It had been 7 or 8 years since the last time I needed to go looking for a new dog. Looking for a new dog has never been a problem since there is always someone who took on a four-legged creature and suddenly found themselves in a position where they could no longer care for the beast. An estimated 6.5 million dogs are rescued each year and out of those only 2.5 million find homes so it makes sense that there is an abundance of dogs needing hopes. You might think I could get a dog without much effort but you’d be wrong. Not in the state of Florida that’s for sure.
The first thing I couldn’t help but notice was everyone wanted a re-homing “fee” which can range anywhere from $50 to $1,500 depending on the breed and it didn’t matter whether the ads were from the pound run by the state, a private rescue organization, or a private owner. I don’t purchase dogs I’m offering a home and medical treatment to for their entire life no matter what fancy terminology people use to try to cover up the fact that they are selling their dog period.
On Craig’s List the number of dogs I could count that didn’t have some kind of “fee” attached to them I could have counted on my hands with a finger or two left over (covering Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties). One of the ads got my attention regarding a 1.5-year-old Siberian Husky. I just wanted a free dog and any mutt would do but even the mutts were somehow commanding a $350 price tag. The Husky in question had a very unusual coloring that was simply stunning. That said the coloring he had would have excluded him from dog shows and he was fixed so he couldn’t breed which meant he wasn’t worth much. His only value would come from his unusual coloring attracting the right eye.
To make a very long story short my wife and I drove an hour to visit the dog and we also spent an hour with the owners which meant we spent 3 hours on the trip. Unlike the other 15 prospects that had come to visit the dog he did not pee on me and we (the dog and I) carried on for an hour like we were long lost, friends. Interestingly enough the dog also lived right next door to my in-laws and bore the name a dog I had many years ago had. They also knew and liked my in-laws. It all seemed so perfect that it seemed to be fate. The dog’s shot cycle was coming up and we were told they would bring him to us in a week after he had his shots for the cycle. They also stated that they really liked us a lot more than any of the 15 people who had come to see the dog so far. Seemed like a done deal right? Well, it wasn’t.
The next day the dog’s owner emailed me asking for information to switch the dog’s chip over to us. We provided that information and restated that we would provide anything they needed. As a future Husky owned I started watching (rather obsessively) YouTube videos about the dogs. Like humans, each subspecies of dog has different characteristics and behaviors and learn differently so I wanted to make sure I was good to go on day one training my new dog the right way for him.
Three days later and a little burned out from Husky research I wanted to see what the dog looked like again so I went back on Craig’s list hoping the ad was still there. I found the ad alright and almost missed it. The ad had been re-posted the day before.
Ok, so they didn’t want us to have the dog. I couldn’t imagine why the dog clearly loved me during the visit (well at least he didn’t pee on me like he did everyone else) and I most certainly fell in love with him during the visit. But you know that is ok there would be another dog so I sent him an email telling him he could have at least let me know I was out of the running so I could continue my search for a dog. That’s when the truth came out.
Apparently, the dog actually belonged to their son who was vacationing in Mexico. He was expected to return in 2 weeks and his parents were expected to provide him with a bunch of interviews and he would then decide who would be the best match for the dog. According to them, I was numero uno on their list. I sat in front of my computer with my mouth hanging open as I realized what was going on here. Were they out of their minds? They probably told everyone who came to visit that they too were numero uno. As politely as I could muster (I was pretty angry and upset) I took myself off their list.
Very disappointed and a bit demoralized I continued my search for a companion. The more I looked the more depressing my journey got until I just started to accept that I would never own a dog again. I tried Petfinder where I got my last 2 dogs and it was all just rescue agencies, in fact, every other “rescue” place I could find online had ads that were almost solely from agencies. It wasn’t like that 7 years ago. What the heck was going on.
In my frustration and having had enough of emailing people with dogs I decided to write a form letter that I would just send to anyone who had a free dog I might like. Below is the letter I sent out twice.
“Hello. I have been a dog owner all of my life as was my family before me. I am looking for a companion and breed is fairly irrelevant. I am looking for a medium to large size dog (sorry no Pit Bulls). I am looking to get a dog from a responsible pet owner. I have had several rescue dogs over the years (I’m 59) and most of them have come with psychological problems that had to be overcome. Dogs are simple creatures who will bond to anyone after 2 days sometimes much earlier. What is important is whether you’ll be giving your dog inadvertently to a dog seller and how and where the dog might be living. As to the former, I keep dogs until they pass from old age. As to the issue of where your dog will be living, you can only know that by visiting the potential home. I think most people would agree with that as well. So if your dog is fixed and of pleasant temperament, I would be very interested in having you and your dog visit my home in [REDACTED] and I-95. I don’t buy dogs.”
The second time I sent the letter out I got a response from, oddly enough, a Siberian Husky owner (1 yr old male intact). In that person’s ad, they had mentioned a “small re-homing fee” but I sent the response anyway because ….. well, he was a Husky and for the last week, I had been in Husky mode.
The exchange went off without a hitch. The day after the Husky’s owner contacted me she brought the dog to my home to drop him off. According to her, it was my form letter that got her attention as I seemed to her to be the only genuinely honest person she had contact with. She had looked up my house on Google maps and between that and the letter she decided I was the one. I didn’t even have to leave the house. Then she told me something else that I will get to in a moment but first, there is more.
When I began “researching” for my new best friend I ran across a warning from the A.S.P.C.A. (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals) for people giving their dogs away who could no longer care for them. They stated the obvious that some people had dubious intentions and suggested that these dog owners were incapable of making a good decision and that they should bring their animals to the A.S.P.C.A. and not give it a second thought. I did not realize that the A.S.P.C.A. was short on dogs. The A.S.P.C.A. was far more capable of doing due diligence than you are. I guess selling used middle-aged mutts for $350 is a booming market.
I sent the A.S.P.C.A. a scathing reply and accused them of turning pets into commodities. Look if you want to know whether someone is the right fit for a dog you can no longer care for, watch your dogs reaction to the potential owner. You might have lost all your natural abilities but your dog hasn’t and they can tell the difference between someone who approaches them with love and someone who means them harm. By all means, avoid giving your dog to someone your dog pees on. If it takes you 15 visits and you still haven’t found your pet a decent owner that is your fault, not the prospects fault.
But wait when I visited the first dogs home his owner’s parents had been taking their dog to the A.S.P.C.A. for shots and whatnot and were strongly suggesting that we continue using them for shots and whatnot. Were they getting advice on how to find a new owner from the only place they could trust?
As I was chatting with the owner of dog #2 (I ended up naming him Sam Malone) I learned that she had put an ad in Craig’s list before for the dog for free but she was flooded with responses calling her a bad pet parent and an awful person among other nasty things for not putting “re-homing fee” in her ad so she had pulled that ad and put one in with the re-homing fee notation. As if selling your dog instead of giving it away had any correlation between good and bad responders. It doesn’t. People who want their Pit Bulls to eat your dog don’t mind spending a couple of hundred dollars to buy a dog. They make a lot more than that in illegal dog fights.
Now, what group do we know that has consistently behaved in this matter? SJW’s for the used dog industry? The only real question here regarding treating dogs as commodities is who is pushing this, the SJW’s of the dog world or the A.S.P.C.A.
There was that A.S.P.C.A. warning in Craig’s list and the thing is most of the people who work in these “rescue” facilities lean very strongly to the left. Wouldn’t the A.S.P.C.A. love to be the only place where people could get a used dog so they could completely control the dog adoption world? Perhaps a quotation from Wikipedia might shed some light on the situation:
“In 2012 the ASPCA agreed to pay Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus $9.3 million of donations to settle a lawsuit regarding the ASPCA’s false allegations of animal cruelty by the circus. Courts found that ASPCA activists had paid the key witness, a former Ringling barn helper, at least $190,000, making him “essentially a paid plaintiff” who lacked credibility. Edwin J. Sayres stepped down as CEO in 2012, and in 2013 longtime ASPCA staff member Matthew Bershadker was named president and CEO.”
So they have a history of dirty dealing and since they do it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the people who contacted owner #2 slamming her for not demanding a “re-homing fee” were agents of the A.S.P.C.A. If they had 9.3 million dollars to give away in a lawsuit, why are people paying $350 for a middle-aged mutt?
Clearly, the A.S.P.C.A. has a lot more money than most people would like to believe. Their combined national organizations must be worth billions and if you’re a private shelter you had better do whatever they tell you to do like microchip every animal you offer for adoption so that the A.S.P.C.A. can keep track of them. What you think the cops are looking for your lost dog?
Something dirty is going on in the used dog world and my guess is that the evil can be found by auditing the A.S.P.C.A.’s financial books. Someone is making a lot of money selling used dogs and intimidating people who have used dogs to offer for adoption. Kinda makes me wonder what incentives the officers of the organization have for bonuses.
For me I stuck to my guns and as a result, have a stunning Siberian Husky giving me the eye as I write this. He doesn’t think much of me right now (but he loves my wife) so he is going to make me earn his love and respect. No problem I’ve got the rest of his life to earn his friendship.