|Written by Lu Stitt|
|Tuesday, 07 February 2012 00:00|
Dogs are living, breathing, loving beings and should never be thrown away. Then why are an inordinate number of dogs and puppies left in trash bins?
“It’s amazing how many times we find dogs and puppies in Dumpsters. One of the most recent cases was a mother and her six pups,” said Nadia Caillou, co-founder, along with Angela Windolph, of Golden Bone Rescue and Rehab. “Sometimes people adopt an animal, and when it grows up or when they can no longer afford to feed the dog — or after they experience the miracle of birth and find all those puppies are too much work — they drop the animal off somewhere. It’s sad.”
Golden Bone was established in 2002. Unfortunately, business is good. Since Christmas the group has adopted out more than 40 animals, most of them puppies. Golden Bone has rescued five litters of puppies in Sedona and the Verde Valley. One was a mother with 11 puppies.
“We get a mix of lost, dumped, abandoned or surrendered dogs. Our main sources for rescued dogs are when people dump their animals or leave them behind when they have to move. We work with Realtors who find them,” Caillou said. “It’s not just mutts either. We get purebred dogs as well.”
Golden Bone also works with hospice and senior living complexes. Often the residents need to surrender their pet and want to ensure the animal goes to the right new home.
“We work hard on those cases. They don’t want to give their pets up, and the pets don’t want to leave either. We assure the owners their beloved pet will not end up in a pound nor will they be put to sleep,” Caillou said. “We also have volunteer foster homes so the dogs have a loving place to stay until we can find them a permanent home. We could use more.”
She said many dogs are found wandering in the desert or a field not knowing what to do. They’ve been too domesticated to survive on their own, Caillou said.
Another part of the problem is the lack of an inexpensive spay and neuter program in the area.
“There are discounts, but spay and neuter can cost around $200. We need a clinic where the surgery is around $40,” she said.
Golden Bone’s primary purpose is to prevent the suffering of domestic animals. They do that in three ways. The first step is to prevent overpopulation by having pets spayed and neutered. The second step is to rescue and rehabilitate the dogs, if necessary. The third step is to ensure the dogs are adopted into good, appropriate homes.
“It’s very important to make sure the rescued dog is adoptable so it can stay in a new home. That’s where the rehab in our name comes in,” she said. “We not only get to know the dog, we get to know the home to make sure the dog is a good match for the owner — and vice versa. It takes more time, but it’s worth it.”
Because of the extra step to make as perfect a match as possible, Caillou said Golden Bone has a very low rate of returned animals.
Golden Bone has 12 animals in need of permanent homes, but Caillou said the number could be back up to 40 dogs in a matter of days.
“People would be surprised how many dogs are dumped out there — just in our communities,” she said.
Golden Bone members are also advocates of putting qualified dogs into service with organizations such as the Delta Society, which takes visitation dogs into hospitals and nursing homes.
“Many of these discarded dogs can be trained and make wonderful service dogs,” Caillou said. “Dogs are so good for us. They live to serve us, and there is such a wonderful, unconditional bond that can be created.
If you are lucky enough to have that, it shouldn’t be thrown away.”
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