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Team H3

Bethany here. Let’s talk about my birthday rescue, Peppermint. Trigger warning for potentially controversial topic ahead.

Remember how we tagged Peppermint and saved her life mere hours before she was slated to die?

Remember how she was almost certainly at risk of death due to her behavioral notes, which stated that she was “not testing well with other dogs right now,” “is a bit crabby with them,” “will suddenly try to bite them without warning,” and “is showing signs of resource guarding behavior”?

Then, the day after we tagged her came a most interesting discovery: she had been pregnant, and she was now giving birth.

A still more interesting discovery ensued: the shelter volunteers who worked with Peppermint had known (or strongly suspected) this, as indicated in their videos and comments on her networking post, which I have attached to this post. But they apparently did not tell the shelter. Why? As one volunteer explained in the comments, they were “always hesitant to bring [up pregnancy] with the shelter because they have spayed heavily pregnant dogs before.”

I find these volunteers’ willful decision to conceal Peppermint’s suspected pregnancy, rather than ensure she received a spay-abort, quite puzzling. I have some questions for them. Specifically, did you consider that:

1/Peppermint’s pregnancy might be the reason for her problematic behavioral notes, which notes almost caused her death?

2/You were forcing her to continue with a pregnancy, to which she never consented, in the difficult, stressful conditions of a government-run shelter?

3/If she gave birth in the shelter, she would become a rescue-only placement—at a time when every single rescue in the United States is beyond overwhelmed?

4/If she was adopted into a private home without the pregnancy being disclosed and then gave birth, it was incredibly likely that the family would not have planned for her to have a litter or be equipped to deal with one, and both Peppermint and her puppies could have been placed in an incredibly unsafe situation?

5/There are far too few rescues and homes able to take rescue huskies—let alone husky mixes—such that your choice to bring additional husky (or husky mix) puppies into this world means that kill-listed husky adults will not find homes and will lose their lives?

Consider the conduct of a so-called reputable breeder of husky puppies. They genetically test the dogs they breed to increase the odds that they will produce healthy puppies who live long lives. They ensure the puppies are born into safe, humane conditions, and that the mother is well cared for. They work hard to place them with families they closely screen. They require each puppy to be spayed or neutered when old enough, by contract. And they have their dogs’ backs for life, taking them back and rehoming them if the original home cannot keep them.

The extent of the American husky overpopulation crisis means that reasonable people can debate the ethics of breeding huskies even under those conditions. But at least they reflect baseline standards of conduct.

In contrast, shelter volunteers who conceal a dog’s potential pregnancy to avoid a spay-abort have no knowledge whether the puppies are genetically well-bred (real talk: they almost certainly are not.) They are apparently willing to force a pregnant mother to give birth, and cause puppies to be born, into the harsh realities of a shelter facility, or in the home of an unsuspecting and likely ill-equipped adopter. If born outside the shelter, they have no idea where the puppies might end up (including whether they will be dumped or killed); they take no responsibility for ensuring those puppies are spayed and neutered; and it is unlikely that they will personally take in and rehome all of the puppies if their adopted home(s) do not work out.

Nor do these shelter volunteers take personal responsibility for the impact on a rescue who might tag the pregnant dog without knowing of the pregnancy. They do not fund or provide the transport needed, on short notice, to move the dog and her puppies from the shelter to the rescue. They do not furnish a long-term, experienced puppy foster so that the puppies can grow up in a safe home rather than a shelter or site-based rescue environment. They do not pay in full for the care and placement of the puppies, or ease the extreme burden that puppies place on rescue staff’s resources.

Hauntingly, these shelter volunteers also appear not to have prioritized the adult huskies who now cannot be rescued and will face death. Rescue spots are finite resources. As Jenni informed me on her live yesterday, there are now only 96 spots remaining in #Project100—because Peppermint’s three patties are now part of the count. My sincerest hope is that the volunteers who made the decision not to ensure that Peppermint’s pregnancy was terminated will take personal responsibility—to a rescue level of care (i.e., removing the dogs from the shelter, finding them homes, covering all costs of care until they are adopted, and personally taking the dogs back and rehoming them if the adoptive homes do not work out, for the rest of their lives)—for the next three kill-listed huskies in their shelter for whom no one else steps up. Because thanks to their decisionmaking, H3 will lack the capacity to take those three adults.

Peppermint was my birthday rescue, so I have personal ethical (and financial) responsibility for her well-being—and now, that of her puppies. As such, I would like to know the answers to my questions.

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So Cute!

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Not right they did not disclose and other pertinent facts. So glad her and the Patties have H3! 🥰🥰🥰

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