Reply All: #45 The Rainbow Pug
November 12, 2015 10:31 AM - Subscribe

This week, Jade Davis loses her dog on the internet, and Alex and PJ go looking for it.
posted by lunch (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This was so hard to listen to. I nearly burst into tears on the bus. I really empathized with Jade.

That said...what she and her husband did was so incredibly dumb I don't even know why they thought that they could get the dog back. I decided to give your dog up. In some states if you decide to give your *child* up there's no going back. I felt awful for her but I completely understood why the rescue would take such a hard stance.

The Rainbow Pug graphic is pretty cute.
posted by radioamy at 3:42 PM on November 12, 2015

I found myself really agreeing with the person from the rescue by the end of the episode, especially after she explained how high maintenance pugs can be. From the rescue's perspective, Schneider's original family didn't have the resources to properly care for him.

I found the argument that she lost her dog because her husband didn't read the terms on the rescue form disingenuous. They drove their dog to a Cracker Barrel and handed him over to the rescue agency. What did Jade think that meant??

Also, yeah, people you threaten with legal action will stop talking to you, if they're smart.
posted by chrchr at 6:02 PM on November 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh yeah and I also thought the suggestion from the person from the rescue that pugs are in some ways victimized by the affection of their human owners was interesting!
posted by chrchr at 6:25 PM on November 12, 2015

The rainbow pug graphic is just the sweetest thing ever. I did end up agreeing with the rescue group -- as, it should be noted, did the owner, but, god damn it, babies, you've got to be kind.

The graphic is a much needed act of kindness.
posted by maxsparber at 8:27 PM on November 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

While I felt for the kids, they seemed to be dealing with it like kids do (much better than parents imagine). Bottom line is that they so very quickly gave the dog up, they didn't even think about the consequence of it. That lawyer friend of the rescues was sooooo not helpful, but Jade and her husband didn't help themselves either. Never threaten people if you want to keep talking to them.

Ultimately the pug is rescued and is no longer a potential financial liability to his former family. Older dogs don't get cheaper to help.

I really did think I was going to side with the Jade, but ultimately the rescue people convinced me that the right thing happened.
posted by inturnaround at 8:45 AM on November 13, 2015

I found the argument that she lost her dog because her husband didn't read the terms on the rescue form disingenuous. They drove their dog to a Cracker Barrel and handed him over to the rescue agency. What did Jade think that meant??.


Also, although this was an interesting and emotional episode, it wasn't really an "internet" thing. It's a "dogs are fucking expensive and rescue groups are difficult to deal with" thing. Both of which I am familiar with.
posted by radioamy at 11:40 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

I know quite a few dog people, including some breed-specific rescue organization people. Despite having a complicated opinion of the ethics of much of that world, it's likely that my sympathies in this story are influenced by that exposure. Still, I found the hosts' take on the story really surprising and almost incomprehensible. I'm amazed the rescue organization representative was so understanding. If anything, I'm surprised that such finely honed story telling and editing aimed at sympathetic framing could turn out to be so completely unconvincing.

This isn't a story of kidnapping, or miscommunication associated with email, or a family who's been wronged because they didn't read legal contracts. It's a story of someone who couldn't pay for their dog's care, made an explicit and conscious decision to give it up rather than find another option, started begging for take-backs only after a stranger stepped in and saved their pet, and then received an entirely appropriate response. The fine-print contract and the obnoxious lawyer aren't the problem. They exist to protect shelters in exactly this kind of situation, and they seem to have worked pretty well in this case. A contract that says you can't demand to take back a pet after the shelter covers its medical bills isn't a bug. It's a feature.

I sympathize with what the family was going through. But, giving an elderly animal with an immediate $5K health cost and lifetime injury to a rescue organization is a thoroughly ugly and irresponsible thing to do. Maybe they really felt they had no other choice. They may well have been dealing with even more hardship that they don't want to talk about on the radio. The fact that being poor in an incredibly wealthy country means you can literally bankrupt yourself paying for pet medical care is terrible. The world would be a much better place if that weren't so. I'm entirely open to the argument that subsidized vet clinics would be a better use of resources than rescue shelters. I'd agree that we should probably be using more public funds for both things.

None the less, in the world we live in - where rescue organizations are explicitly a refuge of last resort, rely on donations and free labor, and spend rather than make money even when they find immediate homes for young healthy animals - abandoning a nearly unadoptable pet is indefensible. And if you genuinely don't have other options, then you are by definition not able to take care of your pet.
posted by eotvos at 9:11 PM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yes, I felt that the "THE INTERNET KIDNAPPED THEIR DOG" opening was unnecessarily sensationalist and misleading.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:15 PM on November 21, 2015

From the very beginning I thought that the dog owners were very wrong, and as it continued I continued to think that they were in the wrong, and although I was sympathetic to the difficulty of their loss, I was really, really relieved that they never got the dog back, and I hope that the rescue gets extra donations because of this story.
posted by jeather at 1:24 PM on December 6, 2015

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