7/25/2009

SPCA Taiwan: I Am Adopting a Dog

A colleague, Sean McCormack, works for SPCA Taiwan, a nonprofit organization that take in dogs http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/05/05/2003442831

I've listened to him talk about it before. A lot of the dogs have been abandoned and have suffered abuse at the hands of their owners. Some are mutilated and scarred. They are, I guess, pretty traumatized. The other day, I had lunch Sean and another friend, who was looking to adopt a second dog. I sat there listening, half in a daze, wondering why my Vietnamese noodles and spring rolls were taking so long. It didn't really occur to me that I could also adopt. I have been planning to get a dog, but my intention had always been to wait until my daughter was a little older. I envisioned explaining responsibility and then seeing if she was up to the task by giving her extra chores, like washing the dishes, doing laundry and basically cleaning the house from top-to-bottom. I imagined myself cracking open a cold beverage and resting wisely on the sofa in front of Saturday morning MLB and someone doing work - two things I never get tired of watching.

On Thursday, Sean asked me if I could take a beagle called Luna. Sean found her at a hut in a field on the way up to Wulai (烏來). The hut is a popular dump site for people in Taipei who have grown bored of their pets. He said the dog, an eight-month-old beagle, had a scar or stain around her neck. It seems the previous owner kept her leashed with a wire noose. I told him I'd have to get back to him, that I had to talk to the wife, etc. At the time, I figured this was a good-enough brush off. For the rest of the day, I just couldn't get the scar out of my mind. Plus, why wouldn't I want to adopt this dog? My daughter is crazy about dogs. I think I know dogs (I grew up with them.) We go to the park by my home every night it's not raining - a great place for walking a dog. More importantly, we can help this dog.

By the time my wife came home from work, I had come up with a whole resume for this beagle. It wasn't necessary. She was on board from the moment I brought up the topic.

Sean says he goes through a certain process before signing off on an adoption:
1.) He interviews potential adopters for suitability.
2.) He has a chip embedded in the dogs. I'm not so sure about this one. I think it has to do with controling dog populations.
3.) He has the dogs vaccinated.
4.) He house breaks the dogs.
5.) He has them fixed. I don't what Animal Taiwan's policy is here. I need to get more information.

Sean also provides a dog obedience, maintenance class if he decides a suitability exists and decides to get the ball rolling on the adoption. It is worth pointing out that he will take any dog back if things do not work out with an adoption.

Sean will probably bring Luna, the beagle, over in the next couple of weeks. There are some things to work out still.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the club. Seems like we are playing copycat. You have a daughter, and then get a dog. With me doing things the other way around. If you need any advice let me know. BTW, the chip holds information about the dog and the owner, kind like an ID chip. So it will be easier to find if it runs away or gets lost.

Eric D.

Patrick Cowsill said...

So I'm guessing Snow has one.

Anonymous said...

I was searching local SPCA for adopting a dog the other day and surprised to find that they are importing a Taiwan (or Formosan) Mountain Dog from Taiwan. According to the description that dog was rescured and needed a sponser badly in the States. Any one has ever heard of Taiwan Mountain Dog? I have not.
ChoSan

Anonymous said...

After reading your article with the title of SPAC Taiwan: I am adoptinG a dog, I want to come up with one suggestion as followed:
I don't know if you are living in a first floor apartment with large room of front or back courtyard. Otherwise, you are not able to adopt any dogs, especially like a big body beagle. I know Ahleena and you like to have a dog as your own pet very much, but mentioned above condition is an inevitable consideration for you. BTW, what's going on with your article, paragraph 4, after 5.) ? Whole sentence seems to be lack of verb. It has been written like "I don't what animal......" It might have to add "know or understand" Right?

Patrick Cowsill said...

"Otherwise, you are not able to adopt any dogs, especially like a big body beagle."

Why not? Is there a law about this? BTW, beagles aren't that big. (Snoopy is a beagle.)

I'm kind of curious about this Formosan Mountain Dog too. Is it indigenous? Where is it being adopted?

Patrick Cowsill said...

Actually, wikipedia has a great write-up on the Formosan Mountain Dog: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formosan_Mountain_Dog

They were kept by the Aboriginal people long before the Dutch and Chinese showed up here in Taiwan. For some reason, the Dutch forbade Aborigines from owning them and attempted to slaughter them wholesale. I can't even imagine why.

According to the article, they also cross-bred with a Dutch hunting dog called the "flying dog".

The Taipei Kid said...

Good for you! I have always thought these abandoned dogs make the best pets. I have had two wonderful dogs here.

Anonymous said...

I understand that adopting a pet needs to meet certain requirements and qualifications, much like adopting a child. Don't forget one has to pay certain fee also, the current amount is US$275 here in Northern California, if my memory is right. Adopting a pet is much like adopting a child; your new pet also has it's last name as yours.
Enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

A beagle will be fine in your apartment. I think anything bigger than a beagle should not be allowed to be sold in Taiwan. Too many people in Taiwan buy Huskies and Labs and keep them stuff in there small apartments all day long. Idiots! A beagle is a perfect sized dog for Taiwan, just make sure you take it out for a walk at least twice a day to get enough exercise.

Eric D.

Patrick Cowsill said...

I think Sean is sending abandoned Huskies to Canada, as it is a more appropriate climate.

Do they have laws regarding the selling of dogs in Taiwan (size, breed, etc.)?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately they don't, which is stupid. And unlike in Canada where you need to meet certain requirements, and have an interview before purchasing a dog, you can just walk into any shop in Taiwan and be out with any kind of dog you can afford within a few minutes. Stupid and irresponsible.

Eric D.

Patrick Cowsill said...

Yeah, but who interviews you? A dog seller?

BTW, what do you feed your dog?

Anonymous said...

The breeder or shop owner, they won't sell you a dog if they feel you are incapable of caring for it. Because if something bad happens, the breeder or shop can get in trouble and damage their reputation for selling one of their animals to an unfit owner. I feed my dog boiled chicken and pork, mixed with some mashed vegetables, and Cesar. I don't give him kibble or dry dog food, cause it gave him skin problems. Look up something called BARF diet as well.

Anonymous said...

A good example of why you should microchip your dog.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/us_dog_lost_odd

vicky o'connor said...

I am from Canada, and anyone can walk into a pet store and buy a dog, although this is politically incorrect. The politically correct way of obtaining a dog is to adopt one from a shelter or rescue group.

I spent one month in Taipei, in 2002 introducing clicker training to Taiwan. I met a lot of hard working dog rescuers.

aileen said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Betty

http://dogfurniture.info

Patrick Cowsill said...

Dog Furniture: http://dogfurniture.info

Stop using my blog to effing promote your store. If you want to advertise here, why don't you pay me?

BTW, does anyone got a suggestion on how I can get rid of this clown?

vicky said...

Maybe you can block her? Pretty frustrating, but if it is any consolation, fake advertising like she is doing is not really worth her time, I suspect.

By the way, can you ask your friend, who works for the SPCA in Taiwan, what percentage of dogs are spayed or neutered? I know it was pretty low before, but I am thinking it is getting more popular. Just wondering. Tks.
I'm a Leo too! Hope it's ok to put my dog (clicker) training link here. Let me know if it isn't.

Patrick Cowsill said...

Here's what Sean said: "Last estimates I heard were about 20 percent, but I expect it to be about 30 percent now as the idea catches on. Regardless, it's dangerously below the required 70 percent mark and way behind the 80 to 85 percent in the US and UK."

Since you asked, I don't mind your link. But you might want to explain why it's useful.

vicky said...

That's great that numbers of spays and neuters are going up. I was wondering about having school children create posters encouraging spaying and neutering, with prizes for the winners, and maybe putting winning posters on the MRT, and other public places. That would probably spread the word.
I linked my website with my name so that it could help any interested people learn more about clicker training.


quote:Here's what Sean said: "Last estimates I heard were about 20 percent, but I expect it to be about 30 percent now as the idea catches on. Regardless, it's dangerously below the required 70 percent mark and way behind the 80 to 85 percent in the US and UK."

Since you asked, I don't mind your link. But you might want to explain why it's useful.

Patrick Cowsill said...

Vicky,

I'm sorry. I had no idea that you were in Taiwan. I'll put up a link in my sidebar right now.

vicky said...

Oh, sorry for the misunderstanding. I am not in Taiwan right now. I was in Taiwan before, and met a lot of amazing people working hard to change the dog situation. I am always wondering how they are doing.
I visited two pounds when I was there, and did a special presentation for the veterinarians at the vet school, and also a presentation for a class of school children.
I loved my time there.

Sugar said...

Greetings-- I adopted a very shy, battered dog from Taiwan. Turns out she is a Formosan mountain dog, and someone spent considerable time training her to hunt (which I discovered when her 33 lb body captured a full grown deer in my backyard!) I wasn't looking for a Taiwan dog, but we found each other. I couldn't imagine my life without her daily adventures. Just wanted to drop you a note & say that I really enjoy your blog!

Anonymous said...

So, did you ever get a dog? I think dogs deserve a back yard to be in most of the day; unless you want to walk the dog 3-4 times a day and pickup the poop by hand. Did you know the Dog Food industry in the U.S. has surpassed the Baby Food industry in sales/volume.

Matt

J.Son said...

I just came across your blog.. I adopted a dog from Taiwan, he's a Formosan Mountain Dog mix. Whoever said you need to be in a ground floor apartment doesn't know what he's talking about - I live with my dog on the top floor. If any of you are in Western Canada and would like to adopt a Taiwanese dog who needs a forever home, visit Ocean Dog Rescue (www.oceandogrescue.org)!