In defence of dogs we write this post out of utter horror at the latest tactics by the big names in rescue (RSPCA and Dogs Trust) to destroy foreign dog rescue.
The same question never goes away for us and we defend it daily from visitors and online critics, yet is still something I can barely believe is even a consideration. These big names seem to have picked up on some public opinion and jumped on it, fuelling it and using it to their advantage.
The Big Question? Why do we rescue dogs from abroad when there are dogs needing homes here?
Why would a dog born in one part of the world have any greater worth than another? We assumed that any animal lover would see this, sadly it seems not. It appears that, even when you are an animal, it DOES matter where you are born for you to have a chance to be safe.
Example: Does a dog born on the street, who has had no choice and stands no chance, deserve rescuing less than one BOUGHT by someone here, from someone else here who was abusing their own dog breeding her to make money, when there are already too many dogs, who then gives that dog up to rescue when they cannot be bothered with them any more? Because the breeder won’t take responsibility for it?
Who deserves the chance more? Neither. Both do. The real issue in rescue is that there is not enough homes, there are too many people still breeding and buying while dogs without any other choice are dying. A change in culture needed and a revolution of the dog rescue world (that we are trying to achieve).
We have blogged about this at length before, but things have taken a worrying turn in the media and although, in the past, we have steered away from negativity towards the big names in rescue (RSPCA, Dogs Trust), as we believe it serves no useful purpose – arguing when you are supposed to be on the same side, they have embarked on a campaign to destroy the image of the foreign rescue dog and people’s trust in them and are risking the future of rescues like ours.
I do not say this lightly, even though it is hard to comprehend. The RSPCA have been on BBC Radio 5 Live recently slating “Trojan” dogs coming in from abroad taking up kennel spaces and being aggressive and carrying disease. Can we not see the propaganda for what it is? We live with these dogs in our home, with our dogs. We take dogs from all over the world. The one things they want is to be safe and loved. We have much work to do to defend their reputation against organisations who have turned on them while pretending to be for the animals.
What is worrying is not only the scare mongering tactics of these guys but the money they are spending doing it. Dogs Trust made 90 million in 2017 and spend money lobbying the government to stop foreign dogs coming over to rescues. Do people realise and is this how people want their generously donated money spending? Do you donate to D.T? Do you agree with this?
In lobbying and using propaganda, to damage the reputation of foreign dogs, they are indirectly handing a death sentence to all these poor dogs. Dogs who have already suffered unimaginable cruelty and who have no other chance in life.
Yes of course something needs to be done to control dog population abroad and this is something we fully support.
Some rescues are bringing in dogs and putting them into kennel-based rescues, in isolation and we have seen first hand the damage this does to the foreign dogs particularly for whom this is an alien concept and who do not trust people yet. We pick up the pieces for these dogs who “fail” in the UK rescue system and this is why we end up with some dogs with issues we need to rehabilitate before rehoming on.
We set this rescue up hoping to rewrite the image of the assumed “rescue dog with issues”. Our “foreign dogs” have far fewer if any issues than dogs who have ended up in the UK rescue system here. They are our biggest adverts; our greatest success and they actually work here to rehabilitate dogs from the UK who end up in rescue. Yes, occasionally there may be some dogs who require more work, special homes etc but these are a tiny minority of those we save and their issues no worse than any dog in the UK (referencing fear issues with strangers etc).
We didn’t set out to help “foreign dogs” per se, but we will vehemently defend them as some of the easiest dogs we have worked with and we’ve worked with over 1000 now. They need love, safety, food and ask for nothing more. They reward you a million times and are more social, respectful, have fewer (human -induced) “hangups” and we are proud of them and how whatever they have suffered they can move on and achieve so much. They are our inspiration and we will defend their reputation from the likes of those who have never probably spent more than a few minutes with them in a very stressful enviornment.
As we have proven in the over 1000 dogs we have re homed from abroad so far, they are, the most gentle, sweet, loving, clever, respectful and perfect family dogs you could wish for. I would like to know what the RSPCA are basing their outlandish statements on. Yes they will display fear when isolated in kennels with people they do not yet trust, as many dogs do, but to write them off as though different dogs – and generalise about them as though all foreign dogs are the same, well it’s as insane as the idea that you can say all dogs in UK rescue are the same.
Ludicrous isn’t the word and of course it has angered even more than it has upset. Yes some people are choosing dogs online and re-homing them direct, without rescue backup supported by the charity sending the dogs over, because people are fickle and yes these same people may give up on a dog when it comes over for whatever reason ….. But what happens more than 99 per cent of the time is instead people give up on dogs they buy as pups from BREEDERS and then give up. No matter where people get their dogs from you will always get the people who get them on a whim and give them up, and that is an issue with people, not the dogs or those hoping to send them to a better life.
We argue that the big names should be spending their time and millions putting their energies into helping the cases on the ground, rather than going door to door asking for yet more money and slating rescuers who are trying to make a difference doing something useful and practical.
The vast majority of the messages we get daily are from people who have bought their dogs as puppies and “have to” give them up because they have “bitten the grandchild” or started attacking their other pets or destroying the house. This dog if it gets rescue space will be deemed a rescue dog with issues. But who gave the dog the issues? The breeder? The first owner with a lack of training? No one will know but the cycle continues. People believe you have a blank slate when you take on a puppy. Nothing is further from the truth – you just don’t know what you’ve got yet. But that’s a whole other blog.
We don’t take these dogs people are giving up because we take dogs who are going to die in a pound unnoticed as there’s too many of them. Our reasoning is at least these dogs are currently “safe”. If they are then given to rescue, and if a decent rescue, they may not be euthanised but they are expecting someone to pick up the pieces. Where is the blame on the breeders and the over population of dogs and the fickle people who get them or the society that has become so lacking in understanding of the need for dog training that they allow children to maul dogs and expect that dogs should put up with it.
These days the dog lets out a growl about being uncomfortable and people freak out and talk of PTS. Utterly terrifying. But that’s a whole other blog. The point being, the people who are filling up the rescue kennels are breeders and those who buy dogs. Plain and simple. I can’t imagine the minority of Romanian dogs they have personally dealt with in comparison to all others but I think they need to spend some time here before judging foreign rescue dogs. They are very welcome of course and we want nothing more than to be open, honest and these dogs do the rest.
We give our life, home and these dogs are our world. To see how they have suffered yet can overcome everything and be the sweetest most grateful well-behaved dogs you could meet. There is no question.
We want to revolutionise the UK rescue system by using our social foreign dogs to rehabilitate UK dogs who have become afraid of other dogs and so reactive or classed as “dog aggressive” in kennel-based rescues. We are proving what we do every day, we hide nothing. We just wish these big names with their power, influence and money would turn their attentions to helping other rescues instead of trying to stamp them down and keep people topping up their enormous funds with the pretence that they are doing anything about the situation other than causing public outcry and distorting the real issue.
Breeders are the problem, those who fund breeding are the problem. Those of us trying to save those in need wherever they are from are not the problem. Let us keep the energy directed to the source of the problem instead of getting exhausted arguing about where a dog was originally born and whether that deems them worthy of help.
Whose foot is it holding them down?
If anyone would like any more information about life for these dogs please see this website which shows exactly what it is without trying to do it to raise money, just to educate people as to the reality, I promise if you read this you will no long question anything. http://www.esdaw-eu.eu/the-stray-dogs-in-europe.html