Sadly there is a large, unscrupulous contingent of bad people in the dog world. One such example has been posting on Craig's list, which, along with any classified ad, can be a potentially dangerous way to place your dog. They prey on people in a hurry to "get rid of" their German Shepherd and who think anything is better than the pound or Humane Society. They "specialize" in problem behaviors.They represent themselves either as a rescue (they are not) or a private party looking for a personal companion dog. They take dogs from unsuspecting owners, then resell them on the Internet for profit to just about anyone who will pay. They sell many dogs still intact thereby increasing the possibility that the dog can become a puppy mill breeder...
** IMPORTANT WARNING!!! **
"FREE TO GOOD HOME", particularly with an intact (not spayed or neutered) dog can be a VERY RISKY way to re-home your dog...it's exactly the type of ad these bad people seek out.
What can happen?
These are just a few of the horrific possibilities (probabilities) when you deal with a "fake rescue" or someone representing themselves as something other than what they really are.....
1-rounding up dogs to be used as bait for fighting dogs
2-looking for protective breeds for "junkyard" dog work; your dog will be rented out to various businesses or private construction sites. The dog will be left outside 100% of the time, often without food or water, no human contact or interaction, no shelter from the heat, sun, storms, etc. They will be taunted from the other side of the fence. Frequently they will eventually be infested with parasites and become increasingly antisocial. Heat stroke is common. They will be muzzled, picked up and moved again to another location while the "broker" continues to collect rent on them. Then they die a miserable death and are replaced with new stock
3-Laboratory cosmetic and medical experimentation. This pretty much speaks for itself.
4-Used in Puppy Mills: intact dogs kept in crowded, unsanitary conditions and bred constantly. In essence, your dog will become a neglected reproduction machine, confined to a cage; often severely malnourished and sick until they are no longer useful.
5-Hoarder/Collectors. These are folks who compulsively "collect" animals until the numbers reach the point when they are no longer able to care for them. They are often found in large numbers, breeding at will and laying in their own excrement and other unsanitary or unsafe environments (flies/maggots, Heartworm, junk piles, etc.) They receive no veterinary care and frequently starve to death if they don't succumb to parasites, infection or disease first. Often there are disputes within an unsupervised diverse pack resulting in untreated injuries form which the dog develops severe infections, then becomes septic and dies. They are often kept outside when the hoarder runs out of room.
6-Animal sacrifice and rituals...enough said.
Running a legitimate rescue is a very expensive and time consuming endeavor which also requires a certain degree of breed knowledge and experience. We understand that circumstances sometimes dictate that you move your pet sooner than bona fide rescues can accommodate you. We also understand that you might feel that your dog has issues that make them poor candidates for placement. Regardless, when done right, it's a process; thorough screening of potential adopters, home checks, introductions to other animals in the home to ensure compatibility, microchipping, altering and health checks, vaccinations and always willing to take the dog back if need be, as well as follow up are all things that reputable rescues do.
SW German Shepherd Rescue is the only incorporated, non profit, breed specific rescue exclusively for German Shepherd Dogs in the state of Arizona. There are also legitimate all breed rescue groups that will re-home German Shepherds. Remember; if it sounds too good to be true...it is!! "We'll take your GSD, any age with any behavioral issue and even pick it up from anywhere" means beware.
Think about it; Legitimate rescue groups do not need to go lookoing for or soliciting dogs; we always have far more than we can handle!
Legitimate rescue organizations put the dog's best interest at the core of what they do. Money and sometimes mental illness are the motivations of creeps and criminals.
How can I be sure?
Asking questions can help but these "pros" know what you want to hear and know how to say it. Anyone who cannot or will not give you a real name, address, phone number and SHOW you where these dogs will be taken and how they will be housed should be in question. If they represent themselves as a rescue or animal rights organization, check their status on the Arizona Corporation Commission's web site. Or check to see if CABRA (THE COALITION OF ALL BREED RESCUE of ARIZONA) has ever heard of them. Is their business name registered? Check with petfinder.com to see if t hey are listed under "shelter and rescue groups"
Anyone can use whatever email address they like.
Anyone can post on Craig's list or place a classified ad
anywhere with total impunity. BEWARE!!
Handing your problem dog over to an unknown might be the end of your troubles, but just the beginning of trouble for your dog.