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Rescue Questions

Questions Regarding a Rescue Pom

This is a continuation of our article: Caring for a Rescue Pomeranian with special guest writer, Vikki Chavez.

PetPom was able to have a helpful Question & Answer session with Vikki to further explore some common issues that come up with rescued Pomeranian puppies and dogs. We cover the question of where to find a Pom to adopt and questions that you may have before adopting a Pomeranian.
Q) You do fantastic work taking care of rescued Pomeranians. Where do you find the Poms that you care for? And once you have helped to heal them, what is your process for finding new homes?

A) Thank you! I am active as a foster through local rescue groups, involved with our local county shelter, and hear of Poms in need through my network of fellow rescuers. Sadly, many California shelters have a high Pomeranian surrender rate. Adoptions go through local rescues I am very familiar with, and who have strict adoption criteria to ensure the best of homes. I have 8 special angels that will live here forever with me :) 
Q) We always advise to never shave a Pom's coat down, due to it never quite growing back to the way it once was. Of course, with rescued Pomeranians, the coat may be so matted and so destroyed that shaving is the only option. Can you try to explain at what point you decide to shave the coat as opposed to trying to work out matts?

A) If a Pom has any kind of skin issues, it is easier to treat effectively when shaved. Also, if a Pomeranian is frail and sick, shaving helps you monitor condition such as bruising, discoloration, dehydration, sores and so forth. It is also physically hard on the severely matted dog to remove mats as they have to stand, there is a lot of pulling on possible unhealthy skin, and it takes a long time.

So, it really all depends on the age, stress level, health condition, and skin and coat condition of the pup upon arrival as to whether I would suggest shaving a Pomeranian or not. My primary concern is always getting the Pom back to optimal health with minimal stress.

Q) Is there any sort of family/household situation that you do not recommend to take in a rescued Pom? For example, how would a typical adopted Pom do with young children? Houses with other pets?

A) Precautions about both of the above are referenced in the article; however, as a general rule I do not think households with young children are a good match for a rescue Pomeranian. It is dangerous for the Pom, and is just not the right dog for a family with small children.

Also, keep the Pom separate from other small dogs in the household with brief supervised interactions until you see how they get along. I do not agree with throwing dogs together and letting them 'work it out'. They are small but can be territorial, losing an eye or blowing out a knee in mere seconds.

Q) In your opinion, can a previously abused/neglected Pom forget past abuse after a certain amount of time or will the emotional effects essentially last for life?

A) Yes they certainly can move forward and live happily ever after! It is amazing how quickly many of them adapt to love, kindness and quality care.
Q) With the right home and the right care, how long does it typically take for a rescued Pomeranian to be comfortable in his/her new home? At what time point (3 months? 6 months?) should an owner begin to worry that the dog is not adjusting?

A) I find it takes about a month for them to settle in emotionally. House training and anxious behaviors may remain, but they are a pretty trusting, happy little breed. If a Pom is not relaxing, bonding, tail wagging and enjoying life after 1 or 2 months, I would say the dog is not adjusting to his/her environment.

The usual reasons for this would be health issues, long periods of time left alone or crating, getting in trouble for accidents in the house, or stress by a dominant dog picking on them. Sometimes the dog and owner are just not a match, or the owner took on more than they had the time, energy and money for. Housebreaking may never happen, and that is the reality of caring for a rescue Pomeranian. 

Q) What should an owner do if they feel overwhelmed with a rescue? For example, if Pom barks all the time, has severe Separation Anxiety, has destructive chewing and it is all just too much to handle and the new owner finds himself in over his head?

A) Great question! Any or all of those things are possible, and some Poms do bark loud and often. Of course, a dog trainer is an option, but if the person is in over their head that tells me it is in the dog's best interest to be elsewhere where the right home can be arranged.

By adopting through a reputable 501c rescue, the rescue will take the dog back, or find a new placement for the dog.

The owner can also reach out to local lap dog, toy breed, or Pomeranian specific rescues and see if they will take the dog. They can call local veterinarians and ask if they will help or can refer you to a group in the area.

Never give the dog away to an acquaintance or through an advertisement! I cannot begin to tell you the horrible things that happen to small 'free' dogs. Do the right thing, and find a legitimate, dog savvy safe haven for the Pomeranian that has trusted you with his/her life.

Q) What would you say to a person who says, "I really want to rescue a Pomeranian; I just can't afford to buy one from a breeder."?

A) Do be sure to adopt from a legitimate rescue. Also, many rescues need vetting and dentals, which can run around $600.00 or more. Poms are not an inexpensive dog, and rescues are no exception. It costs money to care for and protect this hardy yet fragile breed.

Q) Thanks for all of your helpful answers to our questions! Last but not least, we know that it can be difficult to locate purebred Pomeranians from a rescue or shelter. Often there are no Poms at all. 

Of course, no one can predict when a puppy mill will be closed down and a group of Pomeranians may then end up at a shelter. What you say to someone who wants to know where to find a Pomeranian to adopt and how to find a rescue group? If someone were interested in adopting a Pomeranian, what steps do you suggest that they follow?

A) Legitimate rescues have older dogs as a rule, and will never have a litter of registered Pomeranian puppies. They will fully disclose all special health issues and concerns, will only adopt out neutered/spayed and microchipped Poms, and they will be current on vaccinations.

Local rescue groups pull Poms and other toy breeds from municipal and county shelters to save them from euthanasia.

To adopt a Pomeranian, I would suggest calling both local shelters and veterinarians. Let them know you would like to adopt a Pomeranian, and ask them for the name and contact information of reputable local rescue groups that save Pomeranians/lap dogs/ toy breeds. That way, you have the shelter(s), veterinarian(s), and the rescue group(s) in your area aware that you would like to save a Pomeranian by adopting. Thank you for helping them :) 

That's the end of the Question & Answer session. PetPom wishes to thank Vikki of TinyDogsRule for her time & effort in sharing all of her helpful information. If you jumped right here and missed the main topic, be sure to read: Taking Care of a Rescued Pomeranian.
How Love & Proper Care Can Change the Life of a Pom

Meet Lucky (photo to the right & on mobile, underneath), an almost 16 year old Pomeranian that was rescued by David & Tony, who live in Australia.

Here's what his new owners let us know: "Lucky was rescued at 12 years old having been dumped in the bush near our home. We heard crying for nearly two months at odd times during the night and day. We now know it was him, as he sometimes makes the same noises when he cannot get his own way.

He had numerous health issues including an enlarged heart, and intestinal issues having been in the bush for some time, possibly a few months. When we found him he had no fur and was flee ridden – they were coming out of his ears, nose - he was in a bad way. 

Our Vet, Maz did everything to save him and he is still with us 3 and a half years later he is now 15.5 years old. We know his details as he had a micro-chip, and his registered owners claimed that he had died many years before. He is spoiled rotten and is a key part of our family."
Rescued Pomeranian before and after
Telling photographs showing what neglect can do to a Pomeranian and how love & excellent care can turn that around. 

Left: Lucky right after he was found. Right: Lucky today, 3 years after being rescued.

Thanks, David and Tony, you guys are awesome! 
Readers should note, that David & Tony live in Australia, so when they say that this poor little Pom was in 'the bush', this means dense, wild terrain with native animals such as wallabies, possums, snakes and also feral cats and dogs. It was such a miracle that he survived. 
Another element that is quite amazing, is Lucky's age.  He was 12 when rescued and still going strong at 15 and 1/2. After this Pom was recovering and showed what a strong fighter he was, the vet told Lucky's rescuers that many vets would have suggested putting him to sleep because of his age combined with the health issues.  While the vet did not suggest this, he did not think that the Pom would survive the first few days.  But Lucky proved him wrong. 

As you can see, the change in this senior Pom is amazing and it is hoped that this story will encourage others to take in an older Pomeranian that is in need of a good home for the senior years. 
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