The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

A Different Approach To Rescue

A couple of days ago, I received an inquiry about one of my puppies. I responded with my standard, “we do not use an adoption application but rely upon on interview process. Please tell us about yourself.” The following e-mail, and subsequent adoption, reminds me of why we approach rescue with a different philosophy than most. As Gisele likes to put it, we look for reasons to adopt to a person, not reasons not to. We only have a few dogs at a time, but we foster them so that we know them, can provide good care for them, and match them with the right family. When a potential adopter identifies a dog that we think doesn’t work for them, we try to explain why and recommend another. We genuinely try to make it a positive experience for all involved. We aren’t always successful, and we’ve made our fair share of mistakes, but we’re trying.

I’m not saying our way is right and someone else’s is wrong, it’s just that we seem to have hit on something that works for us. Ultimately, it boils down to relationships. We strive to develop them with our fosters, our supporters and certainly our adopters. Maybe that is the key.

Anyway, read this e-mail all the way to the end. Trust me, it’ worth it!

We are a family of three, my husband (31) and I (27) and our six month old son. My family owns a residential building construction company in Brevard county. My husband is the framer and owns the framing company and I’m the vice president of Damar Homes. We have close family and lots of support. We live on 3.5 acres in a house we own and have pretty much zero chance of ever renting a house now or in the future. The property is fenced and down a dirt road in a fairly rural area just below the space center on Merritt Island. The home is about 2800 sq. ft under air, tile in all living areas and all wood and leather furniture (so fairly puppy proof).

We have both owned large dogs in the past but not in a very long while. Most of our family has dogs, but I’ve spent the last several years with cats with my ex-husband (they stayed with my ex-husband after the divorce). Neither of us has ever abandoned a pet, given them up to friends or family (except in my divorce), or turned them in to a shelter. We have been talking about getting dogs for about a year and a half, earnestly discussing all of the various potential troubles and trials with the dogs/work/baby schedule for three or four months and researching dogs, filling out applications on file at various shelters, and even had a home visit (all positive) while looking for the right dogs to come along. To be perfectly honest, we’re starting to lose hope. We know our situation is unique with the baby and some people are reluctant to let us adopt a dog because they’re worried about how the baby will react and/or how we will budget time for the dog and the only thing I can say to that is, we’ve already considered that. The baby is very sweet and easy going and we have ample free time in the evenings and on weekends and love to spend that time as a family and that would include our new furry friends.

During the day my husband would like the option of taking our dog(s) to work when the weather is decent (he would never do so on unspeakably hot days or when their is heavy equipment around). If the weather is bad or on days when it’s too dangerous, they would be at home. If they are crate trained and would prefer to be that way, they can stay in crates, if not we can confine them to the main part of the house (everything but the bedrooms) where it is all dog proof tile for ooopsies. If the weather is very nice and they have proven themselves trustworthy in the yard, we may let them stay in the fenced yard during the day. We are away from home for approximately 9 hours a day at the maximum, sometimes as little as seven and a half. For excercise, my husband and I like to walk and bike up the long dirt road in front of our house and/or simply hang out in the yard where we could play fetch and wrestle in the grass (with the dogs, of course, not just the two us). We like the idea of adopting two dogs that get along well with each other so they can help exercise each other and keep each other entertained when we’re not home.

Our baby is already a prolific walker in his um walker thingy and loves to chase my aunts dog around in it when she brings her over so I suspect it won’t be long until he joins in the fun. We are looking for a dog that isn’t hyper and super energetic both because we may not be able to provide that kind of constant movement and because we’d hate to have a dog that kept knocking over the baby when he was learning to walk, but we know that a couch potato would probably rue the day that it came to live in our house as we dragged it from the couch for yet another walk. We just want to find a dog of medium energy that we can play with and love and feed and clean up after. My husband LOVES German Shepherds and I think Roxanne is just too sweet to pass up and we’d love for both of them to be part of our family. We have a vet nearby, we love animals, we have already debated, discussed, planned, and prepared for dogs (literally we have food and beds and grooming tools and collars and treats and flea medicine) and we’re just waiting to find something furry to fill the beds and eat the food.

The thing is, we have been through the wringer looking for dogs and I swear we have met every crazy person out there running a pet rescue. We have had applications approved with phone interviews and home visits and a resounding YES here’s your dog followed up by unreturned phone calls and general silence when we try to arrange to meet them. We just this past weekend drove to Sanford twice after filling out an approved application, exchanging have a dozen emails, and being interviewed over the phone only to be told when we got there (the second time) that they were concerned about the dogs being out on the job site and that we would be overwhelmed with the dogs and the baby (things we had been completely open about and had discussed in depth with them from the beginning). So I want to make sure that I answer any questions that you have, that you ask me every question that you can think of, that I’m as open and honest and upfront as I can possibly be with you and that you are comfortable with us and our intentions and that you’re absolutely satisfied that we have thoroughly thought this through, that we are prepared for any and all challenges (mentally, physically, financially), and that we just want to save a couple of dogs and spoil them rotten in the mean time.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I am MORE than happy to answer any questions and if you’d like, feel free to call me anytime.
Maryam Ramirez

I am amazed at what this family went through. We happily work with families to find the dog that fits their life. It is our pleasure!

2 thoughts on “A Different Approach To Rescue

  1. Working with you all has been an amazingly positive experience. The support and care that you have shown us went above and beyond all expectations. Holly has got to be just about the nicest person I've ever met and I just wish I could put her in my pocket to keep her with me wherever I go. Giselle clearly knows her dogs and puts alot of time and energy into their training and adjustment. And both of them have been incredibly understanding and shown that they don't just care about the dogs, they care about the people and the families and the lifetime happiness of all of the above. I will never forget how fantastic you have been through this and want to thank you both from the bottom of my heart. I know there's no such thing as a perfect dog and a perfect fit, but this has to be as close as anyone has ever gotten and we have you both of you to thank for it!

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