Let Goose Fly Home


By Jessica Freni

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook

As dedicated Breeders, we have a commitment to breeding. We cannot, nor should we, for a myriad of reasons keep every dog we ever breed. Not least among these reasons, the best way to remind pet homes and families the joy, dependability, predictablity of purebred dogs and the value of their devoted Breeders is by living with and loving the breed, this fosters breed dedication and in turn dedication to Breeders. With each new litter the anxieties of neonatal care grow into bright new potential, sleepless nights give way to excited possibilities. Thoughtfully and carefully we do our very best to place puppies in the right forever home to reach their potential, to enjoy a lifetime of health and happiness. The bittersweet day comes as puppies venture out into their new lives taking with them a few of our tears and all of our hopes, faith and well wishes. The best rewards come when happy families keep in touch and send regular updates, sometimes though even with wonderful families those updates trickle as time passes on lapse entirely, but the Breeder’s commitment to their dogs never fades and each puppy is always on their conscience and in their heart.

What happens when sometimes, despite our best efforts and due diligence, our careful stewardship  when something goes wrong? A trust is betrayed or broken,  a dog and his Breeder disappointed when they get the dreaded call that one of theirs had fallen into need. We must be persistent and remind our puppy families, that we are a judgement- free, no questions resource should they ever be unable to keep their dog throughout its lifetime. We can microchip our puppies to the Breeder and provide contracts for their care and protection. Still, even with our best intentions and safety nets, sometimes a dog ends up in a shelter or rescue. This scenario shouldn’t elicit fear and be every Breeder’s worst nightmare, but the sad reality is that’s too often exactly the case, a microchip is scanned or word reaches the Breeder one of theirs is in need and they spring into action to reclaim their dog, but then what happens is they’re met with resistance, refusal, rejection.

This is exactly what is ongoing, in only the most recent of too many examples, in Florida with the Humane Society of Highlands County (Sebring, FL) revolving around an AKC Pointer affectionately known as “Goose.” Goose was thoughtfully bred, responsibly whelped and carefully placed his Breeder took the precautions she hoped never would be necessary of registering his microchip in her name to his first home where he could return if ever needed. Unfortunately his owner proved irresponsible, but his Breeder was not when she was contacted that Goose’s microchip was scanned by animal control she immediately made plans to reclaim him. For whatever reason, her legal claims and valid microchip cast aside, Goose was transferred to Humane Society of Highlands County and personnel there promptly refused her calls. Goose, in need of care and rehabilitation, with a qualified, breed experienced, capablehome (who has often dedicated efforts to rescue!) seeking his recovery instead languishes in the Humane Society.

Responsible breeders are the ally, not the enemy of rescue! Goose can go home, shouldn’t this be a monumental sigh of relief for the shelter? They can open that kennel, free up those funds and devote that time for a dog truly in need without anyone to advocate for them! So, why instead are so many shelters and rescues when given the opportunity, so entrenched in ideology that vilifies all Breeders indiscriminately, that they forget to prioritize the dogs or activities with compassion in their best interest? Is it “humane” for Goose to sit in an unfamiliar, stressful place surrounded by those unfamiliar with his breed just to punish his Breeder on misguided principles when she not only has done nothing wrong, but is actively trying to do everything right? As upset as the Humane Society of Highlands County might be at Goose’s predicament, it’s surely nothing to the stress, frustration and heartbreak his Breeder feels.

Despite an outpouring of support from the dog community, including veterinarian testimonial and personal references supporting the Breeder and her efforts to #letgooseflyhome Goose is still, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, at The Humane Society of Highlands County (although he’s been scrubbed from their social media page amidst the backlash towards the shelter). To his Breeder Goose is priceless and her commitment as a steward of his breed, sadly it’s likely to a shelter or rescue he’s just a highly adoptable purebred dog ripe for soliciting donations. Time is crucial, hopefully with continued community support (in a civil manner) and vocal, firm pressure the Humane Society of Highlands County will allow for the best outcome possible for Goose and release him back home. As Breeders, this hits close to home, but it shouldn’t stop there, every responsible dog owner should be alarmed and terrified at the thought that any shelter, rescue, Humane Society can scan a properly registered microchip and just choose to disregard and dismiss it.

Read more about Goose’s story on Facebook here: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10224132599401387&id=1192762738