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An urgent call to action from Team Bob
Many of you have been asking us about the unusual number of Golden Retriever puppies and adult dogs that we have been rescuing in partnership with Ohio-based GRIN (Golden Retrievers In Need). You’re not wrong. Some 40% of the 100+ dogs we have taken in this year have come to us through GRIN.
WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
Rescue organizations in the Midwest area - especially Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania - are currently overrun with puppy mill relinquishments and releases. Here’s why. During the COVID pandemic the demand for canine companions skyrocketed, and puppy mills began to flourish. In Ohio alone there are more than 600 licensed mills and hundreds of unlicensed ones. Now, the market for many breeds is saturated, and mill operators are looking to divest themselves of their breeding stock and unsold puppies.
DIVEST ... WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
We can’t find a way to be delicate about this. The “humane” breeders have been contacting rescues like GRIN asking them to accept extraordinary numbers of dogs. Lisa Kime, GRIN’s President, tells us that this week alone she is handling 21 mill relinquishments, ages 8 weeks to 5 years. One of those came from a vet who had been contacted by a mill to euthanize his 5-year-old breeding female Golden Retriever because he didn’t need her any longer. Last week it was a call to “get rid of” a female already 45 days into her pregnancy. It gets worse. Breeders who regard animals as property to be dispensed with as economically as possible have taken to shooting and drowning their surplus Goldens.
THE CHALLENGE FOR GRIN
Midwest rescue organizations are full and have zero capacity to continue to take on the volume. Every time they are forced to turn dogs away, these rescuers know those animals will die. Unacceptable. That is why GRIN has turned to its Golden Retriever rescue partners in states that do not have the mill problem. One of the first to step up was Rescue A Golden of Arizona (RAGofAZ).
WHY IS RAGofAZ HELPING?
We have assessed our ability to save as many of these Goldens as we can, and here is what we know: (1) We have a Board of Directors that believes death and despair should never be the only options a Golden Retriever faces no matter where it lives. (2) We have a devoted and growing membership that continues to offer us the financial resources we need to make rescue possible. (3) We’re still working on this one: we have the volunteer bandwidth required to deliver on our promise to save these dogs. However, that demand is expanding and so must our volunteer participation. One more thing ... our commitment to rescuing Goldens in Arizona has not diminished one iota, and it never will.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR RESCUING GOLDENS THROUGH GRIN?
GRIN reaches out to numerous rescues including RAGofAZ when they become overwhelmed by the numbers. With GRIN’s assistance, we have secured the services of an outstanding veterinarian in Ohio who examines and vaccinates the dogs before they are placed into the hands of an experienced and reputable animal transport company. Yes, there is some stress involved in transport, but these dogs are resilient. Shipping them to rescues in states that do not have the puppy mill problem gives these precious animals the chance they deserve. Our social media sites are constantly highlighting the happy endings of GRIN dogs that have journeyed to the desert and a new life. By the way, that five-year old female slated for euthanasia we mentioned? She has a seat on the next bus and will be arriving here this week.
CALL TO ACTION
We believe our “dog teams” are the best in the country. Those of you who serve on our Intake, Home Visit, Woofline, Transport, Placement, Vet Care, and Behavioral teams make these complex rescue operations work. We say that with heartfelt gratitude. Now, with great humility, we ask for more. We particularly need help with addressing the logistics of transporting the dogs when they arrive. Every Golden Retriever who is about to leave a life of misery behind and travel to its new home is counting on us to be there waiting for them as they take their first steps to a new life. Thank you.
ADOPT. RESCUE. VOLUNTEER. DONATE.
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