Rescues are all on their knees – Whilst the breeders are laughing all the way to the bank.

The breeder has his money.  Now we have to choose who lives and who dies – in the new game of survival of the luckiest. Let’s play Race For A Space

Meet Brodie

Here is the dog to showcase how bad things have got – Brodie is a 6 month old lurcher with no rescue space to save his life. This time last year he would have been snapped up by any rescue as an easy to rehome dog.  How gorgeous is he – and he has nowhere to go because every rescue has already been asked and they are full.  We think Brodie was bought a Christmas puppy and then they got rid of him, someone else had him for 2 weeks and couldn’t cope. Previous owner/s threatened to have him killed if no one else took him. So, now he is stuck with a lady in a flat (who took him to save him thinking he could find a rescue space). No one bothered to housetrain him – or do any training and he is literally bouncing off her walls.  He is a mismatch of energy with her now terrified small dog and the lady is at the end of her teether.  In the right home he will be a fabulous dog.

This is the predicament we are all in – where does he go – because when no viable options exist, the only option is put to sleep.  Now, because he is cute and a puppy he might get at the 11th hour offer of lifeline,  but he then takes that space away from a less attractive/older dog – so that dog dies instead. Dogs are being PTS at vets everyday – that is perfectly good dogs, let down by humans.  And before anyone blames the vets – let’s blame the real culprits – the breeders and the owners.

I am sure by now everyone has heard how desperate animal rescue is, the worst for at least 20+ years but unless you are in thick of it, I don’t think anyone really understands.  It is relentless – we start at 5am and collapse at 10pm – 7 days a week of pure stress with no break or let up – and still the urgent requests for dogs needing help flow in, throwing us emotional guilt on top of the never ending workload.  Because people are always happy to say “so you wamt my dog put to sleep, because you won’t help me).  We only have a few volunteers at KGR in the thick of it because even our own volunteers cannot face how awful it is so don’t get involved or help.  Most rescues have tried to keep going and not complain in the hope that the situation will get better but, it is getting worse.

Rescues exist to help families rehome their pets through a cost of living crisis, bereavement, end of the dogs working life and other such sad situations – Rescues should not exist because people mess up or cannot be bothered.   They do not exist to relieve people of their personal responsibility.  Yet that lack of responsibility has brought us all to our knees.  Every rescue is way over the numbers they can cope with – we have dogs everywhere.

So why is everything so bad? It is a perfect storm of covid, cost of living and people lacking responsibility.

Greyhound Racing

Greyhounds are still being bred, trained, and raced because gambling is very profitable – but the rehoming side has slowed down, so the dogs are all fighting for the same rescue spaces.  They need to move on from their trainer because that costs money – but they cannot all move into rescue because there are not enough spaces.   The greyhound industry is part of the problem.

We brought an emergency greyhound in last week – she was found in local woods all curled up with pellet shot wounds – she has been dumped and left to die.  Yes, she is registered and yes, we know her racing name as she raced in England – but everyone will just deny everything and there will be no accountability.  If you cannot find a rescue space – should you just abandon your dog in the woods? Please meet Poppet – left to die in woods in Kent.

Giving Up On Your Greyhound (or any other dog)

Too many people now return dogs back to rescue because they have an expectation that is not in touch with reality – no dog is perfect, and the owners have to take responsibility and help the dog settle in.  It is heart-breaking to have a greyhound rejected for the 2nd time in his short life – only to bring him into the rescue and find out he doesn’t have the issues they said he had.  If you return your dog then you are part of the problem.

It is now very common for people to cite they must look after their own mental health, so training the dog is not an option.  If your consider your own needs to be greater than helping a dog settle in – then you probably need to adopt a cat.

Buying From A Breeder

If you buy a puppy, it is YOUR responsibility to train and develop that dog into becoming a good doggie citizen.  Unless you have an emergency situation – you should have your dog for the whole of his natural life.  You choose to bring him into this world – so he is your responsibility.  Now we have phrases like behavioural euthanasia – giving people a get out of jail free card for killing their dog because it’s OK to kill your dog if you cannot get the training right and no rescue space exists for him.

Or – how can you want to rehome your lurcher because he is growing up into something not quite as aesthetically pleasing as you had hoped for (yes that’s right – you buy a cross breed dog and expect breed standard so you know what you will get and when it’s not quite as expected you get rid of it).

Or your were turned down by rescue centres for having young children so you buy a puppy – then you realise just how much extra hard work the dog is so you don’t train him, he doesn’t get enough exercise – so he jumps up at the children in excitement or frustration – now you think he will bite the children so you want rid of him. And you expect a rescue centre to just pick up the pieces so you can get on with life without any guilt.

Rescues are full of covid dogs – bought from breeders, for inflated prices, to keep everyone amused during lockdown.  Now they are just an inconvenience and need to go.

We are not saying it is wrong to buy a puppy – we are saying it is VERY wrong to buy a puppy and give up on him. If you do then you are part of the problem.

Stray Dogs

Considering every dog in the UK should be accounted for via an uptodate microchip registration– it is amazing just how many lurchers are picked up as strays where the chip is not registered.  This is a drain on the tax payer through the council dog services. These dogs are just running around on roads – potentially causing traffic accidents and yet nothing is done about it – or is just an acceptable part of society.

How Can Things Change?

In the short term nothing can change.  There are currently a lot more dogs needing spaces than spaces available. People need to seriously think before buying a puppy as they are no longer guaranteed a rescue space.  By default, the sheer number of dogs means its difficult to help those families in real need.  People are often apologetic – and know they should not have bought a dog – but they still did and they still want someone else to take away their problem.

If you are thinking of adopting a dog then now is the time as it will help greatly – all rescues, throughout the UK are in the same boat.  So whatever type of dog you adopt or wherever your adopt from, you will just help the overall problem.

If you can foster or volunteer at your local rescue, then that would also be great.  Whilst there are so many dogs, general admin just cannot get done – we have 1712 outstanding emails, 36 outstanding return phone calls, and a huge general to do list, but with no one to help.  So when those people created this problem – it has far reaching effects.

Above all please be patient with your rescue – they are stretched to the limits and working much harder than anyone can understand. Unlike a lot of the above, the rescues really care if a dog lives or dies and can be distraught turning away numerous dogs everyday – knowing their options are really limited.

Let’s hope Brodies sad case makes everyone stop and think.