Hellrazer Moderator

Hope the mods dont mind me cross posting this here from Animals and pets.
Im trying to get some views (not animally related) to something that happened on Friday.And possibly warn anyone going through the adoption process that your choice of dog could put the process in jeopardy.

Thought Id share an experience I had a couple of days ago.
We`re currently in the process of adopting a child who we`ve been fostering for the last 5 years and on Friday a social worker called to the house for a chat--they call every 3-6 months or so to follow up on how the kids doing.

Anyway when she arrived at the door our dog Holly (Golden Labrador) barked as she always does anytime theres a knock on the door.
Well this social worker had a freaker...she runs out to the car and brings back in the restricted breeds list and starts ranting on that if our dog was one of the listed breeds then it would jepordize the adoption process.

It took a lot of explaining that it was a Labrador and even if it was on the dangerous breeds list I would never leave kids unsupervised with any dog.

Anyone ever hear of anything like this.Im sickened by her attitude and honestly even though its only a Lab we have we have been looking at possibly getting a Rottie in the next year or so.

How can these people get away with telling responsible owners what breed of dog they can or cannot own.

Ive cross posted this in the adoption forum just to get their views on it aswell.

andreac Registered User

I read your topic in the pet section and replied but Will you edit your topic here to RESTRICTED BREEDS, as there is no DANGEROUS DOGS list in Ireland.

Ostrom Registered User

Hellrazer said:
Hope the mods dont mind me cross posting this here from Animals and pets.
Im trying to get some views (not animally related) to something that happened on Friday.And possibly warn anyone going through the adoption process that your choice of dog could put the process in jeopardy.

This was in Ireland?

Hellrazer Moderator

efla said:
This was in Ireland?


MaryMagdalene Registered User

I would put this more down to an ignorant social worker who doesn't like dogs!!

My brother currently fosters two kids (arrived when they were 2 & 4) and he has a (mad but gentle) dalmation and a springer and a westie. Never any negative talk about the dogs etc.

I have two under 3yrs and two dogs (mongerals) and two cats - doesn't make me an irresponsible mother.

And as a natural mother myself whose 1st baby was adopted all you want is for your baby to be loved and cherished.

Good luck in the adoption process and of course dealing with that silly SW

martinf Registered User


I'm assuming from your post that you have had different social workers in the past (or you've recently got a dog I suppose) so you'll have had a history built up over the 5 years you were fostering rather than the view of one SW based on one incident. You mention adoption in your post so I'm also assuming you're going down this road rather than being worried it might affect you regarding fostering. I think that you are dealing with perceptions here and in a way rather than being sickened by her attitude I thinks she's petrified of dogs which is not uncommon. I would expect that all factors would be taking into consideration when judging peoples suitability to adopt and given that there's been reports over the last few years of dogs attacking children I'd be surprised if the breed of your dog didn't play some part. This may well only be in the mind of the SW but the perception of a "dangerous breed" can be very strong. It could become academic if you were through the adoption process as you can then get any dog you like without any interference.

I couldn't see a golden labrador causing a problem, especially as I believe they're quite good with children (or is that a myth?). A rottweiler might be more problematic during the assessment process but if you successfully adopt then you will need to judge whether you can safely have the dog in a house with a child.

Finally I don't believe that the SW is necessarily telling responsible dog owners what type of dog they can own but she does have a role in deciding whether a household is safe for a child whether fostered or adopted. While I have issues with the approach that some SWs can take I rather they did that then potentailly place a child in danger if they genuinely felt that was the case.

At this stage you do have 5 years of positive fostering history behind you and assuming that the previous social workers didn't have a problem with the dog I'd hope you'll be OK.

Best of luck


Hellrazer Moderator

Thanks for that Martin.I can understand completely that in the SW eyes its all about child safety but the point Im trying to make is that this SW has been in out home on at least 10 different occasions before Friday and now she has this bee in her bonnet about so called dangerous dogs.

For what its worth we`re adopting(well the process has started but in this particular situation its going to be a long drawn out procedure) the child that we`ve been fostering for the last 5 years so Im well aquainted with the whole Social work/health care system having been "in the system" so to speak for 7 years or thereabouts and its this sudden change in attitude about the dog that has me annoyed.

My wife reckons that this SW got an email or memo about the restricted ldogs list and decided to go on a power trip about it despite us having a very good relationship with her for the last few years.

What also annoyed me more is that--What if we already had one of the breeds listed which btw there was no mention of whatsoever when we started fostering never mind adoption.
Would we be asked to remove the dog,would the whole process be put on hold and in the worst case would our child be moved to another home??

Its annoying the hell out of me.

martinf Registered User

That definitely does seem like a swift change of opinion right enough. Since she's been there so often it's a wonder the dog has only bothered her now. It wasn't a full moon was it? Given that it's not on the list then it shouldn't cause any issue I would have thought but again it depends I suppose on how influenced and influencial she is in making the final decision. I think that the scenarios you mentioned below if the dog was on the list could all happen and you could be forced to decide between the dog and adoption but it seems like a bit of an empty gesture because once the adoption was finalised then you'd be free to have any dog you chose.

Ultimately I supposeit comes down to whether you think that it would be safe to have a child and say a Rottweiler in the same room unsupervised for even a short time. While you've said that this would never happen it's something to think about. I have a two year old son and I know that it's impossible to watch him every second. It would certainly be easier to restrict the dogs movements eg tie up or have a segregated space but would that reduce your enjoyment in having the dog.

Best wishes


kathy finn Registered User

i just think thats comical, its alright to leave children with drug users, abusers, aloholics once their there natural parents, but not a lab dog i sometimes wonder where they get these social workers, ...kathy

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Gabsdot Registered User

When we did our adoption assessment our SW got a bit funny about our dog and we were told that the dog would be mentioned in the homestudy report and we might have to rehouse the dog. She was just being difficult. Another adoptive family I know were told the same thing.
SW's can just be awkward sometimes


I know that fostering is different to adoption, but when I fostered in the UK I had to have my dogs assessed by a vet or behaviourist and produce a letter to this effect. I would suggest that anybody that is having any difficulties with SWs and these kind of circumstances get their dog assessed themselves and give the SW the letter. I think that this not only shows that the dog has been assessed as being of sound temperament, but also that prospective adopters are thinking of the child's safety and well being, and doing risk assessment work. Health and safety and risk assessment are the buzz words of the moment aren't they?

As frustrating as these things can be, I've always found that working with the system is better than going against it, whether you agree with it or not!

HandyManny Registered User

"Natural Mother" ... assuming you mean biological - if you adopt are you "Un-Natural"...?

The_Conductor Moderator

HandyManny said:
"Natural Mother" ... assuming you mean biological - if you adopt are you "Un-Natural"...?

Its just a term. Adopted people tend to refer to their genetic mother as their birth mother or bmum, and their adoptive mother as their amum (its an Americanism that has slipped in over here). Many women who had to give up children for adoption have a preference to be called natural mothers- rather than birth mothers. Its just a preference. Don't read anything into it thats not there.

MaryMagdalene Registered User

HandyManny I am not going to enter in to a 'them and us' discussion. Adoption is a triangle - each member can call themselves what they are comfortable with as I do. I respect my daughters 'Mother' and call her such.

Judging from your name you we are not so unalike both watching the same children's TV shows

HandyManny Registered User

Alike? You dont know what part/parts of the "adoption triangle" I come from - I just remarked on your own choice of words - as a natural mother myself whose first baby was adopted - I find your choice of words interesting. As someone who has experienced most sides of adoption first hand, when you are adopted into a family of adopted and biological children, the last thing you want to hear or feel is that your mother is a natural mother to one and an adoptive mother to another. Biologically that may be true, but real life .... well thats different and people have feelings that far outweigh what may be biologically correct.

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