“Exception Rescue” vs. “Overpopulation Rescue”

So much of what rescue groups deal with is because of the massive overpopulation of dogs — pure mathematics — too many dogs, too few homes.  I call this “overpopulation rescue” and it is so overwhelming, we often can’t help with special circumstances that are really  heartbreaking — when someone can no longer care for their pet through no fault of their own.  I think if these as “exception rescues” : when life changes, and people have to adjust by finding new homes for their dogs.  Situations like divorce, foreclosure, illness, or even death.

I often am saddened that we cannot handle these “exception rescues” because the “overpopulation rescues” are more than we can handle anyway.

Yesterday I had an “exception rescue” experience.  Sadly, most of the time I have to say “no” to these, but this time was different.

I received a call from a very distraught woman.  She asked if I remembered “Ed Simmons” (not his real name), who had adopted 2 puppies from us a couple of years ago.

Of course I remembered Ed.  I remembered especially the smile on his face when he left with those two darling puppies, Angus and Nessa.  I remembered Angus and Nessa because I’d watched them be born in my kitchen, just 6 days after I saved their mama from animal control.  Mama had been scheduled for being put to sleep 2 hours before I arrived to get her.  (Yes, pregnant.  But that’s another story.)

Her voice choked up when she said, “Ed died.  Can you come get the dogs?”  (Amazingly resourceful, she had remembered the name of Ed’s vet, who then remembered me.  Two big strokes of luck for those babies.  Otherwise they would have gone to animal control and I would never have known.)

Luckily, I was in town and not on a business trip.  I was also in the car and not far away.  I headed over there.  Angus and Nessa were in the back yard.  Scared to death.  Ed had apparently let them outside and then collapsed.  They spent about a day back there, without food or water, and watching their dad through the back door window.  They were frantic.  When I arrived the authorities had already taken Ed away, but the dogs wouldn’t let anyone near them.  The police were there, I suppose to make sure we didn’t take anything except the dogs.

I sat down on the back porch and within a minute or so, they remembered me.  What a moment — after 2 years, they remembered!  They climbed all over me, giving kisses and headrubs.  I got them into the car and got them home.  They were so relieved to be with people again.

We will always need rescue, because these situations are part of life.  I dream of the day when all rescue is “exception rescue” and not “overpopulation rescue.”

As long as we buy dogs from breeders and petstores, giving them the financial incentive to continue their practices, we will have “overpopulation rescue.”

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marylon
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 21:04:15

    Another wonderful moment in a day of rescue!! How could you ever think that they wouldn`t remember you. God bless once again for the above and beyond work of DREAM!

    Reply

  2. dogopolis
    Sep 24, 2009 @ 21:17:28

    What a touching story. I think what you’re doing is great and it takes a really selfless person to do what you’re doing. Thank you for sharing

    Reply

  3. Julie Treger
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 00:35:29

    Hi,

    I knew “Ed”. I remember, he adopted Angus first. He couldn’t resist Nessa. Everytime I saw him I would ask about his babies. He really loved them.

    I have two of my own dogs and would have adopted his babies in a heartbeat had I been able too. Did they get adopted, and were they able to stay together?

    Reply

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