|CPDT-KSA Knowledge:||1.00||CBCC-KSA Knowledge:||1.00|
|CPDT-KSA Skills:||0.00||CBCC-KSA Skills:||0.00|
Transporting pet dogs into locations that have not yet solved their own homeless pet population problems fuels a heated controversy. There is a great deal of history and politically fraught discussion about the movement of dogs from shelters in southern states to other shelters and rescue organizations in the north. Hurricane Katrina left a powerful emotional footprint in its wake - giving birth to the pet transport phenomena, as we know it today. Adopters take pride in identifying their pets as “Rescues” as though the dog is one of a new and highly fashionable breed. Searching the academic literature, scarce evidence suggests that statistics exist on placement success rates. Nor is there yet literature on any constellations of behavioral issues typical of “rescues” or other important data regarding behavior issues that foster or undermine success rates for the dogs being transported long distances to find new “forever” homes. Academic research is badly needed. Dogs travel via cars and vans driven by members of organized, volunteer, transport relay teams; private and commercial airline pilots, and on commercially operated, climate controlled 18-wheelers carrying 100 or more dogs at a time. The best of those big trucks, although run by for-profit businesses, work in harmony with volunteer rescue organizations. The reputable trucking companies are dedicated to quality care for the dogs and their profit margins are extremely thin. The transported dogs are the pet counterparts of the children who arrived in the Midwest on the Orphan Trains in the 1920’s; the children on the Kinder Transports fleeing Nazi occupied countries; the long history of “boat people” seeking safe harbor during the 20th century; as well as today’s desperate Syrian refugees. No transplantation of children, families, or pets solves the dreadful conditions they flee, nor can they save all those in need of escape from trauma or death. The dog transports are just one cog in a multi-faceted effort to save dogs and place them in safe, loving “forever” homes. They do not purport to prevent millions of other dogs from dying in kill-shelters. They do save many pets’ lives. My own young dog Piper, my current service dog in training, came north on an 18-wheeler from Arkansas. Since his arrival in August 2015, I have gone back to the Transport’s nearby Vermont drop off location to observe the arriving dogs and the families who greet them. I have sought to better understand what Transports mean to the dogs and the families who adopt them. I photograph the dogs as they come off the trucks. Some of those dogs skip down the truck’s shiny ramp as Piper did, as if proclaiming, “here I am world – are you ready?!” Others cower and shake, and display signs of fear, stress, and confusion. Trainers see the most fortunate Rescue dogs in their obedience classes - while other pet professionals receive frantic pleas for help from adopters at their wits-end. In this lecture we will discuss how pet professionals can support volunteer rescue organizations. We will address the need for public education about the pluses and the perils of advertising dogs on-line for long distance adoptions - sight unseen. The first ‘live’ online lecture will be held on April 6th, at 8:00pm EST. A question and answer session will follow moderated by Monique Udell, PhD.
Sponsor:E-training for Dogs
Speaker(s):Barbara Handelman, M.Ed., LCMHC, CDBC and Monique Udell, PhD (moderator)