Local Dachshund enthusiasts promote rescue fostering, adoption, and socialization
Dachshunds, German for ‘badger hounds’, are also known as “weenie dogs”. The On My Way Home volunteers make and sell decorative harnesses, like the one shown, to raise money to offset medical costs incurred by the rescue. photo by Michelle Cutler | THP.
March 19, 2013"The dachshund is a perfectly engineered dog. It is precisely long enough for a single standard stroke of the back, but you aren't paying for any superfluous leg," wrote author Maria Russell.
Squatty and quirky, dachshunds seem to play the character roles of the canine world and are reported to be pleasant and loyal house pets.
Even so, Stephanie Gregersonrealized more dachshunds were turning up at area rescue shelters abused and abandoned than the facilities could handle. She founded On My Way Home Dachshund Rescue and started saving dachshunds and other small dogsfrom 'high kill'animal shelters.
Other volunteer pet foster parents have joined her effort and the organization is seeing great success. Last year the rescueplaced more than 100 displaceddogs into local "forever homes."
Gregerson attributes the rescue's success to its volunteers.
Dachshund foster parent Ray Till holds a lap full of puppies at the rescue’s weekly adoption event held at The Soggy Dog, 1450 W. Horizon Ridge pkwy, suite 202.
photo by Michelle Cutler | THP.
"We've had up to about 54 dogs at one time in rescue, so we've got an amazing network of fosters," she said. "It's really an amazing and rewarding experience."
One of these volunteers, Patty Till, says On My Way Home now receives dachshunds from many sources.
"If a puppy mill gets busted, if they're on death row at the shelter, and sometimes people realize they're in over their heads and try to get rid of the dogs, and then the worst case scenario is that they're just found on the side of the road because the dog can't breed anymore so the breeders dump them," she said."I've heard horrific stories about puppy mills. They throw them on bonfires, they starve them out, they're not (considered to be) worth the cost of a bullet."
Another foster parent, Sandy F.,findspeople appreciate On My Way Home's adoption program finding it advantageous to both the dog and potential owner since fosterparents are acquainted with each dog's unique personality and can make knowledgeable recommendations.
"You can better ascertain which dogs would be better for which homes," she said."Some dogs get along better with other pets; some dogs get along better with children."
Additionally, pets adopted from On My Way Home receive a full medical evaluation, spay/neutering, microchipping, vaccinations, and dental attention before placement. Most dachshunds are adopted for $150-$300, which helps off-set the medical costs incurred by the not-for-profit rescue.
Till's husband, Ray, advised that the adoption process takes time by design.
"These dogs, they'll be your friend for life," he said."It's about the dog. It's not about you. You can't just take it home; you have to fill out paperwork and have your home checked."
The Tills have joyfully fostered over 300 dogs and have come to call their home "Camp Till".
The organization also runs a social meet-up group called Dachshund Adventure & Rescue Enthusiasts (DARE). The club meets two to three times per week for park walks, field trips and adoption events which participants report are enjoyed by dogs and humans alike.
"You want to get your dogs as socialized as possible," said Gregerson.
"Dachshunds, in particular, we call them 'breed snobs' because they love to hang out with other dachshunds and it's their favorite thing to do. … The benefits are you go home and you're socialized, they're socialized, they're exhausted and you can have a nice, relaxing evening. A lot of our adopters end up joining the group, so it's a huge benefit that we can still see the dogs for years. It's great to see the whole circle come to completion."
For more information on fostering or adopting dachshunds or participating in the DARE meet-up visit www.onmywayhomerescue.com or contact Stephanie Gregerson at 528-6212.