Saturday, May 1, 2010
Here at ARWNY, we trust the adopters we choose to do right by our beloved Akitas when they leave with them at adoption time. We do as much as we can to follow up with our Akitas -- we email, we have a yahoo group for adopters, we hold a yearly Akita Picnic for our adopters to attend, we send out newsletters, we are available 24/7 on email, our website is visible at all times. Yet sometimes -- sometimes we find even with all our efforts, the one of our Akitas falls on bad times without our knowing it. It breaks our hearts, upsets us all so much, and the financial and emotional burden it adds to rescue is inexcusable.
Our little Kenjai was adopted out from the litter we called the "Mommy & Daddy" litter in 2008 -- the two Akitas found together in NJ in the parking lot of a hotel, who would not leave each other's side nor leave the parking lot. We renamed them Mitsu & Shugo. ARWNY took them in, and Mommy/Mitsu gave birth to a very sweet, lovely litter of purebred puppies at ARWNY volunteer Carla Boyd's house. They were lovingly raised for 8 weeks by Carla, and we screened new homes very carefully. As each puppy left, they went with a thick booklet put together for each new home, with tons of help in it, along with all our contact info.
So it was devastating to us to get an email recently from a neighbor of the adopter of Kenjai, saying what bad condition he was in, how thin he was and that he needed to be taken back into ARWNY. Her story was that the adopter didn't have the means to reach out to ARWNY so she did it for her. We rushed into action that same day, contacting the neighbor, then the adopter, to set up a transport up to his region in the next several days so he could come back to ARWNY. Then, in a surprise move, Joann Dimon, another ARWNY volunteer, receives a phone call that next morning at 6am from his adopter, saying "He has to go NOW" and describing a dog that sounded so much sicker than we were lead to believe that we were sure he was on death's doorstep. (Hmmmm one minute we couldn't be reached by the adopter, next minute the adopter called Joann at 6am to demand he leave ASAP????) Our vets at Willingboro Vet Clinic agreed to have him come directly to their clinic and our volunteer Deb Karfs immediately made arrangements to get Kenjai to the clinic that same day despite the distance.
See the picture of Kenjai when he was surrendered back to ARWNY that is posted here? NO Akita adopted out should come back to any rescue in this condition -- there is NO excuse on earth for it, NONE. ARWNY is always available to help, we are ALWAYS willing to do whatever it takes for our Akitas. Once we got his vet records, it was quite clear Kenjai hadn't even been vetted in well over a year; he was sadly lacking for any care, being fed grocery-store dog food and this was NOT a recent situation -- poor Kenjai has been suffering a long time!! Whatever the adopter's excuses, none of them added up -- ARWNY is always easy to reach -- if you can't reach Nancy, you can reach Kathy; if you can't reach Kathy, you can reach Joanne or Carla. The adopter was given our very thick adoption packet, and all contact info was in the package. It was obviously NEVER used. We would never have allowed one of ours to end up like this.
Well he's in our care now and Dr. Larry Wolf at Willingboro Vet can't say enough good things about Kenjai and his wonderful temperament, despite his horrid condition. He is still at the Vet's office, where he has been undergoing tests, being treated medically for a number of issues and we are thrilled to report he is responding well to all the attention he is getting 24/7 from the staff!!
Its disheartening to think that one of the people we trust the most -- our adopters -- could care so little for the Akita they adopted. Its really made me rethink my trust in people. And its made me become even more protective in my feelings about the Akitas in our care. We aren't mind-readers & we certainly can't predict the future to be able to prevent this from ever happening again. But somehow we all need to figure out a way to do just that. These Akitas count on us to protect them and protect them we do -- now we will have to become even more stringent in our methods to find great homes.
You know what -- 2010 is certainly so far showing to be a very sad year for rescue....I can only hope the 2nd half changes my perspective!