Ah, the rural life. Critters, events, opinions and trivia.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shame on us: Ellen and the Rescue Dog

If you haven't already been bombarded with media coverage on the topic of Ellen DeGeneres and the Rescue dog, read the background at http://www.tmz.com/ .

Shame on "Mutts and Moms" the rescue organization who removed the dog from the family where Ellen had placed it. I work with a dog Rescue organization, and animal Rescue is already a difficult process. The last thing we all need is a Rescue organization giving all of Rescue a public black eye. For goodness sake, it's supposed to be all about the DOGS.

Many/most dog rescue organizations have guidelines regarding placement of animals in homes that have young children (and preference for homes with fenced yards and more). Rescue organizations also usually have a guideline/requirement that an animal rescued from them should be returned to them if the adoption does not work out. "Mutts and Moms" needs to think about WHY they have the "rules" that they do. It's to protect the health, safety and well-being of the DOGS.

Rescue organizations want dogs to be returned to them so that they don't end up: in a pound or kill shelter; let go as a stray; given to an inappropriate home; donated to animal research, etc. If this dog has ended up in a loving, caring home (that they can visit and do a home evaluation), why in the world shouldn't they welcome the opportunity of having one of their rescue dogs placed in a good environment?

I too am passionate about animal rescue and animal welfare, but I think "Mutts and Moms" organization is really handling this issue incorrectly. Worse yet, I'm afraid that their actions will spill over and have an impact on all animal rescue organizations who have volunteers truly dedicated to the placement of the animals they re-home.

Secondly, shame on us mocking Ellen for her emotional public appeal. Ellen has a history of being passionate about animal welfare so why shouldn't she be emotional over an issue that is her passion? We seem to be derisive about anyone who has a public display of intense emotion. Why is this? Are we embarrassed? The unfortunate exception is that we often see and accept media clips of families grieving a tragic event; we also see and accept media clips of individuals venting incredible anger. Why are we willing to accept public displays of grief and rage, but not personal passion?

I do wish that Ellen had enlisted the help of other dog Rescue organizations to have a mediated private discussion with "Mutts and Moms" and come to some reasonable solution. Now that this is a big public issue, it will be difficult for either side to back down from their position gracefully, and there is slim likelihood of re-uniting the dog with her new friend Ruby.

And for those of you who think: "What's the big deal, it's just a dog" -- a big juicy Brooklyn cheer, since there's not much point in trying to convince you otherwise.

Here are my personal rescue angels

Labels: ,