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A Serious Question
Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:29

I was wondering whether those of you who work with rescues would be able to tell me if rescue organizations would consider taking a dog who had bitten someone. I have a difficult situation at home. One of my minis, who I love dearly, was very, very undersocialized when we got him at age one and a half(from an individual, not from an organized rescue organization) and had significant fear aggression. We have worked with him ever since we have gotten him - for the past three years. When we first got him he was so aggressive that a number of people, including a trainer, suggested we put him down. We worked with an applied animal behaviorist who cost a fortune but was able to help us very much. We got our little guy to the point where he was OK when on walks and off of our property, and OK with family members (initially he was aggressive with every human being and every dog except me, my daughter and a few other women) but still went ballistic when someone came to the house. We have been working on that for the three years we have had him, but so far not much progress. Right now because of family developments we don't have the money to hire the animal behaviorist again. If we don't have time to work with him (systematic desensitization/counterconditioning) we put him in a bedroom until the guests leave. This has worked until recently when my elderly parents moved in with me. My dad needs a caretaker around the clock so now we have people coming in and out of the house at all hours and strangers (in the dog's eyes) walking around the house from the bedroom to the kitchen, to the bathroom, etc. The dog is having a really hard time and we have run out of places to keep him. Our house is not that big. It's not fair to him to keep him in a bedroom his whole life. Unfortunately I was letting him out and he bit one of the people who was working with my dad. As you can imagine, the person wanted to quit, my dad was upset, my mom is now scared of the dog, and so on. I know the fear is not his fault, and I feel terrible about not having had him under control when he bit the person, but I am exhausted. I am working extra hours to pay for the care my dad needs. I also have a special needs child who thankfully is doing relatively well but still needs way more attention and focus than most kids. I thought about giving up my little guy so he would have a better quality of life and so I could keep people safe but I will not put him in a shelter. I am certain they would put him down immediately. I thought of turning him over to a rescue organization, but I didn't know if a rescue would take a dog who has bitten someone. I have not decided whether or not I need to give him up, but I wanted to ask those of you who work in rescue whether or not you thought this was even an option. If it's not, that's OK. I just want to know what my realistic choices are.

    • Your MiniChristine, Thu Jul 15 12:04
      Hi Julie, My little rescue has had his share of issues, and has twice snapped and just barely missed biting two different men on the buttocks (i had his leash tight). I have been working with several ... more
      • Thanks for supportJulie, Fri Jul 16 11:41
        Thank you for your support. I have had my guy on Prozac pretty much ever since we got him three years ago, but stupidly I took him off of it in April of this year. I had been seriously ill myself and ... more
        • Vision problems may well contributemss, Fri Jul 16 11:53
          I have heard of other vision-impaired dogs that have fear-agression problems because they don't know what's going on around them well enough. The rescue organization of another breed is dealing with... more
    • your dogbonnie , Wed Jul 14 06:36
      what city and state are u in
      • I'm in MarylandJulie, Wed Jul 14 08:14
        I'm in Maryland. The closest city is Baltimore. What I really want is to keep my dog so I have not contacted rescue organizations. I know we have a good one in my state. I just wondered whether or... more
        • your minibonnie , Thu Jul 15 03:11
          can u send me your email address or phone nunber and i wil call you to try to help you. i hve schnauzers and also a bichon who bit l/3 of my finger off and i was rushed to the hospital and had also... more
          • email addressJulie, Thu Jul 15 10:39
            My email is I can only access it in the evenings and on weekends. I am sorry to hear about your bite. It sounds really bad. It never occured to me that you could put a dog in rescue... more
        • Not sureAnonymous, Wed Jul 14 18:22
          I don't know if people who might post on this chat board could speak for what different rescue organizations might do. It might be a good idea to actually call some in your area and describe the... more
          • Good ideaJulie, Thu Jul 15 10:46
            It's a good idea about the muzzle. I don't know why I didn't think of it before. At least as a temporary measure it would certainly make me feel more comfortable. I will also call the area rescue and ... more
    • Re: A Serious QuestionTracy, Wed Jul 14 05:04
      I do not work in rescue, but I wanted to offer some suggestions. Maybe let us know what area you are located in so if there is a rescue in that area on here they can respond. Also have you tried... more
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