Flynn: The Chicken Coop Dog. A good Samaritan saw the condition Flynn was in and purchased him to release to rescue so he could get the help he desperately needed.
What is dog flipping? Dog flipping is the practice of people getting a free dog and then selling it for profit. They find "Free to Good Home" dogs on classifieds ads, pose as a loving owner, take the free dog and then days later sell it at a profit. People do this with purebred dogs at shelters, too. They "adopt" them for the small fee a shelter charges, then puts them up for sale for hundreds of dollars. The dog flippers don't care who the dogs go to, they just want their profit. The dogs are not treated well while they wait to be "bought".
What is dog rescue? Dog rescues are people or organizations that take in owner surrender dogs and dogs from shelters, get them vetted and then adopt them out. Usually the dogs live in foster homes, but some have dedicated facilities where the dogs are kept. Rescues go to great length to make sure the dogs are spayed/neutered, up to date on shots, microchipped and have any other medical treatments then need (like dentals) before they are adopted. They have strict application and adoption contracts. They keep in touch with the adopters and will provide support to the adopters for the life of the dog. If the adopter ever can't keep the dog, the rescue will take it back.
So why do some rescues/rescuers get called dog flippers?
Because of the practice of "buying" dogs into rescue.
What is that?
Buying dogs into rescue is when a rescue or individual pay for a dog to go into rescue. Some situations include the puppy mill auctions, retired backyard breeder dogs, or older puppies that are at risk of becoming puppy mill breeders. Sometimes they are dogs that are neglected or abused that the owners want money for and refuse to turn over to rescue. Sometimes the rescues use donations to get the dogs, sometimes they just pay for them. Sometimes they are able to make up the money in the adoption fee, and sometimes they lose hundreds of dollars because the dogs typically need extensive vet care.
The people selling these dogs don't care who the dog goes to, they don't care if a rescue gets them. They just want money for the dog. The dog is a commodity, nothing more.
There was a big auction of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels recently. A puppy mill was closing down and used an auction to sell off their "stock". There was a public campaign to raise money to buy these dogs. Because of the publicity, the prices skyrocketed and dogs went for hundreds or thousands of dollars more than they normally would have.
most rescues that deal with auctions do so behind the scenes, posing as a buyer, not a rescue. The big puppy mill auction, while wonderful for the dogs saved, proved to breeders that kind-hearted rescuers will do anything and spend any amount of money to save dogs.
The answer is to shut down puppy mills, but that is easier said than done when so many organizations make millions off of mills.
There is no easy answer. Rescues do what they think is the best thing. Some refuse to pay for dogs, some have no problem with it. It is up to you as an adopter, volunteer or foster to think about these things and decide where you sit.
We recently got in a couple of young dogs from a puppy mill. They aren't our first mill dogs, though. Our boy Finny (was Flynn) came from a local mill/hoarder. I already did a post on puppy mills, and why buying puppies from pet stores is a bad idea.
Today I'm going to talk a little bit about what it means to foster or adopt a puppy mill dog.
Most mill dogs come into rescue in horrific physical condition. They are filthy, matted and have over grown nails and rotten teeth. The young ones that make it out of the mills before they get in that condition are still usually filthy and stained from walking in filth. Grooming and vet treatment can treat the physical ailments, and sometimes that's the easy part.
The thing that many people don't realize is that these puppy mill rescues aren't just in bad physical shape. They are in bad mental shape as well.
Most mill dogs live their lives in wire cages, or cement kennels. Many have never touched grass, or carpet. Our recent mill pups had never felt grass. One of them just crumpled when his feet touched the grass. The other freaked out, bucking and kicking, terrified. They are not used to being touched, and shy away from human hands. The lucky ones are just not used to being touched. The unlucky ones have been beaten or kicked. These dogs don't understand things like stairs, or beds, or couches. They don't know what toys are and usually have to learn from other dogs how to play.
We are lucky to have gotten our newest arrivals, Collin and Sullivan, at a young age. They have not spent years like that, and will hopefully in time learn how to be a member of the family. They will learn to want affection and human interaction.
Fostering or adopting a puppy mill dog is hard. It's definitely not like fostering or adopting a regular pet that has been released to rescue. These dogs need a lot of time and patience. It's not for everyone. Some puppy mill dogs have been so broken they never truly recover.
Before you decide to adopt a former puppy mill rescue, do some research. There are many wonderful websites devoted to teaching people what they need to know about a puppy mill rescue dog. One of the best is Best Friends.
Fostering or adopting a former puppy mill rescue is one of the hardest and most rewarding things you will do. To watch the dog learn to trust and open up is priceless. But be sure you are ready for the task before you jump in. These dogs have had a lot of upheaval in their lives and the last thing anyone wants is for them to come back in to rescue. We want them in their forever homes!
If you are interested in adopting a former puppy mill dog, check with local breed specific rescues. Many times they will get them in or will know where you will find a rescue that gets mill dogs in.
2014 was a banner year for Cavalier Crazy Rescue. We took in more dogs than all our previous years combined!
We took in a whopping 22 dogs and one kitten in 2014. We had 19 adoptions. We welcomed many new foster homes. Our dogs went to several different states including Nebraska, Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, Colorado, Wyoming, Washington and of course, Utah.
We have made new friends and have gotten to see some amazing transformations!
2015 has started with us welcoming 4 dogs into the CCR family so far and it's only 1/2 way through January!
Fun Facts about the 22 dogs we got in 2014:
9 of the dogs were female (40%)
13 of the dogs were male (60%)
5 were mixes (22%)
8 of the purebreds were tricolor (47%)
5 of the purebreds were blenheim (29%)
1 of the purebreds was black and tan (5%)
1 of the purebreds was ruby (5%)
Thanks again to everyone for your support. We couldn't do this without you!