Frequently Asked Questions about Rescue
Where do your rescue dogs come from?
Many sources, the most common of which are shelters, owner give ups, or dogs found as strays and the finder contacts rescue.
Are they purebred Samoyeds? Do they have papers?
Most of the dogs helped by the various rescue groups/rescuers across the US are purebred Samoyeds. Each rescuer/group sets their own policies, so some groups do help Samoyed mixes as space and resources allow. In these cases, the rescuer/rescue group should tell you that the dog is a mix or suspected-mix.
For dogs that come to us from shelters or as strays, we do not know their background, so we do not know if they have papers. For those that are owner surrenders, we do ask if they have papers & if so, the owner is required to turn over the papers with the dog. However, AKC regulations stipulate that the papers of any dog that comes through a shelter or rescue organization are ruled null & void. Anyone who wants to compete with their dog in things like agility or obedience competitions can obtain an Indefinite Listing Priviledge (ILP) which will allow them to do so.
What's wrong with these dogs? Afterall, if something wasn't wrong, people wouldn't give these dogs up, right??
WRONG!!!! Most of the time the reason given for surrendering a dog shows a *human* problem, not a dog problem. For instance, people get divorced, move to a new city and take housing where they can't have a dog, have a new baby, get a new job where they don't have time for the dog anymore, etc. In all of these cases, the problem is a people issue, not a dog issue. We've even had people give up their dog because they remodeled and the dog no longer matched the decor! (We wish we were kidding!)
Even when the reason given is a "dog problem", oftentimes it comes down to a lack of training or someone who didn't know what they were getting when they got a Samoyed -- The dog digs, or barks too much, or sheds, or "I didn't know the dog would get so big", etc. Many times, when put into a more appropriate home where s/he can get the training and attention s/he needs, the dog turns out to be a wonderful member of the family and the adoptive home can't believe the stories they heard are about the same dog.
Why do people give up their Samoyeds?
Most of the time, it's a human problem, not a dog problem: divorce, change of jobs, a new baby, moving, illness or death in the family, etc.
Sometimes it's more that the person fell in love with the idea of having a Samoyed, but didn't know what that meant: "I didn't know the dog would get so big", "he sheds", "he barks", "he is too active for me", "I didn't know how much time a dog was going to need", etc.
Sometimes it's a lack of training: "he pulls on the leash", "he barks", "he won't listen to me", etc.
Believe it or not, we've also had someone give up their dog because they remodeled and the dog no longer matched the decor!
Have they been abused?
Probably the biggest misconception people have about rescue dogs is that they've been abused. Luckily, that is not true in most cases. The dogs may not have had much training or had anyone spend the type of quality time with them that every dog deserves, but it is only a small minority of dogs that have been abused or physically mistreated. If rescue suspects that a particular dog has been mistreated, they will be upfront/forthcoming with that information.
How old is the average rescue dog?
While each dog is an individual and each case is unique, on average most rescue Samoyeds are in the 2-7 year old range. This varies somewhat from one area of the country to another and at any given time, this may or may not be the case. We do get dogs older or yonger than that. On average, rescue sees more males than females, but this is not true in all areas and can vary at any given time.
Can I get a puppy?
While rescue does *occasionally* get a baby puppy into their program, this occurance is few and far between. If you are interested in getting a puppy, we encourage you to read the information on responsible breeding to learn what you should be looking for in a Samoyed breeder and what questions you should ask of them. If you'd like, contact us and we will help you find a responsible breeder in your area.
I have to get a young dog/puppy or else s/he won't bond with me, right?
Wrong! Samoyeds have a very resilient spirit and have no problem bonding with a new family, regardless of age. They are very intelligent dogs and know when they are loved and appreciated. It's likely to be confusing for them for the first few days in a new home, but that's true for a puppy too. Samoyeds of all ages usually take very little time to realize that they are truly home and to become a full member of their new family.
Why do I have to fill out an application?
Rescuers are volunteers. Like you, they have jobs, families, activities outside of rescue, etc. They also are usually dealing with multiple people and multiple dogs at any time. It's not easy to keep all the details straight, so the application helps them remember who has kids/cats/other dogs, who has someone who works at home vs who is gone for most of the day, etc. In short, it helps rescue do a better job of matching the right dog with the right family and that's a win-win situation all around.
Why do you do a home visit?
First of all, it's not to judge how clean the place is -- Martha Stewart doesn't live at our houses and we don't expect yours to look like her place either! A home visit gives the rescuer the chance to meet you in person and that is helpful in getting a better sense of which dog(s) might be a good match for you.
In addtion, most rescues "meet" their potential adopters over the Internet and it's a sad fact that there are people who pose as someone they aren't on the net. Requiring a home visit tends to discourage those nefarious sorts who want a dog for less than honorable reasons (e.g. dog fighting, etc) -- they tend to move on to where it's easier to get a dog.
How long does it take to adopt a Samoyed from rescue?
Well that depends partly on your situation and how flexible you are....if you have young children, other dogs, and cats at home already, we will only consider dogs that are good with kids/cats/dogs, so it might take a while longer than if you lived alone. Also, it depends on how flexible you are -- if you will only consider a female, under one year of age, who must be obedience trained already, etc., it will take longer than if you are open to either a male or a female, up to age 8, and are willing to work with any behavioral issues that s/he might have. Onaverage, the more flexible you/your situation is, the sooner rescue is likely to have the right dog for you!