered, i told the rescue this and they seemed ok about it, if they do want me to get it done i am happy too though.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 10-Jan-13 13:30:00

I'm not sweepingly discounting the risks of over vaccinating. As I said I had to do a lot of research into vaccinations a few months ago. After reading the article you linked I looked for evidence to back it up on a scientific data base.

Although some scientists theorise that over vaccination can weaken the dogs natural immunity there has never been any conclusive, clinical evidence found to support this theory.

There is evidence that vaccination protection lasts longer than a year for some diseases, but not all, there is no evidence that they cause harm.

I am basing my opinion on comprehensive research and scientific studies, as opposed to a magazine article. I would link to the studies but you have to pay for access to the database. I might be able to download PDF copies, if you want me to email them to you? PM me if so.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 10-Jan-13 13:22:19

the one we had die from it went from well to dead in less than 48 hours sad

My dad took it in from the pound after a friend of his found it and handed it over and then begged my dad to help after realising how bad pounds are.

I went to see her the second night they had her home because she was being sick and seemed a bit lethargic (they were skint and hadn't set up insurance yet angry so called me and my credit card to see if she needed OOH vet) she was drinking water and ate some treats, although seemed a bit groggy, but we really didn't know her very well, so didn't really get just how ill she was, because she was still drinking and eating and managing to keep down some fluids we decided she would be okay to be left until the morning. I was due to go back round first thing the next morning to take her.

My Dad rang me in a panic at 4am to say she had taken a massive turn for the worse and would I meet him at the vet. She died en route sad He lived just five minutes away from the vet. He'd stayed up with her all night and said it was like a light went out. She had been licking water off his hand and wagging her tail one minute and then suddenly laid down, sighed and went limp. She didn't stand a chance poor dog. By the time he got home, his own puppy, who had perfectly fine when he set off to the vet, was seriously ill. He'd literally been gone half an hour. Luckily his pup survived but he's never been the same since.

I still feel for the dog who died and still wish I had insisted on taking her to the OOH vet earlier, although the vet says if she hadn't been vaccinated the chances are she wouldn't have survived anyway. She left a great legacy because she sparked a very keen interest in rescuing dogs in my Dad. His puppy now has four rescued play mates smile

Not vaccinating is just not worth the risk. Ever.

Callisto Thu 10-Jan-13 13:16:46

I don't want to get into a discussion here particularly, but I don't think that you can sweepingly discount that over-vaccinating can harm a dog. There is a lot of concern over this in the US and growing awareness and concern in the UK, and the concern is from vets, not just owners with an axe to grind. I linked to this article because it is a good and easy to understand summation of why yearly boosters are probably not necessary.

Still, I think you are probably right re: vaccinating my dogs before the pup arrives.

mistlethrush Thu 10-Jan-13 13:09:25

Our last dog never went into kennels - so we never needed her vacination certificate (indeed, we mainly managed to forget to take it to the vets to be updated). However, we did get the dog vaccinated every year. On one of her annual visits, the vet found a lump that we hadn't done - and that was removed before it became problematical or a bigger procedure. Our next door neighbour in our last house in the same City had a dog that died from Parvo - it went from well to dead in less than a week and was fully grown.

Paddling - I hope your puppy pulls through.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 10-Jan-13 12:57:52

I actually wrote an essay on this not long ago, as I am sure Cuebill did once and there is some evidence that says after the first lot of boosters and the first booster, dogs are protected from most (not all) diseases for up to six years.

I don't personally get mine done every year, unless they are in kennels but I do get them done every other year and I do keep an eye out for outbreaks in my area, if they'd skipped a vax and there was an outbreak they'd be done straight away.

I've seen one dog die of parvo and another who still suffers the effects two years on, although was lucky enough to survive. It is not something I want my dogs to ever suffer. The one who had survived was up to date with all vaccinations, but vaccinations, do not prevent the dog getting the disease, it merely makes it less serious. With puppies even a less serious bout of parvo could still kill them very rapidly.

If I was looking at getting a puppy I'd have them all done. Puppies are so fragile, it's just not worth the risk. Whilst there is some evidence that vaccinations may last up to six years, there is no evidence that over vaccinating can harm a dog. I read that article while I was researching and found absolutely no proper scientific studies that backed it up.

Callisto Thu 10-Jan-13 12:46:58

Here is the other side of the argument on whether dogs should have annual boosters: www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/lepto.html

Callisto Thu 10-Jan-13 12:32:34

I'm dealing with another rescue that has a pup I am interested in and the question has not come up. They are coming out to home check in the next day or so, so it may or may not come up then.

TBH if I was going to circumvent rescue policies it would be just as cheap to buy a pup, and while I realise there are an awful lot of bad owners out there, I also think that making the adoption process too hard and inflexible will just put people off (just as adopting a human baby or child is incredibly difficult so lots of people take the marginally easier route of going abroad to adopt or jus don't bother).

However, I will take on board everything, especially the parvo threat which I wasn't aware of and take them in for an immunity blood test.

Thanks for the link Scuttle, I will read with interest. I do feel though, that vets have a vested interest in pushing treatments of any kind.

wizzler Wed 09-Jan-13 20:22:36

Best wishes Paddling he is cute as a button

OwlLady Wed 09-Jan-13 18:56:03

sorry my post was about preloved <rattles onblush>

OwlLady Wed 09-Jan-13 18:55:14

the amount of chickens that come up to rehome in the holiday season as well where people advertise 'going away next week so need rid as quick as possible'

it makes me feel a bit sick sad

(I only know this as I was looking for a spare coop!)

I would never recommend getting a dog through Preloved or epupz, and no reputable owner would ever home a dog that way. Dogs are often given away on those sites and are used for breeding, as bait for fighting dogs and all manner of horrible things. In addition if you take a dog from one of these people, no matter how good your intentions, you have no guarantees of the dog's behaviour, and you will not have the lifelong backup of a rescue should anything go wrong or you need help in the future. Yes, of course you can circumvent rescue homing policies, but then you would need to ask why you need to do that.

Any reputable rescue will make their policy on euthanasia very clear (pounds are a very different matter), and the vast majority are no -kill (except the RSPCA, who kill a huge number) and many rescues do not even use kennels at all, preferring to have an all foster home approach. This ensures a high standard of dog welfare and that the dog can be thoroughly assessed before homing. A few minutes spent on basic research on Google can verify this for any rescue.

Paddling I am desperately sorry to hear about your pup. Wishing you both all the very best and hoping for recovery.

OwlLady Wed 09-Jan-13 17:56:35


I hope you puppy pulls through paddling x

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