Dog Rescues across the country have seen a dramatic decline in the number of dogs needing to be rehomed in the last few years. We, at Gateway Golden Retriever Rescue used to handle more than 100 Golden Retrievers each year, but fewer than fifty Golden Retrievers have been surrendered to us in the past 5 years, combined. In fact, we often have many consecutive months when we do not have any dogs available, at all, and we focus our efforts on education and preparing for the dogs with major illnesses that do come in.
But we’re not alone. Animal rescue groups across the country are having the same problem. There are many reasons for this, including but not limited to the slow demise of pet stores, more regulations to control and/or eliminate unlicensed breeders, the idea of “Adopt, Don’t Shop”, and the simple fact that dog breeding is expensive so there are fewer breeders.
Many dog rescue groups have turned to the dog breeders to keep their rescue group supplied with healthy dogs. Some of these so-called rescue groups pay thousands of dollars for a single dog and then cover the difference in costs between what the adopters pay and what they paid for the animal with donations. Breeders report that they’re having a hard time keeping up with the demand for dogs by these so-called rescue groups. The public knows these groups as rescue groups. But the breeders see them as dog brokers that will help them to sell however many dogs that they breed.
The concept of Adopt, Don’t Shop is completely meaningless if the dog rescue group that you’re getting your dog from, bought that dog direct from a breeder.
We, at Gateway Golden Retriever Rescue, do not buy dogs from breeders. 100% of our available dogs, come from shelters, as strays that we were patient enough to catch, or were surrendered to us by the dogs’ owners themselves.
Another way that Golden Retriever Rescue groups across the country are trying to keep their doors open, is to accept mixes into their program. Many Golden Retriever Rescue groups have dogs available for adoption that look and act nothing like a Golden Retriever, yet they still call themselves Golden Retriever Rescue.
We, at Gateway Golden Retriever Rescue, accept only purebred and near purebred Golden Retrievers into our program. Near purebred Golden Retrievers look and act enough like a Golden Retriever to pass for a purebred Golden Retriever to the untrained eye.
Unfortunately, that means that we frequently do not have any dogs available for adoption. And when we do have dogs available, they are usually either, seniors or dogs with behavioral and/or medical issues — some of which can be treated and some of which the adopter will have to deal with.
We continue to receive a fair number of applications every month. When people ask us whether we have dogs available, we always tell them to check the website’s available goldens page, and suggest that they fill out the adoption application and get on our waiting list. We will prioritize our applicants based upon what is best for our available dogs.
In years past, there was an application fee that was required at the time an applicant filled out an application. We no longer require that — it is part of the adoption fee. We get far more applications for dogs than we get dogs. It wasn’t fair to the applicants that might not even have a chance to adopt, to require an application fee.
We thank you for your interest in Gateway Golden Retriever Rescue, and your donations. We will continue to work diligently to find the right home for each Golden Retriever that comes into our program, whether it’s 5 dogs each year or 105 dogs each year.