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I have heard some people talk briefly about dog sanctuaries on this forum. I was wondering what were your thoughts on them. Love them? Hate them? Okay with them?

I recently went to visit a friend who volunteers for one of these dog sanctuaries. They are "no-kill" (whatever that may mean). They aren't in a rush to get the dog adopted, and if they don't, they get to live their life there. They take a variety of dogs of all breeds, including pitbulls. They don't just take the desirable dogs. They manage to adopt out a reasonable amount of dogs by rescue standards (about mid volume live release rate) with a high retention rate.
 

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In concept, what's not to love about them?

In practice, I do know of a cat sanctuary that turned into a de facto hoarder situation despite the people's best intentions, because they weren't willing to turn endangered cats away, but they weren't adopting out as quickly as cats were coming in.

The people running the show really need to decide ahead of time what's capacity, and when capacity is reached, follow a strict one in, one out policy for newly admitted animals. That sounds really simple in theory but it's a lot harder when someone in a crisis situation is sobbing about how you're their beloved pet's last chance. I used to volunteer at a horse rescue and they'd get calls or even visits like that on a weekly basis, trying to get them to take animals that were beyond their remit...I imagine with the greater number of dog/cat owners, it's even more common for dog/cat rescues.
 

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In concept, what's not to love about them?

In practice, I do know of a cat sanctuary that turned into a de facto hoarder situation despite the people's best intentions, because they weren't willing to turn endangered cats away, but they weren't adopting out as quickly as cats were coming in.

The people running the show really need to decide ahead of time what's capacity, and when capacity is reached, follow a strict one in, one out policy for newly admitted animals. That sounds really simple in theory but it's a lot harder when someone in a crisis situation is sobbing about how you're their beloved pet's last chance. I used to volunteer at a horse rescue and they'd get calls or even visits like that on a weekly basis, trying to get them to take animals that were beyond their remit...I imagine with the greater number of dog/cat owners, it's even more common for dog/cat rescues.
Yeah the in practice element is my lingering worry too. There's always education and due diligence to lessen the occurrences of those crisis situations. Early intervention if absolutely necessary can also be used to make sure those types of downward spirals don't happen as often.

I know cats are seriously overpopulated all around the USA (and world for that matter), so an all around cat sanctuary is very hard to pull of properly. I don't know if the different cat types are different enough to warrant people to create special sanctuaries for each type.

Compared to cats or equines, I think it's relatively easy to make sanctuaries for each type of dog, either by breed, age, health status, etc. In theory, sanctuaries that specialize in each type of dog (however one categorizes) would exist, and whatever category a dog falls into, they would go to that place. If one isn't properly equipped, people can be directed to one that is. Of course, it's possible to be rejected by all of them. In practice, the former already kind of happens? There's breed specific rescues/ sanctuaries, senior dog rescues/sanctuaries that also offer canine hospice, and disabled dog rescues/sanctuaries that pull dogs from kill shelters. Dogs are constantly moving to different parts of the system.

Kill shelters being open to work with rescues is a start. Kill shelters having larger rescue networks is definitely already happening. So the groundwork is there? It's just ramping that up.
 

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One of my current dogs was pulled from a kill shelter in Abilene, Texas, brought to Milwaukee by a rescue group, fostered for a month and placed with the first qualified applicant that seemed a good match (me.) They have placed hundreds of dogs this way.

If I ever need another dog, I'll go that route again. (I always need another dog.)
 

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One of my current dogs was pulled from a kill shelter in Abilene, Texas, brought to Milwaukee by a rescue group, fostered for a month and placed with the first qualified applicant that seemed a good match (me.) They have placed hundreds of dogs this way.

If I ever need another dog, I'll go that route again. (I always need another dog.)
That's wonderful RonE. I'm glad there are such organizations. I'm seeing a lot more of them in action myself since moving to a much more dog-friendly area.
 
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