Those who know me know I am heavily involved in rescue. It's much more than a hobby to me, with my first rescue way back in 1979. Since that time, my love of the breed and particularly of the rescue Setters has grown stronger. In 2003, Save Our Setters was formed to help answer the need. In 2004, SOS adopted 38 deserving dogs to equally deserving forever homes. 2005 proved nearly 100% growth. More growth befell SOS in 2006, with 112 adoptions. 2007 is shaping up to blow 2006 out of the water, with nearly 90 adoptions so far, and several adoptions pending which will put SOS near 100 adoptions.
SOS has worked with many other Setter rescue groups across the country, assisting in providing foster homes, back-up support for Setters in need with no place to go, transport assistance, notifying of Setters in need, and even adoptive homes. SOS has also taken in quite a few Setters who were unadoptable due to health issues adn/or advanced age. These deserving furkids would have had no chance were it not for SOS' Hospice and Retirement Home Program, which provides them with loving homes for as long as they have quality of life.
SOS has also been instrumental at bringing about change at several breeding facilities. After a visit by the local Sheriff, one such facility is now required to provide nothing less nutritious than dog food for their breeding stock and is subject to inspections twice a month to ensure compliance. Another facility was found to be out of compliance with Missouri Department of Agriculture regulations, and was given two weeks to come into compliance or have all the dogs confiscated. Many SOS volunteers are ready to respond when called upon to investigate the conditions at other facilities about which a complaint is filed for neglect and/or cruelty.
What is in the future plans for SOS? More rescue Setters will be entering the program. More inspections of sub-standard breeding operations are likely. Due to the need, further expansion of the Hospice and Retirement Program is in the works. SOS is also hoping to provide grants to owners who, due to circumstances, cannot provide for emergency care for their Setters, but who have a long track record of providing excellent care in the past.
Of course, SOS, like any other rescue organization, can only do as much as its resources allows. Without quality foster homes, Setters in need have no place to go. Without volunteers, work remains undone. Without transporters, Setters can't get to their foster homes and/or their forever homes. Without donations, financial obligations are not met.
I know several of you are involved in rescue locally. KUDOS!! I am owned by one Irish lass, KELSEY (who still leaves pawprints on the ceiling), and one Golden girl, GINGER (also known as the Gingergator for her stealth swimming and fishing activities) - both seniors, and both rescues. The last picture is of KELSEY from the shelter in KY. Just curious how many have adopted Setters from rescues, and what stories you would like to share about your "unwanted" furkids!