Monday

Note to Rescues-Apt Dwellers Can Make Great Pet Parents


Have you ever noticed how many rescue groups advertise MUST have fenced yard? I have, perhaps because I don't have one.
Now this makes sense if you are adopting a large active breed of dog but a Pekingese or a Frenchie?     I think not.. It also makes me wonder just how knowlegeable many of these people making life decisions for these rescues really are.
Does the dog in these photos look deprived? Is he dirty, stained or matted?  Does he look miserable? No, miserable was being in the dog pound, not being in an apartment.

From the large number I have observed, I would say approximately 50 % of the rescues with small lap dogs won't let them go to an apartment. Sadly because they can't adopt a rescue, many of those apartment dwellers who could provide good homes, get discouraged and buy unwittingly from an unscrupulous breeder.  These rescue groups who deny them are effectively fueling the production of dogs being poorly bred by backyard breeders with health and temperament issues.


Dogs thrive well in the city, just ask any New Yorker. I once knew  a woman who had Afghan hounds in her Boston apartment, she showed them too. Sounds pretty extreme knowing their exercise requirements. Well conditioned and happy these dogs did not suffer from a lack of a back yard. They were taken to a nearby dog park several times a day to run and received plenty of exercise. You may say the average person is not that dedicated, but because apartment owners must get out with their dogs, they pay lots of  attention to them. And because they live in close quarters with other people, it is nearly impossible to neglect a dog as other tenants will report it far faster than a dog in a house with neighbors farther away.
Apartment dwellers are required by the landlords to produce proof of vaccinations, whereas a home dweller is not. So a home owner can skip yearly vet visits and an apartment dweller cannot. My point is, if you are not going to take care of a dog, an apartment is an unlikely place to get away with it.

 Home dwellers can open the back door and just let the dog out, for hours at a time, unmonitored.  Most dogs who get lost do so from their owners yards. An apartment owner must walk their dog several times a day and stay with them when they romp in the dog park. And working apartment owners are much more likely to use dog day care. A friend who runs one told me almost all her clients live in apartments.

 So why all the prejudice against apartment dwellers?

Most apartment dwellers have no children or they are already grown, so the dog becomes a surrogate child. Dogs love being the center of attention, especially dogs who have come from an unwanted and abused background.
To these rescues who are prejudice against apartment living  I say this - there are millions of dogs living happily in apartments all across America. To deny potential good homes is just wrong. Do a home visit, if you see something you don't like then fine, but to deny people a dog just because you don't like their chosen legitimate lifestyle is ludicrous. Two months ago I saw a special needs dog I knew would flourish under my care as I had experience with managing his health issue. I was told the little guy, over age 10 must have a backyard to run in, and I was denied. Now his picture on the website says in bold letters..TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR THIS ONE. But he could be living with me, spoiled to pieces and his special needs tended to. Who knows what will happen to him now. And there is nothing I can do to help him.
Granted, not all rescues condemn apartment life. Some give everyone an equal chance in home visits. But the small dog rescues who will not consider an apartment, the ones who say no without even asking the person's dog experience, astound me.

These people are selling these dogs short!

There are times when I wish that people applying for charity status to run rescues also had to demonstrate proof that they actually understand dogs and their needs. How many more dogs could be saved if these groups would allow some of their rescue dogs to live in apartments? Every time a dog is placed, another dog can be rescued.

 It is the person, not the house that makes a good home for a dog.

It is not how much money they CAN spend on care, but how much they WILL spend on care. I once rescued 22 dogs from a woman who lived in the richest part of town..her dogs were all matted, neglected and starving. But her house was spotless. ..yet the dogs were ignored in that overly important backyard...