Have you ever adopted a formerly abused animal?

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  1. lorlie6 profile image72
    lorlie6posted 12 years ago

    Only a week ago, my hubby and I decided to take in 'Milo', a stunning Chocolate Lab who had been mistreated, we were told at the shelter.  He is around 15 months old, and acts quite the puppy.  He seems extremely happy-his tail tells the tale! Haha!-but I am concerned about his history-of which there is no record, of course.   But, I imagine such creatures can 'turn' on you, out of a reaction to 'flashbacks' or some basic sense of distrust. 
    His manner is sort of 'happy-go-lucky' and 'duh, duh, duh'-you know, he's sort of a doofus.
    I hope I have nothing to be concerned about, but just thought I'd ask my HP friends if they'd had such an animal themselves.

    1. AEvans profile image71
      AEvansposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      My friend rescues Labs and they are one of the most loving creatures on earth. I don't think your new baby will turn on you. He will love you forever. Congratulations on your new edition. smile

      1. lorlie6 profile image72
        lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        He is such a dear!  Thanks, AE, for chiming in here-I don't want to treat HIM with mistrust, you know?

        1. AEvans profile image71
          AEvansposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          He would be a perfect fit. We have Cockers but my friend loves labs. It is always good to check.:smile

          1. lorlie6 profile image72
            lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I adore Cockers, AE!  But some labs can be bizarre-actually predictable, my son was bitten by one who'd been chained to a tree for years in S.E. LA.  Poor thing.  My boy was fine, but you can still see the scars on his hand.

    2. Melindas Mind profile image67
      Melindas Mindposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      While I, personally, haven't adopted an abused animal, my mom works for the humane society and she has and she often fosters formerly abused animals. I can tell you that it's unlikely he'll bite, just because he was abused. If abuse was gonna make him mean it'd be all the time, not just occasionally. It's more likely to make them difficult to train and ultra submissive. My mom's old dog (she died a few years ago) was afraid of men who smoke and wouldn't go anywhere near my stepdad to the point of refusing to go outside if he was holding the door open. Her current dog won't go into kitchens, even if you're offering her a treat. Neither of these dogs (the first one was a German shepherd) have ever bitten, and she has had them for years and trusts them with the children.

      On the flip side, one of the dogs she fostered was adopted by a childless friend of hers. The pound wouldn't let her go to a home with children because she has food aggression issues, which is evident the first time you watch her eat. Molly was a puppy mill breeder, and had to fight for food. She has bitten - my son to be exact - because he was in between her and her food. (Don't worry it wasn't a bad bite.)

      My point is that you'll know which animals are biters, quick. If your dog hasn't shown any signs of being a biter, he probably isn't. I would be careful with company until you know your dog better though - labs can be very protective of their territory.

      1. lorlie6 profile image72
        lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        MM-what a heart wrenching story of your mom's dogs.  I admire anyone who rescues these poor creatures on a regular basis.  That's amazing and tell her she's got my vote!  No, Milo's no biter nor is he terribly submissive-he's probably what you'd call quite 'happy go lucky', even around my other dogs.  It seems we've got ourselves a 'mildly' mistreated creature. Thanks for replying!

        1. Melindas Mind profile image67
          Melindas Mindposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          That's awesome, I'm so glad you got one that wasn't traumatized to the point that he's unadoptable. We had a dog when I was younger that we had to find a new home for because he wasn't house trainable. When I remember the way he'd react anytime we'd get the garden hose out, I want to beat the person who had him before us with that hose. There was nothing we could do to him that was worse than what he'd undergone. My aunt has a farm, and she took him and he was an outside dog and happy as a camper. Sadly, they sometimes get dogs that have been so badly abused that they aren't adoptable and have to be put down. That's rare, though, because of fostering. Molly, the dog who bit my son, was going to be put down until my mom fostered her. Molly's 'mommy' has no children and spoils molly rotten.

          1. lorlie6 profile image72
            lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Molly's mommy sounds like quite the auntie to you, MM!  I'm so glad to hear of Molly's situation these days...sorry to hear of the others'.  It's a never ending battle/death for our beloved creatures.

            1. Melindas Mind profile image67
              Melindas Mindposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Well, I wouldn't say molly's mommy is an aunt to me, but she's become a family friend. She goes into third world countries twice a year as a nurse, and my mom dog-sits molly, which is perfect because mom really loved molly, but she couldn't keep her because of the food aggression issues. Now she gets to spend time with her twice a year, then send her home. lol

  2. Paul Wingert profile image61
    Paul Wingertposted 12 years ago

    My niece rescued a 2 year old pitbull who was mistreated. She worked with him and she turned him into the friendliest dog I've seen in a long time. There's no excuse to mistreat animals and I believe that the owner of the mistreated animal should be responsib;e for paying the animal's vet and rehabilitation bills (if any) along with any jail time and or fines.

    1. lorlie6 profile image72
      lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Paul-what a great idea!  I would have said, in a revengeful sense, mistreat them as they'd mistreated the animal.  But your solution is far more realistic.  Thanks.

  3. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
    mistyhorizon2003posted 12 years ago

    I had a lurcher that was a former Gypsy owned dog. She had been shot, starved, they then tried to skin her alive before throwing her over the wall of a place that bred racing Greyhounds, resulting in her having two broken front legs, one of which needed pinning. She was under two years old.

    A vet thought she would not survive, but treated her free of charge for the rescue centre that took her on. She survived and I ultimately took her on at a time I was working full time.I only took her on because there was snow on the ground, the rescue centre was full, and the vet said due to her lack of weight she was in danger of freezing to death even temporarily staying at the Greyhound Racing Kennels where she had been initially dumped.

    Kizzi had a wonderful personality but panicked if I left her alone for long. This resulted in her escaping from a garden where I lived, and ultimately being re-homed by a Whippet Rescue centre that she was handed in to before I could find her. I confess I drove for an hour up to Canterbury in the UK to get her back from the 'new owner' when I did find out where she was, but quickly realised this lady (a retired lady doctor whose Greyhound had recently died) had a far better home to offer her than I could, so I made the hardest, yet most unselfish decision of my life and allowed this lady to keep my beloved Kizzi). We stayed in touch for a number of years afterwards, but I know that Kizzi will sadly be long gone now. She never showed any sign whatsoever of aggression, just a fear of men with beards.

    1. lorlie6 profile image72
      lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Men with beards, huh?  Unfortunately, my hubby's one of those! wink  No, but really, Kizzy sounds like one sweet girl who was lucky to have found you, initially and then very blessed to have found the lady without a full-time job.  That must have broken your heart, misty.
      I've never heard of a 'lurcher', but since I am considering writing a hub on Gypsy culture, I'd be interested in learning about their treatment of animals.  SHAMEFUL!  Is this all-pervading in their culture?
      Your poor Kizzy-I feel ashamed for all humankind.

      1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
        mistyhorizon2003posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        A lurcher is usually half Greyhound and half whippet, although sometimes they are half Greyhound crossed with other breeds like wolfhounds. The gypsies can be pretty harsh on their animals, and someone was only saying the other day on one of my hubs about how they got a ferret because they found some gypsy boys drowning the baby ferrets in a river. Only one survived, and this was the one the person confiscated from the kids and took home. I believe Kizzi was no use to them as a dog because she had absolutely no interest in hunting rabbits, and although she would run after them it was always a game and she never caught any of them. They do take slightly better care of their horses though, mainly because buying and selling horses is a big Gypsy thing.

  4. Will Apse profile image88
    Will Apseposted 12 years ago

    I had a dog from a rescue center as a puppy and kept him for 12 years until he died of old age.

    He was part doberman and part setter. Dobermans are pretty good-natured in the UK. Setters are independent, working dogs and full of (slightly mad) energy- even more so than Labradors.

    If I had not been a strong, fit thirty year old when I got that dog he would have been far too much to handle.

    I don't mean that he was aggressive, quite the reverse, you couldn't ask for a friendlier dog. He was just willful, high spirited and absolute immune to training.

    He constantly embarrassed me in the London parks that I took him to.

    He caught squirrels and ran around showing them to horrified families with quaking children.

    He walked straight into the middle of picnics and started helping himself to food (anything at ground level was his as far he was concerned).

    He once attacked a detachment of French Cavalry visiting London for the Queen's birthday.

    He jumped in the River Thames and chased the boats for miles.

    Worst of all he never learnt to walk on a lead without pulling (and I used a savage choke chain).

    All in all, he kept me fit, entertained and often persuaded me to hide behind trees while furious eyes were cast about for this anarchic beasts owner.

    So good luck with your rescue dog! I hope he has a heart of gold (just like mine did).

    1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
      mistyhorizon2003posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I had a full blooded Doberman, and have to say this is their disposition, gentle but headstrong, hard to control and can swim for miles. I tried the 'Check' chain (choke chain is not the right term and is a common mistake people make in their assumption of what it does). Even with proper training from a professional dog trainer this was ineffective, as was clicker training and various other methods. He was just an energetic, headstrong dog, but with a heart of gold. LOL, he would vanish for hours whilst I was forced to go home because he failed to come when called. Eventually he would turn up at home exhausted, but he had never, (and would never have) harmed anyone.

      Sadly we lost him aged just 3 due to a rare form of hepatitis that the standard inoculation does not cover for. This particular form of hepatitis effects about 1 in every 100,000 dobermans (according to the vet), and they are usually females. My dog must have been really unlucky as he was a male and therefore even more unlikely to get it. Sadly he had to be put down after his liver completely collapsed about 2 weeks into the illness. It broke my heart.

      1. Will Apse profile image88
        Will Apseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I still have dreams about my old dog.

        I would never have taken him on if I knew what a menace to public order he would be. But once I had, it was too late.

        I knew it was likely to be grim ending in a dogs home if I took him back. He didn't deserve that. He never growled at a human being in his life.

        Eventually, I learnt to keep him out of the worst trouble and still miss him.

        1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
          mistyhorizon2003posted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, I miss mine too and still have his pictures up in our home. I even had a slate headstone made for his grave and that cost me over £70 at the time (which was over 10 years ago now). When I moved back to Guernsey I dug up the box containing his ashes and brought both that and the headstone back with me. He is now buried in my parent's garden where I can visit him whenever I want to.

    2. lorlie6 profile image72
      lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Your Doberman/Setter sounded like quite the character, Will!  You've written a beautifully descriptive tale of your experiences with him!  Hiding from Londoners behind trees? smile  I suppose I would have, as well!  I envision the quaking kids as he happily showed off his squirrels to mortified families!
      Well done, Will! lol
      I'm sorry that he's gone now, but of course dogs don't usually outlive us-usually.
      Your story here gives me hope, and I do think Milo's going to be a grand addition to this family.
      Thanks, Will.

  5. Peggy W profile image95
    Peggy Wposted 12 years ago

    We adopted a black lab mix that was found cowering and hiding in our shrubbery years ago.  We named her Trudy and she was scared to death of men in the beginning.  She has a hub titled "Happy Animal Rescue Stories told by Trudy the Dog" if you are interested.  We currently have Skippy, my mother's Pomeranian dog who was also rescued and he has his hub also telling that story.  There are other animals that my parents have rescued through the years and they (we) have never had a problem.

    As one person already commented, it would show up fairly soon if there was to be a problem.  Just be a little cautious at first and best of luck.  Nice to know that you care about these creatures who have had a tough start in life.

    1. lorlie6 profile image72
      lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Oh Peggy, I DO!  I love all God's creatures, from ants-always say I'm sorry as I squish them-to flies-IF I can squish them! smile  Perhaps it's the old anthropomorphism coming into play here, but the larger, mostly 'human' animals I have more empathy for. (I've yet to adopt an ant or fly!) LOL. 
      I shall be watching Milo's behavior closely-have been, in fact,-and think he's adapting beautifully.  Thanks for chiming in!

      1. Druid Dude profile image60
        Druid Dudeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        We adopted a kitten who began life in a home with several cats that acted more like wildcats. Had to wear gloves to pick it up, but after it realized that it's claws were ineffective, it calmed down to a normal housecat level.

        1. lorlie6 profile image72
          lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Hey, misty-so they treat their animals as 'work creatures' rather than pets?  Make s sense, I suppose, though abuse seems unnecessary and highly cruel.  Perhaps it's the kids that abuse them so terribly-as in your dear Kizzi.

          1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
            mistyhorizon2003posted 12 years agoin reply to this

            It does that way Lorlie, but we will never know whether it was children or adults who did this to Kizzy, but the fact she was scared of men with beards could be significant on this point.

        2. lorlie6 profile image72
          lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Poor little thing, DD.  Thank God, the poor dear grew up normally-I'm sure you y'all!!

          1. Druid Dude profile image60
            Druid Dudeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Mighty fine hubscore there. Never seen a hundred before.

            1. lorlie6 profile image72
              lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Hey again, DD!  Thanx sooooo much.  I've been looking at 99 for daaayyyyys, now and am thrilled to see such a lovely round number! smile  Many here at HP-including me-have hit 100 before, actually fairly often, but it's the REMAINING there that's a real trick! Gotta love that HP algorithm...
              Work it, work it, work it, DD-you'll get there!

              PS: There's a "Dollar Hubbers Thread" that started here a while ago and just go to the search bar to find the Hubbers who have accomplished this 'feat', if you want!

  6. lorlie6 profile image72
    lorlie6posted 12 years ago

    BTW, DD, that's called the 'Author Score', not the 'HubScore', I think.

  7. jennzie profile image72
    jennzieposted 12 years ago

    All of my cats were strays when we took them in. We adopted our Chinese Crested, Sookie from a rescue. I know from her 'foster mom' that she was first brought when she was a few months old from a pet store (which usually don't treat their animals that great to begin with- and who knows what type of experience she had at the puppy mill which she undoubtedly came from). Then the owners decided they no longer wanted her and after the pet store wouldn't take her back, she was taken to the rescue that we got her from.

    Although she definitely seemed to have a good life at her foster home, for some reason she is very afraid of men and doesn't like them (except for my dad and brother), even though when we asked about it the lady who fostered her said she didn't show fear of men when she was living with her. I don't really feel she was ever abused though- perhaps it's just their tall height or the sound of their deeper voice that she doesn't like? 

    All in all, though, she is an awesome and happy little dog and I couldn't imagine life without her.

  8. Maddie Ruud profile image71
    Maddie Ruudposted 12 years ago

    I adopted Vivi about 7 years ago from an organization that takes dogs about to be put down from shelters and gives them a second chance at adoption. She was clearly severely abused, as she has a BB (yes, from a BB gun) lodged permanently in her back, and is afraid of belts, newspapers, and fast-moving feet/arms. It's been so rewarding to see her settle more and more over the years. Vivi is the second traumatized dog I've rescued. There's absolutely nothing like it.


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