I was contacted by Shannon Gandee, our untiring WSSCA Rescue Coordinator, about three WSS in Northeastern PA that needed re-homing due to their owner's dire financial straits and imminent loss of her home. I am putting this information on my blog and NOT on Facebook deliberately. If prior experience is a guide, Facebook turns this kind of situation into a noisy hub-bub of well wishers and that's too bad-ers, with no offers for actual foster homes for any dogs. We are in need of people to foster these dogs (and more!), so we're trying to get the word out with a more targeted approach.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. What we have is the following: A 2.5 year old intact male names Jasper, a 5.5 year old unspayed female named Katie and a 4 year old pregnant female named Belza, in whelp by Jasper. The owner provided Shannon with information about all three dogs, including AKC numbers and breeder names. We do not know when Belza is due to whelp, just that she is quite large now. The dogs are being kept at a boarding kennel now, and we'd like to get them out as soon as possible and back to a normal home environment.
The current owner has not maintained contact with any of the three breeders from whom she obtained her dogs and has not contacted them for assistance. She reportedly has been unsuccessful over the past three months in her attempts to place the dogs locally. She contacted WSSCA Rescue as a last ditch attempt to secure placement for her dogs, but is understandably upset and sad that she needs to relinquish them. Shannon is handling all negotiations with the owner now, and I am assisting Shannon as the local contact in the area to secure placements and transportation once she manages to get the dogs turned over to WSS Rescue.
So, what have we done so far? Well, there are a bunch of tasks to be done in these situations. First, everyone always asks about whether the breeders of these dogs can step in and rehome them. I have done some online research and easily found contact info for Belza's breeder and I sent it on to Shannon, since this female has the highest priority. She contacted the breeder and is in discussions with him concerning next steps. While he is not a WSSCA member (yet!), he obviously cares for his dogs and earns high points for responsibility and doing the right thing with his puppy contract that requires a puppy to be returned to him rather than go into rescue. He OFA'd the sire and dam of the puppy he sold, and he has even showed one of his dogs at a WSSCA sponsored event. We are awaiting his decision regarding his ability to take Belza back and whelp the litter. If he is able to do so, we will put a call out to WSSCA members and friends between here and where he lives to arrange a patchwork quilt of transport for this girl. Keep your fingers crossed! Otherwise, we will need an experienced breeder with room in their house and heart to foster Belza and handle whelping and raising her puppies. If you are interested in doing this or you can assist with transport, please contact me to discuss the details.
Second, I started emailing our puppy owners and people who have contacted us about Welsh Springers in the past, using BCC to keep spamming of these emails to a minimum. All these people may or may not own a WSS from us, but that's immaterial. If they are willing to foster or adopt, an email is the easiest way to contact them privately. So far, I've gotten responses from two people who are interested in fostering two of the dogs. So, hopefully the male and the older non-pregnant female will have foster homes soon. The potential foster families have been advised to complete the application process with Shannon, and if WSS breeders vouch for these people, they will be approved.
Third, I purchased online pedigrees for all three dogs, so we know their genealogy and the parentage of Belza's unborn puppies, and the dogs behind all these dogs entering rescue. Sometimes a breeder may be willing to step in and help, if they know something out of their line is involved. We are also hopeful that we can obtain the AKC paperwork on these dogs so there is no question regarding ownership. But in the event that doesn't work out, we're at least knowledgeable about the dogs and their relatives.
And lastly, we're trying to set up transport from the boarding kennel where the dogs are being placed to new foster homes. As of right now, we are waiting for the owner to sign paperwork to relinquish the dogs, and I'm still hoping that an experienced WSSCA member in this area may be willing to assume responsibility for Belza and her puppies for fostering, whelping and placement if weather and circumstances conspire to keep Belza here beyond her due date. And, remember, we still need a foster family for Belza after her puppies are whelped.
Stay tuned for updates...the story is not over yet.