Everyday, we all meet on Urgent and try to save as many lives as we can. Most of us feel that no dog should die alone in a shelter, and that every dog deserves a chance at a real life. Some cases are easy, and saving the dog is a “no brainer.” Some, like our Capiro, make you take a hard look at your beliefs and what is in the best interests of everyone, including the dog. I invite you to take that hard look with me. I want to explain the tough choice rescuers face, the costs involved with rescue and place some of the responsibility back into the laps of those begging for rescues to step up daily. Because we did step up for Capiro, because we do believe he deserves a chance at a real life…..but not the way he is right now. After meeting Capiro last night, I can honestly say that I have never been so torn in my life.
Capiro is a healthy 2 year old German Shepherd. He is a good looking guy but could use a little TLC and exercise. Capiro was at the shelter a week ago and was placed on the list due to his poor evaluation and behavior. The Urgent community rallied and pleaded for someone to save him. After our past experience with German Shepherds at the shelter, Urgent decided to try.
Now, keep in mind that Urgent had recently rescued 2 German Shepherds from the ACC… Troy and Max. Both dogs were unable to be evaluated, due to their behavior, and they ended up on the list. Both dogs had real issues, but they turned out to be wonderful animals once the “rough edges” were polished. Max had Leigha to help him, and Troy had Tuncay. Both dogs blossomed into amazing and trustworthy GSD’s. Troy and Max are excellent examples of what a true German shepherd can be, when placed in the right hands. Would Capiro be any different? Was he also a GSD that was just losing his mind at the shelter? There was no way to know unless someone took a chance.
Urgent was contacted by a woman that wanted to foster Capiro. She said on her app that she had experience with GSD’s and was able to assist with socialization and behavioral issues. After checking her references and consulting with our trainer, we decided to let her go to the shelter and meet Capiro. All went well, and Capiro went home with his new foster mom. Not long after arriving there though, the problems started, and we soon realized that Capiro was going to need a lot more than any of us anticipated. Capiro’s issues are serious enough that his foster mom can’t keep him safely in her house. Others live there that Capiro is not fond of. He needs more work than she can offer.
Yesterday, Capiro arrived at Canine Counsel, where he will work with Tuncay. . I took a ride to watch and see first-hand what was going on. After a lengthy session, it was clear that Capiro had a job before he was surrendered to the ACC. He was trained to protect his handler, and not only was he damn good at it, he took great pride in it. I watched for an hour as Tuncay, along with Capiro’s former foster, worked with him, and while I did see Capiro start to submit, there was no way it was happening in just that one session. Capiro will need serious rehabilitation, if he is ever to learn when to be “on” and when to stand down.
I know many of you may now be shaking your head, cursing the former owner for damaging poor Capiro like this… but the question we faced at that moment, was” what now?” What do you do with a 2 year old dog that was trained to act this way? To watch Capiro with his former foster, he is a different dog. After just one week at her house, you can see that he loved her, and would allow her to do anything to him. He put all his trust in her, and in return, he will protect her AS HE WAS PREVIOUSLY TAUGHT TO DO. He is a smart dog that has no fear and is as loyal as they come. How could we possibly expect him to know that the way he is acting is wrong?
I figured we had 2 options. We could give up, say this is too hard, and too costly, when no-concerns are dying daily, or we could give Capiro a chance. The same chance we say “all” dogs deserve. We don’t see him ever becoming a family pet that will roll around on the floor with your kids, but he could still have a life. He could be re-trained to a point that he will know when to “go” and when to “stop.” He could get to a point where he can be given a job. He could then find a handler that will love him and protect him as much as he wants to love and protect “his person.”
So, having made the decision to stand by Capiro, how do we go forward from here? I will be honest… Urgent can’t afford weeks or months of rehab. Tuncay (Canine Counsel) believes that Capiro is a good dog, a smart dog, a dog who can be rehabilitated. Tuncay believes that he can do it, and after watching him work with other dogs, I don’t doubt him at all… in fact, I have total faith and trust that Capiro is in the greatest of hands at Canine Counsel. But, even though they have agreed to work with Urgent on the price, it will still cost money, and we need your help. We have a committed and experienced trainer to help us, but do enough people have faith in Capiro to help make this happen? Will enough people donate to Capiro’s training costs, to make a better tomorrow possible for this dog?
I believe there is hope, but in order to see this through, we need you. If you agree that Capiro should get this chance, please consider donating to his Chip-In or the Urgent Care Fund and note Capiro and his ID# A0951904 in the comment. And remember the hard choices that rescues face, every day, with every dog. Rescue is only beginning, when a dog leaves the shelter….
“K” and the Urgent Team