Q. Why are you bringing in dogs from Arkansas? Aren’t there enough dogs in the shelters here?
A. There are many dogs in local shelters who are looking for homes. Fortunately the adoption rate here is very good and many dogs are adopted quickly, especially the small to medium sized ones. Dogs from shelters in other parts of the province are often brought to the SPCA in Victoria where they have a much better chance of adoption. Larger dogs and some breed mixes that are harder to place are cared for in the shelter or foster homes until they are adopted. At these “no kill” shelters only dogs with serious injuries/diseases or ones deemed dangerous are euthanized.
The situation in other parts of North America is very different. The Animal Legal Defense Fund rated Arkansas in the bottom five states in the USA for protecting animals. The shelter that Mosaic Rescue pulls dogs from in Little Rock Arkansas is considered “high kill”. In 2008 Little Rock Animal Services (the Pound) took in over 4,000 dogs and euthanized 70% of them. That’s almost 3,000 dogs that died there last year. Last Chance Arkansas, a rescue group dedicated to saving as many dogs as possible from that shelter works with other groups like Mosaic Rescue to accomplish this. Every effort is made to adopt dogs locally or transfer them to shelters out of state but some have no chance of either and will die without our help. While many people in Arkansas are trying to change the situation that leads to so many unwanted animals Mosaic Rescue doing what we can to save dogs at risk and find them the loving forever homes they deserve.
Q. How do you decide which dogs to rescue and what happens to them after the shelter?
Our amazing partner with Last Chance Arkansas evaluates dogs that she, the shelter manager and staff have identified as most at risk of being euthanized and Mosaic Rescue makes the decision on which dogs to pull based on their recommendations. We select dogs with great temperaments who have exhausted their adoption and shelter transfer options. Rather than turn away dogs who others have declined because they need medical attention Mosaic Rescue takes a high proportion of these dogs, ones with heartworm and other conditions. Once the dogs have been sterilized they go into foster care in the south where they complete any medical treatment required to restore them to good health before they can be cleared to travel. Foster parents play a key role in helping the dogs adjust to life in a home rather than the shelter and determining the temperament and personality of the dogs so that we can find the best match for them. Once the dogs are here they again go into foster care with the person who reviews the applications and does the home visits. We feel this extensive fostering is important in assessing each dog in order to find the best possible forever home for him or her. By staying small we can provide the kind of care and attention to our rescued dogs that we would give to our own pets. We take the same care in finding them the best possible forever home.
Q. Do I need to be concerned about heartworm in the dogs available through Mosaic Rescue?
Heartworm is a parasite that is not found in British Columbia but is very common in parts of the USA including Arkansas. (It is also found in Ontario.) Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitos unlike intestinal parasites that infect through eggs. Heartworm can be treated successfully but the treatment must be done under the supervision of a veterinarian and is therefore more expensive than other parasite treatments. Sadly for dogs in a high kill shelter heartworm is an almost automatic death sentence since most people who adopt a dog are reluctant to pay the additional cost of treatment.
All dogs pulled from the shelter are tested for heartworm and other parasites. Mosaic Rescue is committed to providing the veterinary treatment necessary to ensure that the dogs are healthy when they come to us. Dogs testing positive for heartworm are treated by an experienced veterinarian and receive a health certificate before they leave the state. Once the dog is treated it does not require any ongoing prevention medication (unless it will be living in an area where heartworm is prevalent) although retesting is advised in six months. The heartworm specialist at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph has confirmed that young healthy dogs who have been treated and cleared of heartworm should have normal cardiovascular systems in the future.
Mosaic Rescue has saved many heartworm positive dogs who after treatment have gone on to wonderful forever home in BC. Click here to see them. Your donation will help us save the lives of more dogs who need treatment.
Q. Do I need to be concerned that these dogs have diseases we don’t have here that may spread to local dogs?
Mosaic Rescue puts a lot of effort and expense (all medical and transportation costs are paid by Mosaic Rescue) into making sure that the dogs arriving here are healthy. All dogs pulled from the shelter are vetted thoroughly. They are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and tested for Lyme’s Disease and Ehrlichea as well as parasites (see above). They receive any necessary treatment while in foster care in the south. Before they can fly out of state they must again be examined by a veterinarian in order to obtain a health certificate. This and all the dog’s other medical records are provided. Adopters who have any medical concerns are welcome to have the dog examined by a local veterinarian.
Q. Why is Mosaic Rescue now doing titers?
Mosaic Rescue has always done everything possible to ensure that the dogs we rescue are healthy and immunized against common diseases before travelling to British Columbia. All the dogs are vaccinated for parvo and distemper on intake at the shelter in Arkansas since their previous vaccination history is unknown. They receive a rabies vaccination before being released to us. Many dogs are then re-vaccinated by their adopter’s veterinarian once they are here. According to Dr. Ronald Schultz, a veterinary immunologist and chair of Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine at University of Wisconsin-Madison “Vaccines for diseases like distemper and canine parvovirus, once administered to adult animals, provide lifetime immunity.” Once a dog has immunity further vaccinations do not increase protection and in fact can cause harm. The following article http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/lifelong-immunity-vets/ gives a good overview about the research that has been done by Dr. Schultz and others over many years.
As of January 1, 2012 all Mosaic Rescue dogs will have parvo (CPV) and distemper (CDV) titers done before travelling to British Columbia. Titers measure the level of antibodies in the blood and research has shown that they are a good indicator of immunity. The titers are done at Dr. Schultz’s lab at the University of Wisconsin and contribute to his ongoing research study. When making arrangements for titers to be done Dr. Schultz wrote the following to me:
The CDV, CPV-2, and CAV-2 vaccines confer lifelong immunity, similar to measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) for people. However, there are some animals (including some people) who, because of primary or secondary event, do not maintain a lifetime of immunity. For example, they were treated with high doses of immunosuppressive drugs for cancer or for skin conditions (eg steroids). Therefore, we recommend, although it is not necessary, to “retiter not more often than every 3 years”. That is also what we recommend for revaccination of the core vaccines (CDV, CPV-2, CAV-2) – don’t revaccinate more often than every 3 years! If you titer, you don’t need to revaccinate; if you revaccinate every 3 years, you don’t need to retiter. If you do what I do for my dogs and dogs, it is neither, as I am very comfortable with the core vaccines providing lifelong immunity.
Mosaic adopters will receive a copy of the titer for their dog and an interpretation of the results. We hope that this will prevent further unnecessary and potentially harmful over vaccination. We encourage all dog owners to find a vet who is up to date on immunology research and consider having titers done rather than vaccinations.
Mosaic Rescue is only doing titers for parvo and distemper. Rabies is required by law in most places. Dr. Schultz and others are attempting to change the laws on the frequency of rabies vaccination as well. For more information on this research see the Rabies Challenge Fund
Q. I’m looking for a particular breed or breed mix. Do you ever get one of them?
Mosaic is committed to rescuing small to medium sized dogs with who are in danger of being killed. Almost all of the dogs we rescue are mixed breeds as purebreds have a better chance of being adopted from the shelter and are at less risk of being put down. We don’t select for particular breed mixes but we do ensure that the dogs we pull have good temperaments. Please check the web site for the dogs who have been rescued and submit an application if there is one you are interested in or if you are willing to consider any dog who would be a good match for your family.
Q. Do you have any puppies?
Mosaic Rescue does not rescue young puppies as they have a reasonable chance of being adopted locally. We do however try to rescue the mama dogs of those puppies since they are at much greater risk of being euthanized at the shelter. Our dogs are generally young adults between 6 months and 3 years of age although some may be older. Should you be looking for a puppy please ensure that you are not supporting puppy mills and back yard breeders. For more information see www.shutdownpuppymills.com
Q. I’m interested in one of the dogs on your web site. Where and when can I meet him/her?
Mosaic Rescue does not have a shelter. All the dogs are fostered in a home environment where we have a chance to get to know them. If on the basis of your application/home check we feel you might be a good match we will arrange for you to meet the dog.
Q. Can I foster a dog to see if I want to adopt?
Fostering is a very important part of our rescue. Once we pull a dog from the shelter s/he goes into a foster home in the south.This is the chance for the dog to make the transition from a shelter to being part of a family, to receive any vet care required and perhaps most importantly a chance for us to find out more about the dog. Once the dog arrives in BC s/he again goes into a foster home here with the person who does the adopter screening, home visits, meet and greets etc. Our objective in fostering is to find out as much about the dog’s personality, temperament and preferences as possible so we can make the best match of a permanent home. After this time in foster care we think the dog deserves the commitment of a forever home not the further uncertainty of “foster to adopt”.
We take a lot of care to ensure that each dog goes in the best possible home, that each family has the right dog for them and help adopters in any way we can to ensure the adoption is successful. However, if despite this process things don’t work out the dog comes back to Mosaic Rescue as per the adoption contract. We make a lifetime commitment to the dogs we rescue.
Q. Why do you only adopt in the Victoria area?
Every attempt is made to find the best possible forever home for each dog. The adoption process includes a home visit by the person who fosters the dogs here and knows them. Post adoption follow up and support is also provided. It’s only possible to do this within the greater Victoria area.