In this episode of Fresh Bites on The Bitey End of the Dog, I chat with Jessie Kasper who has an extensive background in all aspects of the rescue world.
A very common issue we can face is making decisions about dogs in a rescue or shelter system that have a history of aggression. Difficult conversations are likely needed when considering the potential outcomes for dogs that do have such a history, and Jessie unpacks many of those conversations in this insightful episode.
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If you want to take your knowledge and skills for helping dogs with aggression to the next level, check out the Aggression in Dogs Master Course and get a FREE preview here:
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Jessie Kasper is the Office Coordinator for a training company called I Got This Sit, LLC in Elgin, IL, which is just outside the Chicagoland area. Their focus is on humane training techniques while specializing in positive reinforcment, creating good foundation skills and behavior modification. They offer drop-off programs such as Day Training and Live-In and Learn, as well as group classes for reactivity. Jessie is also pursuing a formal education to help people and their companions thrive together with private, in-home training.
Jessie grew up around Dobermans and has a passion for power breeds and having responsible, realistic goals for the breed in front of you. Jessie volunteered with Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus for nearly 10 years, eventually sitting on the Board of Directors where she was introduced to (and fell in love with) positive reinforcement training. Jessie helped hundreds of dogs during her time in rescue and focused most heavily on behavioral fostering and medical cases such as severe skin infections, heartworm recovery, surgery rehabilitation, and cruelty cases. She was responsible for new foster training, processing adoption applications, helping review owner and shelter intakes, managing social media and appearing on WGN News. All this has helped Jessie to bring a unique and empathetic perspective on the needs of the average pet owner. She realizes there are no one-size-fits-all solutions in dog training and understands the challenges of integrating a new dog into your home safely. Educating the public on safe and responsible pet ownership - especially when children are involved - has always been an important topic for her.Support the show
On this episode of fresh bites on the by the end of the dog, I chat with Jessie Casper, who has an extensive background in all aspects of the rescue world. A very common issue we can face is making decisions about dogs in a rescue or shelter system that have a history of aggression. Difficult Conversations are likely needed when considering the potential outcomes for dogs that do have such a history. And Jessie unpacks many of those conversations in this insightful episode. And if you are working with aggression cases, or plan on taking aggression cases, as a trainer, or maybe even struggling with your own dog, we have a variety of educational opportunities just for you, including the upcoming aggression in dogs conference happening from September 30 Through October 2 2022. in Providence, Rhode Island, with both in person and online options, you can also learn more about the aggression in dogs master course, which is the most comprehensive course available anywhere in the world for learning how to work with and help dogs with aggression issues by going to aggressive dog.com. And if you are interested in hearing more about applicable tangible and immediate steps you can use with your own dog, or in your cases, check out the subscription series I just launched, which is an additional format to this podcast will walk you through a variety of aggression issues, and how to solve them. You'll find a little subscribe button on Apple podcasts where the by the end of the dog show is listed. Your support of the show is very much appreciated. I'm really excited for this episode, because we're going to be talking about a much needed topic in our dog training community, which is on the subject of rescues and even sheltering we might consider the potential outcomes for dogs that have behavior issues. So Jessie, welcome to the show. Hi, thank you. I'm so excited to be here. So let's jump into the first topic here, which is sort of this term responsible rescue, we might have heard that, you know, and it's certainly more of a catchphrase these days. And, and not just saying rescue, but when we're looking for rescue might be a responsible or ethical rescue. What are your thoughts on that term? And how would you define a responsible rescue? Responsible rescue, for me is such a broad term, because you have different types of responsible rescue, you have those rescues that really go above and beyond with the pillars of care, and those that take on the really tough cases, medically, the ones that don't shy away from neglect cases, and severe skin cases, cancer, lepto, Blasto, things like that. Set some rescues above others. And then you also have some rescues that have a significant focus in behavior and behavior modification, and ensuring that the public safety is their number one concern. And then you also have rescues that have the resources to combine both of those things. And those, in my opinion, are exceptional rescues. So kind of looking at not just dogs that maybe don't have those needs, but to ensure we're taking in are considering all of the dogs and having the resources to take in those dogs and address their specific concerns. That'd be a way of putting it. Absolutely. I think that along with resources, you have to ensure that you have the proper number of foster homes. So we're not also getting into this gray area of warehousing jobs with kind of nowhere to put them foster homes and having enough of them and training your foster homes on proper protocols is really what a dog needs to be successful. In order to be able to give the dog the proper opportunity to integrate into a home and settle in and see how they're going to do with all kinds of different scenarios is really the key to their success. Yeah, that's a really good point. Because it sounds like what one of the first things to consider before you even start a rescue is the resources you have. So not just a time commitment and the willingness to want to save animals but actually putting together those resources and kind of understanding what resources are needed. Right. So you mentioned the behavior, the medical aspect in the foster homes and having a network already kind of established. And before jumping into that because I know when I first started in the rescue world, I was with a very responsible I thought at the time rescue and it was it still is very, very good rescue. And it was a lab rescue. And you know, it's not something you consider, you know, like, oh yeah, love would love to foster dogs love to work with rescue, but you don't think about the things later on that you start learning about actually. So when you first started thinking like Alright, I'm gonna start a rescue, you know, and we're gonna save lots of dogs. Sometimes we don't. There's like no school for like, you know how to start a rescue like 101 or right. We wish there was in some cases right? But there's no real education on how to do that. So you mentioned many of the important aspects of it. So you also talked about safety. So like public safety and assessing risk. So let's say given a rescue is wanting to be responsible and ethical, what are some of the aspects to consider when we are partaking in dogs that have behavioral issues, and we also want to consider the public safety. I think the most important thing for people to remember is public safety. We're not just talking about people. But we're also talking about other dogs in the community, as well. So you're talking about men, women, and children, teenagers, but also, everybody else has pets. So it's important that if you have a dog that does have some aggressive tendencies, and they are a dog reactive, that we're making sure that if there is a safety failure, or management failure, and any home that somebody's companion isn't going to be permanently injured for life, and injuries are more than just physical injuries, all it takes is one time for your companion to get hurt by another animal for them to develop their own emotional issues. I think having a dog obviously, being nice and temperament to people is really important, but we sometimes overlook how they are with other animals. Sure, we can say they have to be an only dog in the home. But what happens if they do encounter another dog if they get gets left open, or they get off lead or anything like that. So you've done, you know, work with rescues Doberman rescue, for instance, and maybe some breeds that there's a higher likelihood for aggression, or we might see higher likelihood of aggression because humans have actually asked for that particular aspect in some breeds. But when it kind of think about all of the variables a rescue may face, so not just a breed specific, so we can get into a certain breed, we understand that breed and we started read rescue, right, but what about all the other variables to consider along that topic of safety? So we can certainly jump into the topic of what resources are available, but just along those lines, if somebody's starting a rescue? Can you expand a little further on what they should be looking for? And maybe specifics? Or maybe even give an example of a case in which certain specifics, sort of made or broke that decision on? Is this dog adoptable or not? Or are we going to take this dog into our rescue or not? What are the variables that you would consider for that safety aspect? I think that obviously, the size and power of the breed is a big one. Obviously, we don't want to excuse a small breed dog that has been dozens of times, that is just as much of a liability as you know, a Doberman that bites one time, you know, it doesn't matter the size of the dog. It's still a liability. But obviously, the damage that a dog can deliver would be one of the biggest ones. And then how often and how long has this dog been able to practice this behavior? So is it an isolated incident where there was an error in handling where someone went to take a bone away or stuck their hand in food? Or was a child that was, you know, unsupervised in approach to a food bowl? Or is it really a dog that is displaying kind of explosive and unpredictable, unprovoked aggression that you can't really predict so well, would be one of the biggest ones. I think how long a dog has been allowed to habitually practice something is going to be a big indicator of whether or not that's something you can even modify and rehabilitate in the future. Do you feel like there's a sort of a firm line in the sand for where you would say this dog is absolutely not adoptable, regardless of the rescue organization, so let's say you have two rescue organizations looking at the same dog one is two people or one person running the rescue themselves. They don't have a lot of resources, they don't have a lot of access to trainers. And then you have another rescue that has a board of directors, tons of support, tons of finances, resources, veterinary behaviors, trainers, and all of that, and we're looking at the same job, do find that the amount of resources can really skew the decision making process for the outcome of a dog. I think to an extent, I think you need to look at how powerful the bite was as well as the area of the body that it was delivered to. Obviously if you have a dog that's done significant damage to a human's face, neck, stomach bites, obviously we know our most common on the extremities and on the hands and stuff like that. then on your legs. But when a dog chooses to bite elsewhere, I think that shows a lot of intention about really what their emotional state was, at that point in time, you know, when they're delivering a bite to your actual body, I think it's it's alarming and then obviously paired with how severe that that bite was, and how safe is that going to be to put another volunteer shelter worker, or a new family. With that dogs, we always have to assume that errors are going to be made even by the best of the best. And something we've seen, especially with social media these days, is that the public can be quick to attack is probably a strong word, but be very critical of rescues that may be adopting out dogs that bite somebody. And there's a lot of variables to that, right. So you know, sometimes they don't know if the dogs bite history, the rescue, you know, is not being told the truth themselves and the dog does really well in a foster home. But then they go to a new home, where we're replicating, perhaps some antecedent arrangement or context in which the dog would display aggressive behavior. But it was never replicated during that whole time the dog was with that rescue. But then everybody's quick to say, how could you adopt out a dog you know, is going to be aggressive in the rescue might respond? Well, we didn't know because there's no history of that. So I do want to make sure that we are certainly empathizing with all of the rescues in the shelters that are doing wonderful work out there. This is by no means a episode to criticize rescues. But what are your thoughts on that and how, you know, you have those extreme degrees, sometimes you have a rescue that is doing really well, we would categorize them as responsible or ethical. And then you have the other end of the extreme where dogs are being adopted out with a known bite history that might be dangerous. How can we kind of shift that? What's happening in the rescue in sheltering world? And how it's coming to surface more often? And how we're bringing it into the conversation more? I know, it's a broad question. But what are your thoughts on that, you know, in terms of this significant dichotomy we often see between rescues and what they're accepting what they're adopting out. I think it's important for every rescue to be upfront about what their behavior program looks like, if they are going to assume responsibility for adopting out dogs that do have a history of reactivity or maybe some slight bite history on their record. I think any ethical rescue, dealing with behavior, we'll be very upfront about what their behavior program looks like, who they use for trainers, what methods they use, and things like that. The first thing that I typically do, and I hear about a rescue, adopting out of biting dog, and if, if it's been made publicly huge, then it could have been terrible. Or it could just be the nature of how social media works, and how things just go viral sometimes. But the first thing that I always do is I do visit their website, and I do take a look at what is their stance on behavior modification? Do they have specific foster homes that deal with behavior mod, and do they also sponsor or endorse certain training programs to help dogs that they've previously adopted out and help those owners to kind of address it. So if I see that missing from any sort of mission statement, or stance or anything like that, that's kind of a red flag to me, because every single ethical rescue or rescues that I consider ethical as far as behavior go, are very vocal about what their behavior program is, they take it very seriously, even in their volunteer verbiage and things like that you can find their expectations for foster homes and the type of training that you're going to need to go through. So I think, once again, it's like you said, it's like a broad kind of, kind of question. But I think that you can sort of tell when people are serious when rescues are serious, and when it's more of just a numbers game for them, so to speak. Yeah, no, that makes sense. So sounds like if we're making a bullet point list of what our dream rescue would be, you know, in terms of that responsibility, and the ethical aspects is to have the resources available. So the medical behavioral resources and the knowledge and how to work with those dogs and rehabilitate the medical side of things, having the foster homes available as well. And then transparency in what they're doing in terms of the training and behavior, right. Absolutely. Yeah, we're gonna take a quick break, and then we're going to come back and we're going to talk about sort of the owner side of the equation because we've been focusing on the rescue side of the equation. So be right back and we will pick up this conversation again, just a moment. Hey, friends, it's me again, and I hope you are enjoying this episode. You may have figured out that something I deeply care about is helping dogs with aggression issues live less stressful, less confined. To more enriched and overall happy lives with their guardians, aggression is so often misunderstood. And we can change that through continued education, like we received from so many of the wonderful guests on this podcast. In addition to the podcast, I have two other opportunities for anyone looking to learn more about helping dogs with aggression issues, which include the aggression in dogs master course, and the aggression in dogs conference. If you want to learn more about the most comprehensive course on aggression taught anywhere in the world, head on over to aggressive dog.com and click on the dog pros tab, and then the master course, the course gives you access to 23 modules on everything from assessment, to safety to medical issues to the behavior change plans we often use in a number of different cases, including lessons taught by Dr. Chris pockle, Kim Brophy and Jessica Dolce. You'll also receive access to a private Facebook group with over 1000 of your fellow colleagues, and dog pros all working with aggression cases. After you finish the course you also gain access to private live group mentor sessions with me where we work through practicing many different cases together. If you need see us, we've got you covered. We're approved for just about every major training and behavior credential out there. This is truly the flagship course offered on aggression in dogs, and it's perfect for pet pros that want to set themselves apart and take their knowledge and expertise to the next level where we do for pet owners who are seeking information to help their own dog. And don't forget to join me for the third annual aggression in dogs conference either in person or online from Providence Rhode Island on September 30 Through October 2 2022. This year's lineup includes many of the amazing guests you might have heard on the podcast including Suzanne Cole the air, Jen Shryock, Simone Mueller, Dr. Amber Batson Kim Brophy, turismo noir, Lauren Monaco, tirelli, Dr. Simone Gadbois, and many more, head on over to aggressive dog.com and click on the conference tab to learn more about the exciting agenda on everything from advanced concepts and leash reactivity to using positive reinforcement to work with predatory behavior. And I want to take a moment to thank one of our sponsors for the conference. As a family of world class trainers fenzi Dog Sports Academy provides expert and accessible instruction for competitive dog sports using the most progressive training methods and positive reinforcement techniques. Through their online platform. Students are able to access Professional dog training No matter your location, or pup skill level. ftsa believes the bond between dog and human is a proud and life changing partnership. And they'll work with you to develop a respectful and kind relationship with your furry best friend, check out ftsa at venzee Dog sports academy.com. All right, I'm back here with Jesse. And we are talking about rescues and the rescue world. And we've been focusing the conversation a little bit on the rescue side of things. So you've had 1000s of conversations with adopters Foster's and people in rescue. And I'm sure you have some unique insights about not only the rescue side of the coin, but talking to owners, because you also do some behavior work yourself. And you have the unique insight of having the conversations of talking to owners that might be surrendering their dog to the rescue or considering other decisions. So let's jump into that aspect of things. And what your experience is there. What are some common conversations that you might have had with owners looking to surrender their dog, and some of the way you navigate those things? So sometimes you might feel that the dog is maybe you can solve their issues in a way with having that conversation. So they don't have to surround the dog to rescue and maybe sometimes you're like, well, we can't accept this dog. And so I'd love to get your thoughts on that. Again, another broad question, but maybe kick off with some conversation that comes to your mind. Yeah, so I have experience in rescue for nearly a decade most of that time was spent as a foster home. And then the last couple years of my experience was spent on the board of directors for Illinois Doberman rescue. So while we are the biggest, Doberman rescue in the United States, we're still a small localized rescue, you know, they help Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, the surrounding states, it's not like they're nationwide. So still a very small rescue. So everyone was very hands on. So all of the board members were involved with voting for intakes and things like that. I think probably the hardest discussion to have with somebody is the fact that their dog isn't suitable for adoption and really what their options are and trying to get them to understand that they also have a responsibility to public safety and the life that they chose responsibility for so one of the main things we would always ask to start out with is where the dog came from. So if it did come from a breeder than we asked them to contact the breeder because any good breeder which this is another can of worms with good breeders, so we won't get into it. But anyway, and breeders should have a clause that says they will or want to take the dog back into their care because they really don't want their companions ending up in rescuer shelters. So that would be the first thing. And if the dog didn't come from a breeder or something like that, then we have to go into that hard conversation about behavioral euthanasia. And you never want to dance around the topic, but you want to try to get people to understand that this dog grew up with you in your home. And this is where your dog should really feel the safest and have the biggest bond. So depending on what the behavior and what is happening, but if you have a dog that's aggressive after its owner, frequently and unprovoked, you know, what makes that person think that volunteers or shelter workers would be in any better position to kind of handle this. And inevitably, the conversation always goes into a little bit of behavior, you know, what happens to a dog when they come into rescue? What does that process of transfer even look like? So let's say you bring your dog to a shelter. So it comes from the home, it's always known into a noisy shelter or a busy shelter, depending on what type of Municipality it is, or what have you. And then it may go to rescue into one of their facilities, if they use veterinary clinics to board if it goes straight into a foster home, maybe it's a temporary foster home. So you can find a regular foster home, you know, and it goes on and on until this dogs adopted. So really, this dog is going to, in a perfect world, a dog with a perfect temperament, let's be generous and say that it may take a month for this dog to get adopted. But for more difficult cases, you're looking at three to six, sometimes a year, the amount of change that happens within that time is incredibly confusing. So we want to think about what happens to the dog, it might be shut down, or it might experience some behaviors that, you know, may not happen under totally normal circumstances. You have a dog that experiences some hypersensitivity, hyper vigilance, things like that, which can cause the dog to lash out instead of shutting down emotionally. So just trying to get the owner to understand that aspect of it. And then of course, with my behavior work, I run the office for a positive reinforcement board and train and de train company out of Elgin Illinois called I got the sit LLC, we do behavior modification and things like that. So we also have to have those conversations with dogs that aren't a good fit for our drop off programs and dogs that we may feel may not even be safe to refer out to in home trainers. So I'd love to roleplay this a little bit with you. Because then when you're talking about all that I was envisioning the conversation that someone like you with vast experience in the rescue world might have to have, maybe quite often. So let's say I'm the I'm contacting you and I happen to get you on the phone and not by email or some other contact. I'm like, Hey, Jesse scoots Nice to meet you. You know, I've got this dog. And it's it's been a few people so you know, I just I don't think it's safe for my home anymore but your rescue so you can you can take the dog right? Can I start by asking you what the circumstances are surrounding the bites? How long ago were they? Well, the dogs but not too bad that you know a couple next he sees bitten three children in the face. They all had to go to the hospital and get stitches. But you know, it wasn't that bad. The parents weren't that upset. So you could take the dog right to you because you're a rescue. Okay, what's, what was happening in the situation where the children were able to get bitten in the face? Oh, not too much. Really. I you know, it's kind of strange. You know, he seems to love children. But anytime they're anywhere in the same environment, like like, you know, my friends, my son's friend came over and he wasn't doing anything. He was just kind of walking into the yard and the dog just kind of ran over and beat him in the face, you know? So, but I'm sure that can be fixed. You have trainers, right? You can get this fixed. Adopt the dog. So we don't have trainers on staff with our rescue. We do work with trainers to help our foster homes. But nobody in our foster system is considered a certified trainer. Have you tried management for these issues yet? My main concern is that a lot of upheaval in your dog's life would cause another accident to happen either to somebody in foster care or when it went on to another home, you know, and could be able to have these same issues happen where the dog would be able to to bite someone again. So what types of management have you tried? You know, and I haven't really thought About that much, I just didn't want to be mean and like, put them in a crate all day, you know, because that wouldn't be nice because that's why we we rescued dogs in the first place. So they have their freedom and they don't have to be in a in a small kennel somewhere. So yeah, I haven't really thought about it much, we would recommend that you actually try to work on this at home, where your dogs more comfortable first and see if you can work it out. Because right now as it stands, it's probably not a situation where it would be the safest for us to take the dog into rescue, there's a lot of things that I feel that you can do to make the situation a little bit better. I know nobody likes to create their animals all of the time. But sometimes that's where they feel a little bit more comfortable and safe. So if your dog is having that emotional reaction where it feels like in order to make space, it has to approach somebody invite, that is not a situation obviously, that your dog is enjoying or really wanting to participate in. So sometimes putting the dog away, is the safest option. And it doesn't necessarily always have to be a crate either. If you're having a party and you have people over and you're struggling with your dog to meet new people, we can just put your dog in an interior room with you know, a couple of gates up and hopefully that will help your dog feel a little bit better. And so and I appreciate you role playing with me the adjusted because there's, it's a very extreme kind of conversation you might have, but it's one that you must have had many, many times because you have to carefully navigate Miss conceptions about rescue, or, you know, rescue in some people's minds means you're taking in every dog because you'd love to rescue animals, right or taking every dog and cat and everything else that's moving around or cratering around. And it's it's certainly a conundrum. And it's, it's something that's important to understand both sides of the equation, right? So we have the rescue that's getting this kind of call or this kind of inquiry that you have to play out that same conversation often and explain why it's not safe to necessarily take a dog like that into a rescue. I mean, clearly that case would be extreme, and we wouldn't ever consider that dog to be adopted out again. But it's the kind of things we have to think about. And then we also have to think about the owners side, right? So let's jump more into that. Right, we kind of role playing, I was the owner, with the dog that I'm trying to give up. But what else would you do if you could proactively, like put a message out there to the universe in terms of the owners that have an aggressive dog? And they're looking for options, right? Because usually, they will think about, okay, let me try training or maybe try giving the dog to rescue or giving the dog back to wherever I got it from. But if you were to have like a canned response that could just go out to everybody in universe that has the same conundrum or the same question, what would what would it be like? I think my message to people would be because of my work in behavioral training as well as with rescue is so often we we hear from people in the worst circumstances, when it's dire when the situation is so untenable, that the dog cannot stay in the home anymore. These things don't happen overnight. My message to people would be to be pre emptive. with behavior issues, if something is going on, that you don't like behavior wise, whether it's you have an adolescent dog who is now getting to be 60 pounds, and they're jumping and nipping isn't cute puppy behavior anymore, it's starting to hurt you and the mouthing is starting to become a concern, my message would be to address it before it goes any further because there is and can be a point of return where people can't help you anymore. And for situations where a dark becomes so dangerous, where with my job, for instance, we can't even send a trainer out in person for safety reasons, safety and liability for all parties involved. You know, then you have to try to train virtually. And a lot of times that's a really great way to train for anxious dogs and fearful dogs and things like that, because you're not flooding the dog with fear and anxiety and things like that it can be very effective. But training in person is is a very valuable tool and then has to be done before things get too far. So be pre emptive and find situations to tell your dog Yes, instead of telling your dog no so as humans, it's very much in our nature to be reactionary, instead of pre emptive. So it's very much reflexive for us to say no, don't do that and suppress instead of showing our dogs how to be good citizens and how to be a dog. Some dogs literally don't know how to be dogs So teaching them I think, before it snowballs into something just out of control would be my biggest message. And my biggest gripe, I guess. Yeah, that's, that's really great advice too is to, again, with all things in life, right? It's much better to be proactive rather than reactive. And so I'd like to talk a little bit more about this responsibility topic. So you mentioned earlier on kind of, like, whose responsibility is it to, for the safety aspects. So it really, for me a lot depends on who's has ownership or the dog or who is kind of, you know, it's whether it's the doctor or the rescue that is, you know, technically the legal owner of the dog at that point. But I think it's goes a little bit further than that. And we kind of can talk about the dark side of rescue. And sheltering too is when these dogs, these dangerous dogs are adopted out. And anecdotally, I don't have data on this. But anecdotally, my students and I have seen a higher percentage of aggression cases, where dogs that have been adopted during the pandemic, during that whole demand for dogs, for the last couple of years, were dogs that weren't necessarily good candidates for adoption before were adopted out because of the high demand. And then a lot of these cases ended up in severe bites, or really tragic outcomes, and the cases for our people or other animals. And so we often are thinking about, okay, who's to blame here whose responsibility is it, then it's a really difficult topic to discuss, because nobody's going in saying, I'm going to start or rescue and just getting in the most dangerous dogs and adopted them out to the public, right? Everybody's getting this is just about everybody's getting into this, whether it's the adopter, whether it's the rescue, whether it's the trainer's to help the dogs in need, right, that's our focus is what we want to help the dogs, we want to bring home a companion, and take care of that dog, and in the name of rescuing the dog or, you know, saving the dog from other aspects of life. So, you know, it's, I guess it's a more of an open ended question. I just would love to get your thoughts because again, I know you have the vast experience in the rescue world, on what's happening there with with dogs being adopted out, obviously, you're against it, but any additional thoughts there. As far as responsibility goes, I, I kind of have your mindset on it, you know, whoever has the current ownership of the dog has the responsibility, but that really becomes kind of a gray area once a dog is adopted out. I think any ethical rescue should have clauses as well, just like good breeders, that if you can no longer take on the responsibility of a dog for whatever reason that they should be contacted. First and foremost, I think that is the responsible thing to do. Even if the rescue has to say, this dog is not going to be safe for us to adopt back out, even if they have to say that to an owner, and they don't feel comfortable saying well, if you return the dog, we're going to euthanize it. I feel like if that were a legitimate option or consideration for people, if they felt like that was the common sense route, they probably wouldn't be reaching out to rescue, you know, so trying to get people to understand that this probably isn't a safe dog to adopt back out. Even if you can't outright say you're not comfortable outright saying it if you dance around it, then taking the dog back that originally came from you and doing what is the right thing to do if we can't get the current adopters to agree that this dog is dangerous. So obviously, if the dog goes into a home, and within a month, it's done something terrible. There should be you know, not a whole lot of questions asked Yes, just please bring the dog back. But we're talking about people who may have adopted like, four years ago, you know, every rescue should have an intake surrender form, you know, and some common questions I think are what types of training have you done? You know, science has told us that shot caller use is incredibly damaging emotionally. Dogs that were trained on shot caller over represented for behavioral euthanasia. So just understanding what's happened from the time that the dog has left your care to the time and a doctor contacts you back. If it seems like the dogs had a stable history, there's so many nuances to this, it's almost an impossible question because you don't want to blame anyone for their dog biting them. But at the same time, you kind of want to get them to understand that some of these things that happened to this dog in the past could have contributed to this escalation of behavior and try to offer them some resources, whether it's sponsoring a session with a positive reinforcement behavior modification program, and trying to get them to address it on their own for first or just trying to get them to understand kind of what the liability is here and that we really can't adopt out this dog I know at the rescue that I worked with, we really had no problems, being blunt with people and telling them, this dog is not adoptable. We recommend behavioral euthanasia in this case. And it's hard, it's hard to get a large, did you get a lot of pushback? I'm sure you got a lot of pushback. Right? And how did you how did you deal with that? It depends on how your message is delivered. I think there's an eloquent way to do it, if you just come out and say, No, this dog qualifies for behavioral euthanasia, if you kind of go through their surrender sheet and their talking points and kind of break it down a little bit. And this requires also the person on intake having some knowledge of behavior and, and behavior processes and how things kind of snowballing get worse, you know, you have to have kind of that right person at the steering wheel to deliver those messages. And sometimes those messages are best delivered over the phone and not through email, as well as it written word can come off incredibly harsh and critical and blunt. So those tough conversations can be best on invoice, I think, yeah, and how do you manage to continue with that bandwidth, because I certainly must take a toll on you where your best interest is for the for the dogs and, and helping dogs in there, you might get accusations of you don't care, because you just want to euthanize my dog or something like that. I'm sure you've had those conversations. How do you how do you maintain that, you know, continuing forward, when you have those conversations, maybe on a daily basis, sometimes I wouldn't say it was daily, I think, you know, they say that emotions lasts like three seconds. So if you're upset about something, you should take a deep breath and kind of let it go and give yourself a moment. So I think a lot of people say things in the heat of the moment that they might not mean. So for me, being on the receiving end, I also process adoption applications and approving or denying people to adopt that was actually much harder than telling people that we couldn't intake dogs, because everyone inevitably always thinks that they're the best home ever, and they have everything to offer a dog. And that might be true for certain types of dogs might not be for certain breeds or for the job you're applying for doesn't mean that you're a terrible home, just that you're denied for this specific dog. So I think that was actually a lot harder. That felt like a little bit of dream crushing more than being like, realistic and common sense kind of, you know, choices as far as safety for the organization. And I always felt like they were my volunteers, they were my responsibility. So for me, it was always kind of keeping in mind that I have a responsibility to my volunteers as well, to keep them safe. And they rely on me not to place dogs in their homes that are going to hurt them. And their safety is the most important thing to me. And the overall soundness of my rescue. If we bring in a dog that bites someone, and they choose to file a lawsuit against you, it doesn't matter if you have the most ironclad wording in your contracts, and you've worked with a lawyer that is super experienced in rescue and defended rescues and stuff. The court of public opinion is not great for rescue. And the actual court also does not side with rescues or owners with the dogs that bid. So if you get shut down and you get sued, you literally cannot get insurance to operate a rescue anymore. If you have no money, you have no resources to rescue anymore. So I think that's kind of what pushed me through long story short, is just realizing that my responsibility was not only to the public, but to every single volunteer, and every dog that we'd ever adopted out, you know, at the time that I was with the rescue. I think it was like 6000 Dogs since however long it had been inception, which I think was the like the 90s or late 90s, early 2000s I think probably get some calls from the Vice President like you can't really believe you can't remember. But I you know, I did eventually have to step away from rescue. It was very fatiguing. The way that I found I could be most beneficial was going into the training programs that did help the rescues and stuff and the little guys, either by donating services or discounting services, and kind of helping rescues navigate new programs and responsible ethical rescue. That's where I feel my value is in now and is not in you know fatiguing myself. because there are nights where it is hard to sleep, there's there's a lot. So yeah, you clearly are a very special person in that way. And you were you able to navigate that conversation, I could tell in the way you're when we're playing that little mock role playing, that the questions you're asking, are serving many purposes at the same time. And one of the things, you do want to get that information about the dog as best you can, in the short timeframe that that adopter or owner surrenders, giving you that time and that space, it might be guarded space, but at least they're giving you that information. And so you have to get that information right there. And then, but you also have to empathize, you also have to protect the rescue, you have to protect the public, you have to talk about the training, you have to give suggestions. And so there's so many things happening, it's such a short conversation, but I think, I think understanding as well, when people call in is you kind of almost have to do like a verbal intake with these people. You know, even if you you know, if you have your intake form, you know, pull it up on your screen, when you're on the phone and kind of just run through it so you can get a feel for it. But all of those things like history, training history, those types of things are going to tell us kind of whether or not this dog is going to be stable, and what options these people have to go forward and trying to get them. You know, if you don't feel safe, giving it another shot going the correct training course, then this is what I think your reasonable options would be for you. So and I have to have those conversations, even working in an office all of the time to when we can't send our trainers out there, as you know, then we'll get the, well if you can't help me, and then I'm just going to give my dog to a shelter. It's well hang on, let's, let's think about the implications of this, you know, there's great owner responsibility out there, as well. And obviously, in a perfect world, every rescue would be ethical. But that doesn't always happen. There are some absolutely wonderful ones out there. But getting the public to understand what their responsibility is, as well to public safety is one of my bigger focuses now because of the way that my my career and has shifted and I'm not doing volunteerism so much anymore, but I'm actually having to talk directly to the owners of these cases and try to get them to slow down and take a deep breath. And that experience, I'm sure it's helped very helpful in the work you're doing. So to recap here, well, it sounds like, again, we were talking about our ideal rescue in the beginning of the show, but you know, get to have those resources available to be able to address not only just this, getting a dog into the space, but you know, the behavioral, the medical aspects, the foster homes, being transparent, and all of the things that they're doing. So the training and the behavior. And it sounds like one of the most important components is the people on their team. So people like you that can can canvass those calls and also navigate those very difficult conversations in a way that is also being empathetic. So kindness to the owner surrenders or the adopters, to your team to the staff. It seems like that's really one of the most important parts of rescuing right? Yeah, definitely finding the right people to help you is probably one of the most challenging things there are very well intentioned foster homes, finding people that aligned with your mission statement and can carry out your mission statement is one of the most difficult things and rescue so yep. aware of this? Well, Jesse, thank you so much. Well, where can people find you if they want to reach out if they have any questions for you? And what are you up to these days other than all of the stuff wonderful things you've been doing? So currently, I am running the office for I got to sit LLC and Elgin, Illinois. Again, that's a positive reinforcement and humane training based board and training day training program. Elgin Illinois is just outside of the Chicagoland area, I would say probably about 45 minutes outside of Chicago. We do drop off services. And we also have reactive rover classes. So that's a group class where you can bring your moderately reactive dogs to to kind of work in a group setting, but you'll find me at my desk answering the main email info at I got the cit.com you can also find us on Facebook and Instagram. But I am the person who responds to all of the inquiries and things like that. And then I am also pursuing a certificate in training as well. So I can also get out there and start helping people either at the center or in person. So I think that's the most logical step for me to go. Jesse, thank you so much. I really appreciate you jumping on the show and sharing your insight. Thank you for having me. It was a blast. I appreciate it. It was really wonderful chatting with Jessie and hearing how she has navigated many difficult conversations and decisions when working in the rest Your world. It's a conversation that I think needs to continue to ensure we are doing right for the dogs and their people. I'd love to hear what you would like for additional topics in future episodes of both the by the end of the dog and the help for dogs with aggression subscription series. You can reach out by emailing podcast at aggressive dog.com I'd love to hear from you. And I thank you for tuning into the show. Stay well my friends