Rescue Watchdogs(TM)

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The Stories

Julie Klingsberg
Testimony about a Gentle Giant Adoped Dog


My cousin, Wendy Monro and her family with four young children, adopted Rex from the Gentle Giants Rescue a couple years back for $900. He was about one. He was pretty skittish, but very sweet.

Where we came into the picture was when my cousin's family needed to relocate  (temporarily at first) to Minnesota for work. We agreed to take in Rex, Lucy (another dane) and Scooch (a large wheaton terrier) for about 6 weeks. It ended up being 8, but that's beside the point, anyway Rex did well here - I even got him to "play" which he hadn't done before (my cousin kept a very calm house, which is why she likes danes). As you can see from pictures on my website he got along with everybody - my goat, my dogs, my kids.... - BUT it takes time to get used to their height and he was eating everything in reach off of our counters (packs of bagels, boxes of donuts, whatever...). So one evening Rex grabbed a chicken skewer from one of our
restaurants and ate the whole thing - that night he threw up so I took him to the vet to have him x-rayed to make sure he didn't puncture his stomach and cause damage... he ended up being fine, but while at the vet he was so aggressive that they had to muzzle him and anesthetize him just to get the x-ray.

So weeks later, Rex grabbed another skewer off the counter and my nanny tried to retrieve it from his grasp - knowing the trauma and expense of the previous incident. He snapped at her and she was afraid of him from that point on. She only works a few days and hours a week so I would just put Rex in our "guest room" he had a full size bed, food, water and a view. I'd let him out the moment she would leave. This went on for about two weeks -  I frankly, couldn't believe sweet Rex was going to attack her, but better to be safe than sorry. So the day of the bite, my son accidently let Lucy and Rex out of the guest suite by opening the door. My nanny was able to get Lucy to come right back and in her gentlest voice, with hot dog in hand, tried to get Rex back in. He went after her and she escaped through my boys' bedroom window. She attempted to get back in the house through the three doors, but each time he would attack the door up on his rears and she was scared... this is when I got home. She told me what was going on so I called Rex (he came) and grabbed his collar. He growled at me and I said "no, sit" - knowing from my previous dog training classes that he had to submit or we were screwed - I held on and he tried to move my arms with his paw and got one good bite in on both of my hands. I still held on and after about 5 minutes he submitted and I patted him and praised and sent him outside. The main reason I wouldn't let go is because I have three small, autistic children. Once he was in the house that mother bear would not let go.

I talked to the Humane Society the next day about the situation when they came to take him to his 10 day quarantine. I chatted with my dog trainer, she recommended euthanasia. My vet's office said they saw it coming and he should be put down. We visited Rex at the Humane Society three times during his stay and it broke my heart... the volunteers were able to feed him, but he did not get out of his kennel for any play/stretching time because he was so aggressive and they were afraid of him.

To get to the point, of course, I contacted Tracy Ward and my cousin. She ranted and raved about me not keeping him at MY HOUSE for his quarantine and that I should drive him out to Norco. She also said that I could get him released for "free" from the Humane Society and drive him out to her it was the least I could do in her opinion.... her most important comment was "he should have never been sent to my house without their approval" and "we caused the dog to bite". She said I was wrong in getting him to submit and that in 11 years she's NEVER been bit by one of her dogs (ask anybody who works with dogs on a regular basis and we all compare scars and stories...so please!). Now Rex would have to be rehabilitated and retrained and the cost to her for that for six months, blah, blah, blah.... She called dozens of times as well as harrassed my cousin whose husband finally got on the phone and put a stop to. So at this point she has sent them a bill for bailing him out! (I told my cousin not to pay) The Humane Society said that it would cost at least $150 to me to release Rex (for food, board, etc.) and that all the rescues are required first dibs on the dogs at basically no fee (it's some new mandate here in California, I think, or maybe here in San Diego).

The whole process was VERY sad - I loved Rex but he had some serious issues.  Who knows what his history was, but the more homes and history that is perpetuated does not improve his situation. Tracy should NEVER readopt this dog out. It is her responsibility to keep or euthanize (as recommended by professionals).

People who know me know my love for all animals, especially dogs. I might be referred to as an "animal freak", but I'm sorry, they DO NOT rank over the safety of humans. I trust and respect all the professionals I include in my life and do not think that I am greater than God to save the (animal) world. Just a caring home with lots of love to give.....

You may share (if you haven't already) - I've asked my cousin to contact you directly.

Julie Klingsberg

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