The Significance of Breed-Specific Rescue Groups


There is a foster group available for every breed of dog and cat that needs to be rescued.

Copley News Service reporting by Lisa Reicosky

Peg Monteleone received a call not too long ago asking her to provide foster care for a one-year-old schnauzer that had been mistreated. The keeper of the dog had doused the animal in various chemicals. He required amputation of two of his toes.

Even though it was shocking, Monteleone and others like her who volunteer their time working for animal rescue groups receive calls like this all the time. The calls can be received at any time of the day or night. Emails with graphics describe instances of abuse and ask for assistance.

She was referring to the schnauzer that she had nursed back to health and said that the animal’s hair was beginning to grow back. Someone is going to have a wonderful pet in him for the next 15 years.

Monteleone takes in and provides foster care for a great number of animals as part of her work with Second Chances, an Ohio-based rescue organization that helps abandoned and abused cats and dogs. In addition to the three dogs she already owns, she is currently caring for three foster dogs, a pregnant cat, and a number of orphaned kittens. She brings them to a Petsmart in the area, which is where the organization keeps cages full of animals so that customers can adopt them.

In addition to that, she is the leader of the organization that is known as “Pets 4 Life.” She just recently found a home for a cocker spaniel that was 10 years old for a woman who was 96 years old through this organization.

“(The dog) is sedentary and just wants to be petted,” she said, adding that the companionship is beneficial to both the dog and the elderly woman. “Both the dog and the elderly woman benefit from the companionship,” she said.

Monteleone leads a very busy life thanks to her two animal rescue organizations, in addition to her regular job, her four children, and her husband.

“Everyone in the family pitches in,” she explained. “And my daughter has her sights set on becoming a veterinarian.”

When she says, “If people would just spay and neuter!,” it’s difficult to ignore the exasperation in her voice.

According to the estimates provided by her organization, there are approximately 50,000 newborn cats and dogs born every single day in the United States. It is estimated that only one in nine shelter animals will be adopted, and that 64 percent of all animals in shelters will be put to death in order to make space for more.

She stated that she makes an effort to block out the numbers and not give them any thought.

“You will have to proceed one animal at a time. “If you think about everything at once, you are going to drive yourself crazy,” she warned me. “It’s a win for me every time I place one,” she said. When we visit the pound, you can’t help but be haunted by the animals’ faces, but unfortunately, we can’t save them all. One after the other.”

However, if you believe that abandoned puppies and kittens are the only types of animals that end up in shelters, you are, unfortunately, mistaken.

According to Lori Lawrence, who works for Dachshund Rescue of North America, “There’s a breed rescue group for every breed that you can think of.” Both she and Colleen Dundon, who works for Coast to Coast Dachsund Rescue in Ohio, are dedicated to finding forever homes for stray “wiener dogs.”

It just so happens that I have a soft spot for dachshunds. I spent my childhood with them,” Lawrence said. “Dachshunds are the yardstick by which I judge my life.”

Breed rescue workers take the work that they do very seriously. The potential owners are required to fill out an application, provide references and the name of their veterinarian, and have a dachshund rescuer visit their home to ensure it is suitable for a dog with short legs and a long body.

According to Dundon, “We want to get a feel for the person and see if we feel comfortable,” and they will do this by asking questions.
They are able to transport dogs all over the country thanks to the national network, which is comprised of members who drive individual legs of the route.

Breed rescuers frequently leave their name and contact information with local shelters with the request that they be contacted if an animal of their particular breed is brought in to the facility. Recently, Lawrence received a call from the Humane Society asking him to retrieve two dachshunds that had been seized from a backyard breeder.

“I picked them up, had them spayed and neutered, and gave them shots,” she said, adding that she then gave them to a family in Pennsylvania who had adopted them.

The proliferation of puppy mills and backyard breeders is likely to blame for the rise in the number of breed-specific rescue organizations.

It all comes down to cruel treatment of animals. “They will breed until the dogs die giving birth,” said Lana Kirby, a person who rescues Old English mastiffs. “They will breed until the dogs die.”

Although there are national organizations that will provide assistance, the money needed to rehabilitate animals comes out of the rescuer’s own pockets. The Mastiff Club of America is the organization that assists Kirby.

Before purchasing a dog from a classified ad in the newspaper or from a pet store, Dundon advises prospective dog owners to do some investigation with local breed clubs.

Get in touch with the animal shelter in your community if you want to find a breed rescue group in your region.

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