Monday, November 11, 2013

Things That Make Me Go Grrrrr.....What Happens When A Local Rescue Group Imports A Mass Transport Of Dogs From California? It Ain't Pretty...

Is Max a NDR pooch or isn't he?
Will someone PLEASE take some responsibility?
Let's get straight to it shall we....

The Timeline


I began receiving messages from rescuers concerned about a mass transport of dogs that came from California. Concerns ranged from the dogs being in transport for 5 days, to the general health and temperament of the dogs, to the issue of whether there were even enough foster homes available for the dogs once they arrived. In the hopes of putting the matter to rest I contacted the rescue in California that pulled the dogs and the rescue here responsible for the care of the dogs once they were in Canada.


I received messages from both Los Angelitos de Dios (LADD), the party that pulled the dogs in California, and Noble Dog Rescue (NDR), the party that facilitated the rescue on the Canadian side.

According to Los Angelitos, they held possession of the dogs until Noble Dog rescue fosters came to pick them up over a 24 hour period. One rescue took 13 of the dogs, and Noble Dog Rescue had enough fosters, so LADD did not need to use their foster resources. LADD works primarily with NDR to facilitate bringing dogs from California to Ontario. All of the dogs are 100% up to date on shots, and all are fixed with exception of Gracie (a dog that ran away 3 times in 5 days once here) as the vet wants to wait 6 months. Now that Gracie has gone into her first heat she will be getting fixed and LADD is paying for the procedure. NDR assured LADD that foster homes had been procured for 43 of the 53 dogs that crossed the border needing homes in Ontario. A few of the dogs passed a cold to each other, and penicillin shots were administered on the road.

According to NDR, they rescued 40 dogs and had foster homes pre-approved for all of them. All paperwork was presented at the border. All but Gracie have been fixed. The dogs were all picked up by their fosters the evening of arrival and the next morning. A vet tech was present for the trip and the transport vehicle has heat & A/C and an air filtration system. All the dogs appear to be in general good health, though three have been treated for kennel cough immediately after diagnosis.


I thank both LADD and NDR for quickly responding to my questions. In addition, NDR has extended me an invitation to visit the dogs, fosters, or adopters if need be. I do appreciate that.

I will say, and I have no problem doing so as I've consistently shared this opinion so many times in the past, that I am disappointed that NDR feels the need to bring in dogs from another country when we have so many locally that are in need of loving homes. I am equally disappointed that LADD seemingly doesn't see that we have our own pet overpopulation problem right here in Canada. Now that we have opened a dialogue perhaps I can persuade them to first think locally when it comes to rescue, but that is a whole other can of worms!


The continuing saga of the dogs from California...

Here's what I love : Local No-Kill Rescues and the volunteers who work tirelessly

Here's what I don't like : Dogs being brought into this country when we have thousands here that are being gassed and culled every single day

Here's what I can't stand : Giving a fair opportunity to rescue organizations to offer statements when their ethics are being questioned, and later discovering the responses received have not contained the truth

Yesterday I received answers to questions I posed to Noble Dog Rescue (NDR) and Los Angelitos de Dios (LADD). While I thanked them for their responses and still do, in the past day I have been made aware of serious discrepancies in their responses.

With regard to NDR informing me that foster homes were lined up for each and every dog that came across the border, it is simply not true. I have personally spoken with two local rescue organizations that have some of these dogs in their care. They were contacted through networkers, NOT NDR, with pleas to get the dogs off the truck and into foster homes. I asked them what correspondence they have had with NDR throughout this debacle. Their answer : NONE. What's worse? They share the opinion that NDR does not even know that they have these dogs! What organization in its right mind authorizes a mass transport of dogs and then keeps no record of where the dogs even are?

I have spoken to another foster who has one of these dogs (Max, pictured above) in her care. She says she has asked the group to reclaim the dog, who appears to be feral and is showing aggression toward people, while in response NDR claimed, "Was not my rescue that placed Max with you it was ***** so you need to contact him directly." Again, this response counters the answer I received from NDR stating, "Noble dog took the 40 dogs we pulled and rescued by our own organization". OUR organization. It's quite simple, if NDR is claiming to have rescued these dogs, they are the ones who should be immediately seeing to any issues in any foster home. They should be networking this dog and be honest about his temperament. Has any such action taken place? No. Did they network when Gracie got lost for the third time? No. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the purpose of rescue is to dump dogs on fosters and hope things work out for the best.

I am going to continue to look into this story. If any representative from NDR or LADD wishes to comment they may do so publicly on this page, I will not be accepting any personal messages. I afforded these organizations the opportunity to state their case to me, and I was lied to by at least one of them. It will not happen again.

To those who think this is a witch hunt? Keep telling yourselves that. People who genuinely have the best interests of the animals at heart will see it for what it truly is. It is an inquiry that has so far discovered that there was a mass transport of dogs that came to this country with an unavailability of foster homes, that has discovered that several other rescue groups have picked up NDR's slack, and that has discovered that next month another mass transport involving these organizations is planned. Not by my watch.

I am sure that NDR has placed many dogs in homes for a $400 adoption fee. I do not know where all these dogs have come from though clearly many come from the United States, and I am not sure how much of the adoption costs go to proper vetting of the dogs. I do not yet know if LADD is aware that there were in fact not enough fosters lined up even though they were informed there would be. I am not sure how much money NDR has paid for these dogs and how much they are making off them. I am sure many of these dogs will go on to live happy lives with their new families. I am also sure this is no witch hunt. Above all? I am sure that in this particular case it is also not rescue.

If any of you are currently fostering one of these dogs you can comment here. Maybe that way the rescue will know where their dogs are.

Update Monday night :

Julie from Noble Dog Rescue has been on the Toronto Pet Daily Facebook page defending herself. I posed several questions to her and she answered each and every one of them. I have still found some discrepancy in her answers but I am glad she has taken the opportunity to address these questions publicly, as is most often the case, rescues that have something to hide will run & do so. She has not done that. Christianna from LADD has yet to answer my questions though she twice asked me to provide her with proof that small, young dogs are gassed in Canada. She stated,
"Now if your country is gassing small, young adoptable dogs, then we won't bring another one across your border. So please provide me with evidence of that." Myself and others have provided her with dozens of links. Let's she if she stays true to her word.


I took a day off. What's it to you?


I received an account of one individual directly involved in the rescue of these dogs. I have edited only the spelling and grammar, not the content :

Hi Gord, just to put in writing our conversation from yesterday.  I work with Canadian Royal Potcake Rescue.  Last Monday we received a call regarding the dogs that came in from California.  We were told that all dogs had fosters but the one organization that was to take 10 of the dogs didn't seem to be working out. We were asked if we could take some or help find other rescues.  I met the transport truck in the evening and wasn't sure what i would see but was pleased at the condition of the dogs and the vehicle. There was no smell and the truck was clean.  While i was there other fosters were picking up the dogs.  Some dogs i was told were heading back to the US.  We choose the dogs that I was to take, totaling 13.  We placed bonded pairs together in carriers, others also in carriers and a couple of dogs sat on my sister and nephew's laps.  I was given most all paper work, including kennel card and immunization records for the dogs I had.  I then transported 6 to Siggi Safehome Star rescue and took the remaining 7.  We have one puppy with slight kennel cough and he is on medication for that now.  I understand that the dogs that Siggi took also have some kennel cough.  I believe she has vetted another dog for a different reason but do not know the details.  Christianna and I have been in contact since last Monday as she has inquired into the dogs well being.  4 of our 7 dogs have been adopted. Canadian Royal Potcake Rescue requires an application first, then we contact potential adopters' vets and then we do a home check before any dog can be adopted.  I would hope that all other rescues do the same.  In regards to kennel cough, this is a very common occurance for any dog travelling or from any shelter environment. Just visit any shelter in any country and you will find kennel cough at some point.  These dogs have all been spayed/neutered, received flea treatments and have received their vaccinations.  You would be amazed at how many vet checks we do where people do not have their current pets up to date on vaccinations.  I believe your article also mentioned the lab that went missing.  I was in contact with the other rescue groups at that time and was told she escaped 2 times and that there were teams of people out searching for her.  They informed the local humane society to watch for her also, so yes there was communication between organizations to find her. 

Thanks to Tanya for providing her take on the situation, which is quite positive! I have posted it in the interest of full transparency with regard to this situation.

December 2

Over the past weeks I have received several messages of concern from fosters when it comes to the way this operation was handled. The main areas of concern stem from what I originally wrote, dogs are sick and the rescue is not stepping up. You will recall that NDR has stated that they ALWAYS do home checks and that if there are any health issues, they will attend to them in a timely fashion. You can be the judge.

One such foster mom has a dog in her care. There was no home check. The dog....surprise, surprise....arrived with kennel cough. The foster mom was provided with no paperwork though the rescue informed her the dog had paperwork stating he was between 1 and 2. The foster mom's own veterinarian believes the dog is 6 or 7. Now why did the foster mom have to go to the vet? Simply, her own dogs caught kennel cough from the foster. Upon hearing this NDR mailed the foster mom medication that arrived 5 days later. In the meantime the foster mom has paid over $400 in veterinary care for her own sick dogs. The foster dog has a rash and a broken, infected canine tooth.

The foster mom said that NDR wished to pull the dog and she made a decision to not have the dog removed while he was still contagious. That period passed and the foster mom had since left several messages informing the rescue the dog was ready to be picked up. According to her, there had been 4 instances in which she was informed the dog would be picked up. It did not happen. At present, the foster mom has notified NDR she will not hand the dog back until two things occur. First she wants reimbursement for her sick dogs and second, she wants assurances that the foster dog will indeed go to a veterinarian for care. The foster mom states she has never had a problem such as this in her previous fostering experiences.

So where does that leave us? As stated this is just one of several complaints I have received. It appears dogs are simply being dumped on fosters and not receiving much needed medical attention. What is the rescue waiting for? Your guess is as good as mine, though the pattern of complaints received surely point toward anything but rescue. They point to brokering, and be it intentional or not it needs to be addressed immediately, not when NDR can find time in their schedule to finally get these dogs the medical attention they so desperately need.

Before the next update I'll leave you with one thing to think about. Last I heard Noble Dog Rescue is planning on receiving yet another mass shipment of dogs from south of the border near the end of this month. Just who is benefiting from such an action? I can confidently say it's certainly not the dogs.

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