Brat Rescue and Transport; How they really treat rescues

It's easy to understand how you would be upset by the email you received. Anyone caring for an animal 3+ years would be quite attached. Give your nerves a couple of days to rest, then re-read the email - one line at a time if you have to - and try to make sure that you aren't reading anything into it. Not everyone is able to clearly communicate through writing, so there is always room for misinterpretation.

Based on what you've written, it sounds like BRAT is concerned that you are not providing proper care for Declan. (i.e.; the Cabergoline dosage, weight and diet differences.) The best outcome would be for you to be able to provide evidence to BRAT that Declan's condition has improved under your care. Maybe, just maybe, they would be satified with that.

Look for a (third party) vet that would be willing to examine Declan and his blood analysis. Preferably one who is willing to put his thoughts down on paper, or give you a copy of his notes. That could, potentially, provide you with something in writing that says Declan has responded well to his diet and lifestyle (and hopefully indicate that the cushings is in remission). Let the Vet's office know that you are making the appointment to get a second opinion on Declan's health. There is no reason, that I can think of, to discuss the foster care/BRAT aspect. Yes, you will have to be the one to pay for the visit. You aren't getting shots, so I'm guessing it would run about $50(?). Make sure you take information from his earlier visit(s) with you so the Vet has some point of reference for Declan's condition when he was originally diagnosed. Ask the Vet what kind of diet he would reccomend. Perhaps there is a less expensive option than what he is currently eating(?). Do some research, look for something you could try.

From the sounds of it, you are going to need to renegotiate your agreement with BRAT. So calm yourself down and prepare to discuss this logically, rationally, and professionally with them.

  • You cannot know what kind of fiscal issues BRAT may/may not be having. Forget about attacking them on the basis of money (yours or theirs). Don't argue with them about that.
  • You need to get all of Declan's paperwork in order. Be able to show them the difference between when you brought him home and how well he is doing now.
  • Back up your reason for the 5.25mg/Cabergoline/week dosage with real evidence. Not how you think he's doing fine. What made you increase his dosage? Find the documentation for it. Not an article online, more like the vet recommended it on this visit (this date and time). Where were you getting this medication from in the first place? Someone prescribed it, right?
  • Provide evidence that RC Satiety Support is "made from sawdust". Have an alternative suggestion ready.
  • Ask BRAT how you can work with them to provide the stabilty they are seeking for Declan. There is a very real chance that they look at the less expensive UCCR testing as inadequate and feel like they can't really tell where Declan is in his "remission".
  • Be prepared to agree to a diet regimine for Declan. 20#s overweight puts him at ~40+ pounds.... That's like a human weighing twice what they should. How could that possibly be healthy? (Heck! I've got my girl on a diet for a whopping 3 extra pounds!)
  • Make an appointment with the BRAT approved Vet and get the same information you should/would get from a third party Vet. The Vet is there to advise you. If you blow off everything they say, then BRAT's defense is that you are not being reasonable and not respecting the educated advice of a professional. They "know nothing" is a line from Game of Thrones, not a worthy debate tactic regarding Declan's medication.

I'm not taking anyone's side in this. But I am trying to help you see that the only way to 'win' is to approach this without emotion. Hard, I know. Be business-like. Be able to present documents that show how much Declan has improved. Be willing to agree to different terms. Show them that you are willing to work with them and things might just work out.

Good luck, you'll (both) be in my thoughts.

last edited by elbrant

How much does Declan currently weigh?

last edited by hamima2

Actually, as a charity, their finances are public.

I would send them the info like elbrant suggested, including a new weight from a vet. Do I think they will change their minds? Probably not, but at least you will have made it obvious that the dog's welfare isn't their top concern. Perhaps a gofundme might provide some financial support.

while I no longer have basenjis as a long time breeder I got fed up with them years ago.

@westcoastflea1 Yes, I donate to BRAT. I don’t need to know a bunch of garbled and conflicting accounts giving only one biased side of the story. If all you want to do is libel them, then you discredit yourself.

If the dog is 20lbs overweight, you should have done something four years ago, it is very unhealthy. If you are fostering the dog, then you should have a contract with them that should allow them to relocate him. Which, if you are unable to care for him, is what I would recommend.

As a BRAT foster and coordinator, I know there is a need for auditing care and to ask if a foster wants to permanently adopt their foster. One puppy mill run can wipe us out. Just because we have the money, doesn't mean we go spend it all on one dog. I had a foster once abusing the system because she wanted the dog but not the bills. When the dog was finally moved to a new foster, the dog was adopted within two weeks. (Never invite my mother over when you have fosters.) I am not saying this is the case. But, it does happen. That is why we have checks and balances. When I was a district coordinator eons ago, I would always check if my fosters wanted to adopt their foster. A lot do adopt their fosters. Especially, the long term fosters. It never hurts to check.
What was the biting issue?
I have owned and fostered Cushing dogs, biters..... Some vets do try to take advantage of the situation. When I mentioned limited funds, their recommendations always change. Raw diets, did not work as Cushing dogs tend to get more infections. Splitting meals and adjusting accordingly help. If feeding chicken or beef, it must be thorougly cook. Each dog ate a different diet. Add thyroid issues and it made for interesting feeding times.
We feel for you and your situation. But, don't take it out on the group. This is a good group and we all have issues with certain policies. We just have to communicate with the board or deal with it.

@westcoastflea1 Yes, libel is the act of telling untruths. Your whole first post is a contradictory and confused effort at slandering a charity that helps basenjis. Fairly obvious that when BRAT want to enforce reasonable safeguards, you find it unacceptable. Take a good look in the mirror before attacking them to satisfy your haughty anger that they won’t do what you demand.

I suspect that nothing I say will do any good, however I will take just the first part of your original post.

“I'm posting this because I am desperate, Does anyone here donate to Basenji Rescue and Transport? If so you need to know that the board is trying to force fosters of unadoptable dogs to adopt their foster knowing that said fosters cannot afford medical care for these dogs who need medical treatement.”

This is clearly an attempt at slander and false, How did they “try to force you”? With a gun? Threaten to sue you? What? It is fairly obvious that you want BRAT to do what you want them to do, not what is reasonable. If they don’t, then you will just slander and defame them until they do what you want. Because all the other foster dogs don’t count, just yours. So we should “know what is going on”. I personally am very reassured that BRAT are responsible enough to ensure that my contributions are spent correctly.

“Brat gives each foster a contract to sign stating that Brat will provide all assistance needed to care for the rescue medical food whatever. They have now decided that signed contract is null and void, they will no longer provide the care my foster needs.”

From what I can see, you have no vet, insist on a particular diet. Evidently, you know better than a vet. Hardly surprising that BRAT are concerned. Elderly dogs can cost significant amounts, one dog alone can run into the $10,000+ range. I know because I have two that passed. It seems that you have the dog, yet absolve yourself of all responsibility financially. For that you should be grateful to BRAT instead of slandering them.

“This is a dog that this rescue is now refusing to care for, due to imagined financial concerns, Brat has a 50,000 cushion in the bank yearly, they spend 5,000 in donations on a convention, Donor money is used for both the convention and air line tickets and hotel rooms of all BRAT board members.
But they cannot use that donor money to keep this healthy dog alive?”

You fail to mention how much the convention brings in with donations. You have no right to lecture anyone on what they must do with their money, least of all a charity. I am glad that BRAT are responsible with their funds. Especially if they suspect someone is abusing them.

“I have received extremely insulting emails from a board member, I, who have been caring for this foster for 4 years on my own, making every decision, since the vets know nothing about his medications, am suddenly being told BRAT and some vet who has never even seen Declan will take over.”

Then by your own admission, you consider yourself above vets and are essentially the owner. Take responsibility yourself as you wish to do things your own way.

“BRAT said in this letter " The treating Veterinarian and independent Veterinarian also expresses concern over the current dosage of 5.25 mg/week of Cabergoline vs the 1 mg/week which is recommended (overdose situation)"
One study was done with this drug on dogs, it is the medication being used for cushings and parkinsons, in humans with great success, studies show the dose is highly individualized and symptoms of overdose are a stuffy nose hallucinations and fainting.There have been no reports of overdoses even at 20 mg a day.
How can a dog be given an overdose for 3 years, spend 2 1/2 years in remission have perfect blood panels yet is being overdosed?. BRAT goes on to say : "Declan is 20 pounds overweight, with a noted ravenous appetite, which indicates the current Darwin’s Natural diet is not appropriate; a low fat, high fiber, calorie restricted diet might be more appropriate (such as Royal Canin Satiety Support)"

You state that the dog is not overweight, yet you have also said he was 37lbs a couple of months ago. A well muscled basenji should be no more than 25-30 lbs, an older dog less. So clearly BRAT are correct, a diet change is the responsible action.

“This information was taken from a 3 year old email i sent to Dr Bruyette in regards to starting Declan on Cabergoline, when his Cushings was not controlled. .
YET I'm ordered to feed my foster, who above all else needs top quality nutrition, and is the perfect weight, a satiety diet made from sawdust.”

Clearly a lie and frankly sums up your post, there is no sawdust in that food. Now you defame and libel the dog food manufacturer. Your dog is still overweight, as such after four years he needs a diet change. Again, you wish to do things your way yet not take responsibility.

To sum up, it seems clear. BRAT are concerned about the dogs health, lack of veterinary care and require you to either take responsibility yourself if you insist on your way of doing things, or give the dog back so they can ensure he gets care. They are also ensuring that nobody abuses the funds which are donated. Which is why I continue to support them.

Frankly, your grasping attempt at defamation and your demands that they should pay whatever you desire whenever you desire, make you look like a person who should definitely not foster for them. If it were me in charge, I would take the dog back

last edited by Dagodingo

Do you have a picture you can share of Declan?

@westcoastflea1 “would you like proof ? On Monday, July 1, 2019, 11:43:57 PM EDT, Linda Webb Hilliard basenji2love@yahoo.com wrote:**
Heather,
BRaT's care for Declan will continue, however, it must be held within limits pre-approved by the Board. Repeated test for the Cushings are not to be done. The new vet should communicate with BRaT regarding his care before any decisions are made.”

Perfectly reasonable. The real problem here is you have the dog and want to override BRAT to do things your own way.

Like I said, nothing I say will change your mind in believing that you are right. Discussion as such is pointless.

@debradownsouth “Dagodingo, I could spend time pointing out the person most closely walking the libel line, and it wasn't her.. but why bother? Your attack accomplished nothing.”

No doubt BRAT are not perfect, however I am not the one attacking a rescue that has saved many basenjis and advocated for the breed. As far as libel / defamation, the poster has made several provable lies, my whole family are lawyers and I know libel laws well.

last edited by Dagodingo

I just asked to see a picture. It is nice to put a face with the dog.

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