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Now ye're talking - to someone who runs a dog rescue charity

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 727 ✭✭✭InTheShadows


    Iv'e no real questions in particular but i do want to say the work people like yourself do is amazing and i thank you for that.

    We adopted a dog from a rescue like yourself (could be even you) not six months ago and the joy the little fella has brought into our house has been genuinely heartwarming. Also sometimes i think people underestimate the good a dog can bring to you as a person not only mentally but physically. He has literally forced me and others in our house off the couch and made going for long walks fun again. It's been that good we are looking at adopting a second dog at present.


  • Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭crazyguy01


    No question, just saying well done for giving your time and dedication to this.
    Other than my wife and kids the love of my life is our 12.5 yr old dog, she was a rescue at 7 and luckily people like you exist to look after animals until they are homed. Our dog had a tough time in her home before being rescued and still is the happiest most loving old lady now....


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    Choc Chip wrote: »
    Thanks for doing this!

    I've got a few questions (I foster for a rescue but I imagine running a rescue is a whole other ball game):

    What do you think dog rescue charities in general (not you personally) should be doing better?

    I feel like dog charities are very disparate and have completely different policies and procedures. I'd love for them to work together but I don't know if that's feasible with so many different personalities involved. Do you think they could ever work together nationally?

    Do you think breed-specific or purpose-specific rescues work well?

    What do you think the government should be doing?

    If someone gave you €16.8 million from a ring-fenced source in the morning, what would you do with it to improve Irish dog welfare?

    Oops! I quoted your question about rescues working together above, but I forgot to answer the rest of your questions :o

    What do I think dog charities could be doing better?
    Working together, and leaving politics at the door. We all say we want the same thing... to make dogs' lives better, but I dunno, sometimes it feels like it's more about individual people seeking kudos, although I'll add the caveat that the genuinely busy, good rescues are less guilty of this!
    I'd also like to see some sort of rescue oversight... some transparent way of ensuring that rescues are adhering to certain standards of welfare and customer care. As it stands, in my opinion there are too many rescue groups doing the same thing but pulling in different directions, and it's too easy for any mentaller to start their own rescue.

    Do I think breed-specific/purpose-specific rescues work well?
    Generally, yes. The idea behind groups that specialise in one breed is really good, because they know the breed like the back of their hands. It is astonishing how many purebred dogs end up in rescue due to their owners not having done their research (the Siberian Husky I mentioned above is a prime example), and breed-specific rescues tend to be very good at making sure to get it right for the dog the second time around, because of their familiarity with the breed's needs.

    What do I think the government should be doing?
    This might be a bit loaded... but I'd like if dogs were harder to own, from the point of view that I feel owners should have to demonstrate some level of competence before they can own a dog. It's done in other countries and works really well... no stray dogs, no poop on the footpath, no unwanted litters, and very little surrendering of dogs.
    I'd also like to see the abolition of breed specific legislation in favour of placing the onus of responsibility on the owner, regardless of what breed or creed of dog they own, and of course, enforcement of the legislation. I'd hope this would put irresponsible owners off getting a dog in the first place, thus reducing the number of surrendered dogs.
    I'd like to see a ban on online advertising of pet animals for sale: easy online advertising has hugely promoted irresponsible breeding, overbreeding, poor welfare, poor health, behavioural issues, irresponsible ownership, and ultimately, dogs being dumped or surrendered.
    Also loaded perhaps, I'd like to see some measures put in place to standardise and promote certain standards amongst animal rescue groups.

    What would I do with €16.8m?
    I'd donate it all to the good greyhound and lurcher rescues in the country :D
    Seriously, I would create lobby groups for the above.
    I'd have to think about how, but a major national education and welfare program for collies, and lurchers. Collies must be the most welfare-impoverished of all breeds in the country, much of it due to ignorance I feel. Same for lurchers.
    I might have a bit more of a think about this one :o


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    em_cat wrote: »
    How do you fall on ‘rescuing’ ex breeding and always having puppies?

    I am conflicted about rescues that always seem to have them and wonder do they pay the puppy farmers, there by putting money in their pockets... I support a variety of different rescues, but often find it quite difficult when I find out they spend monies in this way.

    I get ya! Everyone has their reasons and rationales behind how they acquire dogs, but personally, I have a fundamental objection to handing money over to someone to take a "problem" off their hands... I'm doing them the favour, and as you say, I refuse to put money in the pocket of someone who has contributed to the problem I'm trying to clean up. Plus, by definition, the charity I run is going to have to spend money on getting the dog ready for rehoming, money that the breeder was not prepared to spend.
    But, I do understand why some rescues do this, it's a difficult knife-edge really. But not for me. I have occasionally negotiated my way into getting my mitts on an ex-breeding dog that the owner had wanted money for!


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    VonVix wrote: »
    Slightly controversial question possibly, especially as I had worked alongside a rescue for many years! Do you think rescues don't do enough to help promote how to find a good breeder and what to look for (health tested parents, puppies raised inside the home, etc), if an individual is unwilling to rescue or are looking for a specific breed? With puppy farms being so prevalent in this country, do you think better education for the public on breeder vs. rescue would make a difference rather than the general shunning of anyone who wants to go to a breeder?

    Thanks so much for doing this AMA!

    Thank you VonVix!
    A difficult one for me to answer as I'm not sure how other rescues operate in this regard. Personally, I have no issue with directing people to good, reputable breeders, if that's the road they want to take.
    I will, of course, try to dispel any doubts they have about rescuing a dog, it works sometimes! But there is a tendency for rescue people to get a bit shrieky at prospective owners for wanting to buy a dog rather than rescue one, and that irks me, particularly if the prospective owner is making an informed choice.
    That said, the reality is that it can be bloody hard to find really good breeders, even of the more common breeds. I'd like to see the IKC and breed societies to step up to the plate here, and as attendees at the aforementioned Stray Dogs and Cats Forum, the IKC have been prevailed upon to do so... a meaningful, transparent and trustworthy accredited breeders scheme (as per the UK) would be a good start. At least then, owners would have some way of assessing breeders of their potential pups, because as it stands it's a bit of a minefield.
    Similarly, as already mentioned, an accreditation scheme for rescues, for the same reasons. Some rescues are better than others!


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  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    Drumpot wrote: »
    My mum looked after my dog while I was away and she’s now thinking of getting a rescue. I knew she’d love Monty.

    She is looking for an older dog (not that old but maybe less energy) and probably with a relaxed demeanor. I’m not sure she can excercise the dog much but they would have lots of company and would prob be spoilt rotten. Can people in these rescue places help fit the dog with the owner?

    Rescues are crying out for people like your mum, Drumpot! Middle-aged dogs are the most difficult to rehome. Younger dogs are easy because they're great fun and have their whole lives ahead of them, elderly dogs will always pull at heartstrings... it's the ones in the middle that get passed over all the time. So when someone makes contact actually wanting one of this age group, I jump at the chance! I can only assume other rescues feel the same!
    If you want to PM me at some stage, I may be able to point you in a few right directions :)


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    boombang wrote: »
    Thanks for doing an AMA.

    1. To your knowledge why is it that Ireland hasn't been able to control the puppy farm thing? I would have thought it would have been easy to stamp out with a bit it enforcement of animal welfare regs.

    This is a HUGE bugbear of mine.
    Instead of outlawing puppy-farming when presented with the opportunity, our legislators, in their wisdom, actually legalised it. So now the mass-production of dogs is legal, as long as certain criteria are fulfilled, very few of which relate to animal welfare. The original legislation (the Dog Breeding Establishments Act, 2010) falls far short of pinning puppy producers down on welfare, socialisation, handling of pups etc, but this is hopefully in the process of being somewhat remedied with pressure from Veterinary Ireland, various dog rescue charities (yours truly included), behaviour and training associations.
    Here's the rub: the above legislation which puts some manners on puppy farmers in terms of welfare, licensing, accounts etc, only applies to people who keep 6 or more bitches of breeding potential. 6 breeding bitches is quite a big outfit, and the vast majority of small-scale puppy farmers (known in the trade as "back-yard breeders, or BYBs) would keep less than 6 anyway, regardless of legislation.
    In my experience, there are more poorly bred pups coming from back-yard breeders in Ireland, than there are poorly bred pups coming from licensed puppy farms, yet these back-yard breeders are not subject to any breeding-related legislation at all! Whilst the breeding legislation is not great, I'd have to concede that it's better than nothing, yet most mass-produced pups don't have the protection even of it.
    2. What steps would you like to see taken in order to eliminate this problem?

    We should have done what everyone else has done... ban the bloody things. It is a fact, supported by loads and loads of research, that mass-producing pups is anathema to producing well rounded, sociable, good family pet dogs. In addition, as per an above post, place the onus on responsible dog ownership, and a way of allowing potential owners to source really, genuinely good, well bred pet dogs.


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    Your Face wrote: »
    You do great work.
    I got my dog from a shelter and he is the best.

    How do the dogs come into your care and where, in your experience, do they come from?

    Thank you :)
    Though I won't take too much of the thanks... our volunteers and supporters are the unsung heroes of rescue in Ireland :)
    Most of the dogs I take in are directly surrendered from their owners. The most common reasons include that a child has joined the family and the dog is not dealing well with it; the owner's circumstances have changed drastically eg emigration, becoming homeless; the owner has been take into care or has died.
    A smaller number of dogs come from the pounds around the country, and a few come from other rescue groups.


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    Fantastic! We are at the very early stages of thinking about getting a dog. A rescue dog is our first choice. Our kids are 10 and 8 and are great with dogs, but I'd be worried they'd be a bit full on and stress out an already stressed dog.

    I keep asking people who have received rescue dogs, but they keep telling us horror stories.

    Not sure if those goes a bit beyond what's allowed in the AMAs but any advice you could give would be great. Are we rescue dog unsuitable?

    For every horror story you hear, myself (and the good folks in the Animals and Pets Forum!) will give you 10 joyful stories!
    There are lots of really good rescues, and there are a few really rubbish ones. The good ones feel the need to be sure that they're going to put the right dog into the right home... if we don't get this right, the dog comes back, and that, quite frankly, is a pain, and not good for the dog.
    This means things like application forms and home visits, and maybe having to wait a bit for the right dog. The people who go through the process, and who keep in touch with the rescue pre-adoption, have a great chance of getting a fantastic family pet.
    I feel the need to emphasise that although rescue dogs can have issues, many of them are just big eejity eejits, and the transition from old home to new almost goes right over their goofy heads :D Families with young kids need goofy dogs, because such dogs tend to be resilient, patient, forgiving, tolerant, fun, funny. They might not have had enough training, so their goofyism is in overdrive, but that is easy to fix:)
    I think your kids are a great age to get a dog, and going through a good rescue is a great example to them too! A good family dog is the greatest thing for dog-loving kids. You're welcome to PM me at any stage, I would hope to be able to point you in the right direction :)


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    crazyguy01 wrote: »
    No question, just saying well done for giving your time and dedication to this.
    Other than my wife and kids the love of my life is our 12.5 yr old dog, she was a rescue at 7 and luckily people like you exist to look after animals until they are homed. Our dog had a tough time in her home before being rescued and still is the happiest most loving old lady now....

    Ahhhh... another adopter of a middle-aged dog :o Love it!
    Thank you for your kind words, but there are a lot of pieces to the dog-rehoming jigsaw: fosterers, transporters, home visitors, vets who give discounts, and adopters! A big bualadh bos to them all from me :)
    The cornerstone of a good rescue is to make a promise to each dog that once he comes into our care, it's all uphill from here.... we'll make sure his next home is an upgrade on what came before. For some like your girl, this must be the promise of a major upgrade. Giving a dog like her a chance at a happy life is quite simply one of the nicest things a person can do :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭crazyguy01


    Ahhhh... another adopter of a middle-aged dog Love it! Thank you for your kind words, but there are a lot of pieces to the dog-rehoming jigsaw: fosterers, transporters, home visitors, vets who give discounts, and adopters! A big bualadh bos to them all from me The cornerstone of a good rescue is to make a promise to each dog that once he comes into our care, it's all uphill from here.... we'll make sure his next home is an upgrade on what came before. For some like your girl, this must be the promise of a major upgrade. Giving a dog like her a chance at a happy life is quite simply one of the nicest things a person can do


    She's the best, instinctively became a best friend to all of us from day 1. One child sick about 5 days after she became part of the family and she stayed in the bedroom for almost all of the 2 days.
    Yes we had home visits, etc and met a number of volunteers, all great people. Definitely done for love of animals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,300 ✭✭✭✭razorblunt


    No real question from me but thanks for doing what you do!

    On the point of older dogs we rescued a terrier at 7/8, she's now 10/11 and she's the sweetest dog I've ever come across.
    Middle aged / older dogs aren't for everyone but I think it might be worthwhile having dedicated campaigns for folk looking for an older companion.

    We'll be going for a younger dog (due to a young family) but the time will come round again.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,442 ✭✭✭Choc Chip


    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all these!

    Since you mentioned collies and lurchers... where do they all come from, and why on earth are there so many of them?

    We complain about puppy farms (and I agree we should ban them) but the small fluffies seem to rarely end up in pounds and when they do they are easily rehomed. Off the top of my head, I've had maybe 2 collies, 2 colliexlurchers and 5 lurcher fosters in my house over the past few years. Maybe one terrier. The pounds seem rife with collies and lurchers.

    I don't mean this to be a loaded question, but who on earth is breeding them? They're hardly being churned out of puppy farms. Is it all mistakes/people simply not neutering their dogs?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,722 ✭✭✭pawrick


    Whats your opinion on licencing and micro chipping in relation to making the work of an animal rescue easier or conditions better for dogs (or pets in general).
    To me it seems to be a bit of a muddle of different groups/agencies managing databases and i think licences should be combined with chips in a better way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,509 ✭✭✭Purgative


    Hi, No questions, just wanted to say thanks for all that you do.


    Our own rescue is a cheeky little chap. Every night he does the same joke. He always leaves a bit of his kibble in his bowl. Then about half 11, I pick it up. He then comes back out looks at the place where the bowl was and all but says where's my dinner gone. So it goes back down, but he won't eat if anyone's watching. It amuses us.


    Thanks again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 ✭✭✭Dubl07


    Thank you for participating in an AMA and thanks to pawrick who clued in the Animals & Pets group.
    I volunteered for a Kildare rescue for a couple of years, walking and grooming basically before they moved to the south. I felt awfully bad for those dogs which were mostly greyhounds and collie-crosses. I don't think farmers neuter their dogs very often.

    Sorry, a lot of questions:

    Do you think the state should mandate and pay for or contribute to neutering of most dogs, both male & female? The Scandinavian model springs to mind.

    'Designer' crossbreeds are currently sneered at by some of those who consider themselves 'real' dog-people, but there is a demand for them and it's nothing new. After all, golden retrievers were bred originally from various crosses and back-breeding. Instead of slamming back-yard breeders, do you think it better to licence such breeders provided they had health checked both parents from nose to tail? It would make puppy-farmers' costs go through the roof.

    It's now possible to find a dog's genetic material in its poop. Should all dogs be genotyped so that dog waste can be traced back to the owner?

    What info should a dog carry on its collar? eg, should the authorities issue a 5-year licence with a metal tag for checking by wardens and abolish the one-year ones that most people stick in a drawer?

    Thanks again!!


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭Bannasidhe


    No question just want to thank you- and all the other dedicated Rescuers- for the amazing job you do. I am involved but in the peripheries as I think I would end up doing jail if directly involved.
    We do have 4 rescues - from 3 different Rescue Groups - and like to pay it back anyway we can.

    And to anyone worried about getting a rescue - ours go from a 'free to good home' who was later found dumped to a (was a) long-term foster with a potentially fatal medical condition (all fixed now) to a dumped in a woods while deathly ill from being overbred to a starving stray.
    They each have their own personalities. They are not 'broken' in any way. They are four happy, healthy, dogs who cause us waaay less pains the the hole than our one not rescue dog.
    Like any dog if you are clear about what is expected they respond. If you pay attention they will tell you what they like and what makes them uncomfortable. Firmness and kindness. Routine and Fun. Affection and Feeding. Just like non-rescues.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,748 ✭✭✭ganmo


    When giving a dog to someone do you educate them about their responsibility of keeping it under control? Especially in the countryside.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,225 ✭✭✭ratracer


    I don't have any questions, but just to say thanks for the work you do.
    My first dog was a pound rescue at 10wks old, and she lived happily with us for 15 1/2 years before she passed. We've recently adopted a new puppy, a spaniel/setter cross. He's about 9 mths now, my vet recommends waiting until he's a year old before neutering. He is an amazing bundle of energy, and it's unreal to think of the hole that was left in our house in the months between having a dog around.

    I think we will probably go down the line of fostering other dogs once he's neutered, as he seems to thrive in the company of other dogs.

    Keep up the excellent work you are doing, thank you.


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    Choc Chip wrote: »
    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all these!

    Since you mentioned collies and lurchers... where do they all come from, and why on earth are there so many of them?

    We complain about puppy farms (and I agree we should ban them) but the small fluffies seem to rarely end up in pounds and when they do they are easily rehomed. Off the top of my head, I've had maybe 2 collies, 2 colliexlurchers and 5 lurcher fosters in my house over the past few years. Maybe one terrier. The pounds seem rife with collies and lurchers.

    I don't mean this to be a loaded question, but who on earth is breeding them? They're hardly being churned out of puppy farms. Is it all mistakes/people simply not neutering their dogs?

    Phew! I'm back... long day :o
    Hi Choc Chip... Where do all the collies and lurchers come from?
    I *think* we're looking at two different main avenues, one for each breed, broadly speaking.
    With Collies, without a doubt, it's mainly indiscriminate, uncontrolled breeding... unneutered rural dogs let road to pollinate other unneutered rural dogs. So, most, in my opinion, are the result of unplanned litters. Rescues are generally stuffed with collies, and collie crosses.
    With lurchers, I feel the overpopulation is more deliberate. They are largely being purposely bred to work, whether that's for lamping or coursing (the latter being illegal outside of the coursing field), foxes/rabbits/hares. To get a few good dogs, you've gotta produce a lot of dogs, that's just the way it is with biology! So, there's a lot of breeding, but a concurrent trend of disposibility with dogs that don't make the grade.
    So, you're right, they certainly aren't being produced by the cute 'n' fluffy producers on puppy farms and back yard breeders.


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  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    pawrick wrote: »
    Whats your opinion on licencing and micro chipping in relation to making the work of an animal rescue easier or conditions better for dogs (or pets in general).
    To me it seems to be a bit of a muddle of different groups/agencies managing databases and i think licences should be combined with chips in a better way.

    Yes, the whole microchipping and licensing thing in Ireland is a bit of a mess. As far as I can see, it's largely down to chronic under-policing and under-enforcement of the legislation that's in place. It has *sort-of* cleared up the mess of there being several different databases operating here, but caused other problems in some ways.
    Other countries and jurisdictions certainly do it better. Our neighbours in the north, for example, use the metal collar tag as the license, instead of a piece of paper. Very easy for the warden to tie a dog with its owner. In addition, neutered dogs are far, far cheaper to license.
    Down here, the new-ish microchipping laws had great potential on paper, but in practise, I find the whole system quite cumbersome, somewhat confusing for owners, and utterly underenforced.
    It is illegal to possess, sell, or exchange any dog without a microchip, yet it is rampant. For goodness sake, there are ads galore on the likes of adverts.ie and Donedeal advertising dogs (free and for sale) that are not microchipped... perhaps these advertising websites should put a stop to people using their sites to engage in illegal transactions and exchanges, huh? ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 414 ✭✭SaltSweatSugar


    Thanks for doing this AMA, I really, really admire the work you guys do. Thank you for looking after our furry friends!

    I want to donate to a local animal rescue but I've often wondered if they would prefer money or items such as food, blankets, beds etc for the animals. I want to donate whatever the rescue would get more use out of. I know money obviously goes a long way towards costs, vet bills etc. What would you recommend?


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    Dubl07 wrote: »
    Do you think the state should mandate and pay for or contribute to neutering of most dogs, both male & female? The Scandinavian model springs to mind.

    I might be getting mixed up in my old age, but I think the Scandinavians are kinda horrified by our across-the-board neutering. They don't really do it, I think vets consider it needlessly invasive. Perhaps I have this wrong, feel free to correct me if so!
    So why have they not got a gazillion unwanted pups flooding their streets? They have sensible, strongly enforced dog control laws, and the people are..well... more compliant that us Irish:o
    You never see stray dogs there, but you do see lots of inclusion of dogs in society, with their owners in cafes, bars, hotels, and other places they're rarely permitted here. There's a lot of social pressure on owners to make sure their dog is mannerly and sociable as a result, so in Scandinavia, and indeed in a few other European countries I've been in, all you see is content, well-behaved dogs who get to go everywhere with their owners, bothering nobody and having a great quality of life.
    But, as I have already hinted, there tends to be compliance issues with a lot of Irish people when it comes to laws, when it comes to dogs at least. Which maybe means that we have to go the nuclear option and make canine reproduction biologically impossible, because we don't seem to be very good at enforcing our current laws.
    But here's the thing. This is anecdotal, my own experience, but I've come to the conclusion that the type of owner who neuters their dog is not the type of owner who lets their dogs randomly pollinate other dogs anyway, so as it stands, the dogs that actually need to be neutered to control overpopulation, are precisely those that won't be neutered. So, maybe we do need to compel people to neuter. But I won't hold my breath.:o
    'Designer' crossbreeds are currently sneered at by some of those who consider themselves 'real' dog-people, but there is a demand for them and it's nothing new. After all, golden retrievers were bred originally from various crosses and back-breeding. Instead of slamming back-yard breeders, do you think it better to licence such breeders provided they had health checked both parents from nose to tail? It would make puppy-farmers' costs go through the roof.

    The problem as I'd see it is that producing good family pet dogs goes far beyond health-testing and genetic testing. There needs to be a really good working knowledge of genetics, lineage, breeding lines, care of the pregnant bitch; there needs to be major time investment put into the pups, from birth and really kicking in at 3 weeks, to ensure they are adequately handled, and acclimatised to a pet dog environment (which means providing a homely environment for them), and socialised with kids, men, women, other animals etc. By definition, puppy farms just cannot do all this, whether they're enforced to be license or not. If they can do all this stuff, they're not really puppy farmers! In which case, whether they're priced out of the market, or forced out by having to make too many fundamental changes, then mission accomplished!
    I don't believe that dogs should be bred by anyone other than people who know how to produce excellent pet dogs, in the same way that I can't breed cattle or sheep, because I have not, and can't too easily get the circumstances in place that are legally required for me to breed them!

    It's now possible to find a dog's genetic material in its poop. Should all dogs be genotyped so that dog waste can be traced back to the owner?

    Perhaps. I know it's done in other countries, and maybe this is another nuclear option we should take in Ireland due to the terrible lack of compliance we all too often have. Or perhaps the laws we have in place should be more rigorously enforced first!
    What info should a dog carry on its collar? eg, should the authorities issue a 5-year licence with a metal tag for checking by wardens and abolish the one-year ones that most people stick in a drawer?

    To be honest, if the current microchipping laws were properly enforced, it would do away with having to have external tags at all... it's too easy for them to be lost. I think the license should be tied into the microchip: as it stands , the microchipping certificate is meant to act as a "logbook" for the dog for the rest of its life, allowing for change of ownership, just like with cars. But, and I know it's becoming a bit of a lament, you can introduce all the new legislation in the world, it's useless without enforcement :o


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    ratracer wrote: »
    I don't have any questions, but just to say thanks for the work you do.
    My first dog was a pound rescue at 10wks old, and she lived happily with us for 15 1/2 years before she passed. We've recently adopted a new puppy, a spaniel/setter cross. He's about 9 mths now, my vet recommends waiting until he's a year old before neutering. He is an amazing bundle of energy, and it's unreal to think of the hole that was left in our house in the months between having a dog around.

    I think we will probably go down the line of fostering other dogs once he's neutered, as he seems to thrive in the company of other dogs.

    Keep up the excellent work you are doing, thank you.

    Congratulations on your new pup, what a lovely mix of breeds! Many vets will hold off neutering larger breeds, particularly males, to allow them to finish growing. Earlier neutering can lead to problems with uneven growth, and certainly in some breeds, bone cancer. So, your vet is being sensible :)
    Fostering is immensely rewarding, serious feelgood factor with it. And lots of tears when you've to say goodbye! But, it is a hugely helpful thing to do for a rescue group, as fostering allows for a far more complete assessment of how the dog gets on living in a normal home: kennels don't always reveal what we need to know.
    A couple of caveats: make sure you foster for a good, reliable rescue who will remove a dog quickly if there's a major issue. It happens. And secondly, I have seen resident dogs get a bit fatigued by a constant stream of new dogs coming and going, so do take regular breaks from it. You never know, you may become a failed fosterer, one of the foster dogs never leaving after he has arrived :D


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    Thanks for doing this AMA, I really, really admire the work you guys do. Thank you for looking after our furry friends!

    I want to donate to a local animal rescue but I've often wondered if they would prefer money or items such as food, blankets, beds etc for the animals. I want to donate whatever the rescue would get more use out of. I know money obviously goes a long way towards costs, vet bills etc. What would you recommend?

    To be honest, it really depends on the set-up of the rescue, and I'd be inclined to ask any rescue you'd like to help, to see what suits them best. Generally, rescues that keep dogs in kennels like to get towels, beds and bedding, and food, although these things can also be handy for dogs going into foster care too.
    In my case, we use foster homes pretty much exclusively these days, having used kennels in the past for short-term occupants. Our fosterers tend to be all over the country, and getting not only the dog to them, as well as beds/bedding/food from elsewhere, is a bit of a logistical challenge :o It's often easier for me to order food online to be sent directly to the fosterer, this is particularly important when the dog needs to be on a specialised diet for a while. So, for me, I prefer money, which also goes towards paying the vet bills. I know some charities have soiled their bibs in recent years when it comes to financial donations, which is pretty annoying for those of us who rely entirely on donations, and who put every penny back into the rescue effort whilst volunteering our own times and resources too!


  • Company Representative Posts: 25 Verified rep I run a dog rescue charity, AMA


    ganmo wrote: »
    When giving a dog to someone do you educate them about their responsibility of keeping it under control? Especially in the countryside.

    Every adopter signs an agreement that they will abide by the laws relating to dog ownership, and that they won't allow their adopted dog make a nuisance of itself. Furthermore, we investigate whether there is a possibility that the dog can come into potential contact with livestock prior to adoption. In such cases, we're very careful not to place a potentially risky dog into the home. In any case, we simply don't place dogs into homes where the garden is not escape-proof.
    I would also like to think that we're pretty good at gauging people at this stage, and if you're they type of person who's going to let your dog loose around livestock, you're probably not our kind of owner, and you ain't getting a dog from us :)


  • Boards.ie Employee Posts: 12,597 ✭✭✭✭✭Boards.ie: Niamh
    Boards.ie Community Manager


    Thank you everyone for the questions and our volunteer for lots of very valuable answers. I'll close this one off now, thanks again!


This discussion has been closed.
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