By: Staff  Date: 01/12/2012 Category: | Rescue |

Since its inception, the NAIA has taken an active role in promoting purebred dog "rescue," the private rehoming of adoptable abandoned purebred dogs by breed fanciers. I'm pleased to have been invited to write a regular column on rescue for the NAIA News beginning with this issue.

I've been involved in the placement of rescued Chow Chows since 1985 and have chaired the welfare committee of the breed's parent club, The Chow Chow Club Inc., since the committee was appointed in 1990. With the help of committee members Ginny Atkinson, Joan Dunsire and Dave Donahue, CCCI Welfare helps to coordinate, guide, and encourage Chow rescue efforts across the country; provides financial assistance toward the medical expenses of rescued Chows; and offers information on training and behavior for owners of Chow Chows.

Although rescue has only reached the dog fancy's mainstream within the last several years, it isn't a new concept. Many individuals have been quietly working on behalf of abandoned purebreds for upwards of three decades. The last five-to-10 years, though, has seen the activity grow, become better organized and publicized than ever before, and attract the interest and moral support of the American Kennel Club.

Rescue activities and programs range from a single unaffiliated person taking in and fostering an abandoned dog or two in a year's time to large scale, highly organized efforts such as the Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue Inc. that owns its own kennel facility. While there is an amazing amount of variation in policy and procedures in between, they all share a common goal - to help as many homeless purebreds as possible find appropriate adoptive homes where they'll receive the love and care they deserve as their birthright.

The NAIA has so far held three nationally-oriented conferences on purebred rescue, gathering some of the most experienced and active rescue minds to help inform and encourage private rescue efforts. These conferences are the first of their kind on this scale and have been very well-received both by those with long experience in the endeavor and those just starting out.

Beginning with my next column, I'll be explaining in greater detail exactly what rescue involves, what it's intended to do (and not do), the problems rescue personnel face, what we're doing right, what we may be doing wrong, what effect rescue has on purebred dogs and fanciers in general, and how rescue can become a valuable ally to animal shelters and humane societies when a relationship of cooperation and trust is developed and nurtured. I'll be inviting guest columnists to share their experiences, thoughts, and advice. We won't be forgetting about the mixed breed dog either, as their circumstances and needs have a great effect on what is happening in the world of purebreds today.

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All Authors Of This Article: | Vicki DeGruy |
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