(Closed) UPDATE to "What you don't always hear about rescuing…" post

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@fvsoccer:  Thanks for sharing your decision. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy choice, but it sounds like you did the best thing for yourself and your family. Having a dog is a committment, but it’s important that people realize that not all dogs can be saved and the safety of the humans and other dogs is the most important thing.

Post # 4
1348 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

The truth is, you can’t save every animal, and at least your dog got a good home and a kind death. You tried, that’s as much as you can do and frankly, I think having her pts is kinder than finding her a new home where her issues could hurt someone, or she could be beaten or shuffled around.

I rescue horses on a small scale, and the first 2 I rescued were lovely stories. One was a cute little pony, who I trained and broke in to saddle and within a few months she found a new home with a girl who loves her. The next was a gelding I fell in love with and kept for myself. Words seriously cannot explain how much I love him, he knows I saved him, he knows I will look after him, and so far i’m the only one he trusts enough to let ride him (he may let fh, but we don’t want to test it because he’s got a big buck if he decides to try and throw you off). I got him as a 2 year old, about to be shot for dog meat, after he’d been abused,. I trained him to saddle and he is AMAZING to ride, he looks after me. He knows. The next one I was not so lucky with.

I have only ever retrained one horse in the past, and it was HARD. Much harder than starting from scratch, which is why I had stuck to unbroken horses, but I took a chance on this next horse. This horse was just so friendly on the ground and was a smooch. He still is that way. Unfortunately, he is not the same way under saddle. He rears, bucks and has put me in hospital. It’s not his fault, but he’s dangerous. I decided I couldn’t handle his issues safely, so I sent him to a trainer. He improved a tiny bit. In the end though, I felt it was not a good idea for me to continue risking my life each time I rode him, especially when his behaviour was not changing. I ruled out everything- dental work, chiropractor, massage, saddle fit, hoof issues.. There was no physical reason for him to act that way. For the last 5 months, we’ve been working very slowly towards the possibility of making him a harness pony, and so far he’s doing well. He pulls a tyre around the paddock without any problem, and seems to enjoy it much more than riding. IMO, someone seriously screwed up his saddle training.

Rescue is not always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes it is dangerous and hard, other times it’s the most rewarding thing you can do.

My advice to anyone looking into rescue is to know what you’re getting yourself in for. Do your research and have someone around who can give you advice. My mum has been around horses her whole life, and if she hadn’t been around to help me I would have been lost at first (as i’d only really been around horses which were well cared for). Don’t overestimate your abilities and, while this may sound harsh, don’t rescue an animal just because it’s a sad case. There WILL be animals getting put down (or slaughtered if you’re looking at meat/large animals), so while the sick kitten or the abused dog may seem like a good idea, just remember that the well trained and healthy animals need a home too and then make your decision.

OP, good on you for sharing your story and for doing the right thing by your dog.

Post # 5
2263 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@fvsoccer:  Oh I’m so so sorry. 🙁 That sucks. 


@Lovemelovemyhorses:  that’s one of the hardest facts to wrap my mind around but totally true. You can’t save every animal. 


I work in partnership as a foster parent with our local animal shelter. Taking in kittens without mothers, with mothers, puppies too young or sick to be adopted and older, sickly pets that are brought in and have a better chance of recovery in someone’s home vs. the shelter. 

It’s the hardest part of the job to know that no matter what you do, no matter how loving you are or how hard you try- some animals have behavior that will not change. Right now we’ve been working with our older adopted cat who has litter issues. We’ve taken to putting her in a crate at night to avoid pooping on the floor. The vet says it’s behavioral and no matter what we were told, probably the reason she was given back to the shelter so many times. Leaving her with only more issues. I realize we have the patience and time to dedicate to retraining her to the best of our ability but understand not every owner would be able to do the same thing. 


Don’t feel guilty! It takes a special person to deal with the issues of many adopted animals and it sounds like you gave your dog the best and happiest life possible for as long as possible! You did the right thing as well as the kindest thing. I completely understand why giving them up to the shelter to decide would have been much harder than making the decision for yourselves. Sending lots of love your way! May you have many, many wonderful years with Milo! 

Post # 6
7174 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@fvsoccer:  I’m so sorry you had to face that decision with Joey.  🙁  HUGS.  As an aside, I don’t know if you remember, but you were SO helpful when we first rescued our fear-aggressive, bite/snap-happy 4-year old.  We’ve worked hard at managing her environment and working with her issues.  Rescues certainly aren’t easy.  

Post # 8
248 posts
Helper bee



About your fear that your furbaby may be scared from now on.

I have a small breed dog who was attacked 2 years ago. She needed over 40 stitches and was kept at the vets for 4 weeks. It was very touch and go. When we brought her home we let her take the lead. She is still very timid of the breed that attacked her, so we avoid it whenever possible since she just shakes and rolls onto her belly whenever they are around. (proving that she’ll be submissive.) We did work with a trainer and gradually introduced her in safe situations with dogs we knew (and owners who knew her history.) We have had some growling but everyone was really supportive and now (minus her scars) you’d never go.

Dogs seem to move on better then we do. My trainers #1 advice: don’t let your fear project onto the animal. 

You made a tough choice, but the truth is that not all dogs can be saved. After my dogs attack witnesses called animal control and because of the severity of my girls wounds they decided that the dog needed to be put down. I cried just as hard over that dog as I did when my own was in surgery. Logically I understand the reasoning but I struggle accepting that some things are unfixable. But life moves on, and you just need to know that you did everything you could. You did something that the owners of the agressive dog in my case didn’t. You loved your animal enough to ensure that they didn’t bring harm to another. Pet owners, like myself, respect you greatly for that. 

Post # 9
5093 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

I’m so very sorry for your loss.  I know you tried the hardest, but it was just impossible.  Thank you for doing everything you could for your little girl, and thank you for then giving her the kindest death you could.  I hope you and your family heal from your loss as quickly as possible.  🙁

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