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Dogs home rant

(15 Posts)
PieFace91 Tue 21-Jul-15 10:45:48


My sister, without mentioning anything to me, went to a dogs home and came back with a young Jack Russell.

It's obvious he's not been well socialised. He goes for pretty much every other dog he comes across, and is very anxious in a lot of situations.

Naturally, as the family member who owns dogs, it's now become my problem. She's frightened of him, and has passed him on to my dad; this dog has slowly become my responsibility, and it looks like he's moving in with me and my Rottie. Although I'd have run a mile from him in the shelter I really like this dog, and I won't see him sent back to be rehomed; he is what he is, this situation is not his fault at all. His behaviour's really improving now I've given him a bit more structure and shown him his place in the world. He wears a muzzle when he goes out, so the behaviour is really more embarrassing than anything else.

I have had many dogs, including dog aggressive ones. But I got to choose them. Owning this dog makes my day two hours longer, because I have to go for two walks now.

Is it unreasonable for me to be bloody furious with the shelter for letting my sister have this dog? They never mentioned his issues to her, and it's obvious she's never owned a dog. I know she is the one who chose him, but she has a learning disability and didn't really understand the implications of taking this dog on.

Is there anyone I could complain to?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 21-Jul-15 10:50:41

That sounds incredibly irresponsible of them. God knows what awful people some of their dogs end up with, he's very lucky you have taken him on.

StarsInTheNightSky Tue 21-Jul-15 10:52:34

I don't think it's unreasonable of you to be furious at all. Rehoming centres have a responsibility both to the dogs and their potential owners. When we lived in the UK a friend had a similar experience, she was misled about her dog and after two years, thousands of pounds in behaviorists and a whole lot of stress and heartache she ended up having to return the dog.

PieFace91 Tue 21-Jul-15 10:58:52

The thing that makes me most annoyed is that a dog could have been a really nice experience for her. It would have been a great thing for her self-esteem and confidence, and it would have given her days a bit more structure.

She'd have been a natural fit with an older, calmer dog, and I think would have been able to take good care of it.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 21-Jul-15 11:06:50

The only rescues I have any experience of go out of their way to match up the right people with the right dog. It sounds like it's a rogue one your sister came across. Hopefully there aren't too many of those around, I think animal rehoming has taken a huge step up in the last decade or so but obviously not all! Good luck with him, and do complain if you can (although not sure where)

sparechange Tue 21-Jul-15 11:12:56

Is this shelter in the UK?
It is hugely irresponsible of them!

I've had dogs from Battersea Dogs home, and I've had dogs from tiny one-man-band rescues, and breed-specific rescues, and NONE of them let me take a dog until they'd done a home check, and seen me walk and interact with the dog. If I had shown any nervousness around the dogs, or been unable to control them on a walk, I would like to think they wouldn't have let me take them.

Can you get in touch with the rescue and at least see if they have a trainer/behaviourist that they use, who can help work on this dog's aggression? It might get you two hours of your life back!

tabulahrasa Tue 21-Jul-15 11:17:21

Is it a dog's home as in the place with the council contract for strays rather than a rescue?

Because if so, that is how most of them work, no real history on the dog, you turn up and buy one...they will take them back if needed, but that's about it as far as back up goes.

Floralnomad Tue 21-Jul-15 12:51:17

It is a bit hard to judge without knowing what type of dogs home you are talking about ie rescue or pound , however I will just point out that I rehomed a puppy from Battersea ,on the day of our first visit and without a home check - all we had was an interview .

Backforthis Tue 21-Jul-15 12:57:38

There are places that are little more than a pound. There is one near us that lets you take the dog for a walk next to the centre and then take it home that day if you like it. It re homes unneutered dogs. It is depressing. People see those kind of places and then get shirty about decent rescues wanting to do home checks or not rehoming to people who work full time.

PieFace91 Tue 21-Jul-15 13:07:07

"Can you get in touch with the rescue and at least see if they have a trainer/behaviourist that they use, who can help work on this dog's aggression? It might get you two hours of your life back!"
People see TV programmes like the dog whisperer and think behaviourists can instantly change ingrained behaviour in their pet, but there's no magic bullets.

They won't be able to do anything I am not doing already; it's going to take a long time to sort his behaviour around other dogs. In the meantime, I don't want my own (very good!) dog to miss out his more social exercise. They have such different needs at the minute.

sparechange Tue 21-Jul-15 14:27:18

People see TV programmes like the dog whisperer and think behaviourists can instantly change ingrained behaviour in their pet, but there's no magic bullets.

I'm very aware there aren't magic bullets, but I also know a responsible rescue centre will want to make sure a dog is happy, and help to overcome any issues. And an experienced behaviourist can make a huge difference.
My own experience was that a rescue was more than happy to help when a dog I had got from them turned out to be slightly dog aggressive (breed specific). I know not all behaviour issues can be cured, but lots can be lessened at the very least.

It is highly likely that your sister will have signed a contract with the rescue that will include a clause that she is not allowed to pass the dog on to anyone else, so you might find that by complaining, they ask for the dog back. But at least if you ask for help and look like you want to work on the issues, they might help you make the rehoming work.

honeyroar Tue 21-Jul-15 17:16:22

I Agree, if you complain to the rescue they may well want to take it back. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall and seen what went on when your sister viewed him. As has previously been mentioned, all the rescues I've dealt with have worked very hard to match up dogs and owners.

I really came on this thread to say well done for picking up the pieces and working with this dog to give him a future. Do you thnk something like Flyball or agility would work for him, so give him a job while interacting with other dogs (ie there's something other than them for him to focus on..)

PieFace91 Tue 21-Jul-15 17:36:05

Honeyroar: You and me both! They are not getting him back now. My sister might be in breach of contract, but I don't feel taking him there would be in my dog's best interests.

He'd enjoy agilty, but I don't feel he's ready for it just yet. I am taking him to progressively busier, doggier places all the time. He's getting better. And when he does, just try stopping us!

Scuttlebutter Tue 21-Jul-15 17:40:27

People use the word "rescue" very loosely. What it actually sounds like, is your sister turned up at a pound. Most Council pounds offer very limited assessments of the dogs they have (in fairness, they don't have the time, resources or staff), don't do homechecks or any of the matching that reputable rescues do.

Unless you are a very experienced dog owner, a pound is not a place to get a dog. Most pounds work with local charities, so after their 7 days are up, dogs can be passed on to rescues, who can then assess and rehome them in a much more responsible and detailed way.

If your sister is a capable adult then complaining won't do much good, and all they will reasonably offer is to have the dog back, when it will probably be PTS.

WeAllHaveWings Tue 21-Jul-15 22:41:43

I have only personally seen 1 dog being adopted and there was little attempt at "matching" by the SSPCA. They allowed an unemployed 20 year old (who lived with her lone parent mum who had very long working hours) adopt an 18 month old collie x gsd which had massive behaviour problems after spending most of his life shut in all day with 3 staffies and had had multiple injuries so was/is very dog and people fear aggressive. They never even did a home visit and it didn't bother them that neither woman had owned or grown up with dogs before and and had no idea of the challenges of the two breeds. They had picked the dog purely on looks.

Thankfully its worked out ok after an initial period of shock (especially after he bit the postlady), adjustment and stubborness more than anything else they are coping, they take him to agility and he's winning basic rosettes, but is still a dog you need to be wary around and give a lot of space. Most family members with young dc still don't visit their home.

Im still shocked the SSPCA were so lax when allowing them to take on that dog.

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