1. Is heartworm contagious? How long does the treatment take?
Heartworm is spread when a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito. It is not spread from dog to dog. We highly recommend keeping your dogs on a monthly preventive medication year round. The treatment protocol recommended is pretreatment with a heartworm preventative and doxycycline for 30 days, then another treatment of heartworm prevantative with 30 days waiting period, then 3 doses of melarsomine (which contains arsenic) on days 60, 90 and 91. Then on day 120 test for baby worms and day 365 test again. Strict rest is essential throughout this process to avoid complications.
2. Where can I see available dogs posted? Do you have any available dogs?
We always have a pre-approved list of families waiting to adopt so we rarely post available dogs on our website or Facebook page. Generally, when dogs become available, they are adopted by one of those families within 10 days to 2 weeks. Many of the dogs that are shown on the website as "In Our Care" will eventually become available. They are either still in foster care because they have just entered rescue (a minimum of three weeks), or they are under medical care for a treatable illness (heartworm positive, etc.).
3. Do you have any puppies? Will you be getting any in?
We seldom get puppies as we do not work with any breeders. We do get a number of young dogs, some as young as 6-7 months, and many of the dogs who come to us from Turkey are between 1-3 years old.
4. How can I adopt one of your dogs?
5. Do you need foster homes? What is required to be a foster home?
We always need new foster homes. We have an article on the website that explains joys of fostering: https://www.adoptagolden.com/index.php/12-foster/6-the-joy-of-fostering-a-golden-retriever?highlight=WyJmb3N0ZXJpbmciXQ== The application to be a foster home is on the website under the Volunteer tab. After you complete the application, one of our volunteers will do a home visit. Once approved, you will be issued our foster guidelines. When a dog enters our rescue, our foster coordinator will contact approved fosters to find him/her the right home. You are free to say yes or no and can foster on your own schedule. Fostering can last anywhere from a minimum of three weeks for a healthy dog to a longer period if you accept one that requires medical treatment.
6. Besides taking care of the dog, are there other requirements of a foster?
SEVA GRREAT will provide medical care for any dog under foster care, but the foster provides food, toys, activity, exercise, etc. A big part of the foster process is to observe and assess the dog so that you can provide information on what training is needed, what behaviors they exhibit, how they get along with others (dogs, kids, cats, etc.), and whether you see any medical condition developing (ear infection, hot spot, etc.). When it is time for your foster dog to be posted, you will write the bio that is shared with the waiting families. You will review the home evaluation reports for the interested families and talk to their home evalators/advocates about their family and what your foster dog needs. You will choose a minimum of two families that you think will be a good fit to meet your foster dog. You should observe closely the chemistry between your foster dog and the visiting families, and based on that observation, make a recommendation to the Adoption and Foster Coordinators of which family should be approved to adopt the dog.
7. Why don't you adopt outside of your territory? I can give you great references.
8. What opportunities are available to volunteer?
Like most volunteer organizations, we always need people to help out. You can do as little or as much as you like. Many volunteers start by working on an event, where we have a booth selling merchandise and answering questions about the rescue. A bonus -- we almost always have goldens available at our events -- unless it is in a venue that does not permit dogs. You can meet a family who is giving up a dog and have them sign the surrender paperwork. You can volunteer to transport a dog. This ranges from picking up a dog that has been surrendered or is in a shelter and taking them to the vet for an intake exam in the city where the foster family is to going along on a trip to Dulles or JFK airports and bringing back some of the international dogs. There is always a need for foster homes. Foster care can range from a few weeks to a longer period if the dog requires medical care. Sometimes foster care is very short term to cover the primary foster's vacation or business travel. There is always a need for home evaluators (HEs) to visit prospective foster or adoptive homes. Home evaluators start by going along with an experienced HE to learn how a visit is done and can have support or an experienced HE shadow you until they are comfortable going out on your own. Once you approve a family, your role changes from evaluator to advocate. You will speak with the foster family on behalf of your family when they are interested in adopting a dog. If you are a good writer, you can write an article and submit it for consideration to be published in GRREAT Times. We are always looking for interesting topics and information for the magazine. If you have ideas for fundraising, we welcome you to work with our fundraising committee (an ongoing process). We are always looking for new ideas to raise money and would welcome someone to organize an event. There are volunteers who write thank-you cards and send sympathy cards, pick up and distribute mail, order merchandise, etc. One of our biggest needs is for individuals willing to join the Board of Directors. Ideally, all of the positions on the board would have not only the voting board member but an assistant who can fill in when needed and learn the position so they are prepared to step up to the voting position in the future. The Board consists of four elected officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) and Directors/Coordinators appointed by the Board. The Coordinators are in charge of the functional areas (Intake, Foster, Adoption, Membership, Volunteers). There are also Board Members at Large with functional assignments (Medical, Fundraising). There are also extended board members who work on the magazine, merchandise, events, and the web page. Having back-ups in all of these areas would be advantageous to the rescue and mean less work for all involved.
9. How long will it take me to adopt a dog?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer because it is all about the dogs and what they need. Some people find a dog in a few weeks; others may wait months. We do our best to match the dog to the families that are interested and many factors contribute to that decision. We consider things like whether a dog would do best with a family or best with an individual, whether a dog gets along with other dogs or needs another dog to show them the ropes or needs to be an only dog, whether a dog is too rambunctious for a young child or loves kids of all ages, whether a dog needs to have a fenced-in yard because they are expected to be a runner. The final consideration is chemistry. When you watch a dog meet a prospective adopter, you can see which family has the strongest connection with the dog. However long it takes, it is a process that requires patience. If you want a dog by this weekend, we are not the right organization for you. We are not like a shelter where you can go to an adoption event or visit during their open hours and leave with a dog.
10. Where are your dogs located?
We do not have a physical shelter. All of our dogs are in foster homes somewhere within our territory. In order to meet them, you will have to travel to the foster home, which could be as far away as 150 miles. Of course, this is your choice. The Available Dog List always shows the location of the foster family. If the family is too far away for you to make the trip, you would just not submit your name for that particular dog.
11. Are the dogs, especially the Turkey dogs, already spoken for when they come into rescue? When will they be available for adoption?
The dogs are not spoken for when they enter rescue. We can't always tell you how long it will be before they are available for adoption. They are always in foster care for a minimum of three weeks. If a medical condition is found or develops, they will not be available until they are cleared. A foster has the first right to adopt a dog. We often don't know that a family is going to be a "foster failure" and adopt their foster dog until we ask if they are ready to post the dog as available. That is why sometimes you will see a dog come in to the rescue but never post as available. The foster has decided to keep him/her.
China’s Dog Meat Trade
CAUTION: The information below may be disturbing.
Return to the main 2019 China Goldens web page.
China’s dog meat trade has been going on for decades. The “tradition” of eating dogs in some areas may have started during periods of famine when the only option for survival was to eat the stray dogs. Unfortunately, as a result, this has continued into prosperous times. As you read through this account of the dog meat trade, you must keep in mind that this is not a cultural tradition and that there is a rapidly growing outcry against the practice not only internationally but from the Chinese people themselves. Please don’t paint the Chinese people with a broad brush.
You may be under the misconception that there are dog farms in China, similar to our cattle ranches: dogs are bred, born, raised then taken off to the slaughterhouse for a humane demise. You couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of the dogs rescued from the dog meat trade are stolen pets! Due to the lack of awareness dog ownership responsibilities and of the risk, many people in China do not keep their dogs on leashes. Dog meat trade vans will cruise the streets of Beijing and surrounding towns looking for dogs. Here is a possible scenario: someone is walking his/her dog down the street (off leash), a van pulls up, a guy jumps out and snatches the dog before the owner can react. Most of the time, in cases like this, the owner will never see that dog again! Millions of pet dogs are stolen every year and sent to slaughterhouses.
Strictly speaking, the selling and eating of dog meat is against the law in China. This is not because of any animal rights laws, because there are zero animal rights laws, but because dogs are not only nabbed off the street but are also poisoned, shot with spear guns, caught in leg traps, and kept in large, unsanitary conditions. Many of the dogs butchered and sold for meat are sick or have died from poison or disease.
The slaughtering of dogs is extremely unpleasant. The “custom” of consuming dog meat requires that the dogs be slaughtered in a certain way in order to make the meat more succulent. This includes boiling or skinning dogs alive and, in some areas, severely beating the dogs to increase their level of adrenaline.
The stopping of trucks and confiscating dogs on their way to a slaughter house is dangerous work that requires a large group of dedicated volunteers whose sole purpose is to save dogs from the horror in which they’ve been living and a very painful death.
The stopping of a dog meat truck (at times carrying 400-500 dogs) usually begins by someone seeing the truck on the road. The use of social media comes into play. The sighting of the truck and its location is quickly broad-casted on Weibo (Chinese Twitter) and WeChat. The trucks are stopped at stop lights/signs, at “rest areas”, or government check points. Volunteers put their lives on the line because the dog meat vendors are usually members of gangs or other criminal organizations.
To keep the trucks from moving while waiting for reinforcements, volunteers will lie down in the road in front of the truck’s wheels.
Once there are enough volunteers at the scene, the dogs are confiscated and off-loaded. Some dogs have already perished and must be taken away. The remaining dogs go through a triage and sorted into groups according to their levels of health.
Some of the dogs, although still alive, are too ill and are euthanized at the scene. Those that the volunteers are able to save are given water then placed back into a crate for transport to a holding facility. If the police are involved, the process can become even more complicated. The police can require all the dogs kept at a facility for 21 days while they decide the dog's future. During the 21-day waiting period, the dogs are not given vet care and more will die. Without police involvement, the surviving dogs are placed in various shelters.
Even if SEVA GRREAT and other Golden Retriever rescues were to bring 100% of the dog meat Golden survivors over to the U.S., it would not end China’s dog meat trade. What will end it is pressure placed on China’s government by its own citizens and large animal rights groups, such as Humane Society International. However, bringing the dogs over to the U.S. will support China’s internal anti-dog-meat trade movement and alleviate the pressure in the various shelters, and most importantly, we will have given so many Goldens a second chance to live with loving families.
Please, if you haven’t done so already, please donate to help SEVA GRREAT bring rescued “China dogs” to Virginia.