Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Confinement Situation

I can't believe it! I just can't believe it! I had no idea adopting a dog could be this difficult. Allow me to back up a bit. My family and I had been discussing a dog. We decided to adopt instead of going to a breeder. We were even happy to pay the adoption fee. Sounds like a good plan that helps both a needy dog and an overcrowded shelter, right? Turns out, not so much. Apparently, adoption shelters don't really want to adopt there dogs. Who knew?

I called a local humane society shelter...denied. I called a private animal shelter...denied. I contacted private shelters in two other towns...denied, denied.
You can imagine my frustration. I filled out the application form, I informed them of were I live, were the dog would stay, what my family was like, agreed to the adoption fee, gave them my veterinarians name and phone number, and if they would have asked for a urine and blood sample I probably would have given them that, too.

So, why was I denied? Turns out the humane society and private shelters in this area have a strict policy in adopting their animals. I was informed of this policy via voicemail, "Yes, I'm calling in regards to Buck, you had inquired about adopting him. We have a policy that requires all the animals we adopt out to be indoor pets so it looks like that adoption for Buck won't be happening. Thanks for your interest. Bye."

What?! I have been denied by every shelter in my area because I want an outdoor dog? Mind you every dog I inquired about were obvious outdoor dogs. I had applied for a German Shepherd, a shepherd mix, a Border Collie, and an Australian Shepherd. Also, the woman I spoke with about Buck was very excited because they had been having a hard time adopting him. Gee, wonder why? I have nothing against indoor dogs but refusing a dog a home because he/she would be outside seems ridiculous to me.

This brings me to another point. Being CAFO owners we are constantly under attack by groups like PETA, Sierra Club, and--here's the kicker--HSUS. For clarification, we are required by the HSUS to house our dog indoors, in a climate controlled building and are not to let them live outdoors. However, the HSUS require our pigs to live outdoors otherwise it is viewed as inhumane to house our pigs indoors, in climate controlled buildings and not allowing them to live outdoors. Do I have this right? Can someone please explain the logic to this.

Anyway, we are now the proud owners of a beautiful English Shepherd and couldn't be more pleased with our decision to go to a breeder. She is perfect in every way, enjoys running around our 3 acre yard, and has never once complained about her dog house. In fact, it is her cozy little hidy hole. She is part of our family but remains outside and she is very happy with this arrangement.

I just think it is a little ridiculous to force confinement on a dog while complaining about confinement of a pig. Perhaps the HSUS and other organizations like it should take a look in the mirror; they are just as much a confinement operation as we are. The difference is we don't force others to do the same.

While writing this blog I lumped my local humane society and private shelters together with HSUS. This was wrong and I apologize; however, I do feel my local shelters need to change some of their stipulations of adoption in an effort to adopt out more dogs. One thing that we all need to keep in mind is the fact that local shelters are in no way affiliated to HSUS. HSUS gives less than 1 percent of their multi-millions to local shelters. If you would like to help your local shelters please give directly to your shelter NOT the Humane Society of the United States.


  1. Jo,

    I know how you feel about ridiculous dog rules. Dogs are viewed as children or accessories now instead of animals. We just adopted a dog who loves to run around our large, fenced yard and walk to the beach with us. However, neighbors complain when she's outside in the yard barking at passers-by or when she jumps the fence and explores the neighborhood about once a week (she always comes back when we whistle). Also, she's not allowed off the leash outside of our yard, even at the beach! I don't know exactly when this canine-phobia set in, but I don't understand it:(

    Jess (from class)

  2. Wow! Your blog, your opinion. I work at a humane society and have you ever wondered where those dogs come from? Many are strays. Many are running lose. Our rural farmers do not like the neighbors dogs running lose so they bring them into our shelter. I guess it is better that they bring them to us rather than shoot them which is the other alternative when that border collie is running his cows through a fence or the australian shep. outside dog gets bored when his family is away and is found nipping the heels of the neighbors horses. If you are going to be an outside dog owner, please make sure your dog is well trained!

  3. Thanks for your thoughts, Heather. I do see strays from time to time and have even taken one in and was nursing her back to health until her owner found her and took her home. I know outside dogs get bored but so do inside dogs. The difference is what they take their frustrations out on, either peeing in your shoes and shredding the couch or running the neighbors cattle. But my Mina is an outdoor dog and she loves it. She is an English Shepherd that I bought from a breeder and though she does wander to the neighbor’s farm, he doesn't mind. It is also only a quarter mile from our house. She is also trained. She is also quite good at agility. The tubes are her favorite but she has a hard time with the ramp. She goes up it but only with her front legs. When I posted this to my blog I was mainly upset at the fact that I was willing to give a dog a good home, training, food, water, love but was denied because I won't let her in the house. But at the same time, we are being bashed for housing our pigs inside and not letting them outside. What is the logic in that?
    Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. Comments are always welcome.