84 Great Danes were taken from a breeder this week, or was it 75? Or was it 82? Chances are you will never know because there are so many different stories floating around Facebook and in the media right now, all being fueled by well intentioned dog lovers and the HSUS.
Here is the real story- Several Great Danes in poor condition were taken from a breeder this week in New Hampshire. A breeder who is no stranger to animal control and has been turned in several times before. She was charged with only two misdemeanor counts of neglect and could possibly get most, if not all of her dogs back along with some fines and she will have to pay for their board at the local animal shelter once this is all said and done whether she gets the dogs back or not. Currently as far as anyone knows these animals are being housed at a shelter and they as well as the HSUS are refusing to work with local breed specific rescues that not only have information on this person but could help with the dogs to get them out of a shelter environment for now.
If you do not know how these seizures work let me help you understand. The animals are confiscated by an Animal Control entity and held at a facility until the owner goes before a judge. That judge will then decide if AC was justified in taking the animals and if not the animals are returned. If the judge feels they were justified then some or all of the animals are turned over to the custody of Animal Control and at that point the animals can then be put up for adoption, moved to rescues, or euthanized. I have seen stories of dogs in much worse condition as these being returned to the owner.
It is right to be outraged at the conditions those animals were in, but as a community of Dane lovers we need to take a step back and talk about how we can really help these dogs, and others in the future. Here are a few things to consider:
Do not give a donation right away. Wait and see what happens over the next few days. While the trial date is set for August the dogs may be moved out to other organizations or she could somehow get them back without going through the whole process.
If they allow other organizations to help they will need funds and supplies to care for the dogs they take so it is best to sit back and watch to see where your donation can do the most good.
Do not give money to private donation sites like Go Fund Me. A legitimate shelter or rescue will have a pay pal button or link for direct donations others are likely scams.
The HSUS is not the organization to trust with your money. The HSUS is practically begging you to write them a check, I am sure they are flying Sarah McLaughlin to New Jersey by private jet right now to start a new commercial.
The Humane Society of the United States is NOT your local Humane Society. They do not operate any shelters, in fact I bet if you go to your local Humane Society’s website they will tell you that they are not affiliated with the HSUS because they don’t want to be associated with that organization. HSUS is not a big animal rescue organization like they want you to think. It is an organization that gives less than 1% of its donated funds annually to local animal shelters and rescues. When there is a large seizure or natural disaster they come in with their cameras and take pictures, set up tents for donations and pull at your heart strings. When the disaster is over they go home with your money which they then spend on lawyers and lobbyists to take away YOUR rights as an animal owner.
I am not saying that they do not do some good on the behalf of animals because there are a lot of great programs that benefit animals that are partially funded by the HSUS, but less than half of monies raised goes directly to the care of animals or animal related programs. For more information on this organization and just a few of the current fraud investigations it is under go to-
Donate items, not money- It is likely that if the animal shelter that has the dogs does need help or supplies they will ask. Most of the time this is done through an Amazon wish list where you can go online, look at what they need, buy it, and ship it directly to that shelter. If you are concerned about the funds being used for the animals that it is intended for this is the best bang for your buck. Anyone can be dishonest with money, but it takes a special kind of person to misuse dog food and bleach.
Do not start calling the shelter telling them that you want to adopt one these dogs. These people are busy caring for 80 plus dogs and they do not have time to answer your questions. Don’t email them either, or leave them a hundred Facebook messages or posts- just leave them alone to get into a routine and care for the dogs. These dogs will not be available for adoption until after a trial, and that is only if the judge takes the dogs from her. If you are serious about adopting a dog put in an application and wait for them to contact you when things have settled down.
On the same note do not call them and offer to foster these dogs. While you may think that your dog skills are pretty great and that you and your 3 kids, 2 dogs and a cat have enough love and time to give to 2 or 3 of these dogs I doubt you are really as awesome as you think are. Think about what these dogs are coming from- They are not house broken, they likely have a pack mentality, they will likely have anxiety, potential food aggression, and minimal training of any kind, no one knows if they even like kids, dogs or cats and then there are the diseases you will bring home to your own dogs from a shelter environment. Dogs coming from situations like this are not your typical happy go lucky Dane puppy, they are much more complicated than that and these dogs do not just need love, they need specialized training, socialization, and vet care that the average dog owner cannot offer.
I know that you mean well but having experience with new foster homes I know that most people just are not cut out for any foster dog, period. It is not a walk in the park like you would imagine, I have had people beg and beg to foster and once I do give them a dog (an easy one at that) they are calling and wanting the dog gone in less than 3 days because of X, Y and Z. Now the dog has gone from bad conditions, to a shelter, then a foster home and now another foster home or even back to a shelter and that is not fair to that dog. If you really want to get hands on with a dog from a situation like this go down to that shelter or rescue and offer to walk the dogs or spend some one on one time with them. You get to help and they get out of their kennel. It’s a win win for both!
If you are unable to donate to this particular situation but do want to help out with dogs like this in the future consider making a donation to the Great Dane Club of America’s Charitable Trust with an earmark for Rescue. Great Danes are an incredibly lucky breed in that our Rescue Organizations are well supported by not only the GDCA itself but also by Dane exhibitors (you know, the ones everyone calls ribbon chasers).
In situations like this the Chair of the Rescue Committee will reach out to whoever has the dogs and finds out what their immediate needs are and then she goes to the Board who often votes to send out emergency funds from the Charitable Trust to get them started with basic care. After that the membership is advised and fundraisers are usually started by members. The last time they did a big fundraiser for a seizure like this they made thousands of dollars that were distributed among the organizations that had the dogs.
The monies given to the Charitable Trust also help Rescue in our day to day operations. Each year affiliated Rescues are allowed up to 3, $500 grants to help with medical care on the dogs we have in our programs. Those grants can go a long way to helping us provide the basics and the necessary vet care needed to get our dogs healthy and keep them healthy while waiting for that perfect home.
I can tell you from experience that NWGDR would not exist today or function as well as it does without the encouragement, advice, emotional support, and financial support of the GDCA and several of its well-known and respected breeders (the ribbon chasers) We do not receive any type of support or encouragement from non-exhibitors, we just get their dogs and no return calls when we tell them we have their dogs.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the Charitable Trust please visit-
I am sure that you all are with me in wishing that there were more that we could do, but for now there is nothing that we can really do but step back and watch this story unfold. Remember to please be wary of the skunks hiding in the bushes to make a buck off of these dogs and those in the future