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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I have a story.

My friend is in the process of adopting a dog from our local shelter. They are a kill shelter. They have called the dog Mollie and she is a very sweet black lab mix, they say about 2yrs old. She was pretty emaciated, and her nipples were swollen. The guy there said she had probably had pups recently. Neither me nor my friend know anything about pregnant dogs, so we accepted that, as she was a stray whose owners were called but never came for her. They have had her on a trial with their cats since saturday. Today they went back to the shelter to pay for her and get her shots and microchip, plus pick up the voucher for spaying, which she had an appointment for tomorrow.

(I was not there for this part) Mollie jumped up on the woman there, who looked at her, felt her stomach and said "theres a problem". My friend said "yes, we know she just had pups", and the woman says "no, shes just about to have them"... As in, in the next couple of days, possibly today.

The shelter requires the pups to be aborted and her to be spayed as soon as she is adopted. However, if she stayed there then they wouldn't spay her, and if my friend wasn't going through the adoption they wouldn't have even known she was pregnant. These pups could apparently be born tonight, but they must be aborted tomorrow. To make it worse, when my friend asked what would happen if they didn't take her straight away the womans answer was "we are a kill shelter". And she said that if they were purebred then they would allow them to be born.

This poor dog is so skinny, and you cant tell by looking that she is pregnant, so I doubt any pups she had could be strong enough to survive, and there is a big possibility that she wouldnt survive it herself, so it isn't so much the aborting that I have a problem with. It is the fact that they have had her at the shelter a month and apparently no-one knew she was pregnant, and they are putting the cost of the abortion on my friend, with the threat of this sweet dog being PTS if she doesnt adopt her and get the abortion/spaying done tomorrow.

Any thoughts?
 

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It's a little weird that they didn't have a veterinarian check this dog if she might be pregnant. If she were that pregnant the people at the shelter should have been able to know.

I think saying they'd keep pups just because they're purebred is insane! At the clinic I work at we work closely with the humane society and do many of their spays/neuters. We have done pregnant spays a few times, but when they are that far along we usually allow the pups/kittens to be born and then when they are old enough they are adopted separately.
 

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First off, shame on the shelter for not checking their animals when they come in the door! On this basis alone, I don't know if I would adopt from them. Strike one...

Second, the part about being purebred seems odd. How in the world are they going to know if they're purebred or not until after they're born (or usually, long after that?) And of course, just because I can say it here, what do they have against mixes? Strike two...

Third, they have no right to make someone who's gone through a trial period choose between letting them put the dog to sleep or paying for abortion/spay. It's their fault for not spaying her before the trial period. Strike three...

This all seems pretty fishy to me. Shelters may do things differently from one another, but this one seems pretty out there.

On a side note: I know nothing about pregnant dogs, either, but I do know what hormones do to pregnant women. I'm wondering how much the dog's personality is going to change after the birth or abortion/spay, whichever happens. It might be worth it to hold off on the adoption until that's known, just in case. Please keep us updated!
 

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I've heard of a shelter director that complained to a purebred rescue group that they were taking all the 'good' dogs and leaving him 'the drek'. So I wouldn't be surprised if some shelters would want purebred puppies to offer for adoption with the mistaken belief that they'd have a better chance of getting an adoption fee for them (I guess the fact that most people in the U.S. own a mix is lost on them).

Really, some county shelters are awful places and they end up driving more adopters away than anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It also annoyed me that the dogs overall condition wasn't given as a reason for the abortion, because to me in her case it would be the main reason.

Well, my friend has adopted the dog and she has the appointment this morning. I believe she will be fighting about having to pay the vet for the abortion herself though, so if anyone has anything that could help her we would both be grateful.


I know I would have done the same thing, once I had taken a dog out of there I could never take it back.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, here is how it has ended up. After speaking to the vet today it turns out the dog is either less than 25days pregnant or having a particularly weird heat. But he said she has apparently had at least two litters before from how she looks. And the poor baby is 2-3 years old.

However, if she is pregnant it happen while she was at the shelter, and apparently the vet wouldn't be surprised if that has been the case. Which is appalling. However sweet the cats there are, I will be going somewhere else next month to get one. There are plenty of other shelters around here.

So, my friend has spoken to someone at city hall, who was pretty annoyed at the shelters attitude, and she will be getting back at least half of the adoption fee to go towards the vets costs. Which is a good enough financial outcome for her, but wont do anything long-term about the shelter.
 

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Hey, at only 25 days, that's a VERY safe spay/abort. And it really is better for the dog AND the population.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yep, I actually agree completely with the abortion, just not about her having to pay for it under the threat of the dog being pts if she doesn't
 

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Has anyone seen the remake of the song 'How Much is That Doggie in the Window by Patti Page.
Do You See That Doggie in the Shelter.
If you wish to view it go to
k9s4ever.com
What does that have to do with this discussion?
 

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Yep, I actually agree completely with the abortion, just not about her having to pay for it under the threat of the dog being pts if she doesn't
Well, was the price of a spay included in the adoption fee? Because if not (a lot of municipal shelters have a low adoption fee that doesn't include the spay price- you just get a voucher), I think she's being SLIGHTLY unreasonable. It's not (unfortunately) any different from adopting a shelter dog and finding out that they have an abscessed tooth or broken and badly healed leg or impacted anal glands or vWD and need a more expensive surgery in addition to the spay you agreeed to pay for. That's part of adopting from a municipal shelter- any vet work has been REALLY cursory and minimal. And if she's just 25 days along, she's JUST at the stage you can palpate for pregnancy. That they didn't know is VERY reasonable.

ETA: is the cost for a pregnant spay THAT much more than a regular spay? It's not at my vet! She might want to call around.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
She got a voucher for the spay. The flat adoption fee includes microchip and shots at the time of adoption, but she cant have the shots done now because of the possible pregnancy, so those also have to be done at her expense after the spay.

And the pregnant spay is more than the regular spay here, even with calling around.

I know that the shelter will do as little vet work as possible, but if she is less than 25 days pregnant as it now seems she might be then it happened while she was at the shelter, which is completely unacceptable to me and there is no way my friend should have to pay in that case. If it turns out to be just a bad heat cycle then I take back almost everything about the shelter, except their attitude which was unnecessary.

I can understand them not knowing about the pregnancy from an examination at less than 25 days, but how did the woman get it confused with "shes having them in the next couple of days" and then basically threaten to put the dog down. This was the manager she was talking to at that point.

But in any case, the dog is having the op first thing in the morning, so we will know exactly what was going on inside her then. She is a lovely dog, I believe she was given up because of money issues because she is very malnourished, but hasn't got any obvious behavioral issues, and is pretty well trained. She is never left alone with my friends kids but she has been very gentle with them when they are playing. I think they were lucky to find her, and that no matter what they wouldn't have given her up after the first night of the trial period!
 

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Honestly, that shelter sounds like a really slipshod operation. I'm even wondering if they really invest the adoption fees in their animals; it occurs to me that you can establish a pretty good scam as a shelter by minimizing care (apparently your dog never saw a vet) soliciting non-cash donations to cover operating costs, then claiming cash expenses on "purchasing" those same donations. Theoretically, you could build a shelter that's the equivalent of a puppy mill, only with less overhead; no breeding costs, and you euthanize any dogs you don't think will sell, and, as a nonprofit, you don't pay tax.
 

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Actually, while this shelter is not up to OUR standards here on the DF, this shelter is STILL better than the Muni Shelters of years ago. It used to be that you went in and for $15 you got a dog.. right then and there.. no speuter requirements.. no shots.. no nuthin.'

I agree that the threat to PTS the dog and the rest is just bad news. Letting the dog go for a trial is good news. Shelters never used to do that.

Has anyone seen the remake of the song 'How Much is That Doggie in the Window by Patti Page.
Do You See That Doggie in the Shelter.
If you wish to view it go to
k9s4ever.com
What does that have to do with this discussion?
Illegal ad.. or sort of an illegal ad...
 

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However, if she is pregnant it happen while she was at the shelter, and apparently the vet wouldn't be surprised if that has been the case. Which is appalling. However sweet the cats there are, I will be going somewhere else next month to get one. There are plenty of other shelters around here.
The vet thought she might have gotten pregnant at the shelter??? That's really, really terrible!

Yeah I would definitely agree that you look into a different shelter for your new cat.

The shelter I work with had a director (not on premises) who seems to care more about business than the animals. Luckily the staff at the shelter are amazing and do what they can to save animals from being euthanized for space/minor illnesses. Several of the staff have fostered sick kittens and puppies themselves to give them a chance at life.
 

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I've heard of a shelter director that complained to a purebred rescue group that they were taking all the 'good' dogs and leaving him 'the drek'. So I wouldn't be surprised if some shelters would want purebred puppies to offer for adoption with the mistaken belief that they'd have a better chance of getting an adoption fee for them (I guess the fact that most people in the U.S. own a mix is lost on them).

Really, some county shelters are awful places and they end up driving more adopters away than anything else.
That sounds like my local shelter. It is pretty sad. They kept referring to the pure bred pups as their "profit margin" and the others were not referred to as much of anything. SAD.

Keep in mind that it is individuals within the shelter though. There are also a lot of very dedicated wonderful people working their butts off daily to help as many unwanted animals as they can. I always tell folks to keep in mind if they want to put these sheters out of business they need to stop the irresponsible folks that are creating all the "extra dogs and cats."
 

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Keep in mind that it is individuals within the shelter though. There are also a lot of very dedicated wonderful people working their butts off daily to help as many unwanted animals as they can. I always tell folks to keep in mind if they want to put these shelters out of business they need to stop the irresponsible folks that are creating all the "extra dogs and cats."
Most bad shelters are that way. You have people in the trenches doing what they can, with apathetic or incompetent leadership undermining true lifesaving progress. It always boils down to the work ethic of the leadership.

As long as people accept poor, dismal conditions and high kill rates at shelters as 'the norm', it makes it hard to press for reform.
 

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In the case of our shelter I think it is lazy, conceited Board of Directors. I think they enjoy the "prestige" of being on the Board but do not wish to actually put anything into it. I think there is a bit of greed involved as well. At the heart of it there are a lot of animals suffering. :( I wish more could be done.
 

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Wow! That's awful!

I guess we're lucky here...we have two good shelters. One that more or less is cat only, and the other is pretty much dog only.

Both are nice. I volunteered at both so that I could figure out which one I wanted to devote more time to, but only came twice to each, because I started school right after I signed up. Turned out school was tougher then I thought!
 
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