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Why so hard to rehome a dog from the RSPCA?

Discussion in 'Dog Rescue and Adoption' started by zidangus, Feb 20, 2021.


  1. zidangus

    zidangus PetForums Newbie

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    Ok, so I have had two rescue boxers in the last 18 years. One lived for 8 years and the other died in the last month, he was 10 years old. My family and I love boxers and I have been looking for the last two weeks for another rescue boxer. I have seen one that I think would fit in great in my home, on the rspca website, however, when I enquired about it I was told I am not suitable because I have a 9 year old child. Did not matter about my experience with this breed and rescues, did not matter I had a 6 ft secure fence surrounding a large garden, did not matter there would be someone with the dog every day. Did not matter I live in the countryside and would walk it 2 hours + a day. Did not matter my son has been brought up with boxers all his life and we as a family know how to train boxers to be around kids and strangers. It was a straight up no because you have a 9 year old child. There was no mention of the dog ever being aggressive to anyone, in fact the advert said it was a big softie like 99% of boxers are. In fact I have never heard of a boxer biting a child.

    I mean there is no wonder so many dogs are still in shelters if this is the criteria that they use. My last two rescues were from small local animal charities and they were fine once they seen my garden and that the dog would be going to a loving home that would give it all it needs.

    It makes me wonder if they actually want to rehome these dogs to be honest. Anyway, I will keep looking in different smaller charities as it seems it's pointless trying to rehome a dog from the rspca unless you have no kids and never see kids, don't work and have a massive garden with a 6ft fence around it.

    Hopefully I don't have to buy a puppy, but if cannot find a boxer in the smaller animal charities then it might be my only choice.
     
    #1 zidangus, Feb 20, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  2. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    Of course they want to rehome the dogs, but they want the adoptions to have the highest chance of success.

    Unfortunately one of the most common reasons for dogs being handed in to rescues is because of children.

    You may feel blanket restrictions are unfair, but if they don't rehome because of young children the worst that can happen is some people complain about it on the internet, if they rehome to a family with young children & there's an incident involving the dog there are a lot more serious ramifications.

    It's not personal, they need to cover their backs & they don't always have the resources to treat each case as an individual.

    ETA: A lot of smaller charities are more flexible with childrens' ages so would be a better option, also try the regional boxer specific rescues.
     
  3. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums VIP

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    Just to put your mind at rest, Boxers do bite - when dogs bite they don’t discriminate based on age. This one bit an adult and his two children, apparently.
    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/pictured-dad-two-children-who-6089512
    Either way, not homing with young children is only one of the criteria. As has been said, they need to cover themselves. A lot of the dogs going into rescue - as you might know - are quite anxious, for all kinds of reasons. They’re often not well socialised. All dogs are assessed when they go into RSPCA care, but the way they react when they’re taken into a new home can be unpredictable. Children don’t understand that they perhaps shouldn’t approach a dog when it’s eating or when it’s asleep, or when it’s got a toy. So, the results can be ‘unwanted’ if the dog is guarding, or if it’s frightened. That’s really why the RSPCA have the rules that they do. It’s a slight chance perhaps, but hopefully you can see that they don’t want to be held responsible because a former RSPCA dog has bitten a child.
    You’re clearly not happy about it - you went to the effort of joining the forum to say so, after all - but my advice is the same - find a local rescue home and see if they are a little more flexible. That’s all you can do, really.
     
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  4. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried the Boxer breed club rescue, via the Kennel Club?
     
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  5. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    It might have been that that particular boxer was not suitable to be rehomed with children.
     
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  6. bunnygeek

    bunnygeek PetForums VIP

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    As others have said, a rescue, large or small, will only be confident to rehome a dog with younger children if that dog has a history of being absolutely fine with younger children. And by fine I mean not jumping all over them and knocking them flying.

    The majority of dogs signed over to rescue do NOT have that history, they may have been signed over the specific reason that they’ve sent toddlers flying like bowling bins, or growled at kids who haven’t understood they should let sleeping dogs lie or shouldn’t bother them when they’re eating. No rescue in good conscience would rehome one of these dogs to another home with small kids.

    A rescue’s priority is finding the dogs in their care the perfect home, it’s not their priority to rehome a dog to anyone who applies.
     
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  7. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    Plus they can only go on the history the surrenderer provides, which may or may not be truthful.
     
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  8. zidangus

    zidangus PetForums Newbie

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    My issue was that they never took anything else into account, specifically my experience with this breed (almost 20 years), it was just a straight up no. I mean it would be easy to arrange a 5-10 minute dog walk to see what they are like with you. I did this for the lat two rescue boxers I had and it was fine. The advert never mentioned any aggression just that it was a big dog. I know boxers are big and clumsy I have owned them for almost 20 years, I am 100% sure I could train that boxer to behave around kids and strangers.

    I am sure they think that having children is a bigger factor than having experience with the breed when it comes to training and giving the dog a good home. Well i think it's just as likely that someone with no kids and no experience with boxers would have no clue and find it hard to care for a boxer and fullfill its needs. Yet they would have been higher on their list of acceptable owners.

    Also I am sure the RSCPA put down dogs in their care when they say they cannot be rehomed (probably because no one meets their over the top criteria). So is that a better answer for the dogs in question? Basically we cannot find this perfect owner so we have to put you down?

    Anyway, whatever, I give up searching on the RSPCA, every single dog they have for rehoming regardless of breed says "no children" so there is no point wasting my time looking at them.
     
  9. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Unfortunately, there is no way they can guarantee you’re telling the truth about your knowledge and experience.

    Personally, I wouldn’t take on a rescue with a 5 year old.

    I waited ... partly because dogs aren’t usually allowed in all the places we wanted to go with our son especially on our holidays (sea life centres, play centres etc.), having his young (noisy and active) friends over to our to house play, football at weekends (dogs aren’t allowed on school or sports fields) etc. but also not knowing the history or temperament.

    I waited until he was 15 and it worked brilliantly with no hassle tbh.
     
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  10. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    There are plenty of other rescues that will rehome to families with children, rather than wasting your time decrying policies you have no control over, accept that they have these measures in place to protect their dogs, move on & find one that does.
     
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  11. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    That was my thought as well.

    And this.
     
  12. bunnygeek

    bunnygeek PetForums VIP

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    Yep as LurcherLad says, rescues will get hundreds of people who apply claiming they can manage tricky dogs, but every rescue will have had their fingers burnt by people totally over-estimating their experience and having to deal with dogs who've had to be returned to the rescue, potentially in a worse or more confused state than they were the first time they were signed over.

    It may be the case this dog has already been in a home with a child, and it didn't work out. Maybe the dog was too bouncy, or was wary of kids not respecting their boundaries. NO rescue, regardless of how convincing a potential adopter tries to be, is going to put a dog in a situation they know it will not be comfortable in. As I said, the rescue's priority is the dog and the dog's welfare, not the potential adoptee having a dog just because they shout loudest and throwing your toys out the pram won't get you a dog.

    Rescues are vastly oversubscribed right now. A lot less dogs have been signed over in the last year. There are actually empty kennels out there. Dogs that can genuinely live with children could potentially receive hundreds of applications. I've heard of puppies receiving THOUSANDS of applications. I feel for the poor stressed out staff and volunteers who have to wade through these applications to find the right home for the dog.

    Give it until after the summer, when lockdowns have lifted and the reality of having a dog and trying to work normal working hours, or go on foreign holidays, or doing the school run, has hit and these people who've bought lockdown puppies will be signing over many more dogs to rescue.
     
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  13. zidangus

    zidangus PetForums Newbie

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    I literally have hundreds of photos and videos spanning 20 years of my family with my dogs. Also my son is 10 years old not 5. Anyway, I can understand wanting to wait, but as I said my last dog was brought up with my son, my son was one year younger than him and they both loved each other. I had zero problems at all.
     
  14. zidangus

    zidangus PetForums Newbie

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    I have accepted it. I'm just stating how daft I think their policy is.
     
    #14 zidangus, Feb 22, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021 at 5:47 PM
  15. zidangus

    zidangus PetForums Newbie

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    They are closed because of lockdown. In my area anyway (the north)
     
  16. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Well then you will have to wait. It sucks, but sometimes it's just the way it is. Can't always have everything the minute you want it.
     
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  17. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    You have to be aware that the majority of the dogs taken in by the RSPCA are 'pigs in a poke'.

    The only history they have is what they can glean from the circumstances at the time they were taken or what they're told by donors/owners/relatives.

    Rehoming to a family with a child carries a risk and not a risk to be taken lightly. Undoubtedly, you're familiar with the Breed, but you're not familiar with this particular dog. You would be prepared to take the risk of bringing him/her into your home, but the RSPCA cannot be casual about such a situation.

    They have to err on the side of caution.
     
  18. bunnygeek

    bunnygeek PetForums VIP

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    It's not stupid to want a dog to go to a safe and responsible home. You were probably one of 30 people in the last half an hour to enquire about that dog and had kids. Everyone with kids seems to want a dog right now. It's exhausting for rescues. Utterly exhausting. Especially when they get verbally abused down the phone for it. This happens a LOT.

    Most rescues actually DON'T have blanket "no kids" policies. It's mainly done on case by case basis now. Unfortunately many of those "cases" (the dogs) are signed over without the background that would make them kid-safe or signed over because they didn't get on with the kids in the household.
     
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  19. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I'm not at all attempting to dimish your experience, but bear in mind that you've had two dogs of the same breed, and there is always differences between dogs of the same breed. Just because your boxers were great with kids, that doesn't hold true for every boxer.

    That's a big call to make for someone who has owned 2 dogs. But what if the dog just doesn't LIKE kids? Should the rescue be rehoming the dog to you where it may be unhappy/stressed/conflicted/anxious, when they can rehome it to someone who has the same dog experience as you but has no kids? Or does every boxer like kids?
     
  20. zidangus

    zidangus PetForums Newbie

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    If the Boxer had shown aggression towards kids or to anyone then I am sure they would have stated that in the advert. It did not state that, the advert seemed to state that it was because it was a big dog so it might knock over a child. Again all boxers are like this if they are untrained.

    Anyway, it does not matter, I will just know not to look at their website anymore. I still think it's a stupid policy when there is no evidence at all for aggression towards adults or kids from the dog. But whatever, that's their choice to have that policy.
     
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