Breed rescue

Rescue sounds like something people do when houses are burning down, rivers are flooding, dog fighting rings get busted . . . purebred dog rescue isn’t nearly as dramatic as all of that usually. It’s more normally a small very tired group of breed enthusiasts who are constantly fielding messages such as – URGENT will be PTS in one hour if you don’t respond – or – we have seventeen Staffords in the shelter please come get them – or we have a Stafford and won’t allow a breeder to pull we would rather euthanize than support breeders – or I bought a Stafford but my breeder never told me he might grow up to hate other dogs please come get him – or – my brother passed away and now I have a 12 year old Stafford who needs a home and I cant keep him – or even – we have two staffords but are having a baby, moved to an apartment, got deployed, went to jail, new girlfriend who hates dogs and need to get rid of them. . . SIGH.

Purebred rescue is not something I enjoy. It is mentally exhausting. It takes up a lot of bandwidth in my life which I sure could use elsewhere….but it is also something I feel obligated to do as a lover of the breed, as a breeder and as a responsible person.

Purebred rescue costs money. Purebred rescue takes a LOT of my free time. Purebred rescue means lots of fund raising to help cover the cost of transporting, shelter release expenses, veterinary bills, training costs, foster care, transportation, feeding and caring for dogs whom another person produced and another person owned. And now the dog is our responsibility.

Purebred rescue means making decisions. Deciding whether or not a dog is indeed a Stafford. Deciding what we need to pull a dog from a shelter (not always easy). Deciding who will foster, train, care for the dog. Deciding how to market the dog and how to screen potential homes. Deciding who can do home checks, background checks and transport the dog to a new home.

Purebred rescue means paperwork. Paperwork to provide shelters showing we (The Stafford Knot, Inc.) are a non profit 501(c)(3). Paperwork to locate breeder. Paperwork to get owners to sign release forms for owner surrenders. Paperwork for applications. Paperwork for contracts. Paperwork to register microchips into new owners names. Paperwork to keep in touch with new owners. Paperwork to offer new owners to help educate them on the breed. Paperwork to try to get new owners to join breed and all breed clubs to remain active and involved.

Purebred rescue also includes owner surrender and helping breeders Rehome Staffords. Owner surrenders are usually quite emotional. This means 100’s of texts and phone calls. Emotionally draining phone calls. Phone calls with tears, excuses, anger, frustration and heartbreak. Purebred rescue can sometimes mean making difficult decisions regarding the future of a dogs life.

With all of this my job is to remain calm and compassionate. When the phone gets put down – I can then break down myself. But not before then.

Purebred rescue means being yelled at, cussed at, lied to, gossiped about, rumors told, accusations hurled about, abused in so many ways by breeders, shelters, other rescues, owners and strangers on social media. And throughout all of the abuse it also means remaining calm and true to the goal which is the safety of the dog in question.

The Staffords are why I do this. I would love to stop and let others take over. I have tried to quit. The sad truth is that we ALL need to be involved. This is not a job for a couple of people in each breed. We all need to work together and do the best we can do. Breeders need to step up – carefully screen new owners. Remain in contact with those owners. Be their support. Microchip and register that chip for life and put your name on the chip along with the owners and veterinarians. Sponsor owners club memberships to encourage participation with other Stafford owners. Get owners involved. Make it well known in your contracts, in your conversations and on your web pages and FB pages that you are available for the lifetime of the Stafford you produced or rescued. Make it well known that there exists a community of Stafford enthusiasts all Stafford owners can turn to for any reason.

Purebred rescue is not the enemy nor is it something nice to have to do. BUT it is something we ALL should be doing.

Looking for a Stafford?

I have noticed an increase in people reaching out for help after buying a puppy and realizing they might not have gotten exactly what they were hoping for. There is a real need for more education on this breed. A number of ‘pop up’ breeders are literally cashing in on the upsurge of popularity in Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

In an effort to educate we are working on marketing ideas to try to reach people BEFORE they purchase a Stafford puppy so we can make sure they are well equipped with all the information they need to make a good purchase from a breeder who will support and mentor them, a breeder who is involved in more than ‘making puppies’, a breeder who does (and can prove) all breed appropriate health testing, a breeder who will take back a dog they have produced for any reason at any time, a breeder who is involved in breed rescue, a breeder who is well educated on the breed – an honest preservation breeder.

You deserve to bring home a puppy who has been enriched and raised in a loving home environment for the first 8-12 weeks of its life. You deserve the correct temperament. You deserve a happy and healthy, well adjusted puppy. A Stafford puppy should be confident, eager to learn and energetic. Whether or not your breeder feeds raw, naturally rears or not – they should be a well respected active member of the Stafford community. Help us help you!

The new marketing campaign will be designed to target regular people looking for a puppy so they have this information in hand! Tell us what you search for when looking online – tell us what you expect to find – tell us your thoughts on what you are finding when searching. Send an email to wavemakerstaffords @gmail.com with the subject: Stafford Search Study so that we can put together a helpful education campaign.

Why the intense interview?

Our application is very lengthy. Our interviews are quite in depth. We do home checks. We talk on the phone with people interested in buying a dog from us. We meet potential buyers in person and ask they visit us or we meet them at their home or a show or event. We have a very detailed contract and we discuss this contract with our buyers, negotiating it and altering it until both parties are in total agreement. We are interested in the well being of the dog we are selling – we have to trust the home it goes to – we have to know for certain the dog will be fairly treated, well cared for, loved and kept in a healthy environment. Our interest stems from a responsibility we accepted when we decided to breed a litter or do rescue.

We are very open on this website, in person, in writing and on the phone about the types of homes we seek out. There is no hidden or shady agenda. We answer emails, phone calls and PMs and will also tell a person if they are not a good match for us.

Sometimes we make errors in our judgement and we have to live with that. We have blogged about one huge mistake we made in our first litter. Scroll back in the blog and you can read the details for yourself – but let’s just say – we won’t make this mistake again. So if you contact us and you feel we are being a bit too ‘intense’ please know the reason for that is our history of being scammed and our dedication to protect the animals we are responsible for.

If all you want is to PayPal your money for your 1st, 2nd, 3rd pick puppy and be on your way ….well we are not your breeder.

An Open Letter to All Breeders

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL BREEDERS
By Lynsey Smith 

-If you don’t have goals: DONT BREED.
( Producing “great” pets, or big and impressive ISN’T a goal). Far too many breeds have been RUINED because people breed simply for pets with no REAL goals for the breed. 

-If you don’t TEST your dogs in some way (health and/or temperament and working ability) DONT BREED 

-If you don’t research the history of the breed to know what to look for (other than “great” pet or big and impressive) DONT BREED 

-If you don’t become familiar with the dogs within the pedigree of your dogs in order to know what traits may show up in a breeding: DON’T BREED 

-If you breed back to back to back to back to back: STOP BREEDING 

-If you never hold any pups back to watch how they develop in order to determine if you are meeting your goals: DON’T BREED 

-If you make “picks” at birth or a week old BEFORE a pup can even show you anything about itself other than it’s sex and color: DON’T BREED 

-If you will sell a puppy to anyone with the cash or to someone who knows nothing about the breed and you dont bother to educate them: DON’T BREED 

-If you “ride coattails” of other breeders in order to talk up your own dogs even though you have done nothing with them yourself (ex: “champion bloodline” or has a “famous” dog back in its pedigree): DON’T BREED (get off your arse and prove your own dogs first) 

-If you do not know your own dogs pros and cons and are unwilling to acknowledge their faults and adjust your program accordingly: DON’T BREED 

-If you do not offer to take back dogs or puppies if they are not working out for whatever reason and will allow a dog that YOU brought into this world to end up in a shelter or worse; don’t say that you LOVE your breed b/c clearly you don’t so do the dogs a favor and DON’T BREED 

-If you are unwilling to learn from others, take advice (good and bad) and in the process BETTER THE BREED: DON’T BREED 

-If your aim is to make a name for yourself or fatten your wallet and not to better your breed: DON’T BREED

Purebred Pride

We receive a LOT of interest in our Staffords. We might receive half dozen plus emails, PM’s, calls and yes even texts from strangers asking to purchase a puppy weekly. Here’s some advice. Don’t send a text asking for a puppy. Further, how about an introduction?

We ALWAYS ask everyone to please read this huge website prior to filling out the application to see if we are a good fit before wasting either of our time. There is a reason we have such a detailed website instead of how most breeders have – just pages showcasing their dogs accolades (or perhaps not) with an application, non refundable deposits and a wait list.

We do not pay our bills on the uterus’ of our Staffords.

We do not have a litter of puppies so that you can have one anytime you ask. There isn’t a kennel full of puppies out back for you to select any color you want. Far from that! Our dogs are our pets first. They live with us and enjoy being spoiled daily. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

We do not promote breeding for those who do not really truly understand this breed, are dedicated students of this breed, fully health test this breed, are active in breed clubs, help with rescue, live with your dogs inside your home, train using positive methods and extensively screen potential buyers including keeping in contact with them for the lifetime of the dogs you sell (to the best of your ability). We are not here to populate the world with Staffords. We have been actively involved in rescue for so long that we KNOW those who do not do the above will sell to people not prepared to be Stafford owners and we end up cleaning up after them.

We also do not sell to people looking to produce ‘sport mixes’. Why on earth would we dedicate 15 years to this breed and turn around and sell to someone we barely know who has zero knowledge of our breed approve of them breeding our fully health tested, carefully bred, Puppy Culture raised purebred Stafford with a fantastic pedigree to be used to make mutts? No way. So don’t even ask.

Too many ignorant people are breeding dogs without a care in the world what becomes of them down the road. We are not in that category. Not even close. So stop. Ask someone else if you can have their puppy. We want to sell to carefully screened, loving, dedicated people who become family. It doesn’t always work out this way but this is what we strive for. We may not be your breeder and that’s fine with us.

May the future of the Stafford be protected and may they enjoy the luxury of not becoming any more popular….for their sakes.