OT: Dog Question

Has anyone ever adopted a dog rescued from a puppy mill?  Are there any special concerns about these dogs?

Background: I’m considering getting a dog and would prefer to get one who needs adoption than buying one from a breeder.  But I want to make the choice carefully.

Thanks to anyone who replies.


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  1. is that the people who operate the rescues from puppy mills are, for the most part, saints. Alot of them do this for no financial gain and take care of the dogs in their homes until they can find a permanent home.

    I searched for a rescue dog for a few months online. What’s funny (and probably good) is that they check you out as a potential owner as much as you are checking out the dog. I actually had to provide references to even qualify.

    Finally, I also found that the rescue homes take care of most of the medical issues before they allow the dogs to be adopted – at least the problems that aren’t chronic.

    I would have much preferred getting a rescued dog. But I couldn’t find one that fit what I was looking for. So I bought  my shih tzu from a woman who breeds them as a way to pay for her rescue operations. She was wonderful!!! and I still get emails from her about those damn puppy mills. She fights them will everything she’s got.  

  2. experience getting a dog from a local shelter. But in their defense they were  new, under staffed, and did not have an established relationship with a vet yet. The dog had various behavior and health problems and died an accidental death two years later.

    However. I have had mainly good experiences adopting rescued animals. In my area is a particularly good organization called Guardian Angel Pets that has both cats and dogs. The people who foster do a lovely job and they are pretty middle of the road in assessing people not too easy going and not too psycho to the point of turn off.

    I have also adopted from a breeder who was very reputable. In my case I specifically wanted a dog/puppy who had been raised around cats and did not regard them as potential meals and I prefer larger dogs so I felt justified in going to a breeder with whom we keep in contact.

    I have done both. Both have their strong points.

  3. My impression: most dogs that are rescued are stressed and/or sick or have been mistreated.  So, if you can get the dog thoroughly vetted and treated when you get it, it’ll be just fine.  The dog will still lots of loving attention from the very beginning: the places they are rescued from are not good for dogs.

  4. and Missy we found on the road out front on Christmas day-

    We also rescued Sandy, who was a puppy mill mom who was “retired” to a rescue after she couldn’t bear anymore. She was the sweetest yellow lab. I’m grateful that we had a chance to make her life comfortable for her last years.

    • sharon on October 15, 2008 at 05:04

    didn’t even think about it when i did it the first time.  conchita is my rescue pooch and she runs my life.  to be honest, an ex bf is the one who adopted her (from a shelter in nyc – not sure which) and then i rescued her from him.  half joking here.  he loved her, but he just wasn’t in a place in his life where he was ready to be responsible for someone else.  he would leave her alone for 18 hours at a time.  hard enough for any puppy but for a rescue very stressful.  he worked in film production and could easily find himseslf working a 12-18 hour day and would leave her outside the whole day (knowing of course that neighbors like me would watch over her), but i remember coming back from a month in mexico and walking into the backyard and finding her huddled in the back yard all alone and so miserable she didn’t recognize me at first.  at that time i had an art studio in the basement apartment of our building and when he let her out his door she would make a beeline for my door.  after we stopped getting along he would come and chase her out of my place and lock her in his apartment (while he went out).  conchita is no dummy and she has her limits.  when she dumped in his bed for a third time he decided he couldn’t take it anymore.  with anoother neighbor acting as a middleman she became mine.

    one thing i had to give serious thought to – i was taking on an 18 year responsibility.  when i adopted her i told a friend that my life would change dramatically and it did.  it meant i had to be sure to be home to keep her company and take her out and feed her.  it cost me about $600 at the vet the first week i had her because she had heart worm and he had not had her tested.  i spent the money willingly and was furious with my friend for not taking better care of her – the treatment was similar to chemo.

    anyway, since i live in nyc and i believe you do, too, there are some things i think i should share about having a dog in new york.  first of all, the only place they are allowed on grass is central park and i think riverside.  the dog parks are not well designed and not a great environment for all dogs (conchita hates them).  the only place and time you are allowed to have your dog off leash (besides home and the dog parks) is central park before 9a and after 9p.  dogs need to run and play, particularly as puppies.  we were fortunate, we had a back yard and conchita and a friend use to run through my garden for hours at a time.  unfortunately, other dog owners in the building abused the back yard and the landlord said no more dogs in the back yard.  when i gave up the studio we lost backyard privileges so it is now a $20 rt cab ride to central park (at 8 she has arthritis and it is too far for her to walk from chelsea).  if you are caught with your dog off leash, you can be written a ticket for $100.  if you are like me you will find yourself feeling like an outlaw more often than you ever imagined.

    next thing about dogs in nyc, the vets are outrageously expensive.  the vet fee for a check up at west chelsea where we go is $85, and then all the tests and medications and shots can easily make it so that you are hard pressed to walk out the door without spending at least $150.  i finally got insurance and it helps a little.

    lastly, in the winter you will need to get some kind of paw protection or wash your dogs paws each time you come home.  the supers in nyc put so much of that chemical ice melter that it hurst their paws and they come home and lick off the chemicals.  

    about adopting a rescue, i don’t think i could ever again spend money buying a dog when there are so many who will be sent to their deaths.  the idea of my conchita having ended up with that fate….  and chendo chose her because it seemed like no one wanted her.  hard to believe because she was adorable as a puppy and even now gets compliments when we are out on the street because she is the quintessential shaggy dog with personality.

    looking back and asking if i would do it again, yes.  i dread the day she will inevitably succumb to old age, but i wouldn’t pass up for anything the years we have had together.  she makes me laugh and gets me out the house when i am stuck on a design problem.  i find that walking clears my mind and when she was younger we were out in every new snow playing.  she was absolutely hysterical boudning about in the snow.  i think i did my best work after our midnight sessions when we would sneak over to a builidng which has a large lawn but has prohibited dogs from the property.  

    did she have problems as a rescue?  she is a little high strung and not trusting of those she doesn’t know, but i’m not sure if that is a breed thing.  she looks to be part terrier, border collie, and australian shepherd and both border collies and australian shepherds are high strung dogs.  she doesnt’ take to other dogs easily, and i wonder if she had to fight for her food when a puppy.  she was brought to new york from puerto rico where i imagine some one vacationing found her on the beach, brought her back and then realized how difficult it is to have a dog in nyc.  so many of us were brought up with back yards and aren’t accustomed to having to walk a dog.  

    i spend many more hours at home than i used to – just seems cruel to go out after being gone all day.  my working at home for the last couple of years has made her a happier pooch.  if you can bring a dog to work with you, that also makes for an easier lifestyle.  you sound like you have already made up your mind, so if you think you are ready to make the compromises and sacrifices, i hope you find the puppy of your dreams – and get ready to laugh a lot and hide all of your shoes and anything else that might taste good to a growing pup.  🙂

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