International Dogs – Update from GoldHeart’s President

Hello Everyone,

This is Barbara Schaefer, President of GoldHeart Golden Retriever Rescue. It has come to my attention that people are asking questions about the dogs that are coming in from Egypt.

Questions like:

1. Why are we pulling dogs from Egypt when there are plenty of dogs here? What about the dogs in the USA?

2.  How much do we pay for these dogs to get here?

3.  Are these dogs vetted and in quarantine?

4.  Do we know their history?

5.  Can I get one of these dogs?

I was originally approached by a lady in Washington, DC, who was trying to help get a paralyzed golden here to the USA for a better life and treatment for injuries he suffered in Egypt. At the time, GoldHeart was not equipped to handle a paralyzed dog with the proper foster home. I found a rescue group here in the states for that dog. They asked me about bringing other dogs over, so I told them what our policy and protocol was.

1. There are not a lot of goldens in the USA being surrendered today. If we were an all breed rescue, there would unfortunately be plenty of dogs available. GoldHeart was established as a breed specific rescue because of our love and compassion for Golden Retrievers. The shelters are not turning goldens over like they used to because they know they are easily adoptable and the fees help support the shelters. Shelters only seem to notify GoldHeart when they have a golden with medical or behavioral issues.

GoldHeart’s first priority is rescuing and placing Golden Retrievers and golden-mixes located within our service area. Our protocol is first to take in dogs being surrendered by their owners, then shelter dogs. We will also consider helping golden and golden-mixes in other areas of the country, if resources permit. When we are asked to rescue a needy Golden Retriever outside of our country, GoldHeart may consider these dogs consistent with our organization’s intake priorities and again, available resources.

2. The cost of getting a dog here from Egypt varies because of the cost of a ticket, the size of the dog, paperwork, health certificates and passports. On average, it is about $450 to $650. I will usually put out a plea for donations to help get those pups here and the rescuers in Egypt will also do their best to raise funds. When we take in an owner surrendered golden here in the USA that has not been spayed/neutered or vetted, it costs us an average of $500 to $650 to get that dog ready for adoption.

3. Every dog that comes into the USA is vetted in Egypt and they spend 30 days in quarantine there before flying here. Since vet care is not that great in Egypt, we do have other testing done when they get to us. For example, we always test for heartworm, lymes and other tick borne diseases. The dogs in Egypt, like here, don’t usually have behavioral issues, but it does happen.

4. Sometimes we know the dog’s history. The dogs are treated so poorly in Egypt most of them are just put out on the streets to fend for themselves. (Example) If you go on vacation in the USA, you kennel your pets or get someone to come into your home to take care of them. In Egypt when a family goes on holiday, which can sometimes be a two or three month trip, they just put their dogs on the streets. If they are around when the family gets back, good, if not, good again. Most of the people in Egypt, except for rescuers, are pretty heartless when it comes to the animals. There are owners who will surrender their dogs to the shelters there to try to keep them safe from harm so we know their history. With the shelter dogs, like here, we only know what the shelter has learned about them in their time there. In Egypt, sadly their idea of population control is to poison the dogs and cats or shoot them.

5. Can I get one of these dogs? The process for adopting a dog from Egypt is the same as adopting any GoldHeart dog. Once a dog arrives in the USA it is placed in a foster home where the dog is evaluated and receives necessary medical care. If you have gone through the application process with GoldHeart, by that I mean you filled out an application to adopt and paid the application fee, your vet references were checked, a home visit is completed by one of our volunteers, and you have received an approval letter. Thereafter, you are most welcome to contact the foster family when a dog is posted as looking for a forever home. Please visit our website for more details on our process and forms (www.goldheart.org).

I certainly hope this letter answers everyone’s questions about why we are doing international rescues.

We have adopted the motto of “No Golden Left Behind.”When a golden is in need, whether it is here in the USA or internationally, we do our best to answer the call and we hope that you will stand behind our decision to help these poor dogs in other countries.

As always I would like to thank everyone for always being there for GoldHeart, whether it be financially, volunteering, fostering or transporting.

Barbara Schaefer

President, GoldHeart Golden Retriever Rescue, Inc.

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