Sunday, January 4, 2009

Update on Fiji and Riley

Sometimes things just don't turn out as planned. Over the weekend, Riley and Fiji were picked up and sent back to Quebec. They were hitting a wall here with almost no one interested in adopting them. They both have their problems but Riley, especially, is a highly trainable, people friendly German Shepherd. He has issues with other dogs, sure, but then so do most other dogs to varying degrees and it's just something that needs to be handled. People just don't seem to be that interested in GSDs at the moment maybe because there haven't been any good Hollywood movies made about them recently. Too bad Marley wasn't a GSD.

But the good news is that they should both be in Quebec rescues soon enough. Riley will be going to a German Shepherd rescue directly. He actually could've gone there sooner but with all the recent puppy mill busts, that rescue had too many unspayed females and at the time Riley was unneutered. Now that TAS has neutered him, he won't be a pregnancy threat.

Fiji will be going to a Catahoula rescue but is still waiting on an opening there. The rescue is located in Ottawa so it's not such a bad thing for her to be held temporarily in Montreal at the SPCA. Fiji's still got leash issues but that's certainly a fixable problem with proper training.

Their journeys aren't over yet.


Jeff said...

Wow, both of the dogs are great-looking. Glad to read the good news about their acceptance into breed-specific rescue groups.

For the sake of all the German Shepherds in need out there, I am glad that Marley wasn't as GSD. The rescue groups are running pretty hard as it is. And as a person who volunteers with several retriever-rescue efforts, I wish they'd never made that movie.

But I shouldn't be so negative, because the movie is already playing. Maybe we can turn the publicity into something good for the dogs in need, even though I have this nightmare about the puppymills and backyarders shifting into high gear to crank out as many yellow Labs as possible.

I'd love to see some ideas about how we can get in front of that wave. I am in the metro-Atlanta, Georgia area, and the retriever-rescue groups in the region are currently inundated to the breaking point with discarded retrievers. We aren't keeping pace, but maybe we can somehow leverage the Marley movie.

Ideas, anyone? :-)

Fred said...

Has there been an upswing in discarded retrievers since the movie came out or has there always been a lot of them? I wonder if many people have seen the American Kennel Club PSA for Marley and Me ( It should be shown at the beginning of the movie to everyone in the audience.

I wonder if transporting the Retrievers to other parts of the country would allow them to be adopted more easily. In Toronto, we can't seem to get enough of them.

Jeff said...

That is a good piece! It's great to see the AKC encouraging people to learn more about the responsibilities that come with a dog.

If the movie has any effect of the rate of abandoned retrievers, it will be a delayed one. First, the demand will have to ramp up, then the production will increase, and while we might see a larger number of non-yellow Labrador baby puppies being dumped, we won't see any of the Marley dogs till they're about six to nine months of age. That is the age at which most dumped retrievers come to rescue (seniors are often dumped too, of course).

So, we haven't seen any problems yet. Maybe we can mount some kind of info campaign on our sites; we could tie them into the AKC's effort. But we also need to put the word out beyond rescue sites, because there are still a large number of people who are unaware of dog-rescue groups.

Here in Atlanta and across the Deep South, we've seen a big upswing in the rate of discarded dogs over the past year. The new reason? People are blaming the bad economy.

The transport idea is excellent. I am aware of a Golden rescue group in south Alabama that participates in placing dogs in the northeastern U.S. But I don't know of anyone who is transporting dogs from the U.S. to Canada. I wonder if there are any legal issues involved in placing dogs across the border?

Fred said...

I don't think there are any major legal issues. Toronto Animal Services south used to take kill list dogs from Ohio quite often. Now TAS south takes dogs from Quebec while TAS north (I think) sometimes takes dogs from Ohio.

Jeff said...

This is encouraging. I will share this idea with the groups with whom I work. I've recently made an acquaintence with a woman who runs a transport group that's based in Colorado. She makes regular runs into the midwest and south to pick up Goldens for various groups, and she may have some contacts who could hook us up regarding transports to Canada.

Thank you!