Why I Believe In an Open Adoption — Not the Perfection Some Dog Rescue Groups Require

By |2018-12-02T13:17:02+00:00December 2nd, 2018|Articles|

Adoption policies of rescue groups typically fall into one of two camps:

The rescue does everything in its power to make sure each animal goes to the perfect family, even if that means a lengthy delay in getting a dog into a forever home. The rescue believes that perfection is not necessary for a home to be loving. The faster an animal gets adopted, the better. Called “open” or “conversation-based” adoptions, a pet goes home with a family after consultation with an adoption counselor.

I am a strong supporter of open adoptions. In a previous article on the topic, my opinions sparked much debate. Feedback from foster families and my own personal experiences this year have made me more sympathetic to those who require perfection, but my mind hasn’t changed — I still think that open adoption is the best and most effective way to become a no-kill nation.

The luckiest mommy in all the world with the luckiest dog! Riggins and me. (Photo by Michelle Cramton.)

The luckiest mommy in all the world with the luckiest dog! Riggins and me. (Photo by Michelle Cramton)

I know many wonderful and loving pet parents who have taken other routes to get a companion animal, simply because adoption from a rescue group became too hard and/or hurtful of a process.

When you are told you aren’t fit to adopt a dog, it is heartbreaking. I know from experience — 11 years ago, I was told by more than one rescue that it would not consider letting me adopt a puppy. Reasons ran the gamut from me not being home 24/7 to not being married to my live-in boyfriend. It seemed impossible to find a group that would deem me a suitable dog mom. For those who know me and how I treat my baby boy, Riggins, this doesn’t just seem illogical, it seems wrong.

In the past few years, I’ve had more friends turned down for adoptions by well-meaning rescue groups.

Anne Beck, who has been a loving dog mom to a number of pups and turned down many times by rescue groups, and her darling boy Cooper. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Anne, who has been a loving dog mom to a number of pups and turned down many times by rescue groups, and her darling boy Cooper. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

One of my girlfriends is a lovely and talented businesswoman, a single woman with disposable income that she is happy and willing to spend on her dogs. She owns a home with a backyard. With one of her fur babies facing a terminal illness, she made the decision to adopt another family member.

After much research, she found an adorable Lab she wanted to adopt through a rescue group. It all seemed to be going well, until the foster family found out my friend does not have a pool. Apparently, the pup enjoyed the foster family’s pool and they felt he should go to a home where he could continue his daily swimming routine.

This was a new one for me. Being refused a pup simply because you don’t have a pool?! Let’s be honest, I would like a pool, too. Nothing would make me happier than swimming laps in my own backyard instead of having to schlep down to the local recreation center, but that’s life. A POOL?! Come on!

My friend turned to a breeder. She now has an adorable Lab puppy who is learning to make the most of his cushy life with a new mom and doggie brother.

Coco a lab mix hangs out with her two human brothers whose family was considered unfit by one rescue group. (Photo by Annmarie Levitt.)

Coco, a Lab mix, hangs out with her two human brothers, whose family was considered unfit by one rescue group. (Photo by Annmarie Levitt)

Another girlfriend also was recently looking for a dog to add to her family. Her husband and two sons had a dog who had died a few years earlier from old age. Although her husband has a full-time job, my friend is a substitute teacher and home early each day, and all day when she isn’t working. Her older son is such a dog lover that he spent the summer volunteering for a local rescue group, taking the dogs out for walks and breaks from their kennels.

There was NO REASON not to see this family as perfect for a pup. Alas, that was not the case. They fell in love with a dog and went through a home check with the rescue group. The person who visited them said there would be no issues with the adoption moving forward. Imagine her surprise when she learned the foster mother had said “no” to her family. The reason? My friend worked sometimes and therefore wouldn’t be home all of the time.

I hear this over and over from people who have been refused adoption from an animal rescue group. WHO IS HOME ALL DAY? THE OWNER HAS TO WORK TO FEED THE DOG, DOESN’T HE/SHE? GRRR!

Terisa Carver, a wonderful dog mom, was turned down by 10 different rescue groups before finding sweet Monkey who has been part of her family for 3+ years now. (Photo by Wendy Newell.)

Terisa, a wonderful dog mom, was turned down by 10 different rescue groups before finding sweet Monkey, who has been part of her family for 3-plus years now. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

To be fair to foster families, they want the best for the dog they have come to love. That is totally understandable. Recently, I had to watch a dog who I had come to love and had taken care of go to a new family, one I didn’t feel was the best fit. I had an expectation in my mind, and his new family fell short. I wasn’t in a situation where I could veto the move, and if I had been, I have to be honest with myself and admit I would have denied the adoption. Does that make my a hypocrite? Perhaps it does.

Volunteers and staff of Best Friends Animal Society - Los Angeles, who use an policy, celebrate empty shelter kennels at an adoption event. (Photo courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society's Facebook Page.)

Volunteers and staff of Best Friends Animal Society – Los Angeles, which uses a conversation-based adoption policy, celebrate empty shelter kennels at an adoption event. (Photo by Lori Fusaro/courtesy Best Friends Animal Society)

It really is an emotional and polarizing topic. In the past few years, open adoption and even “free” adoption policies have become more accepted by the rescue community. Part of the reason: Research has shown that a high enough percentage of animals placed by conversation-based adoption policies stay safely and happily with their adopted families (Maddies Fund at 93 percent and ASPCA at 96 percent are two such studies). If these numbers continue to remain high, open adoption is the right path toward becoming a no-kill nation, and isn’t that what we all want?

Let’s hear from you, readers. Share your thoughts on “open” adoptions in the comments.

The post Why I Believe In an Open Adoption — Not the Perfection Some Dog Rescue Groups Require appeared first on Dogster.

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Dog laws pros and cons

By |2018-12-02T00:46:28+00:00December 2nd, 2018|Articles|

California has now made it legal for people to break car windows in order to break a dog out of a hot car.

“As of August 2016, Vermont joined forces with Tennessee, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio in passing laws to protect good Samaritans who assist dogs locked in hot cars.”

Palm Springs has made it illegal for people to leave their dogs in their cars.

Many people applaud these measures. Don’t get me wrong, dogs shouldn’t die in hot cars AND there are other issues about this to consider and SOLVE which these laws do NOT DO.


For instance, people like me who take their dogs on trips, who are single and alone and cannot leave their pooches in the motel, and must take their dogs with them wherever they go, sure, these laws are meant to save dog’s lives… but in Palm Springs it is illegal to keep your dog in a car, even if it is COOL weather or night, this goes TOO FAR. if dogs are not allowed in stores, there is NO PLACE FOR THEM TO BE. Where am I supposed to put CICI, tie her up outside a store ????

A woman called the police while I was shopping at Trader Joe’s one cool morning. I usually take Cici inside with me and did not know about the law. She was fine with the windows wide open. As I was at the cashier and leaving, the manager asked if that was my car and told me about the woman and the law.




There are laws that DESERVE TO BE BROKEN or should never have been made to begin with in my humble opinion.  What do you think ?


Speaking of which, MONTREAL’s wrong minded response to an incident and just passed a really horrible BSL law that will put too many dogs lives at stake. Rescues are trying to get dogs out of Montreal ASAP as we speak but families are being torn apart and heartbroken for what ????? outlawing dogs for the WAY THEY LOOK IS JUST PLAIN INSANE and goes against EVERYTHING dog experts agree upon on how to COMBAT effectively dog bites and dog aggression. Breed Specific Legislation does NOTHING but waste taxpayer dollars and has proven to be completely ineffective at curbing dog bites. In fact, in some places, dog bites went up because BREED and dog’s looks have NOTHING TO DO WITH whether  a dog will bite or be aggressive or not.

There are 5 or  red flags that are PROVEN that can lead to a dog attacking or biting.

A dog who is or has been abused, a dog who is left alone in a yard, all day and night and is not socialized nor trained, a dog who is left to roam the streets, a mama with puppies, a dog who is sick and NEVER LEAVE A CHILD OF ANY AGE ALONE WITH A DOG, NO DOG, NONE. These are the RED FLAGS … AND APPLY TO ALL BREEDS of DOGS!!!!!!

“legislators voted in 37 to 23 favor of breed-specific legislation, effectively outlawing any dog that resembles a pit bull — unless owners meet a strict set of conditions.

“Under the ban — which loosely covers American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers — no dog considered a pit bull can be adopted from Montreal shelters.

“For dogs that don’t have an ‘owner’ on the day of the passing of the legislation, the way the legislation is drafted, the dogs have to be euthanized,” Alanna Devine, of the Montreal SPCA, told The Dodo last week.

“…The legislation was proposed after a spate of dog attacks in the city. Among them, the most notorious resulted in a woman being killed by a dog in her yard last June. But, even in that case, there’s doubt whether the dog that attacked her was even a pit bull.

“Under the law, people who own dogs deemed pit bulls have until March to undergo a criminal background check and pay $150 for a special permit. Their dog will have to be sterilized, vaccinated and microchipped —as well as muzzled and on a 4-foot leash at all times in public.”





What you can do:

Sign the petition, write to the officials, speak out against BSL and adopt a dog from MONTREAL asap.





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November 2016 Monthly Dog Recap

By |2018-12-01T12:24:27+00:00December 1st, 2018|Articles|

November has been a total blast with lots of outdoor fun as we got into the swing of my favorite time of year, fall! It’s the perfect time for hikes and adventures.

Before we get to my adventures though, let me give a shoutout to my special sponsors & affiliates! Thanks to them I’m able to bring you exciting posts, so make sure you give them some love and check out what great products they carry!

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The Honest Kitchen Pet FoodThe Honest Kitchen is a dehydrated pet food company that I stand behind. It became part of my rotational diet in 2015 and I continue to love their food. Makers of healthy, wholesome, proper foods for dogs and cats, I believe their food is as healthy as you can get! Read my past reviews on The Honest Kitchen products.

Follow this link for a FREE SAMPLE BUNDLE for $1 in shipping (discount automatically applied at checkout).

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Ruffwear Summer Sidebar AdRuffwear carries performance dog gear designed to enhance and inspire outdoor adventures for dogs and their human companions. Totally my kind of company that carries anything from dog hiking packs, harnesses, camping essentials and more! You can check out my reviews of some of their great gearincluding my favorite harness & life vest!

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Best Bully SticksBest Bully Sticks Ad is the place to go when you need something to keep your pet occupied! Bully Sticks are healthier than rawhides and safe for your pet too. Best Bully Sticks also offers the best prices on the web, and sell a product you can feel good about letting your pet snack on. Check out my review of Best Bully Sticks.

Use code AMMOBBS to save 12% off your Best Bully Stick Order.

And now it’s time for my November adventures…

Jasper Swag Dog Walking Bags

I shared my secret to having lots of adventures with my family.

Adventures with Pumpkins

I shared all the fun I had carving pumpkins with my sister.

Oh The Places You Sleep: Vol. 18 with Ammo the Dachshund

I got my sleep on again this month.

Adventures of Ammo + Baby P: Vol. 3

I shared how I’m documenting my sister’s growth each month.

Adventures in Petco

I took my sister to one of my favorite stores.

Cool Weather Hikes

I hit the trail and went off on a hike.

All Up In It

I got myself into some dirty business on the farm.

Pet Friendly Road Trip // Ammo the Dachshund

I set off on an adventure for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

The 5-in-1 Leash You'll Love + A Giveaway

I shared my cool new leash from HUND Denmark, and my giveaway with them is still going on!

Baby P's Christmas Wish List

Baby P and I shared what we are hoping ends up in Santa’s sleigh!

And that brings us to December! Time for warm blankets and snuggling up on the couch with mom and dad!

What was your favorite adventure of mine this month? Ammo the Dachshund // Blog Signature // Celebrity

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