Welcome to Southwest Florida German Shepherd Rescue Inc., Anonymous Friday, June 21 2024 @ 06:05 pm UTC


  • Sunday, June 19 2011 @ 06:37 pm UTC
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Diane and I have been doing German Shepherd rescue for about 20 years in total; 3 of which have been here in the south west coast of Florida and before that about 8 years in Central New Jersey. We have come across many different people and literally hundreds of situations with dogs and their owners. We have done numerous give ups, many for good reasons, and we have done hundreds of shelter recoveries through our rescue.

In all my years I have never come across a place like the South East Coast of Florida, specifically Miami. I am amazed at the deplorable conditions people keep their dogs in. I feel deeply for the shelter staff at Miami-Dale because besides being overwhelmed with dogs and cats, they must be totally frustrated with the condition that they recover these animals in. The reason so many thousands of animals get put down monthly in Miami-Dade is due to over-population, back yard breeding, failure of the culture to neuter their dogs and cats and just the inhumane way we see animals treated by the vast majority of owners in that geographical area.

It makes me sick to see emails day after day of animals suffering with no remedy. No one seems to go to jail for this torture because culturally even the judges fail to acknowledge that these animals are mistreated and fail to fine or jail offenders. No reasonable person wants to see even one animal mistreated, but over there, it seems to be the norm. I am bombarded with pleas for help for these unfortunate critters …but we cannot help them all… no one can. What annoys both of us more than you can imagine, are two conditions. First, the plea from a person who is not earnest or truthful in their desire to relinquish their pet. This happens for a few reasons. Most of the time we ask about the health of the pet and we are told it has all shots, HW neg etc… when in fact the dog has not seen the inside of a vets office in its lifetime. When taken to task and asked to produce the records, these conditions are quickly recognized and subsequently all the efforts that were put into the adoption or transfer are wasted. All of our valuable time is squandered by people who just cannot seem to be honest or recognize the fact that their lack of truthfulness causes us major problems. We are not sure if this is a condition that is germane to Miami or is culturally based, but it happens repeatedly, especially over there.  The second condition is the virtual plea where people who have no idea about a pet take up this virtual cause and blast the net with pleas of assistance… we call it the “fluffy will die tomorrow if you don’t help” call.

Our hearts and minds are committed to saving GSD’s (and all animals) and we have done over 105 in the last 2.5 years here in SW Florida. We care deeply about the pets we get and the families they go to.  We re-home these dogs as quickly as possible to great families and need accurate information and trust to make that happen.  Adopters need to know that they can trust us when we tell the about a pet, even before they see it. We need to trust the people we get pets from to be truthful. The fact is we take pets into our home and if there are issues we inadvertently expose our pets to the disease.  We temperament test all animals we accept before committing to them. We have had tremendous relationships with our local shelters and we have come to know who we can trust and who we cannot. We have seen a consistency here in SW Florida that is undeniable in that when we are told about dogs and we check them out, the level of assessment accuracy for temperament, health and appearance is stellar. Our shelters here in SW Florida seem to get it when other surely do not.

When we get information or requests from the East coast however we can only believe 50% or less of what we hear. This has radically jaundiced our view on taking dogs from the East coast especially the Miami area and we have become far more cynical than we should or want to be. We have been conditioned now for two years not to trust information from Miami!

It seems to us that no good deed goes unpunished when it comes to taking East coast dogs. No matter how hard you try and offer assistance there are always those people who blatantly disregard your inherent value in the adoption process and the value of the pet. This lack of trust and honesty just exacerbates the problem for everyone especially the dog.

As an example, for the past 3-4 weeks I have tried to assist a person with a dog on the East coast. At first he never showed up with the dog after an appointment was set and never called causing the adopter family to drive over an hour here to be disappointed. Not to mention my time wasted in being here and ready to do the transfer, his disregard for anyone else made me back off. We got another call from his daughter asking us to re-open the process which we did. Again we set up an appointment, changed our plans and again a no show no call. When confronted the person got mad at us and sent a negative email… like we were involved or in any way responsible for their issues. This happens time and again and has caused us to avoid offering assistance to everyone in the South East coast. We were never like this until we started trying to help over there and were repeatedly screwed! It seems that everything associated with Miami is a problem in interpretation and the results for us seem to be consistently negative. So if you are located on the South East coast of Florida, especially in the Miami area, please think twice before reaching out to us because we have been conditioned to doubt. If your medical facts about the dog are straight and accurate, you have possession and ownership of the dog and you respect our time, it is OK to call… otherwise please try elsewhere.

Erik and Diane Hoffer