Monday, February 2, 2009

"Black Holes" of Animal Rescue

(Picture Left: "Jewels -- now boarding in a kennel after failed adoption due to personal dramas and lack of forthrightness.)

Although we do not have blood test results back on Poochie yet, she seems to be responding to the new antibiotic she has been put on. There is less blood in her urine now, so we are for the moment, cautiously optimistic.

We still, however, continue to struggle both in adoptions and finding foster people.

Although one of our dogs, Spencer, the loving little, 8-year-old, Cocker Spaniel was finally adopted yesterday, Jewels, our small, older Shepherd mix was returned over the weekend from an adoption last month.

Still, one more dog I had to send to boarding as we have no open fosters.

Jewels' adoption and later return was particularly frustrating.

The dog became a victim of people's personal dramas and soap operas.

Although I thought I was adopting Jewels to a single, mature man who previously had a dog for 13 years, I was not aware that "Ray's" main motivation for adopting Jewels was to "provide companionship and comfort" to Ray's girlfriend who is currently undergoing chemotherapy "(and later radiation) treatment for cancer.

Obviously, that did not work out well.

People suffering the effects of chemotherapy are extremely stressed, both physically and emotionally. How can they be expected to care for or about a dog?

Any dog going into a new situation tends to absorb the "energy" around them. If the "energy" is anxiety, stress, fear, anger and physical illness, then likewise the dog sensing something wrong, tends to react accordingly.

Jewel's just couldn't seem to get the housebreaking down, though she was previously housebroken in a foster home.

And although Ray kept reiterating to me how much he "loved" Jewels, in the end, he returned her anyway due mostly to the demands and needs of his girlfriend.

Jewels is an older (about 8-years), smallish (only 35lbs), sensitive, very loving, devoted and protective Shepherd mix who loves children and is good around cats. But, she is, nevertheless a very tough adoption - as almost any animal, but the most beautiful, adorable, young or "perfect" is.

I had really hoped Jewel's adoption would work out. But, I failed seemingly, to scrutinize enough and properly, the adopter's, "Significant Other" as well as his true motives for adopting a dog.

While it is not fair to blame the girlfriend for this outcome, I did tell Ray upon his returning Jewels to me that he was "wrong" not to tell me his true motivations for adopting Jewels ("companionship and comfort" to his girlfriend)

Had I known, I would have refused the adoption.

Now, Jewels, having lost her foster when going to the adoptive home, goes into the seeming "black hole" of (most likely) long time boarding in a kennel.

So yes, I am very frustrated over that.

Sending animals into "warehousing" situations or "black holes" of long time boarding is not something we should be doing.

And yet, with the current social and economic climate, what is the choice?

It says a lot (and unfortunately, nothing positive) when a rescue group finds itself with far more animals in boarding kennels than foster homes. --- PCA


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