Tues 1st June: The bizarre story of Beatrice

When I was at AFCD (Pokfulam) yesterday having Kiki the poodle licensed, of course I had a look at the new arrivals.  There was a very friendly rottweiler in one of the kennels, and I was told that she had been adopted from HKDR but the owner had died and the son had brought the dog in.  Naturally I said I would take her back, and today I did just that, along with three baby pups that had just come in.

Another new puppy

One new puppy

The first odd thing that happened was that I didn’t have to complete the license application for the rottie, but was just given the license with my name showing as the owner.  Occasionally, if the rabies vaccination is recent, I ask that ownership simply be transferred rather than have the dog vaccinated a second time, but usually a new license is issued along with the rabies shot.

With the dog and the puppies in the car, I kept looking at her as we drove to Tai Po.  I was racking my brain trying to remember who had adopted a female rottweiler from us, but the only dog I could think of was one called Beatrice who had been fostered in March but not adopted.  The more I looked, the more I was sure it was Beatrice, but how could she be in AFCD?

It was Beatrice's not-quite-rottie ears that gave her identity away

With the license in hand it was easy to check the microchip number against our records once we arrived at Tai Po, and sure enough it was Beatrice.  She had actually been fostered by a girl called Rachel, so the story of the man and his now-deceased father was obviously a lie.  So I called the number on the foster form and spoke to Rachel.  I believe one thing, and that was that she wasn’t aware that Beatrice had been taken to AFCD, but as for the rest of the story well, let’s just say I’ve heard better.

She said it wasn’t actually her that fostered Beatrice but her flatmate.  The fact that the foster form was completed and signed by her was because said flatmate had a broken wrist, a great time to be taking a rottweiler home.  It also doesn’t explain this email from Rachel when we did a follow up:

“Hi sandra. I just wanted to update you on beatrice, now stella, so you
can pass on some good news to hkdr. She’s lost some weight and is
still a bit lazy but getting more energetic every day. Her coat is
also much shinier and overall she is looking happier and healthier!
Her and guinness are settling in nicely and seem to be getting
friendlier every day. We need to return the muzzle and lead we
borrowed from hkdr to you anytime it suits. Have a good day!”

What Rachel had told us when she came for Beatrice was that she wanted to see how she got on with her own dog, Guiness, and that assuming all went well she would be adopting.  The explanation of how Beatrice ended up at AFCD stretched the limits of my belief and my patience.  All I could think about was that a sweet dog had been handed over to AFCD and could have been killed had I not gone there and seen her.  A pack of lies had been told and for no reason.  All anyone had to do if they didn’t want to keep Beatrice was to return her to us, it’s that simple.  We’ve all heard the lies and stories many times over, but this one takes the biscuit.

Kiki the poodle had her desexing operation done today, as well as having the lump on her head removed.  She doesn’t look quite as pretty now with a bald patch and stitches, but that will soon heal and at least she won’t be having any more puppies.

It seemed that May was a terrible time for adoptions, with the move to Tai Po and the lack of phone and internet connections making things very difficult for everyone, but when Alice totalled the number for the month it was a surprising thirty six.  Many of these dogs were adopted from their foster homes and not at Tai Po, and it included the puppies that found homes at Whiskers’n’Paws, but wherever and however, the number is still a good one.

As a footnote, I’d just like to make it clear that this blog, the HKDR Facebook page and the HKDR website are run and managed by HKDR volunteers and staff only, and without any outside involvement.  Statements by others might be misleading whether or not it’s intentional.  We’re lucky to have a lot of talented people on our team!

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46 Responses to “Tues 1st June: The bizarre story of Beatrice”

  1. DL Says:

    that is horrifying. the very least somebody could do, was to (as you said) return the dog to HKDR. to think that sweet beatrice could have been put down! !!!!!

  2. Helen Y Says:

    A whole bunch of liars out there, how did their parents brought them up? Integrity and other basic values they learnt in kindergarten, were totally forgotten?? How are these people going to raise their own kids? And these lies were totally not necessary? Sending a dog to AFCD to be killed is a sin and should be made a criminal offence for 2nd degree murder.

  3. Emma J Says:

    Poor Bea, I was only thinking of her a few days ago, wondering how she was getting along in her new home. How can anyone be so mean to one of the most gentle and sweet dogs? This has made me really very sad and angry!

  4. Patsy Says:

    Sorry for Guiness for having such an irresponsible owner. Who knows, maybe Guiness will be abandoned at AFCD by Rachel one of these days, she must be blacklisted from fostering any dogs in the future.

    • Sally Says:

      It wasn’t Rachel who took Beatrice to AFCD as she had already handed the dog over to her flatmate. It was him, the lying b*****d, who said his father had died and he was the son. Apparently he has left HK to join the British Army. They might be interested to know what sort of character he is. I doubt Rachel would even dare to try and get another dog from HKDR.

  5. norma Says:

    At least sweet, adorable Beatrice is safely back with HKDR and hope she will find a loving home soon. She is a wonderful dog.

  6. Helen Y Says:

    Even if it wasn’t Rachel who handed Beatrice to AFCD, then what about that email update she sent to Sandra, was she not an accomplice? Even if this jerk’s father actually died (better be dead having a son like that), he still could have handed Beatrice back to us or Rachel or whoever but not AFCD – no excuse.

    • Sally Says:

      Everyone involved lied. The “father” was a made-up story too. They could have returned Beatrice to HKDR at any time, which is why the whole story is so bizarre.

  7. Helen Y Says:

    Guiness is not Gus I hope??

  8. norma Says:

    Just wondering why AFCD did not inform you that ‘your dog’ was there as you are shown as the registered owner.
    Anyway, hope that scum bag never comes back to HK and that the British Army send him far far away on the worst deployment one can think of.

  9. Rachael Says:

    Poor Beatrice, it’s just too scary the trust we put in fosterers and adopters to be what they appear to be and then they let the dog down, they are so vulnerable to who chooses them. Heartbreaking to hear our dogs passed around like they are rubbish…..Thank goodness the good generally outweighs the bad.

    • Sally Says:

      Yes, it’s very sad when we have entrusted our dogs to someone and then it turns out that they have lied. We know about some of these cases but not all, and that’s an awful thought. The dogs have no choice and no say in the matter. They have to go where they are sent.

  10. suekuok Says:

    That B*****D son of a Bitch, he will not have peace for the rest of his miserable life! I will not hesitate to stamp him under my feet as if he was a cockroach, even a cockroach is too good for him.

  11. Jackie Says:

    Rachel (and I) are huge dog lovers and she was actually trying to help ensure this idiot flatmate would bring the dog back to HKDR or find it an appropriate home cause he wasn’t caring for it properly. Yes she signed the papers and Yes it is true he had a broken wrist (I know him as well), but she did nothing but care about this dog. When he left for the UK on Friday he said he had found a home and delivered it there. Stop going on about Rachel, she is a good person and only tried to do the right thing. I too, feel terrible for the poor dog, I met the dog in DB and she is so sweet. I am a big supporter of HKDR and plan to continue to be, but please be reasonable in your accusations. I know Sally is upset and she rightly should be, but not at Rachel. She is a very responsible dog owner and Guinness is a lucky dog. It’s unfortunate that she got matched up with a friend who is completely irresponsible and almost got the dog killed. Just because she signed the paper doesn’t mean you can put all the hate on her. She even told me on the weekend that her flatmate needs to notify HKDR of the new home for the dog. Why would she lie to me, she is being responsbile about the whole situation and expected this 25 year old man to be responsible too. Her only fault was assuming he would get this done, which is an innocent mistake. Sally, I have become a recent follower of this blog and love and admire EVERYTHING you do, but hearing the way you handled this was disappointing, you have to be careful about alienating people and understand all the facts before you scream at them on the phone. I know you are infuriated about the sad situation. It’s not all lies.

    • Sally Says:

      I have also responded directly, but you’re damned right I yelled (not screamed) on the phone. I was furious, not only about having found Beatrice at AFCD but also because you were calling me instead of Rachel. You may be her boyfriend, and she may be a lovely sweet person, but this had, and has, nothing to do with you. As much as Rachel can’t sign contracts and then say they were actually for someone else, she should have been the one to call me.
      In any case, I now have the flatmate’s name, email address and contact number and I have asked for his version of events. I can’t wait.

      • Jackie Says:

        Just to clarify, I am not the boyfriend. I am a kind, frequent donator to HKDR and work as an executive in the financial services industry and currently have 4 dogs living in my home. I am also so so glad you went to the AFCD on that day so that Stella was saved, that is the most important thing. Take care and I will continue following HKDR with passion.

    • max Says:

      If Beatrice is a human, you may have a different idea of how nice racheal is/was. The fact is beatrice would have dead because of racheal …adopting the dog and not take responsiblity to follow up on the dog…

      • Mel Says:

        Max, I think you are making assumptions that are not necessary. From knowing both Jackie and Rachel, they are both dog lovers. Yes, it’s sad and frustrating with what happened to Stella. Stella was saved and that is the main point to this whole ordeal.

      • Sally Says:

        Actually I diagree Mel. I think the main point is that when someone takes a dog from HKDR and signs an agreement to take care of that dog, then they should do just that. We now know that the flatmate passed the dog to someone else without informing anyone, not even Rachel, and it was that man who surrendered Beatrice to AFCD. Nobody had any right to do anything with Beatrice without consulting HKDR, and me specifically as I am the registered owner.

  12. Ash Says:

    I know Rachel personally and everything she said was true….but why let the facts get in the way of a good story to elicit sympathy from your readers? I am not quite sure what part of Rachel’s story you are questioning…..

    – Her flatmate was with her (with wrist strapping on!) when they went to pick Beatrice up. Sally could easily verify that with her staff. Her flatmate is also mentioned in the adoption papers.

    – I am also not quite sure how that e mail to Sandra is being used against her – all it does is show her love of dogs and willingness to cooperate with HKDR. Her flatmate may have been the one looking after Beatrice, but Rachel still cared for the dog and was more than willing to help out (as evidenced by the e mail!)

    Rachel is a dog lover and treats them wonderfully. Rachel had told her flatmate to take Beatrice back to HKDR if he was leaving the country as she could not handle 2 dogs on her own (Sally, he will be back in a couple of weeks so you can speak to him yourself). Not only did she get misled by her flatmate (and is very upset about the whole situation), but now she has Sally slandering her as well. If Sally is truly so upset about the situation, she should take a little bit of time to verify the facts…which would not take long. It would also be responsible of her to verify the facts before publishing a story about it on a public forum.

    Sally, even if you don’t trust me, there are a long list of people (many of whom have supported and donated to HKDR) that would be very willing to shed some light on this situation and to back Rachel up. Please e mail me if you are truly concerned about finding out the facts…..although I will not be holding my breath.

    Sally, I know that you are very passionate about dogs (all animals?) and I commend you for that – we need more people like you – but if you are going to publish something publicly, you have a responsibility to check your facts before you accuse somebody of lying.

    • Sally Says:

      I think you’ll find that I haven’t given Rachel’s full name so unless you would like to identify her she will remain anonymous, as do all of the people I talk about in my blog.
      The fact is that Rachel completed a foster form in her own name and signed it with her signature. This meant that nobody had any idea of the flatmate’s name or contact, even if we had been aware that it wasn’t her who wanted Beatrice. You might try asking a lawyer whether signing a contract but intending it to be for someone else would hold up in court.
      Rachel may well be a nice person, but that’s not the point.
      By the way, I can tell you read my blog because you have used a lot of my own phrases! 🙂

  13. Ash Says:

    p.s. The above essay was a case for the defense of Rachel, not the flatmate!

    • Sally Says:

      I should also add, by the way, that it was Rachel who completed the questionnaire and throughout she referred to either herself or “we” as the fosterer, as in “we will adopt” if all goes well. There is absolutely no question that the answers given in the questionnaire are referring to Rachel herself as well as the flatmate (though actually they sound like a couple with the constant references to “we”).

  14. jerry Says:

    the problem of watching out for the future welfare of homed hkdr dogs must have been top of mind for a lot of your blog readers recently with several upsetting cases inc Beatrice, Elspeth the dach who I actually met with her fosters the other day! sweet little dog — the 8 or was it 9 grown pups undesexed with original adopter of the undesexed mother gone from HK, aswell as the several escapees.
    In the UK, at least with some shelters I hear you never actually own the dog you adopt and they keep in touch with you throughout the rest of the dogs life.
    If you did that here it would frighten some adopters away but are they worth having anyway — perhaps it is time to try and put in some after homing checks — surely no right minded owner would react against this
    show of concern. If there is one thing worse than being abused from puppyhood it is being saved by hkdr (surely the dog equivalent to winning the lottery) only to end up abused again.
    The mechanics of this monitoring is the tricky aspect of course but I cannot conceive of any caring owner objecting to letting you know how their smallest family member is getting on, once a year, even the bad things like serious illness and eventually losing them — letting people who care share their sorrow. That plus a take back offer in those few cases where the owners have no other course open to them, is better than sending them off all alone at the mercy of fate.
    The dog for life ideal is particularly worrying in the context of HK’s large very fluid expat population and I would be worried about giving any dog into a flat sharing environment, I believe this was the case with the undesexed mother above and of course Beatrice too.

    • Sally Says:

      Jerry, we do follow up with all adopters in the period shortly following adoption, and usually about a year later too. We also ask adopters to keep in touch and send photos etc, which many do. It may sound as though there are more bad experiences than good, but thankfully the failures are few enough to keep us doing what we do.
      It’s is immensely disheartening for the staff and volunteers when an adoption goes wrong, or dogs are surrendered for the flimsiest of reasons. There are times when everyone, I’m sure, feels they’ve had enough but the dogs are always there needing help. Cases like the ones you’ve mentioned are hard to deal with (and the nine puppies born to the un-desexed mother is still ongoing. So far we have taken in five of them), and everyone needs to let off steam now and then. But working as a close team we experience a lot of joy and satisfaction too, and the good ones make up for everything.

  15. MMel K Says:

    At the end of the day poor Beatrice ended up in AFCD because the person who fostered her (the person who signed the agreement!) didn’t take the correct responsibility for her. Its quite simple.

  16. Alex Says:

    Much as Rachel may be a good, dog loving person, anyone signing a document, should be prepared to be held responsible for the promises they make in the document – whether its related to adopting/fostering a dog or something else. If you are not prepared to be held responsible for what you sign your name against, why sign in the first place?

    It’s damned lucky Beatrice is now safe.

  17. juliana Says:

    if Rachel is reallly a responsible person or if she is really passionate about the dogs…How could be Beatrice in AFCD without Rachel’s notice??? We assume that everything told by Rachel is true, since she knows that Beatrice is in AFCD, why doesnt she do something or taking her home other than telling more lies…..

  18. Jen Says:

    My husband and I adopted a very sweet dog from HKDR in December 06. Actually we fostered her, but within a very short time considered her our own. We should have done it ourselves, but it wasn’t until contacted by HKDR that we made the adoption official…shame on us. I guess we just fell into blissfull life with our new doggie.
    I check the HKDR website daily (it’s part of my morning routine) and am a faithful reader of this great (and at times outrages) blog…what you do Sally (and team) is mind boggling. I do support HKDR events when I can, but frankly it’s not nearly enough…
    To the point above, I would like to give an update on our sweet dog that we adopted from HKDR.
    She was adopted on December 18, 2006. Sally (or someone) gave her the name Beetle, a schnauzer with, surprise, a skin condition. She had been given up by her family of almost 5 years. Beetle was almost 5 at the time (how do people do that).
    Beetle, which is still her name, has been with us for over 3 years now and we have loved her since the beginning. Yes, we have to treat her skin condition, and her ear infections, etc., but she is the absolute sweetest girl.
    Beetle is part of our family and I can’t imagine our lives without her. Thank you Sally and everyone at HKDR for all you do.
    No matter how long ago it might have been, I encourage all adopters to send an update on just how great your HKDR dog is.
    Again…thanks Sally and all.

    • Sally Says:

      We really love to get updates on the dogs. The emails are sent to all of the adoption team and HKDR “family” because it’s these stories that keep us all going and make the heartache worthwhile.

  19. Gloria Says:

    I am the volunteer who went to AFCD with Sally and took Beatrice out and obviously I am also the one who witnessed the case.

    Jackie, your friend , Rachael and you maybe dog lovers, but when Racheal signed the foster agreement, she had to tell HKDR that she signed on behalf of her flatmate in the first place. There are some terms and conditions on the foster agreement and Rachael should read carefully before signing on it. Well, if she told us she was not the fosterer, HKDR had the right not to hand Beatrice to her. Look, we are all grown-ups and we are responsible to what we sign on the agreement (without telling a lie).

    Ash, Sally and I took a good look on the foster agreement after getting back to the kennels and apparently we didn’t see any contact of her flatmate on the paper and it made the whole case so bizzare especially when someone called Sally to explain when he was neither Rachael nor was her flatmate.

    Jerry, all the staff and volunteers who work for HKDR do follow-up the adoptions as we regard it as a “after sales service”. We all have to make sure that our HKDR dogs can get along with the adopter’s family which including their dogs and kids. We even teach beginners about the health and behaviour issues. We are always welcome our adopters to raise any questions or join our events as our volunteers loves to see those dogs again after leaving the kennels.

    People always tell lies when they want to archeive what they want and what can we do if someone is not honest to us? Read Sally’s blog on 1 June, I am the one who rehomed the two puppies to the family which I shouldn’t have done. I felt so sorry for the two puppies because they are older puppies and they have to stay at the kennels like any other mongrels in the kennels. The two puppies missed their “golden rehoming period” and they are now eight months old. Shall I be angry to the family? Yes for sure because I trusted the family because they had weeks to think about the adoptions but eventually they just failed to commit it.

    I hope that “flatmate” won’t leave his buddy behind if he has a chance to combat in a war after his military training.

  20. Abby Says:

    Hmm, I think I can see why Rachel’s email (together with the fact that she signed the forms) might give off the wrong impression that she was the legal fosterer and had assumed responsibility for the dog….which, as it turned out, was rather shabbily treated by the flatmate actual=fosterer…so Rachel had to bear the brunt of things that happened.

    On the other hand, I think anyone in Sally’s position would be infuriated, because there are lots of reasons why fosteres/adopters…etc. are requested to sign forms – it is not just an administrative convenience but also a confirmation (of legal sorts) that that person giving her details on the form is indeed the person taking responsibility for the dog. That the flatmate had a broken wrist is no excuse for signing forms on his behalf. That would be making a false representation altogether, and the consequences could be serious.

    Guess the lesson for Rachel (and everybody else) is not to sign such forms for anybody (out of kindness, convenience, whatever), if she’s not prepared/in a position to take responsiblity for the dog. Someone who’s prepared to take on a dog for life should have the gumption to do the paperwork themselves, broken wrist or no broken wrist.

  21. Charles King Says:

    I am a dog lover, four months ago i lost my best friend Josh a golden retriever who had a good long life and had to be put down due to being a very old state at 13 years of age. The hardest thing I have ever done in my life was carry him to the vets that last day as I grew up with him and he was my best friend always by my side.

    I have heard of HKDR and have contributed to your cause as I have seen your donation boxes around Hong Kong. Although most of my support goes to Dr Joe at PALS. HKDR is just another great organization out there to help HK’s unfortunate dogs and I hope to one day adopt a dog when I feel I live in a more suitable environment for one.

    Sally, I commend what you do at HKDR. It makes me feel good to know that there are people like you helping a man/womans best friend, but please don’t post things up like this it makes people feel discouraged under misinformed information and although you have kept the identity. It can be hurtful for you to to imply or mislead such things to other readers. I feel that this message implies that both parties are dog haters and intended for Beatrice/Stellas demise which is only what I had interpreted due to your blog.

    I have had the great pleasure of meeting Beatrice/Stella and have found that she was a lovely dog and was better as she got to know me. I am very glad to hear that she is safe and hope that she will find a loving home.

    You have to realise that people who need to lead their lives by working, paying rent, utility bills and feeding their families and dogs. Which in my view dogs are family but this blog entails that the stated people are not dog people. In my opinion and im not one to make one as it usually leads to gossip They have been attacked in a undeserving way under a lack of knowing the full story. You have to get the full truth before you go public.

    Now I cannot vouch for the second stated person, it may be due to some short-term negligence on his part (ie. losing the dog). But I can vouch for Rachel, she is a dog lover and loves her very very lucky and loved Guinness which she has had since a puppy and has looked after him, probably a bit to much in my view as he is a spoilt boy. But that is not to say that she has not looked after Beatrice/Stella and given her love and intention as well as all her needs without a helper or anyone else to relieve her of walking or looking after both Guinness and Beatrice. She has stressed every option and I know it was never her intention to let Beatrice end up at AFCD.

    Sally I think it would be best to find out how Beatrice got to AFCD when you have the facts you may feel better to conclude on those facts to find out how she ended up there in the first place rather then misleading readers of this blog. Half the story leads to others filling in the gaps.

    Remember this message poses no hard feelings.

    • Sally Says:

      My blog is a daily personal account of my thoughts and feelings as well as a factual commentary on the day’s events. I don’t whitewash my words because that would make the blog pointless. Taking Beatrice’s case as an example (and as she was only a foster dog, not adopted, then her name should not have been changed), my anger at finding she had been “surrendered” to AFCD wasn’t confined to just myself. I know I was speaking for the team at the office too, especially Alice who handled the case, as she has no way of speaking up to defend herself and her side of the story. In fact Alice is extremely upset about this, even more than I am.

      Working with an organisation like HKDR is more than just an office job. We’re not handling the sales of products, but living, feeling animals, individual personalities that we grow to love. When we home a dog we have to trust that the adopter, or in this case the foster, is being honest about what they tell us. The dog has no say in the matter, it has to go where it is sent. We have an obligation towards each and every dog to try to find the very best possible home, and it’s heartbreaking to find out that a dog has subsequently been abandoned once again (which happens).

      Beatrice’s case was, as I put it, bizarre. Every part of the story has its own questions, and Rachel isn’t innocent either. She was the one who completed the adoption questionnaire as well as the actual foster agreement. At no time was there any mention of the fact that this wasn’t going to be her dog as much as the “unnamed” flatmate. When she knew that this man was going to hand the dog over to someone else, she had a moral obligation to inform us, rather than just telling the man that he should do so. Not only is she legally responsible (having signed the agreement), but she is also complicit in what happened to Beatrice. It would have been so easy simply to give Beatrice back to HKDR.

      So while you and others have defended Rachel as being a nice person, which I’m sure she is, there are facts that speak for themselves. I haven’t invented or embellished any part of the story, and the only good thing about it is that I found Beatrice before it was too late

      • max Says:

        Sally,
        Thanks for your great strength in doing all the thing for dogs. Although I love “good” news than bad news, we need to know the bad news in order to alert us bad things are happening and telling others we are watching. I have also picked up puppies from the street who are so lovely that makes us could not just walked away from them. I am fully responsible for those puppies and trying very hard to ensure they are being take care of. I will check on them on weekly /monthly basiss. If I am not prepared for doing this – I would ask Rachel not to “adopt” a dog for others. The dog cannot make a choice and have a no survival skill. They are depending on us…..In this case, Rachel would have dead if she is not being found…this make everyone very angry….If ash or anyone who claimed they love dog who be angry, tooooo. Stop defending for rachel or who ever doing things like that…they / max

  22. KY Says:

    That’s very funny. As I know, Rachel never told the staff who handled this case that she just signed for her flatmate because he has a broken wrist and in the Questionnaire that she filled in, she always used “we” instead of “he” to state that she and her flatmate both want to foster or adopt the dog.

    If what she said is right, anyone can go to borrow money from bank and sign the document. And just tell the bank she/he is only sign for someone and refuse to pay the money back. Do you think the Bank will accept this excuse?

    I know someone will support others for no reason, but please try to realise the whole story. The most important thing is that the dog is ended up in AFCD and will probably be PTS if nobody knows. If you are a dog lover, why don’t you think about this.

  23. michelle Says:

    In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what the whole story was, or who fostered/adopted Beatrice in the end. The most important thing is that Beatrice didn’t have to go to AFCD when the adopter/Rachel made a decision. Although HKDR hopes that no dog ever gets returned to us, it is understood that there are some extenuating circumstances at times, and we do make exceptions.

    Being a volunteer at HKDR, I handle adoptions occasionally as well. It’s a challenge, and you have to trust that what people say on the questionnaire and to you is entirely true. You see the dog go home, and you pray that it’s a good one. Over the years, I’m sure that of all the dogs I homed, at least one or two have returned to us. It’s such a disappointment, and I find myself wishing that I would have done something different or asked more questions to prevent this from happening. You have to understand that all the people who are criticizing Rachel/adopter are trying to understand why it had to come to this and why we were never informed. Rachel sent an email to Sandra about how well Beatrice was doing, so why couldn’t she find herself to send one when Beatrice was sent to AFCD again?

    Most people know the eventual fate of the dog when it’s sent to AFCD (killed after 4 days)… so why wasn’t there more things done about the fate of Beatrice once she was in AFCD? Most adopters do come in asking where the dogs are from, and I usually tell them about the horrors of AFCD. Even if they had no choice, and had to leave Beatrice there immediately, had they not thought about giving us a call/email to at least inform us so that we could take her out again?

    I understand what some people are saying, and that Rachel’s intentions were good. She just wanted to help a friend out and wanted to help HKDR as well. However, as someone has already mentioned, the lesson that some of us have to learn from this case is to never sign anything on anyone’s behalf, even if you mean well. I’m sure that if the situation of the adopter’s wrist was understood at the time, we would have thought of something else that allowed for the adopter to be the one signing the papers, and not someone else. By putting your signature down, you are the one held liable, should anything go wrong.

  24. Helen Y Says:

    I am very positive that Rachel is a nice girl who have passion for dogs and had go to the point of fostering a rescued from HKDR – this should be fairly acknowledged. But being a dog lover or interested in fostering/adopting a dog is not enough, one have to be a “responsible” dog owner, period.

    Let’s all learn from this incident.

  25. Kerensa Says:

    gWow, I am surprised by how unprofessionally this is being dealt with! I also find it fascinating that people who have no idea of the full story see fit to judge others! There are two sides to every story and as nice as it would be if Rachel wrote on here herself to clarify everything, I don’t blame her for not doing so what with all these people writing malicious comments and using foul language to express themselves on a situation they really have no idea about.

    I would have thought calling Rachel and speaking to her about what happened (rather than ‘yelling’ without letting her get a word in) or arranging a sit down meeting with her to go through the events leading up to this unfortunate situation would have been a far more adult and productive way of dealing with things. Maybe it should be a more in depth and thorough process when fostering/adopting out a dog with all of these things you are talking about made clear to the person before the act rather than after.

    The responsibility of making the people who are taking on these dogs aware of EVERYTHING you expect from them is yours. I myself adopted a dog from HKDR 6 years ago with Kirsten as the contact. Nobody has ever followed up on the dog’s well being. Nobody ever even got me to sign anything to say the dog was mine, and I can also say for sure that nobody told me about any conditions or warned me that if I made a mistake I would be treated as badly as Rachel is being treated now. I’m also aware of a dog owner who wished to return a dog to you but upon calling you to talk to you about it she was also made to feel horrid. So you say people should return unsuitable or unwanted dogs to you but when someone does do that, if the dog and the family are not a good fit, you are equally as difficult. Hmm?

    As it is, shouting and getting angry about this has got nobody anywhere. I’m sure it made you feel better personally but really it’s not about what’s good for you, its meant to be about what’s good for the dogs and about how the people that work/volunteer at HKDR are perceived by the public seeing as you rely on donations. I’m not entirely sure what it is you are hoping to achieve by the things you are writing?

    I can tell you now, that as wonderful as I think you all are for what you do, I feel somewhat disappointed in the way this is being handled. In the future I will suggest people approach the SPCA to adopt a dog before coming to you as I adopted my other dog from there 7 years ago. They have always been professional and understanding to both my needs and those of my dogs.

    I understand your frustration, I really do but having read your blog I am going away feeling rather sad and disheartened.

    • Sally Says:

      Karensa, you haven’t read either what I wrote or what was written by others. I did call Rachel immediately, but it was someone else, totally unrelated to the matter other than being a friend, who was the one who accused me of screaming (which I wasn’t). Rachel chose not to call me back. Since all of this was originally written there have been further developments which make the situation even more serious than it first appeared to be, but I will leave that out of the public domain as I intend taking it further.
      What happened 7 years ago isn’t relevant to the way things are run now. Of course we have grown, changed and improved our systems. We are still, however, almost entirely volunteer staffed so you can’t compare the way we work with how fully paid organisations work.
      I have to say you are the one who is making statements and judgements without being aware of the facts. I am aware, as I have spoken to all concerned and seen both the adoption questionnaire and the foster agreement, both of which were completed by Rachel. I also know what happened, although why is still a mystery as Beatrice was only being fostered and hadn’t been adopted, and it would therefore have simply been a matter of returning her to HKDR.
      You are also judging HKDR and the people who work there from your experience of seven years ago, hardly a fair or balanced point of view.

  26. Annielee Says:

    I do agree that people need to read agreements they sign and should be legally bound by their contracts (including to care for dogs in their foster care or whatever). However, this seems to me to be quite an unfortunate case of miscommunication where the person who signed the foster form is being attacked for something that, while may be legally her responsibility, is not necessarily a case of abandonment that she planned, intended, or even knew about. My family fostered (and then adopted) a dog from HKDR a while back. The dog is still happily a part of our family. However, I remember when we adopted him that we were really rushed through the paperwork and adoption procedure, not actually interviewed by anyone regarding our intentions and out the door with the young dog in probably under half an hour following our first visit to the kennel. I understand HKDR is a very busy organization, but often in places like the Canada and the US the adoption process takes much longer simply to weed out cases like the one that occurred – where someone signed a form for someone else and so on. I don’t fault HKDR for being busy, but I am also put off by the sheer number of very negative comments about the lady who signed the foster form (who again I don’t think is totally free from blame but probably does not deserve such a public lashing).

    • Sally Says:

      Annie, you were originally fostering a dog as I understand it, not adopting. If the dog had already been with you for some time on a foster basis and things were going well enough that you wanted to formally adopt, well no, the process wouldn’t be the same as it would be had you just turned up to adopt. We would have known by the time you adopted that all was going well.
      As you will see, I approve all the comments whether they are criticising me, HKDR or the person who signed the foster form. I think that’s giving an fair and balanced view of both sides. However, as I wrote in today’s blog what I write is what I feel, and we aren’t robots without emotions, and working with the dogs is a very emotional job. I would challenge anyone who thinks that I have been mean and horrible to come and work at HKDR for a month. I can guarantee you would soon be sitting on the other side of the fence because this isn’t an isolated incident, this sort of thing is what we have to deal with day in and day out. Ask anyone who works at HKDR and you will hear many stories that will make your hair stand on end.

  27. Sally Says:

    Thank you all for your comments and points of view but I think it’s time to close this discussion. No further comments will be posted on this subject.

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