Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue Organization

Remember Torre? Our Great Pyrenees? The one upon which a huge old maple tree fell…and felled him, as well. Through no fault of his or ours (other than the fact that he wasn’t supposed to be inside the yard, where he was when the old widow-maker came down) we were left without our big white friend.
This morning a dear sweet friend rang me early –knowing that we were still looking for a GP—to tell me that she had been at a gathering last evening during which she overheard several people speaking about a Great Pyrenees that had been “dropped” by the road at one woman’s house.
Alas, having fallen in love with the dog, she and her husband ultimately decided it was too large to keep and their situation was such that the dog would be in danger, being close to the road. They contacted the Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue, hereinafter going by acronym, AGPR. At this time, this morning, my friend wasn’t sure just what was transpiring, but it seems that some three weeks have elapsed since the arrival of the dog and real time now: it also seems (and I am only going by heresay) that not one, but now four GP’s had shown up, having been subsequently dropped at the same locale. The people who could not keep the dog made a Herculean effort to contact local shelters, and ultimately the AGPR to try to find a place for the dog, now dogS.
We live five miles from the woman’s home. Of course, nobody except my friend who lives 25 miles in the opposite direction, knew that we were looking for a GP. Her call sent me to the vet who had custody, now, of all four.
When I called to learn more about the situation, I was told that the AGPR had already had the two females spayed, and a male neutering was pending, and the fate of the other GP was unknown. Having been there for the past three weeks, a boarding fee needed payment; and the spaying needed payment; and….we would probably now have to drive to Richmond, Virginia to get one of them, even though they were only five miles from us when they were turned loose. When I inquired as to the size of the vet bill, I was told it was “private” information; when I inquired as to the name of the person who was picking up the dogs, I was told it was “private information;” when I asked for a phone number so I could contact the person, I was told, that, too, was private information. But I could get on the website and FILL OUT AN APPLICATION for a Great Pyrenees and someone might get back to me if I qualified for the initial “interview” as to whether or not we were a suitable home for the dog. If we “passed” the interview stage, someone would be “in touch” with us and we could then undergo an "inspection." (and BTW, I learned the name of the person by going to the website.)
I mean, folks…. It isn’t as if there are a hundred people on the streets of Richmond, Virginia who can open their back yard to a Great Pyrenees; and who will pay a boarding  bill of unknown amount, and a vet bill also of unknown amount, for a procedure we would not have wanted; beg for an interview to have an unknown personage come to inspect our premises to determine whether or not we qualify to own a stray Great Pyrenees (who knows what afflictions and diseases it has), and then drive all the way to Richmond to pick up such a dog, made even more ridiculous since the dog was only five miles away when this whole fiasco came about.
It turns out that the dogs are still here. But the “transport” is already in the works and cannot be aborted. How does that strike you?
I am devoting my blog today to giving the Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue organization all the publicity they so richly deserve. We dealt with this same organization a year ago, and the same barriers started to go up almost immediately during the phone conversation. We were again expected to drive to Richmond, Virginia, accept a dog sight unseen, pay any residual vet fees, and drive back to West Virginia. And again, we came up empty on a Great Pyrenees.  Protecting a dog is one thing, but logic and common sense should govern.  And arrogance has no place in this type of operation.  Obviously that’s not the case with this “rescuing” agency.
Needless to say, there will be no Great Pyrenees in the foreseeable future of MM and Elora out here JOTOLR if we have to go through this hostile organization.


  1. Elora -- I have run into similar circumstances in the past when trying to get a dog from a breed specific rescue organization. They are overly protective of the dogs I think. Have you ever considered going straight to breeding kennels. They are great places to get the breed you want. I have gotten two dogs this way and they have been great ones. One came to me at five, the other at six. I got one from an Ohio kennel and the other from a Michigan kennel. Probably you have some kennels near you that handle Pyrenees. Might be worth a try. Oh and I forgot to mention that -- the breeders usually give the dogs away free as they are older and they figure they can't keep them for lack of space. Worth a try.

  2. Elora, your story is an all too common one. I ended up NOT getting a Border Collie for lot's of the same reasons, although I'd had Border Collies since I was a kid. My son is a vet and he cringes every time a breed-rescue person shows up. They all seem to think they're omnipotent in the presence of us mortals. Jim