Golden Rescue Update
On June 11th the Humane Society for Greater Nashua (HSFN) was involved in the rescue and release of 105 dogs from a hoarding and breeding situation in Bradford New Hampshire. Due to the squalid conditions, the dogs were removed by personnel from the Humane Society for Greater Nashua, Pope Memorial SPCA, Bradford Police Department and NH State Veterinarian’s Office. Forty-nine of the dogs were transferred to our Humane Society in Nashua. There were a number of pregnant females in the assorted Golden Retriever and Lab mixes and in total we had more than 60 dogs under our care here in Nashua. Even though we offer a much better environment than their original surroundings, most are scared and have never walked on a leash. It is our hope that with time and our care, these dogs will adjust to a normal life.
There have been so many generous supporters who have donated either funds or their time to assist us in this endeavor to provide quality care for those animals in need. We are grateful to all of you! Donations are still gratefully accepted by clicking here.
Our daily routine continues as we not only care for these new rescues, but also our everyday releases and strays from the surrounding communities. As we move forward with the process to find good homes for those dogs rescued, we hope all will eventually be settled in their forever homes. We know many of you are interested in updates and we hope this page serves to provide this information. Thank you for your care and concern! Click to see the dogs currently available for adoption.
Douglas A. Barry, CAE
President and CEO, HSFN
Golden Rescue Update: July 25, 2019
Over the past six weeks more than half of the adult dogs rescued from the Bradford hoarding breeder situation have been adopted. A few have been returned and re-adopted as we expected. Even though we do our best to assure the dogs are sent to the most appropriate home possible, some of the adopters do not realize the difficulty of caring for a dog coming from such a situation.
We are fortunate to have a certified trainer as a member of our staff. He has been working with a number of adopters and their dogs to assure the best integration into the home and community as possible. We thought it necessary to offer free behavioral training to them to assist in their day to day behavioral needs for both the dog and their adopters. Most of these dogs participate in a class, some are done individually to allow for particular behavioral needs to be addressed.
Some of the key behavioral issues are separation anxiety, bathroom issues and the interaction with both other dogs and individuals in the community. Our trainer has been working with some of the younger more well-adjusted dogs to respond to basic commands. Others who are in need of more serious work to deal with short term owner absence and with allowing other people to safely approach these animals. Some are only working with their dogs to allow other canines to come in contact with them.
Many of these dogs adjusted beautifully with little or no classroom training required. Others will require the patience of their owners to allow for a longer period of adjustment. Patience and love will eventually result in varying levels of success. These dogs were held in an environment that did not allow for a normal life. We, and their owners are doing everything possible to help them achieve some semblance of normalcy.
Golden Rescue Update: July 17, 2019
Today’s post is reflecting on five weeks from the time we received the dogs from the Bradford Golden Rescue case.
Golden Status: The 49 dogs arrived here on Wednesday, June 12. That number then changed overnight to 57 dogs after two Moms gave birth. As of today, we’ve happily had 30 of these dogs adopted and 17 of them remain with us in the shelter. Ten dogs are currently up for adoption and 7 are still not ready for adoption due to medical and behavioral reasons. We have 4 Moms and over 25 puppies in foster care. One Mom had a litter of 13 puppies! She is exhausted but getting all the help that our amazing foster volunteers we can provide.
Regarding adopting these puppies, we won’t place these pups up for adoption until they’re at least 8 weeks old. That puts the earliest of adoptions to be in mid to late August. Just FYI, we are NOT taking any advance applications or reservations for these puppies. Adoptions will be done on a first come, first served basis on the day they first go up for adoption. Our website http://www.hsfn.org/adopt/available-dogs/ is the place to check as the puppies’ photos and information will be posted there when they’re up for adoption.
Cost of Care: The standard cost of care for a shelter, per dog, per a day of care is $25.00. If these dogs had to be held here as property for a pending legal case, then the daily cost to us would have been $1,425 for 57 dogs per day and $51,300 to date! Daily cost does not include the veterinary care that these dogs have required. All of our dogs are spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, behaviorally and medically assessed, and vaccinated.
Days of Giving: The Humane Society for Greater Nashua has been blessed by so many wonderful supporters offering helping hands, donations of blankets, food, and items from our Wish List. Monetary and gift card donations have been generously given. As was the fruit basket and pizza deliveries to our hard working staff and volunteers who have really put in countless extra hours to try to get these dogs right. We would still graciously accept donations of gift cards to local pet stores so we can buy supplies as needed, or monetary gifts to help offset the cost of veterinary care for the dogs still here in our care. Thank you!
Golden Rescue Update: July 4, 2019
By the numbers: On June 12th, we received 49 retrievers, 7 of which were puppies. On June 13th, one mom had a litter of 6, and on the 14th another mom had a litter of 4. On Independence Day, another mom had a litter of 13! One more mom is pregnant. Two weeks beyond the day of intake, a group of 13 were determined to be fit for adoption. On that day, 7 of them were healthy puppies that found their forever home. Puppies, like children, are much more resilient than adults to trauma and healthcare so off they went, smiling as they left the door with their new owners. That same day 4 adults went to their new adopters as well. So gratifying! We were left with 2 adults – Page & Piper who need to be adopted together as of this writing. Further, we anticipate 15 to be ready for adoption on July 5th.
Health Status: Nearly all dogs needed to heal from ear and skin infections. None had been spayed or neutered and because of lack of record keeping, all needed age appropriate vaccinations. They have all since been micro chipped as well. Muscle atrophy is common amongst these dogs that are years in age without being walked, but that will improve. Behaviorally, this will be a long journey with varied issues.
Moving Forward: We are setting up a private group on Facebook for the Retriever Rescue Adopters to serve as a forum for discussion as time goes on and we are offering training classes as part of their adoption with our in-house, credentialed trainer. Those of you who are interested in these rescue dogs’ status moving forward (in general terms) can reference these periodic updates appearing here on our website and Facebook page.
Challenges of Adopting a Retriever Rescue Dog
The dogs from Bradford require extra attention as they become part of a home and community. These animals have experienced a life that most other dogs avoid. They have little or no socialization with humans and other dogs outside of their particular kennel. Prior to the last few weeks, none of them had ever walked on a leash. None of them are house trained. These particular dogs were only fed limited amounts of dry food up until a few weeks ago. They do not know what to do with a dog toy. They have never slept on a couch or dog bed.
Adopting one of these animals will require much more involvement. The Humane Society will offer after adoption support as well as an invitation only Facebook Group for adopters. We will continue to provide training assistance and consultation as your dog becomes more acclimated to their new home. Great patience will be necessary as you and your new dog spends more and more time together. This will be a life changing experience for both of you. Click here to see the dogs currently available for adoption.
After about a year, you will watch a dog who has been deprived of virtually every known pleasure begin to first explore, then enjoy, a life that offers these pleasures. However, this might not be an easy road. Everything is different and new. These dogs may test your patience more than eve r before. But as they say, nothing good comes easy. Many people who have adopted “puppy mill” dogs experience the “coming out of her shell” moment and hopefully you will have that same opportunity. A great reference for adopters is at www.resourses.bestfriends.org entitled, ”Puppy Mill Rescue Dogs: Transition to Home Life.
Making the Retriever Rescue Dogs Presentable
Removing dogs from squalid conditions requires much more attention than those living in normal home environments. Animals have been existing in such conditions know no other way of life. They are born into overcrowding and cold and damp waste soaked kennels and enclosures. They have had limited human exposure and require special love and understanding for each new experience. For this group of dogs, a new life has just begun.
Students and their instructors from the Alvirne High School Veterinary Science Program helped us to brush and bathe a number of the rescued dogs. Grooming tables and kiddie pools filled with warm water were part of the process. The grooming room (or on most days our education and training center) was full of hair! After a good brushing the dogs were no longer matted and seemed to feel so much better. Remember, they never experienced this before! Watching them touched and pampered by four or five students at a time was a wonderful sight to behold. The dogs were loving this first time attention and tails were wagging in appreciation. Students returned to continue this special treatment on a number of days. Humane Society Staff continue to bathe and groom dogs as they are able. So far, nearly all of the dogs from the current rescue are responding to this favorably.
Retriever Rescue Dogs in General
Imagine an animal spending their life in a small kennel with ten other dogs. In many cases mixing males and females. Little or no sanitary considerations, no temperature control either during hot or extremely cold temperatures and in some cases no exposure to sunlight. Their life will never change. Female dogs sole purpose will be for reproduction and the sale of puppies. Some of the female puppies will remain in the same squalid situation for the same purpose. The dogs emotional state is highly questionable and their physical condition unhealthy. None of the dogs have a name and none of the dogs have ever walked on a leash. Their sole purpose was to make more dogs.
One-day people come along and remove all of the dogs from those conditions. They are put on a leash for the first time but do not know how to walk. Most of the dogs were carried to the area where a veterinarian saw them for a first physical. Once that screening was complete, the dogs were taken to a vehicle for transport off the property. From there, animals were brought to a facility for additional veterinary care and treatment. All of this exposure for the first time!
As dogs are processed and evaluated, we will give each one a name and an identity. They will be pampered and readied for adoption. It is our hope that each one will find their forever home and live a life so very different than where they started.