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Usually not, as there is no shortage of purebreds needing our assistance.
Yes, in most cases.
In many cases, yes. Biting is an unusual behavior for a Setter, and can be the result of a treatable medical condition such as Hypothyroidism or Lyme Disease.
We do not buy dogs. Our funds are better spent in treating the medical issues of the dogs that come into our program.
We encourage you to follow your dog on the website rather than call or email so that we will have more time to do those things we need to do, like vetting, finding the best possible match, scheduling transports. and learning about your dog. Feel free to contact us if no updates have been posted, or if you forgot to tell us something important about your dog.
After your dog has been adopted, if requested and agreed upon by both the owner and adopter, you will be introduced via email so that you may communicate with the adopting family. One former owner still sends a birthday card to her former Setter every year!
Different volunteers serve different functions based on the needs of the organization and the volunteers' skills, talents, desires, and resources. Segregating duties based on function has worked well to prevent duplication of effort and wasted resources.
The ultimate goal is to place each dog in the home that will best meet the needs of the dog. Local adoptions can and do occur. However, when placing each dog in the best possible home is the goal, one must look further than his own backyard.
There are several reasons. Some level of vetting is required in order for the dog to be deemed ready to be adopted, and we like for our vets to determine whether the dog meets our high standards of health. Our familiarity with the breeds affords us the opportunity to recognize signs of illnesses that are inherent in the breeds, such as hypothyroidism and PRA. We also take every precaution to avoid passing disease on to other pets.
Not all owners are forthcoming with behavior issues, and we cannot, in good conscience, place a dog that we have not assessed ourselves. In most cases, the owner's situation is far removed from the potential adopter's situation, and assessing how the dog would do with cats or with children may not be known by the owner, and we don't want the owner to merely guess how the dog would do.
Furthermore, some behavior issues such as separation anxiety and thunderstorm phobia are the result of the owner's schedule or location. In order to work on resolving behavior issues, we need to place the dog in a different environment.
We also work with the dogs on leash-training, crate-training, housetraining, house manners, and basic obedience. We utilize universally accepted basic obedience commands to train the dogs, which helps in their transition to their new forever homes. We also test the dog in various circumstances to help ensure that there is no "trigger" that could result in serious behavior issues. Some dogs are aggressive towards motorcycles, and the potential adopter may plan on leash-walking the dog several times daily as opposed to allowing the dog to exercise exclusively in the backyard. Such information would be useful in determining whether the dog would be a good match for the adopter.
With the goal of matching the dog to the adoptive family, it would be difficult to determine what type of adopter would be best suited to a dog if we don't know much about the dog!
In some cases, the dog is from a reputable breeder, and was surrendered to rescue in violation of a purchase contract. We do notify reputable breeders that their dog is in rescue. Dogs have been known to be stolen, and reuniting them with their rightful owners is always a pleasure!
We do get dogs in with hereditary issues, and knowing which lines have these inherited diseases is very helpful not only in placing the dog, but also in safely vetting the dogs and in determining medical reasons for behavior issues. It is also helpful to know which breeders are breeding for profit as opposed to those breeding to improve the breed. The latter group can provide results of genetic testing as well as help us determine potential health issues such as a predisposition to epilepsy and/or hypothyroidism. This information is passed on to the adopters so that they and their vet can be made aware, and will watch for and be able to recognize symptoms early on, should they appear.
We do not recommend it, as it often results in duplication of efforts and wasted resources, not to mention confusion! Select the one rescue you feel will best serve the needs of your dog, and stay the course. You, too, will be less confused as to which rescue is calling, what you told to whom, and so forth.
No. We operate independently of ISCA rescue, but we do work with many of their rescue volunteers, in the best interest of the dogs. Among our ranks (and our friends) are several former ISCA rescue volunteers and some current ISCA rescue volunteers. SOS volunteers hold to a single standard, while ISCA rescue volunteers generally operate independently of one another under the guidance of a handful of written rules at the National level, and their own standards at the local level.