We are a ridiculously joyful rescue that deals almost primarily with puppymill and breeder rejects. The "flaw" is usually that the adults are no longer profitable in the number of pups they produce, or the pups are broker rejects. Sometimes the flaws are very apparent, sometimes they are as slight as a cut on the edge of an ear or a tail too short. We also have "owner turn ins" and pound rescues, that have landed here because they did not fit in with their owners life (frequently as a result of the current economy).
The majority of Flawdogs live here, but two wonderful neighboring families now have their own batches of hooligans, also. There are different phone numbers for different dogs because we believe you should talk to the person living with the dog.....that way you get the most accurate information we can give...firsthand.
There are no conventional kennels and each little group has generous indoor and outdoor space to run, play, nap and plot. NO ONE lives in a cage. We do our very best to make sure our dogs are treated as though they were our own pets in an attempt to help them to get ready to be yours. Some have led lives that will take a long time to get over, but everyone who has adopted understands this and is invested in giving these little guys the life they should have had all along.
While we are fortunate to obtain more and more well loved and cared for dogs, others were essentially devoid of human contact and kept on "wire" cages in tiers with wire bottoms so their urine and feces would fall through (on the dogs below). Many have never felt grass beneath their feet or soft and loving human hands. At best, they suffer from benign neglect. Initially, most adults will not make eye contact, take a treat from a hand, or even take a treat off the floor. Many cringe when a hand is extended to them, in large part because the only hands they ever experienced were the ones that grabbed them up by their heads or necks and tossed them from pen to pen. Other more fortunate dogs were handled daily, and while definitely working dogs (breeders), knew human affection and crave more of the same.
We are absolutely truthful about their individual habits and behaviors as well as their breed; if it is a mix, WE SAY SO UP FRONT.....we want them in forever homes regardless of how long it takes. We do not put "unwanted" dogs to sleep....as you will easily see when you visit. Certainly their progress is much faster when they are adopted into their own loving homes. All of them seem to understand soft beds (we never have enough of them!) and they love perching in them.
If you want a dog to keep in a kennel this is NOT the place! Keeping a dog crated all day when you are at work is not the life these little dogs deserve, either: they have already spent far too much time in "lockup". But if you want a new treasured four (or three) legged family member, we might be the place. The reward for your commitment to a FLAWDOG is a lifetime of devotion that is hard to match....once these little guy find their human, they are incredibly loyal. The name of this rescue is taken from the book, "Flawed Dogs" by Berkley Breathed. The poem in that book pretty much sums up our beliefs regarding these forlorn little creatures (with his permission):
" So in this world
Of the simple and odd,
The bent and plain,
The unbalanced bod,
The imperfect people
And differently pawed,
Some live without love . . .
That's how they're flawed."
Following is a list of experiences that these amazingly resilient creatures have taught us...the puppies do not have these problems, but many of the adults that have spent their lives in breeder's cages do:
Perhaps the most important single piece of information is the eye contact. They will not usually make any and they are terrified when you look directly at them...especially if you are close to them. eye contact is a confrontive behavior, and for many dogs it triggers a fight or flight instinct. DO NOT put your face in theirs.
They often need to be held close and firmly initially to feel that they will not be tossed or thrown. But our instinct to kiss, look in their eyes, and rub our faces against them can undo all of the safe feelings they can have when held closely. Give it time...you will notice them sneaking looks toward you after a while. Let them look at you, occasionally glancing at them briefly. Build on this.
Many flinch or startle when petted...especially close to their heads and necks (the place they were grabbed to be tossed from pen to pen). petting "backwards", from the back toward the head often eases the fear and keeping the hand on the dog while petting back and forth can relax them more.
Frequently, they will not go through an open door. many have had their heads or bodies slammed in them for trying to escape, and you will need to open the door wide and stand behind it so that they feel safe. To go outside, you may have to go out well into the yard for them to follow.
Even though they long for affection, brooms, flyswatters, any kind of stick frightens them terribly, even in the hands of the person they trust the most.
Most will not eat or drink for several days in their new homes. none have suffered any lasting effects from this.
Leash training should be gradual and patient. follow them with a loose leash. If you need to pick them up, stop them and walk to them. do not drag them to you by the leash...it is too much like being grabbed by the neck. Some people have had great luck with the "gentle leader" or "halti" type of leashing system or a simple harness.. A retractable leash is also helpful.
Most have no concept of height and will jump off anything. it is up to you to teach them and protect them even if they climb up.
It is up to you to nurture and help them develop the personality that has been stifled by the small cage and lack of human contact.
If you are impatient and rigid, or live in a chaotic household, these little guys are probably NOT the right choice for your pet.
Thus far, we have had very few that have been destructive, but most learn to love treats and toys..they have never had them before and it may take them some time. you are challenged to teach them to play.
Many graze like cows, having never seen or touched grass before. This will level out after a while. They love sunbathing and most love sitting out on a deck, patio, or yard watching the world.
Some will never be trusting toward everyone. They usually get along fine with other dogs and cats, but people are often suspect because of their past experience. Most are more frightened of men: not because men were cruel to them, but because the majority of mills are run by women...a man is an unknown to them.
Since most were grabbed and flung from cage to cage, many are terrified of outstretched hands.
Most veterinarians have not been exposed to puppymill dogs and insist that the dogs are much older than they are.
Even at the age of one year, many already have such an accumulation of tartar on their teeth that they need cleaning. the older dogs MUST have this done to be healthy again. This service is performed when they are spayed/neutered.
Dogs that are only three or four years old are often missing all of their front teeth from trying to chew through the wire of the cages that imprisoned them.
Thank you for considering sharing your life and joy with a FLAWDOG ! !
We hope this will be one of the more rewarding undertakings in your life ! !
Adopting a friend
The adoption/application contract takes only a few minutes to fill out and is completed after you have chosen your pet. The adoption donation is usually a minimum of $150 for the adults, $250 for young pups. The little furballs are altered, have had a complete dental, have their vaccinations and are wormed and heartworm negative. We occassionally have amazing & unusual pups that command a higher donation.....these donation monies go to cover veterinarian expenses, food, care, and the toys, beds and treats that they never had before. At flawdogs, we often bear vet expenses unusual to other rescues: we take the most damaged and critical animals and are commited to the vet/surgical care and rehab treatment necessary for them to find happy homes. One of our little doxies, who was paralyzed has now regained the ability to walk after almost two years.....another little paralyzed dog is now in that same wheelchair. We have our share of "nutcases" who will probably never find a home outside of ours.....but they function well in this very strange world...sleeping in our beds, playing, and passing for normal dogs most of the time. The ever changing menu of doggies ranges from absolutely lap ready pets to truly pitiful doggies that are adoptable only to incredibly devoted people who have the understanding and compassion for such a commitment. Some of the dogs will bear the scars of their past, both physical and emotional, for the rest of their lives. It seems that they all find their place in the world, eventually, and they live here safely and happily until that occurs. Flawdogs always has a few that are "blue light specials", and can be placed in a special home for a very low adoption fee. These are usually the little guys that have been here far too long and may not be as young or attractive as the others. There are wonderful kid dogs, low maintenance couch potatoes, great candidates for agility & obedience, as well as lifetime companions for older folk. If you are just embarking on the hunt for the right pet, we welcome your visit....we have so many different small breeds, that many people find out that they absolutely adore a breed that they had never thought about before after meeting them here. We want to help you find the right pet....it does not need to be one of ours.
Of course, money is always tight...we manage to stay afloat with wonderful, generous and creative veterinarians, the help of a generous dog food maker and amazing donors. We do NO fund raisers...nursing sick pups back to health is as close as we come. Flawdogs receives no grants or funding. Our donations are our sole "revenue". If you would like to help, let us know....paying our vet bills is the biggest challenge and, should you care to, donations can be sent to the clinics we use for specific or general treatments/medications/surgeries. just email us for the vets address and make sure you note that it is for "flawdogs".....i dont want any of them thinking they can buy a beach house in tahiti with new found money!....
Due to the miracles of our computer age, it is also possible to make a donation through paypal. the address to send a paypal donation is: email@example.com. If you choose to donate this way, please let us know how you would like the money used and tell us who you are.
We are an officially tax exempt, non profit sanctuary....501(c)3 status, all that jazz. This means people who can afford to make donations can deduct them on their taxes......our fingers are crossed (although that does make poop scooping more difficult!).
Come Visit Us!
Flawdogs will be at the Arnold Petco every Saturday from 10:30 to 2:30 at 1221 Water Tower Place, Arnold, MO 63010. If you have any questions, please email Sally at firstname.lastname@example.org
If there is a dog you particularly want to see...just let us know and we will be sure to bring it along.
Visitors are welcomed at our sanctuary, as well. We are located less than an hour southwest of St. Louis, Missouri. Visits are by appointment and special arrangements can always be made. We are normally open from 10 to 2 on monday, thursday & friday..
To see our photo album copy the following URL into your browser and page through to see some of our past "fur kids".
\ P.O. Box 99
Morse Mill, MO 63066
Click here for a list of pets at this shelter
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