It is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilariously funny, but always immensely satisfying.
In the early days we got very few badly treated or sick Shih Tzu, but now we have to have all our rescues vetted as a matter of priority.
Their character is assessed by one of our committee members or helpers. With these checks we can rehome our dogs with a great deal of confidence. Of course all our prospective homes are carefully checked to make sure the right dog goes to the right home.
There are a number of reasons, but overbreeding is certainly a factor. Sellers not being honest with potential buyers, failing to explain that the small fluffy bundle they are selling will, without proper care and grooming, have a badly matted coat and failing to give advice about proper training methods is another.
Owners can become too old and frail to look after their beloved pet any longer. Marriage break-ups, dogs not being allowed in new accommodation and sadly the now more frequently heard “it bites“.
In nearly all cases retraining, patience and kindness overcome this fault, however, we find ourselves in the position of no longer being able to accept dogs that have a history of biting.
Sadly, in isolated cases there is no course open to us but to have the dog painlessly put to sleep. It is always a sad and difficult decision to make, but sometimes we have no other option. One wonders what treatment these sad cases have had to endure to get to this stage.
Asthma is a standard reason for parting with a dog. One of the saddest reasons is when an owner simply tires of the dog and decides to get an “updated model”.
We are also frequently asked to rehome dogs because they are dirty in the house, which is often a case of bad (or no) training in the first place.
We collect dogs that are terrified of people, loud noises, brooms, sticks and shoes. Bend down to pat or touch them and they cower in fear. It doesn’t take much imagination to realise why.
Some can’t play or socialise with other dogs or humans, because they have never been taught how.
All Shih Tzu, like all dogs, should be loved and cared for and our aim is to make sure that all the dogs that we rehome get just that.
Our band of helpers & volunteers is steadily growing and covering more of the South of England. We also have members in Wales. We need your help in what is now a battle, one we can’t afford to lose if we are not to see more Shih Tzu unloved, ill treated or unwanted.