Letter Published in the Shiba E-News



By Pam Peterson

When it was suggested I write an article about our rescue situation, and how badly we need help, I immediately agreed, but I really do not know where to start. There is so much to say, and so much to ask.  I do not know that I can even begin to give the readers an idea of the difficulties we are facing in just one article. I personally feel overwhelmed by the number of dogs that need rescued, and the number of dogs that we are loosing. I just cannot believe that the Shiba fancy has any idea of the seriousness of the situation. Therefore, I will try to write something for every issue in order to update the fancy on what is happening in rescue here in Ohio and the surrounding area. If any other rescuers would like to join me in this effort to inform our readers and Shiba fancy on the magnitude of our rescue efforts and the help we need, please feel free to speak up.

In the summer of 1999 I was asked to help with a couple of rescue dogs. This resulted in some how placing my name on “the list.” Since then have I rescued and placed 119 Shiba Inus dogs. That’ right -119 SHIBAS, a few Kai Ken, several Akitas, a dozen or so Shih Tzu, and a Golden Retriever. Now that is me, myself and I that rescued those 119 Shibas. I cleaned them up, socialized them, boarded them, provided them with veterinary care, screened the homes, and eventually placed these dogs.

All of this was paid for out of my pocket.  Some of these dogs included the “7 little stinkies” that I saved from a pound in Toledo, Ohio. These dogs were left over Christmas pups that did not sell, and therefore were dumped at the pound. They were only 6 to 9 months old and had NEVER been touched by humans. There was also a little girl that was thrown out of a moving car, and was so badly injured that she had to have her back leg removed. I have also rescued several heartworm positive dogs, several dogs with conditions that cause seizures, and a few that where pregnant. There were too many dental problems to count. I also rescued one that had such bad cataracts, that he had to have an eye removed. Most of them were not spayed or neutered, and all of them needed shots, wormed, and micro chipped.  That’s a pretty big vet bill for one person’s pocket book.

These rescues have all spent time in my boarding kennel, and took up space that could be used for paying clients. Some dogs were here for up to a year before being placed. I will not even talk about Sony, Katie, Allie, Jimmy and Tonya that have lived out their lives here. I have dedicated my time to training, cleaning, brushing, feeding etc. This includes the time I spent driving to pick them up or take them to the vet or airport.

The scary thing is that the number of dogs that I have saved is just a drop in the bucket. I would be afraid to know how many are put to sleep because we just cannot get to them. A sweet little girl was put to sleep in Tennessee last week because we could not get to her quick enough. There is a little boy scheduled to die in Virginia next week because there is no one that can take him. I alone turned away 5 dogs in one week in July because I did not have the space for them, and there was no one else that would take them.  Joe, has 8 rescue dogs being fostered in his house in downtown Columbus, Ohio.   Midwest Shiba rescue placed 130 dogs in 2005 alone. The numbers I have mentioned are just a few of the people that I work with in my area. The list goes on and on.

I rescue because I am a breeder, and I love the Shiba Inu breed. It breaks my heart to see them die just because no one wants them. However, I am running out of money and resources. Why is it we have around 300 members in our club and a very small group helping with rescue? According to what I have seen, only about 20 %  have ever helped out with rescue.

How many of our top breeders are selling pet dogs with out spay/neuter contracts?
How many of our breeders are refusing to take their dogs back? I have rescued quite a few dogs that have come with papers, and one was even an AKC champion. I rescued this dog from a shelter in Ohio. I have rescued dogs that were bred by some of

our top breeders. I have also rescued dogs that were bred by backyard breeders or puppy mills but they have reputable kennel names in their 3 generation pedigree. How can this be happening? Reputable breeders are not taking their puppies back? We have dogs ending up in rescue that are grand pups from a top stud dog. Trust me it is happening a lot. I have had the dogs here in my yard.

So why do we have so many rescue dogs and so few people helping? I have heard all the excuses. Lack of money, lack of space, or lack of time is the ones most often heard. I have even heard one breeder say that rescue dogs were usually bad dogs and deserved to be in rescue. I realize not everyone can foster a dog or afford a $400.00 heartworm treatment. However, if everyone helped out a little it would really help out the ones that do provide shelter and care for these dogs. I am one of the lucky ones. I have a kennel that I can offer to foster dogs, but the gasoline prices alone are killing me. I have to buy gas for every trip to the vet, the feed store, or to visit a home. This does not include the hours I spend on the road to remote shelters to pick up abandoned dogs. I take time off work and away from my family and own pets to save these poor dogs. So I am asking those of us who do not have time or the facilities, to donate some gas cards, dog food, toys, beds, etc. to those of us who are out there actively doing this.

Next week I will have to take a whole day off work, and pay kennel help to take care of my business so that I may drive 200 miles to Amish country to rescue 15 dogs. There are

13 Shibas and 2 Shih Tzu in need of rescue. This includes two Shibas that are pregnant, and three pups that are not even weaned yet. I will have to pay for gas and kennel help in order to save these dogs and  provide a place for them  to stay. I am assuming each dog will need shots, a heartworm test, teeth cleaning, and will need to be spayed/neutered. This results in an average cost of $200 to $400 per dog. I do have foster homes for 2 dogs, which leaves me with 13 dogs. In the meantime, I received an email last night, and there are 5 more dogs in Pennsylvania that a breeder wants to turn over to rescue. And just tonight received a call from someone wanting to give up a 12 to 13 year old dog “that keeps getting out”.

This is just an example of one week in rescue in Ohio is like. I wanted to get the word out, and we could really use some help here……………………….