One thing that took me by surprise when I founded NYC Shiba Rescue, was how often people would ask me "What’s wrong with Shibas? Why do they need to be rescued?" At every event Snickers and I attended representing NYCSR, numerous people would ask this!
What’s wrong with them? I didn’t even understand the question at first, but I soon realized that many people don’t realize there is any such thing as purebred rescue. Often, when a person wants a particular breed of dog instead of a mix, they automatically turn to a breeder or a pet store, not realizing there is another option. This is unfortunate and I want to do whatever I can to spread the word about purebred rescue.
Recently, I had the honor of being interviewed for a Shiba Inu breed profile page on woofpatrol.com. One of the topics we discussed was purebred rescue and WHY purebred dogs end up in shelters. Part of my response was:
Purebred dogs get dumped at shelters, abandoned at vet’s offices and dumped by the side of the road, just like mixes. Others run away without IDs and then aren’t claimed at the shelter. Many purebreds are dumped because people buy them at pet stores on impulse and then decide they don’t have the time or patience to care for a dog. Others are dumped because people don’t take the time to research and select a dog that fits their lifestyle and activity level.
And, now that I’ve had a couple years practice answering questions about Shiba rescue in particular, I was ready for this next question!
Woof Patrol: What are the top 3 reasons Shiba’s end up in shelters?
Me: 1. Unrealistic Expectations. People don’t do the research. Shibas are incredibly cute puppies, like little stuffed animals. Many people buy them without knowing what their personalities are like. Shibas don’t normally like to be held, hugged or handled excessively. They are high energy and therefore need a lot of exercise or they get into mischief. They are also VERY smart, so training them can be quite challenging for novice dog owners.
2. They Are Runners. Having been bred to hunt for thousands of years, Shibas have a high prey drive and will chase anything that runs. They are known escape artists – they bolt through doors, climb fences, slip collars – and then they’re off and running. By the time they stop, they’re usually far from home. They end up at a vet, having been hit by a car, or in a shelter as a stray. If they don’t have ID, sometimes the owner never finds them.
3. "Having A Baby" This applies to all breeds and mixes: way too many young people get a dog for companionship and/or to keep them busy. Then when they start a family, they dump the dog instead of investing some time into integrating the family.
To read more, check out the Shiba Inu breed profile on woofpatrol.com.