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.

Shelters, Pounds & Rescues

The Plight of Animal Rescuers – What People Don’t Know

Rescuers receive owner-surrendered dogs, and dogs from shelters and pounds whose time is up. Dogs on Death Row that wait for the eleventh hour are pulled from shelters and pounds by private rescuers every day. Yet dog-owners continue to resist relinquishing their dog to a private rescue.

I want to start a reality show called Rescue Wars!

The Misconceptions of Animal Rescuers

To rescue is a verb, a rescue is not a place, we have really misused the word rescue. I know I have to accept it when people call me a “rescue”, but it does make me cringe. We have over-used the word “rescue” . I believe “liberate” is truly what a good rescuer does.

Many dogs in rescue have been owner-surrendered, however, many have also been pulled off of death row from a kill-shelter, simply because their time was up—facing the eleventh hour.

So many people who surrender their dog to their local shelter or pound refuse to take their dog to a rescuer, however, what they don’t realize is if the surrendered dog is highly-adoptable, the shelters themselves contact local reputable rescuers. Why? There is no time limit with a reputable rescuer.

Shelters and pounds must keep stray dogs for a specified length of time, however, owner-surrendered dogs can be euthanized immediately.

National List of No-Kill Shelters

The dogs that come to a rescuer that are thunder-phobic, dog-aggressive, or bite are rehabilitated by a good rescuer. They are retrained, worked with, and if the dog is not successful, the rescuer finds a home that is suitable for that dog, given its “issues”.

If a dog bites a child, a pound will euthanize the dog, especially if the dog is owner-surrendered. A rescuer will save it, and find it a suitable home.

In most cases, rescuers receive dogs that have not been spayed or neutered. They pay for it.

In some cases, rescuers receive dogs with kennel cough, parvo, or are heartworm positive. They pay for it.

Yet, anti-rescue groups scream when a rescuer charges an adoption fee, even after they have spent an untold amount of time and money on the rescued dog.

We’ve already discussed “Free to a Good Home” and Dog Fighting Professionals, right?

A True Story:

Dog Thieves?

I want to take the time to share this with you so you can see how quickly we can learn to hate, and how quickly we can become judgmental.

Just a Little Shitzu
This little Shitzu was welcomed and loved, however, he relentlessly attacked the other dogs at the home. The home was one of a well-known horse rescue. Many dogs, cats and livestock had found their permanent home at this rescue.

Even though the Shitzu had mad manners, he was loved and tolerated!

One day, at a local groomer’s, a groomer caught wind that a wonderful customer, who was in her 60s had lost her little Shitzu. Consumed by grief, the customer explained her loss. The groomer thought that maybe her friend’s bad-mannered Shitzu could be re-homed with this sweet grieving woman.

The Shitzu’s owner agreed. The owner was confident that the Shitzu would be in a loving home, with someone who could afford him, someone who had experience with Shitzus, and the Shitzu would be in a 1 dog family. After some thought, the owner agreed.

That day, the owner delivered the Shitzu to the groomers, with the understanding that the grieving older woman would have a new Shitzu to help ease her pain. The Shitzu’s owner felt it was a win-win situation for everyone. After all, the sweet older lady agreed to allow the owner to visit the Shitzu when she wanted.

Somehow, for reasons still unknown, the Shitzu was immediately given to a rescue, who posted him on Craig’s list and other advertising media, adoption applications poured in, and the Shitzu was in rescue for days before he was adopted.

The previous owner had no knowledge that this had transpired. She felt that her little dog was with the sweet old lady. It wasn’t until someone she knew told her that her dog was posted on Craig’s list by a rescue.

Why the dog wasn’t given to the sweet old lady, we have no clue.

This story alone would make anyone question rescues. Anyone in the Anti-Rescue Movement would jump all over this story. But what really went wrong here was the trust factor.

The owner of the Shitzu trusted her friend, who worked at the groomer’s and she gave her dog to a third-party.

Never give your dog to a third-party!

The owner of the Shitzu is not bitter with the rescue, after all, they did their job, and found a good home for her dog, but the owner was not looking for a “rescue” to take her dog, she was interested in re-homing the dog to this one specific older woman.

Dishonest Rescues?

I have heard stories of alleged rescuers pretending to adopt dogs from online forums like Craig’s list and Freecycle, just to post the same dog “for adoption” with a hefty adoption fee associated with the dog. From the surface, it appears that it’s dishonest. However, the average American does not really know what’s going on in the Dog’s World today. I would rather see a “free” dog going to a rescuer than being adopted by a professional dog fighter. At least with a rescuer, adoption fee or no adoption fee, the dog stands a chance.

Regardless, we must all be very careful not to discriminate against all rescuers just because some appear to be dishonest.

I always tell owners who are giving their dog away that I am a rescuer, and that I have no intentions of keeping the dog for myself. They usually hang up on me, because they want to re-home their own dog.

How do you know if you’re dealing with a good rescue?

Are you being screened as a potential pet-owner? Is this rescuer willing to give you a pet without asking you any questions?

Just because they are a non-profit, does not mean they are a true rescue.

Just because they are NOT a non-profit doesn’t mean they are a legitimate rescuer.

If you contact a rescue, and they admit that they rarely have puppies, they are probably a true rescue.

If you see that a rescue maintains a large inventory of puppies, they are not a rescue.

A rescue is not an organization that purchases puppies from puppy mills and sells them—that is a pet store. Even if you see this rescue holding “an adoption event” at a local store, is still does not mean they are a true rescue.

If you are given a certificate for future spay/neutering, you are not dealing with a true rescuer. A reputable rescuer spays and neuters all of their animals before adoption—a certificate or voucher just doesn’t cut it in the rescue world. IT’S A SCAM. Adopters receive a certificate, and once they arrive at the pre-chosen vet, the vet announces that the certificate doesn’t cover the cost for the entire procedure.

A side note: The Anti-Rescue Group Fanatics and the Myths that they Promote

The new anti-rescue movement has me really baffled. While I’m sure there are some really dishonest people out there that pose as rescuers, there are also some very dishonest people out there that pose as reputable breeders. We must accept that in every profession, dishonest people exist. Most folks are that against Rescuers have passed judgment because of bad press.

Example: When is the last time you heard of a great foster home on the news? You don’t! The news only covers the horror stories. I would like to ask my readers to make up their own minds and not to judge every Rescuer based on what’s on the 5:00 news!

So many people hate animal rescuers, yet I challenge you to walk, just one day, in their shoes. Some are furious when they are turned down when trying to adopt a dog, because they don’t truly understand the laws and the protocol that licensed pounds, shelters, and rescues must follow to maintain their reputation and protect the dog.

I hear from people everyday that want to give up their dog, but refuse to give their dog to a rescuer. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. But I do know that there are exceptions to every rule. There are no absolutes in the dog’s world.


For those of you who would like to join this anti-rescue movement, you can find one on yahoo called “dog_anti-rescue_anti-peta_new”

However, when I was on the group, to gain an insight into why they had such a deep-seeded hatred toward certain groups, and why they were proud to be breeding their dogs, I was stifled when they challenged my use of the word “adoption”.

Their opinion was that we should simply use the word “purchase” instead of “adoption”. I challenged their use of the word “purchase” when I eloquently explained that dogs that were once owned, and then surrendered are clearly not re-purchased, but that they are re-homed or adopted.

I explained in even more detail why I felt the word adoption was acceptable for such a transaction, for at the age of four months, in Montreal, Quebec, I clearly was not “purchased” by my parents, I was legally, and lovingly “adopted.” I explained that I would surely have hated to go through live knowing I was bought. It was at that point, my membership was pulled!!! I thought it was a real shame, because I was learning so much about their views. I referred to them as “the other side”.

Oh well, I love this country, everyone has a right to their opinion. However, I believe we should base our opinions on as many facts we can get our hands on. So feel free to join this group if you believe all Rescues and Shelters are the bad guys!

Here is their group’s description:

We oppose “rescuers” who steal animals, abuse people, falsely accuse, destroy property, destroy families. We oppose all their crime and illegal activity. “Rescuers” seek glory and high “adoption fees”. They insult family breeders by calling them “backyard breeders”. Overpopulation is a myth. Due to scarcity SHELTERS ARE IMPORTING dogs to keep up “adoption” fees. We encourage helping dogs in distress but most “rescues” are fake and hurt efforts of the sincere and most BRAG about their “rescues”. Rescue groups apply HUMAN terms to animals.

Pet laws will remove all pets from our homes. California and Louisville are the first battle grounds. Protect our right to animal OWNERSHIP. Our enemies want total elimination of pets from our homes and consider ownership similar to slavery.

Reject “guardian” “adopt” and other non-ownership words. Dogs are not humans. We do not have “furkids”. Never apply HUMAN terms to animals. It is an insult to us when animals are considered EQUAL to humans. Do you really believe that your child is no better than a cockroach? God gave man dominion over animals. We do not condone abuse of any animal or human.

The FBI Congress & the President declared ANIMAL EXTREMISTS to be TERRORISTS using VIOLENCE to accomplish their goals. Arson and burglary are not justified for ANY reason. Stealing dogs is never “rescue”. WE DO NOT CLAIM THAT ALL RESCUES ARE BAD-MANY ARE! We provide links to disclose their horrible crime and violence and seek their prosecution.

Jim Willis

I stole your dog today. No, I didn’t set a foot on your property, but from the condition of your dog, I can imagine what it looks like…the word “junkyard” comes to mind.

I found her along a road, with a heavy chain wrapped around her neck, still attached to rotten boards from her doghouse, with rusty six-penny nails protruding. Not only did I know that most of the town had already ignored her, judging by where I found her, but I knew that if she had gotten into the woods the “cross” that she dragged behind her would have wrapped around a tree until starvation or thirst killed her. The local populace is usually deaf to the sound or blind to the sight of an animal in need, unless they decide to shoot one for trespassing.

That her ribs showed, that her ears were filthy, that her overall condition was poor and that her coat and eyes were dull, were good indications that you didn’t deserve her. But just to make sure, I checked with the local authorities for a report of a missing (unlicensed) dog matching her description and to see if you’d placed a “lost dog” advertisement in the local newspaper. You hadn’t, which I can only surmise means that you do not miss her. That’s rather convenient, because the fact that she is not spayed, probably unvaccinated, and possibly heartworm positive means that restoring her health could cost me around a thousand dollars.

Perhaps it may be some small comfort to know that she doesn’t miss you. In fact, her very act of escape made it clear that she’d had enough of your brand of pet guardianship. It took her about a day to realize that I’m not you, that I won’t hurt her, that despite our brief acquaintanceship, I love her. It took two days for her to realize that the other animals who live here accept her and that one of the joys she has been missing has been the companionship of other dogs. It took three days for her to appreciate the ecstasy of a homecooked meal and that a couch is meant to be reclined on, and that she no longer has to sleep outside – in fact, when the thunder starts, she’ll get a hug and her ears rubbed, and I’ll make a fool of myself with baby talk.

She has a beautiful name now. Already in the first week she has come to look more like she should. Her eyes sparkle and she has learned to wag her tail in greeting. She has stopped flinching when I make a sudden movement, because she knows now that I won’t beat her, in fact, she rarely leaves my side. She’s even become brave enough to bark at a cat and today I watched from the window as she initiated play with the other dogs. No, it’s clear she does not miss you or her former life of neglect on a chain.

Of all the things that have become apparent from my brief relationship with her – such as the forgiving nature of the dog, their wonderful ability to heal and to trust, the fact that love can work miracles – one of the most apparent is what a fool you are. She was possibly the most trusting, loyal and loving being in your life, and you consigned her to a life of filth and loneliness until she made the best choice she’s ever made when she broke free. Perhaps her guardian angel helped her escape. Lest anyone should mistake me for an angel, I will admit that one day I hope to be as good as she; I believe she forgave you within the first twenty-four hours of her new life for the about four years of her previous “life,” while I still wrestle with the part of me that hopes that one day you will burn in Hell.

It’s not clear yet whether she’ll remain here or whether I’ll find her a loving home where she can count on more individual attention than I can give her, but one thing is certain, this is one bit of stolen “property” who is never returning to you. So sue me, prosecute me, plead with the courts that she is rightfully yours…I’m convinced this is the best “crime” I’ve ever committed. Hardly anything has pleased me more than the day I stole your dog. I need only look into her beautiful brown eyes to know that she’d defend my decision with her life. If we have one prayer, it is that you will not replace her, and if we have one special day to commemorate together, it is the day I stole your dog and the day she stole my heart.

Copyright Jim Willis 2002
Where’s Daddy’s Baby? A Tribute to My Lost Children
“Cleo” The Visionary
How Could You?

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