Rescue Problems

"I recently asked a number of people who have been involved in rescue work for a while what problems their rescue programs are facing. Two things were mentioned again and again.

"The first... the vast numbers of dogs needing rescue -- especially in the more popular breeds..

"Many other breeds, as they gain in popularity, are also seeing the need for rescue increasing.

"Visibility causes popularity. When people looking for a dog see a clever, well trained, handsome dog in the movies or on television, they assume that dog is representative of that breed. This, obviously, can be very deceptive... Those of us familiar with the breed know that a great deal of training happens behind the scenes to make [a dog like] Eddie [on the TV show Frasier] so charming...

"Since dogs are going to continue to be seen in the movies, on television, and in print ads, it's up to us -- those of us involved with purebred dogs -- to teach the public what our dogs are really like...

"The second problem facing many rescue groups today is financial... Rescue is grinding, emotionally exhausting work, but all this is compounded when money is short.

""Many dogs in rescue have extensive medical issues"... Every day, in rescue groups all over the country, decisions are made regarding dogs needing help, and many times those decisions are made according to how much money is available to veterinary care" (Palika, Lix. "Rescue Dog Closeup: Two Nagging Rescue Problems." AKC Gazette, August 2003, 14).

Colby Glass, MLIS