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fleurie

Bonnie

Not so little foster pup Bonnie. On her way today to a new home in Germany.



Fostering is very rewarding, but I always feel sad when they go.

Fxx
Mad-mel

oh bless  
kaz

She looks small compared to the hand holding her
Lovely.
fleurie

She came to us at around 4 weeks old weighing less than a kilo - I've never seen such a thin puppy. This pic was taken about a month ago, I guess - she's now about 5 months and, obviously, bigger still. She's lovely, and will make a great pet for someone with a huge garden - she runs & runs & runs!

FXx
Mo

Aww! Going all the way to Germany on her own?
fleurie

Yes - in her own box. My husband has just taken her to the airport. She is accompanied by another young dog and in the care of "flight parents" (holidaymakers willing to take responsibility for the duration of the flight). Once they arrive volunteers from our partner welfare group will meet them at the airport and take the dogs first to foster homes. They will then be found permanent homes. It is quite a complicated procedure, involving several people: foster parents here, someone to drive, flight parents, drivers the other end, foster parents there and then finally a new home. We always try to send 2 or 3 dogs at a time as we are 150km from the airport and petrol is very expensive here. Today, 8 have gone altogether, which is great news, but meant 3 lots of drivers etc etc., as the flights were all at different times.

If any of you are ever on holiday in Mediterranean countries, please look out for welfare groups asking for flight parents - they often advertise in hotels. You have to do very little - just check the animals in when you check in yourself and take the dogs/cats into your care for the flight. Bigger dogs go in the hold, so you don't even have to deal with them once they have been through a separate security area. Small dogs/pups (under 5 kg) and cats go as hand baggage in the cabin with the flight parents - and go through the "normal" security channel - you just have to take them out of their carrier while it is xrayed and then put them back in. It is a very simple way of helping unwanted animals to find new homes.

Fxx
freckle

Not meaning to sound negative as it sounds like you are all working so hard for neglected animals, but is it practical and economically viable to be flying strays to other countries? Seems to me it wold be cheaper to focus on rehousing in the home country?
fleurie

Ideally you would be right. However, most southern European countries have a problem with strays simply because suitable homes cannot be found. There is a resistance (slowly being overcome) to sterilising animals, and the resultant pups & kittens are often just dumped. Some are rehomed locally, of course, but the majority need to be found homes elsewhere, or just live on the streets. The people who take the animals into their homes pay a fee, as they would to, for example, Battersea Dogs' Home. This fee covers some of the costs (shared between the welfare groups here and in the destination country). Short of a mass cull, which no-one involved in welfare would contemplate, this is the best we can do.

Fxx
conundrum

I agree with Freckle, sorry to sound hard.  And most of the "breeders" of these (usually crossbred) dogs are mindless idiots, and not breeders in any real terms. Also, I absolutely hate the new "Dog parent" " "Dog adoption" thing.

I applaud what some rescues do (not all by any means) but adoption to me is a term used for human children, and there is no way I am my dogs mother.

 I have been in dogs one way or another all my life, I love them dearly and am strong in protecting those that can or should be saved from whatever cruelty or illness has thrown at them.  But, to me, using these pc terms is just a dumbing down. Lets call it like it is.

Please do not take this post personally, it is just my thoughts on a particular area of this aspect of dog rescue.
fleurie

I don't think we should get hung up on semantics - these are terms used by many people and we all understand what they mean whether or not we agree with the phrases. Asking people to be "couriers" if you prefer that term is just raising awareness of how the system works.

The most important thing which I am trying to get across is that those of us involved in rescue in southern Europe have very little choice about how we deal with unwanted animals. If we are going to be harsh, I will say this: yes, of course the breeders are mindless idiots, and some just let their dogs roam and mate where they will; either we find homes for the unwanted progeny in other countries (because there are simply too few available here), or we support them on the streets or we kill them. It is as simple as that. Personally, I don't like being the one to choose to kill them if it can possibly be avoided, but if they are too tiny to survive without round the clock care then, sadly, this is what has to happen at times. If we or other volunteers are able to give them a chance at life then we do so. Simple. My priority, actually, is raising the money to support this work - it is what we are good at. We care for pups from time to time as well, because we have space to do so, and we derive a certain amount of satisfaction in seeing a once pathetic little creature grow into a beautiful young dog ready for a new home with people who will care for her.

Fxx
sod

We call our dogs "our kids" and we are their "mum n dad" etc, don't have any problem with such things. We have fostered children and dogs at times. We support helping both too but are careful which groups.

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