A week or so ago, I posted about the problems a friend was having trying to adopt a little black galga from Scooby, and was refused. President of Scooby Fermin Perez Martin replied, explaining that because there are so many English and Irish greyhounds needing forever homes in the UK, Scooby does not send galgos there. I concur with his view, although I feel that when an exceptional home is offered to a 'hard-to-place' dog, an exception should have been made.
I no longer go on rescues to Spain to bring galgos back to France as there are so many associations now doing it, virtually every weekend, that France is saturated. At any one time there are lost galgos in France, and podencos ending up in French dog pounds. And France has its own huge problem of abandoned dogs.
Here's an article by a lady who rehomes Romanian rescue dogs in the UK. Food for thought, considering how many dogs fill the UK shelters. I agree with her on breeding but am horrified at the figures she quotes.
“ I posted an emergency appeal yesterday to rescue 23 puppies from Romania. I had one comment from someone who queried bringing dogs into the UK when there are so many unwanted dogs here and also asking if by doing so we don't add to the problem here. It is a legitimate question, so here is what I think and why I do it.
But let me ask first - do we add to a problem? To tell the truth, I don't think so but these figures below are my own and really not up for debate in this context although I would welcome figures on legally transported dogs so I can demonstrate how very few we are able to help. There are some 5-6 TRACE registered and legitimate transporters that I know of and according to my estimate collectively bring in some 150 dogs per week if we say they bring 20-30 dogs each and some do not do every week and others take 4-8 weeks break every year so and we end up with around 6000 dogs per year.
Given that millions of people here have un-neutered dogs and many decide just to have "that one litter" which often are punted without home checks and yet other irresponsible owners and others actively breed mongrels for a profit, the few that a lucky and are saved from abroad are a drop in the ocean, quite frankly. You only have to walk into a number of Northern pounds and all the dogs are un-neutered and I hear that neutering is not even a policy in some of them to see what I am saying.
So do Rommies end up at Dogs Trust or Battersea Dogs & Cats Home? Well I took a look at Battersea the other day and as per usual it's Staffies galore, Rotties and smaller bull breeds and GSDs that dominate with staffies being the majority. There are no staffies coming in from Romania that I have ever seen. I also very often see that if the Rommies Rescue community spot a Romanian dog on Gum-Tree or other unsavoury publications they rally around to retrieve that dog. People who rescue, do so for love of dogs and we understand the dogs safety is paramount and also that our reputation is valuable. So as far as I can tell, the dog is recovered, fostered and rehomed.
It also brings up a whole different question because rather many people in the UK breed dogs for profit and almost exclusively so. Give me anyone of those who want "just one litter" and lets say they want just the one...Mom has 6 puppies, mongrels or staffies or whatever...and 8 weeks later, if the puppy is ready, it's sold for £250 upwards. leaves, normally without home check and the puppy may go on to breed more "just one litters" and family pockets a profit.
Many go on to breed the poor dog again and again because twice a year they can supplement their income by a couple of grand - for a nice holiday etc... It's even worse if you have a mongrel you can call something - like a LabraDoodle - ha ha ha, what a joke.. it's a mongrel but it sells for £500+ due to snobbery or ignorance. There is money in breeding or no one would do it.
All adult dogs from Romania arriving in the UK are neutered. All puppies arriving on legal transport will have an adoption contract. Most, if not all have a Clause stipulating the dog must be neutered. If you ask around in the rescue community you may even be able to get a "free Spay" voucher or a discount one. There is no excuse and anything else is frowned upon and for a good reason. We rescue to save a life, not to breed more dogs, more problems and more misery.
The UK is overwhelmed with staffy puppies. I have saved a few myself, neglected, unwanted and some way too young. The local vet has begun to ring me when people dump dogs and puppies there. I don't advertise those dogs because the nasties who dumped them may change their minds but they are all rehomed all the same, with a contract and must be spayed.
If you go around and think that people would take a UK dog if they couldn't get a rommy, you are probably mistaken. I wouldn't have 18 staffies or rotties in my house as it would go seriously wrong..but a mix of dogs, breeds and sizes work well. People rescue for a reason and often very passionate reasons too. To help a life, to take a stance against cruelty, to show their principles in a world where dogs are treated worse than you can imagine. People are willing to give up years of their lives, their income and whatever else to show they care.
Romania and so many other places are overflowing with sick and injured dogs an puppies, victims of corruption and ignorance and I am happy to help the precious few I can, just as I help the unfortunate ones locally when I am asked and when I can. I think that is typical for rescuers. We are not racist against dogs and I personally not against people either.
I am biased against those who exercise their right to pocket money by breeding dogs. A dog is a dog, call it pedigree or a mongrel, its a dog. If you want to pay more because some Organisation needs to issue "pedigree" papers to sustain its reason to exist, fine. But to me a dog is a dog. Once its born, it has as much right to have a good life as the next dog. Born here or there or anywhere.
As I am writing here, I may as well voice my opinion on another couple of things that bug me. I was told by someone from Dogs Trust by the Morrison Supermarket recently I shouldn't rescue from abroad. I asked the woman if she was racist only against dogs or also people...? a bit under the belt by me and I got no response. Dogs Trust, like the RSPCA are businesses. They may be non-for profit, but the people who work there are dependent on these organisations for employment. Their Chairman or Director is not a volunteer, they are well paid executives with nice cars etc and I know for a fact they could do more. They could easily take in more dogs, but they don't.
The small people like myself, who rescue, forego haircuts and new pants to save a dog, these organisations don't sacrifice to the same degree and they are funded by donations. If you ask Dogs Trust to take a staffy, they are likely to say no... RSPCA the same and if they do, they are likely to put it down if it doesn't display model behaviour...Where is the compassion? I'ts down the list nowadays.
Many, Many people who rescue from abroad take an abused animal and spend years rehabilitating it, trying to erase the abuse from its memory, understanding that it has been through more than any human could cope with, without going insane. We do it off our own back, only with each other for support. I think it is very charitable and worthy.
Anyone who has an opinion on animal abuse could do something to help and make a difference, either by refusing to buy a puppy, go to the pound and rescue and rehabilitate that dog with issues or simply tell owners of unneutered dogs to sort themselves out instead of just complaining as so many do about dogs, immigrants, foreign aid etc etc.
It's easy to take a stance when you are not involved in rescue, charity or politics and it is always easy to say "sweep at your own doorstep first! The problem is, you never finish sweeping in front of your own doorstep, so you never get any further. Meanwhile the world continues on with or without you with all its appalling abuse of dogs, cats, humans, children... or farm animals, monkeys, research animals......the list is endless and they all need help.
Marianne Nohr Jorgensen
If you want to contact her about the article, she lives in London and you will find her page on facebook - for those of you on there.
I think Fermin was also making the point that he had nobody to do a home inspection in the UK. He did mention that if someone could find a reputable person to do a home inspection, he would be open to the idea.
Posted by: Danielle Hart | 21 August 2014 at 03:10 PM
Some years ago I visited the local animal pound in Cologne, Germany. It is not a real pound as they never put any animal to sleep because of lack of space. But it is a small facility with kennels and dogs and cats in them.
Anyway, nearly ALL of the dogs were either Staffordshire Terrier or its mixes, Rottweilers (most of them huge males) and similar.
Honestly, I would have adopted none of those dogs... I pitied them but I wouldn't have dared to take home any of them.
I do not know if the situation has changed since. I do think that most of the not-so-dangerous and well socialized dogs are adopted quickly here.
That is why Germany keeps importing rescued Spanish and Eastern European dogs.
Posted by: Tunde | 21 August 2014 at 07:46 PM
In a previous life in the 1960's when I worked at the BBC, my colleague had a Staffie called Homer. He lived happily with 3 young daughters, plus Mom and Dad. At the time, the BBC were making a series of 'oliver' and Bill sykes needed a staffie to add to his tough image. So Homer went onto the set. The only way they could get a decent TV shot of him 'aggeressive' was to shove a plastic leg into his mouth and 'shoot' the clip. Poor Homer, he was dumdfounded - why did he have this vile plastic thing in his mouth! He was the gentlest of dogs. It's the bloody breeders and owners who get Staffies a bad name.
Posted by: Beryl | 21 August 2014 at 08:33 PM
I do agree with fermin on what he says still re the greyhound situation over here it is a well known fact that there are hundreds and hundreds of greys lurhers waiting for their forevers over here I would hate to think how many in Ireland and a lot suffer more or less same fate of course not on the scale that the galgo and podenco suffer but if the lady is so adoment that she wants to home a galgo from Scooby and one if I remember correctly difficult to home and one of his concerns is a home check I am not promising anything here but I could ask a contact if she could pos do it but she would have to travel to London of course and providing lady still wants galgo will get bk when I can
Posted by: jenny | 22 August 2014 at 07:37 AM
you know I actually forgot about gin in surry couldn't the lady ask them to do home check for her they are on the door step
Posted by: jenny | 22 August 2014 at 07:51 AM
If they have no chance of adoption in their own country then you would have to have a heart of stone to deny the dogs the chance of a loving home in the UK. Although it is also heartbreaking to see the staffies in the pound here. My friend has two rescue staffies and they are lovely. People should not assume the worst of staffies, they have an undeserved reputation, not helped by the media and I would definitely not rule out adopting a staffie. Beryl is right, in most cases it is the idiot owner and not the dog. Fermin doesn't want to add to the greyhound welfare issue we have here, he has a very valid point. He also doesn't have a home check process set up yet, therefore he is being responsible. There are black overlooked greyhounds in rescue in the UK, desperate for a home. My grey was in rescue for four years with no interest and he is a lovely lad. At the end of the day I think it is up to the individual to decide on the type of dog that is right for them and their situation and that dog may be from the UK or may be from Spain/Bulgaria/Romania - a rescue dog is a rescue dog, each one given a second chance. As long as they are rehomed responsibly to the right homes, that is the main thing. I am just so thankful that there are great rescues in the UK and abroad who are saving the dogs. These good rescues deserve our respect and support.
Posted by: Kathryn | 22 August 2014 at 06:01 PM
Just another thought, I think it is somewhat strange to accuse people of being "racist" against dogs. As far as I am aware this type of prejudice is only relevant to human beings! I'm also not sure about the comment re northern pounds. Not many people adopt directly from pounds. It's the rescues who take these dogs in from pounds and then neuter and assess the dogs. Unfortunately most dogs from the pounds not taken by a rescue are put to sleep. Most of the good rescues here will home check and provide back up for life ie if things go wrong then the dog comes back to them. There are lots of different breeds available at the Dogs Trust. There are also lots of smaller rescues in the UK desperate for homes for their dogs. For example there is a beautiful patterdale terrier looking for a home at a rescue local to me, she has been there 10 months. So I can imagine that small UK rescues who are suffering in the economic climate may feel that there should be a limit to dogs being brought in from abroad. It must be heartbreaking for them to turn dogs away because their dogs aren't being adopted. If you look on the Overlooked Oldies website or Many Tears Rescue you will see every breed under the sun needing a home. That is why I adopted a greyhound from the UK, feelings of guilt on my part that so many needed a home here. I have a dog from Spain too though, so I think I would like to carry on adopting from both UK and abroad. I would love a podenco and they have no chance of being adopted in Spain. It's an individual choice really and people feel very passionate about it for different reasons but I don't think people should just dismiss UK shelters as being full of the 'wrong' type of dog because this just isn't the case.
Posted by: Kathryn | 22 August 2014 at 08:17 PM
Same with Pitbulls! They are no more agressive than other dogs, but because of their immense strength and the way they are "raised" to be agressive, they are feared everywhere. There is no such thing as an aggressive breed of dogs. There are just idiot men whose genitals are inadequate and they need to add a "macho" dog to toughen their image. The bigger and the meaner the dog, the lower the man's self-esteem...
Posted by: Danielle Hart | 22 August 2014 at 10:34 PM