Any of you reasonably up to date on dog show drama may be reasonably well-aware of what we’ll refer to as “Piper-Gate 2014″. For those of you unfamiliar, the very abbreviated version is a Sheltie named Piper escaped from her caretaker when her owner was off at her breed’s national back in April. Through several somewhat iffy transactions over a holiday weekend, the microchipped but unregistered Piper ended up in a breed-rescue. Within a short period of time, the owners of Piper had returned, contacted the rescue, and began what should have been a simple, albeit documentation-intense, return process. Last week after much batshittery, the matter hit a courtroom where the judge ordered the return of Miss Piper to her owners. Seems simple, despite being overly dramatic and filled with stuff Dr. Phil needs to produce a show on including internet bullying, larceny accusations and what we can only assume are “I know you are but what am I” rubber/glue threats.
However, instead of returning Piper, the rescue posted a $10,000 bond (Here) . Wait, what? $10,000? Do you know how far that would go in most rescues and how many other animals that money could save? Why would any good rescue give that kind of money to keep ONE dog that has loving and responsible owners who desperately want her back and after all this drama really didn’t need to be rescue in the first place? Oh, that’s right. Ego and making a statement against breeders. We get it. Many rescuers are vehemently against breeders, but Piper is not a shitty BYB Sheltie who ended up in a home with some yokels. She’s a much-loved champion dog from a good breeder who happened to get lost.
Too Late. She said Spite.
Really our question is, to what end is the rescue fighting this? If the real mission of the rescue is save and rehome unwanted Shelties, they certainly are barking up the wrong tree. Why not spend their energy and money pulling other dogs from shelters who truly don’t have anywhere to go? We’re pretty sure that this has become more about people than about the animals and we really don’t like the people.
Unfortunately for good rescues this has, in much of the ethical breeding community, created a major backlash. Why would breeders support a rescue who wouldn’t do their best to reunite a dog with their owners or breeders? Ethical breeders take their responsibilities to their dogs incredibly seriously and being painted with the same brush as BYB garbage millers does not induce a particular love of donating to said organizations.
This is just another case of when everyone would be better off if rescues and breeders could work together. So many more dogs would be saved in the long run, but unfortunately both sides have to be willing to work together, and Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue has certainly burned firebombed some bridges.
So dear minions, until cooler heads prevail (Or Ohio just gets wiped out in a Noah’s Ark styled flood) Piper will remain in limbo. What can you do to prevent such an incident happening to you?
-Microchip, register, and keep your microchip information up to date. IIt can serve as proof of ownership in many states. Make sure you have a secondary contact (Breeder or a trainer-friend is usually a good choice) in case you are for some reason unreachable.
-Keep current full body and profile pictures of your dogs to use for ‘Lost Dog’ posters and for quick identification in places where microchip scanners aren’t readily available.
-Make and keep good rescue/shelter contacts. Volunteer, transport or offer clerical assistance to rescues in your area. You will never know when that networking will be helpful. The more eyes looking for your pup the better.
-Have a “Lost Dog” plan in place for any pet-sitters or friends who will be watching your dog. A simple checklist of who to call and where to check first as well as friends and contacts who can help put legs on the ground (or on the Facebook groups) to help find your pet.
Be the cooler heads, kids, and with luck Piper will be home, safe and sound shortly.