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When Rescue Goes Wrong

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We can all agree that animal rescue is a highly desirable and necessary thing. It's unfortunate but sometimes people can't keep a pet and its fantastic that there are shetlers and rescue groups that are capable and happy to take them and find them a new loving home. But, what happens when rescue goes wrong? How can it go wrong? Why does it go wrong?
Recently, the American Shetland Sheepdog Association had its annual dog show, a huge event where breeders from not only around the country, but around the world attend to compete for the prize of Best In Specialty Show, or even an honorable mention by the judge. During that time, one breeder hired a pet sitter to care for one of her dogs that was not attending with her. This poor dogs name is Piper. As sometimes happens, Piper escaped from her pet sitter and got lost. She was later turned in to a local animal shelter. Since Piper was microchipped this seems like the ideal thing to have happened right? She is now safe and sound, and since she is microchipped they can find her owner and get her back home where she is loved and adored. Unfortunatley Pipers escapade doesn't end there.
A they were required by law to do, the shelter then attempted to contact the person the microchip was registered to, Pipers Veterinarian. They did this on Good Friday and unfortunately the veterinarian was closed. After 3 days since her owner had not been located and nobody had come to claim Piper she was placed with the local breed specific rescue. This is entirely legal for the shelter to do, and it allows them more space to take in other unwanted or lost pets.
In the meantime, Pipers owner has returned home from her week of showing to find her beloved pet has gone missing. After finding that she was taken to the animal shelter she contacted them to find that Piper had been placed with the local breed rescue. This is where things get hinky and a little out of wack. Piper's owner, after calling the breed rescue to attempt to claim her dog and get her back was refused. Why? Because Pipers owner, apparently, does not in fact own Piper anymore. After supplying proof of ownership in the form of pedigrees, veterinary records, and even offering to pay for a DNA test to prove lineage, The AKC had Pipers parents DNA on file and can prove who Piper is and who she is owned by, she was still refused.
While this does not happen in every case, nor in fact in most cases, it has become a general mentality amongst those who participate in rescue that all breeders are bad, that even owners who don't spay or neuter their pets are bad regardless of if they breed or not and that they should no longer be allowed to have those animals or ever have animals again.
The danger of working in a bad situation all the time is that, even if you come across something that is just a coincidence, and not infact one of those horrible situations you are used to, that you already have your blinders on, you can't see, or refuse to see more than your experience is telling you.
It is common practice amongst breeders that quite a few of the good ones also participate in rescue, this provides them with a balance to counter all the constantly negative they come across while working for rescue. Perhaps it is time to start presuring the rescue world to work with breeders instead of against them. If a rescue person is there when puppies are born, raised, and sold they might see all the work that goes into finding appropriate and good, lasting homes for those puppies, or kittens.
While Pipers case is not the norm, and is very unfortunate, it is cases like these that raise so much publicity that it can damage the reputations of people who do not deserve to have their reputations tarnished or ruined. Let us all work together instead of constantly butting our heads. We are humans, not goats, and this is not how we resolve our issues.

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