Most of the time our Pet Relocation Specialists are working hard to help individual families bring their pets along when they have to move, but sometimes larger organizations find themselves interested in our pet relocation services, too.
Recently we were contacted by Cindy Crawley, president of the Poodle Club of America Rescue Foundation and founder and president of the Mid-Atlantic Poodle Rescue, about an urgent situation. Over two dozen puppy and adult Poodles were found living in terrible conditions in Washington, and after being rescued and temporarily cared for by the Forget Me Not Animal Shelter, it was time to place them in their forever homes.
Cindy contacted us to see if we could help get the dogs from Washington to Las Vegas and Phoenix where they would be adopted, and we were happy to have the chance to be hired for such a noble cause. Read on as Cindy answers a few questions about what she does -- and what we can do ourselves -- when it comes to helping animals in need.
How did you first become involved in animal rescue?
I was recruited to Poodle Club of America Rescue Foundation in 2007 to help the founding president, Sally Poindexter, with administrative work. I had never had anything to do with dog rescue prior to this. I had belonged to the local Poodle Club in Maryland where I live, but the Club really did not do much rescue work at all. I quickly realized that if I was going to gain the respect and trust of the Poodle Rescue community, I was going to have to start doing hands’ on rescue work myself. It has all fallen into place for me since then!
How did this particular Poodle rescue come about?
The Poodle world is not very big, especially from a rescue standpoint. We sort of know where the breeders are and who may be in trouble -- not 100% of course, but it is not often that we are surprised when problems arise. Almost one year ago, I offered help to an individual in Washington. I had been informed by mutual friends that this person was having a hard time financially and possibly had too many dogs, so I had five Standard Poodles transported from Washington to Maryland to relieve her of this burden.
I had pretty direct conversations with this individual and told them that Rescue is not a puppy broker for people who breed too much and cannot sell their puppies, and we are not a dumping ground for people’s broken-down breeding dogs. I checked in with this person over the past year and was told in no uncertain terms that no more help was needed.
Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I discovered that this person was preparing to ship an older stud dog out to a property across the country. When I was not able to get a satisfactory answer to questions about the purpose of acquiring a stud dog, a wellness check was done on the property by local animal control. The animal control officers who saw the situation in which the Poodles were living immediately went back to town and got a search warrant and decree for seizure. It was that bad.
What is the most challenging part about what you do?
We must fundraise constantly. Money is needed primarily for vet work and transportation. Poodles (for better or worse) have been among the top 10 breeds in the American Kennel Club for many decades. There is a lot of indiscriminate breeding that goes on in people’s backyards in what are basically puppy mills. We try very hard to educate people searching for a Poodle to find the best breeder, one who cares about their dogs and insists on spay and neuter contracts for their pets.
What’s the best way for people to get involved in helping animals in need?
If people want a hands’ on experience, any Poodle Club of America Rescue organization would welcome help from the public, as would most local humane societies or SPCA’s. Poodle rescue organizations are always in need of foster homes. We need people to drive dogs from place to place. If people cannot do hands’ on work, donating to a reputable rescue group is another way to help. Reputable rescue groups are 501c3 not for profit. The new social media has been a real benefit to rescue organizations, as information can be shared in a pretty timely way.
Do you have pets of your own?
Like many members of Poodle Club of America Rescue, I also breed Poodles. We believe that as breeders, it is our obligation to rescue. We love the breed. We are here for them in their time of need. I breed and show Standard Poodles under the Beauciel prefix. I am very proud to say I have a homebred Best in Show winner.
Thanks to Cindy for sharing this story with us! We helped move 10 adults and 12 puppy Poodles earlier this week, and it sounds like all are adjusting well.
Keep up with the Forget Me Not Shelter blog to find out how everyone is doing, like them on Facebook, and if you'd like to make a donation to help cover the costs of this endeavor, scroll to the bottom of this page.