Lockdown puppies' flood rescue centres

Read this yesterday...

'Lockdown puppies' flood rescue centres: Hundreds of pets are being abandoned as owners who bought them for company during pandemic struggle to cope with caring for them

Snippet from link above...

"Hundreds of 'lockdown puppies' are being resold or handed in to rescue centres – because short-sighted owners are struggling to cope only months after buying them.

Sellers have flooded pet websites with adverts for dogs aged between six and 12 months.

Many owners admit they either do not have the time or the money to look after them.

The price of puppies surged to more than £3,000 for some breeds last year as many people started working from home or were furloughed."

Why am I not surprised? Lots of people have been on this forum looking for a Basenji. I would bet some will come available in the not too distant future from folks who really didn't know what they were getting themselves into, and on returning to work have discovered that their dog is not happy being left alone at home. I think dogs of many breeds with soon be looking for new homes. Sad.

I have taken care to include email details for UK Basenji Rescue along with those of Breed Club secretaries when replying to the many people who have contacted me since lockdown.

Quite a few have later responded they would take in an older dog needing rehoming, and indicated they had made contact with Rescue.

Newspapers predicted a flood of abandoned puppies of all breeds back in November.

Fingers crossed very tightly that the Breed can cope and that breeders have been ultra careful in interrogating and assessing potential owners.

Because Basenjis have quite such a narrow breeding season, winter in the northern hemisphere, summer down south, our 2020 winter crop of pups won't have left the nest yet. So it is possible, albeit remotely, that the vaccine will have kicked in, restrictions lifted and people returning to work have less desire for a puppy.

last edited by Zande

@jengosmonkey - I get on average 10 to 20 inquires via email and about the same in phone calls ever week.... of people wanting a Basenji. Most have not done their homework and I would say at least 60% would not be suitable for a Basenji... I always inquire to them why do they want a Basenji? What happens when you have to go back to work? Will you still have enough time to spend quality time with a pup? (and really this goes for any breed). Many tell me they don't care about AKC papers (in the US) and I tell them they should...along with checking health testing (DNA for Fanconi & PRA) at the very least. Some get angry when you tell that that this is really not the right breed for them and many turn to BYB (Back Yard Breeders) that are only in it for the "dollars"...and will take your money, throw a pup on a plane to you. A responsible breeder will pick the puppy that is best suited to a family/home/lifestyle and do not let people just "pick one". It is also important to look at the pedigree and register that pup.

😢 This makes me very sad and scared for the futures of all those unfortunate dogs

@tanza & @Zande I think you two predicted about July/August that this would occur late 2020 and into 2021; getting worse once people were required to return to work. I saw the headline and immediately thought of you two. You were spot on.

Stella made us promise that if we ever needed to rehome either of our dogs for any reason, that we must contact her. She gets first right of refusal, and if we manage to find another home, she gets to vet them, and approve or disapprove them. We can't just get rid of the dogs without her knowledge. Karen had the same requirement when we got Jengo. I recall when I spoke with Kathy in Portland, she too had the requirement. That tid bit was something that's always resonated with me. I knew I was speaking with breeders who really cared about the best interest of their pups/dogs.

Hope this doesn't turn into a disaster. BTW, I love Stella, but she can't have her doggies back. We love them.

@jengosmonkey
I have the same statement in the contract when I purchased my basenji - I could not re-sell or re-home my basenji - if for any reason that I could not longer care for her - she is to be returned to the breeder. This is when you really know that the breeder is responsible and care for the welfare of the dog and the breed. I’ve had regular contact with my breeder for the past 15 years and I feel it’s important to have a good relationship w/ the breeder.
As for that increase of pups in shelters w/in the next year - yes that was predicted by Zande and Tanza. Every time I saw a post for someone looking for a basenji - I cringed 😬 - just thinking about the number of puppy mills breeding backyard basenjis. I agree - I hope it doesn’t turn into a disaster!

last edited by Kembe

@alibobo said in Lockdown puppies' flood rescue centres:

This makes me very sad and scared for the futures of all those unfortunate dogs

While it concerns me, it also makes me think that I should open my home to one of them. A second Basenji isn't out of the question for me. I've been thinking about bringing another B home anyway. It's something for me to reconsider. Perhaps I should contact BRAT in case they need homes or fosters in my area.

@elbrant
Kembe just turned 15 this past Monday 1/4. My biggest regret is that I did not have a second basenji as a companion for her. She’s having some issues due to age and I think it would be easier if she had a basenji friend.

@elbrant I think you should ! When Hoover (12) went into a decline over the death of Keepurr, I bought in Mku. He brought her back to life, almost to puppyhood. They bonded fiercely and she taught him life-skills while he taught her to have FUN again. Best purchase I ever made.

Now he is on his own, sadly. But not for long. Lockdown permitting, a new boy arrives on 17th January ! We are allowed out to buy essentials. And what could be more essential than a Basenji puppy ? He is about an hour's drive away and I also need to collect 9 small hazel trees and a large can of top quality olive oil left with his breeder for me by Mku's.

@jengosmonkey - Yes that is correct, responsible breeders have in their contracts that if ever the pup needs to be rehomed, regardless of the reason, they go back to the breeder as they have first right of refusal.

Most people have no idea of what a reputable breeder is. Anyone inquiring about a puppy should be advised to purchase only from a breeder who requires a signed contract that the pup be returned to the breeder for any reason at any age (and who does the necessary health tests - fanconi, etc.).

I would love to see elementary schools provide a class on animal husbandry to impress on kids what happens to that adorable puppy once it grows up and isn't wanted anymore... why having a litter of puppies or kitties is a HUGE responsibility... why animals need daily attention and should not be tied out or left out in a yard... etc.

Sorry for the lecture. As you can tell, I'm a little passionate on this subject - and I deleted 1/2 of what I wrote!

But @pawla, you speak for all of us who have bred / do breed Basenjis and who love the breed as a breed, not just individual Basenjis.

I wouldn't have been as abstemious as you !

@zande said in Lockdown puppies' flood rescue centres:

@elbrant I think you should ! When Hoover (12) went into a decline over the death of Keepurr, I bought in Mku. He brought her back to life, almost to puppyhood. They bonded fiercely and she taught him life-skills while he taught her to have FUN again. Best purchase I ever made.

Now he is on his own, sadly. But not for long. Lockdown permitting, a new boy arrives on 17th January ! We are allowed out to buy essentials. And what could be more essential than a Basenji puppy ? He is about an hour's drive away and I also need to collect 9 small hazel trees and a large can of top quality olive oil left with his breeder for me by Mku's.

Can I be nosey please and ask what the trees and olive oil are for? 😆 Just curious.

@alibobo Its very simple. I have a large garden surrounded by mixed hedges. Mku's breeder lives near a forest and seedlings appear in her garden.

I grub out ivy from my hedges and this leaves gaps which are filled with small hazels which she pots up and gives to me. No waste and no cost - suits everyone.

Once in the hedges, the hazels grow and thicken as they are cut twice a year and fill the hedges in nicely.

There is also wire netting - when we first got Basenjis back in 1981 we cut all the hedges in half and put independently strung small gauge wire netting up before letting the hedges grow back. Thus making the garden dog-proof but still visually very attractive.

Mku's breeder is not from UK. She is married to a Brit and lives and works in this country but she still has access to some excellent olive oil and from time to time gives me a very welcome addition to my larder.

last edited by Zande

@zande sounds lovely. I'd like to get some outdoor potted trees for my back yard but haven't decided what to go for yet. Also, the olive oil sounds delicious. Lucky you!

This popped up on my news feed this morning. Good article with a disturbing message.

When your 'pandemic puppy' doesn't work out

"In March 2020, as the UK, parts of the US and elsewhere, went into their first lockdown, millions of people suddenly had a lot more time alone at home, with the internet as their friend.

On social media others seemed to be having the times of their lives playing with their dogs, posting adorable photos and recording cute animal-themed TikToks.

The message: a furry friend would make lockdown a lot less lonely.

People who had been putting off getting a dog because of a lack of time at home suddenly had a glut of it. They saw lockdown as the perfect opportunity to finally raise a puppy.

Now, almost a year later, animal shelters are starting to see older puppies with behavioural issues being handed in by frustrated owners, and pet sales websites are filling up with listings for puppies being resold."

Precisely, @JENGOSMonkey. We were warned of that in our newspapers and on the media generally, back in October.

I have now had exactly 190 enquiries for puppies. I haven't bred a litter for several years, Marvin died and our stock aged, and this is an unprecedented number.

Very few, comparatively speaking, have done any homework or researched into the breed. One of the three in today wants a Basenji 'because they don't bark and are full of energy'. This is pretty typical. Not all say where they live, I know less than nothing about 99 % of them at first but I am careful to write back to each and every one of them, then, depending on their reply (few actually bother) I engage in correspondence, ask questions and have filled three of this year's litters with really suitable homes. At least one has already shown up on the forum, Hi Brittney !

I'm pretty sure all UK Basenji breeders will have been careful choosing who gets their puppies and for the moment, not many have left Mom and siblings for the wider world. But our UK Rescue co-ordinator has also started to compile a list of potential new homes, I am quite sure.

What we also hope is that unregistered imported dogs and untested (for PRA and Fanconi as an absolute minimum) dogs will be bred from, to cash in on soaring prices. Not just in Basenjis, in all breeds.

When we go to the woods, we meet dozens of new, totally untrained, puppies. Last week a lovely young Whippet looked bored to tears, moving slowly along at toddler's pace, tied to a pushchair. It will never be allowed free to expend its energy like Mku and Kito. It probably doesn't know what running is like.

Fingers crossed for Basenjis - here, in USA and all over.

@zande - Totally true Zande, I have gotten over the last year at least 20 to 40 inquiries a week looking for a puppy, many have no idea about a Basenji but go by what they read on line that they are "non-barking" or hyperallergic which are NOT true for Basenjis... they might not bark like many breeders but they are NOT silent, they make all other dog noises and then some, some that would raise the hair on the back of your neck. And that if these people that are now home, they need to spend time with their children (if they have them) and that is NO different than a working family... you need to have the time to spend with your pup, regardless of the breed

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