How Many Dogs is "Too Many"

Discussion in 'Other Pets' started by rachelseden, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. rachelseden

    rachelseden New Member

    192
    Dec 8, 2013
    N.E. Indiana
    Hi all! I need some good advice here, and please don't worry about hurting my feelings---I want honest opinions.
    Ok, so my hubby and I live in a pretty good-size modular. We have 5 acres, with about an acre fenced off the back. We currently have 6 indoor/outdoor dogs (mainly indoor), 5 indoor cats, 4 outdoor cats, a macaw (obviously indoor), 6 pets rats (in an awesome cage--24" wide and deep, 3' tall), 4 outdoor pot belly pigs, several chickens and turkeys.
    My animals are kept current on vaccines, worming and HW preventative. I take excellent care of all of them. Well, we had decided we were definitely at our limit for dogs. Until this past week.......
    My son and daughter in law had been looking for the perfect pitbull puppy for some time, and thought they had found "the one" last Friday. Unfortunately, when they went to look at/buy him, he was full of intestinal parasites, had weird bumps on his head and just didn't look right. They made the wise decision not to get him. The following Sunday they got a beautiful pit/doberman cross puppy who is very healthy, has his vaccs, and is wormed. I was very happy for them, but being a huge advocate of pit bulls, could not stop thinking of the other puppy they turned down.

    I can't go into all the details, but there was the little brindle male puppy my son looked at, and his sister (a black and white) who was in a little better condition but was not for sale. I spent all week going back and forth with this guy about his puppies, and FINALLY got him down from $200/per pup to $350 for all 3 (oh, there is a third larger puppy that he claims is from the same litter, it's obviously older, but in better shape). My local shelter had previously agreed to take two puppies and help out with $200 of the money. The third larger pup a good friend of mine is keeping and giving me $100. All in all, I'm losing $50 plus the gas and time to go get the puppies and money spent on their food, 3 treatments of Revolution and 3 doses of Nemex wormer.
    The two smaller puppies are going to the shelter manager on Monday, when I'll be reimbursed my $200. My problem?? I am already in LOVE with both puppies!! I would love to keep them, but hubby is definitely not wanting too. All my dogs are spayed/neutered as these ones would be too. I know that would be a ridiculous number of digs, but I hate to think of them living at the shelter. So my question: How many dogs is too many? Am I a hoarder? My husband sometimes says I am, but I disagree as all my animals are well-cared for. HELP!! I need input from my friends on here who can be more objective. I've attached a pic of the two sweet babies.
     

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  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    No more dogs. If you were able to find a good situation for them, leave it at that.
     

  3. MylieD

    MylieD Active Member

    Sep 16, 2013
    middle GA
    Puppies are easy to adopt out and your husband doesn't want to keep them. I'd say stick with your original plan of giving them to the shelter.
     
  4. NyGoatMom

    NyGoatMom Shady Acre Homestead Supporting Member

    I say you have enough...seems your heart is too big :D 6 dogs is a lot...hard to give individual attention to them all. I know because I have 3 and it seems hard to do that! The shelter will find them suitable homes.
     
  5. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  6. Dayna

    Dayna Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Pahoa Hawaii
    I would say your heart is just too big. Its easier to take an animal in than to give it the individual attention that it needs.

    I would say you are at your limit for dogs/cats. A macaw alone takes up a huge amount of time (I have parrots). Dogs need so much attention and puppies more so, I'd worry that your other dogs would lose out and they should be your first consideration since they already live there.

    No matter how attached or how cute I would pass.
     
  7. thekibblegoddess

    thekibblegoddess Member

    49
    Dec 13, 2014
    Sylvania, GA
    If your hubs is not onboard, pass. The marital stress it would cause is long-term and not worth it.
     
  8. lottsagoats1

    lottsagoats1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Middle Maine
    If you can care for them, keep them healthy, have time to play and love them then you are not a hoarder. I have 9. I had 10 until a couple of months ago when I lost my heart and soul to cancer. All are spayed/neutered. They all get love, play, quality food, meds, vet care, brushies, everything that some people with one don't do.

    Thats on top of 2 horses, 20 chickens (or so) and ummm 20 (?) goats.

    The husband may be an issue. I got rid of mine after he got rid of my original goat and horse herds. That was in 1989. I have never been tempted to get another. lol

    I guess you need to do what you feel comfortable with and what is best for your family.
     
  9. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Keep in mind that care of the animals is not necessarily the best way to gauge whether or not you are hoarding. Sometimes it's everything BUT the animals that suffers from the strain of too many mouths to feed. Whether it's car maintenance, home repairs, housekeeping, paying bills, time management, or maintaining relationships at home--if any of these things are out of whack because you've got more animals than you can realistically care for, then your husband might actually be right about animal hoarding. No hoarder ever magically got there all in one night, and maybe what they needed was a good, honest spouse to tell them years back that they should slow down before it became a problem. ;)

    I'm sure the puppies will find a good home. I had to tell myself repeatedly when I sold my first goats--"My home is not the only good home in the world, and I am not the only person capable of loving these babies." Sometimes the best way for us to love our animals is to pass them along to someone else.
     
  10. rachelseden

    rachelseden New Member

    192
    Dec 8, 2013
    N.E. Indiana
    Thanks everyone for your honesty! I knew deep down I couldn't keep them. Not only would it be unfair to my other dogs (even thought they get plenty of attention), but it would be unfair to the puppies. Pitties are a special breed, and these two really deserve to each have a home as top dog. I got the local shelter involved to begin with because the manager is a big pit advocate and very thorough checking people out before allowing them to adopt. If she doesn't have a foster available right now, I will offer to care for them until she does. I don't want them living in cages (which I suspect was the case where they came from because I found sores on almost every toe pad when I trimmed their nails today).
     
  11. rachelseden

    rachelseden New Member

    192
    Dec 8, 2013
    N.E. Indiana
    Here are Gaea and Gremlin.
     

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  12. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    all very good points and views!!
     
  13. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    They are adorable. They will find good homes in no time.
     
  14. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    They're super cute. You've done a good deed helping them. I would let the rescue take over and find them great homes. You've done enough. They will be fine. ;)
     
  15. rachelseden

    rachelseden New Member

    192
    Dec 8, 2013
    N.E. Indiana
    I know I said that I am giving the puppies to the local shelter, but I am seriously struggling with this decision. I know I'm not a hoarder, I guess I'm worried that other people might think I am (but who cares what they think, if they think that, they don't know me). Yes, I have 6 dogs. They are well cared for---up to date on vaccines, deworming and heartworm preventative. They all get plenty of attention--they all LOVE going out back with me to do chores or for playtime. Five of the six sleep in our room with us, the sixth sleeps with my teenage son.
    Does my household suffer? No. It is chaotic, with a kind of OCD orderliness. Our bills are always paid on time, the fridge is full, and we even have money for "date night" for me and hubby, birthday dinners out, movies, a yearly vacation, etc. Do my children suffer? Well, the oldest is 24 and married with his own home. Our 20 year old lives at home, works second at a very good factory job and spends most of his free time with his girlfriend. Our youngest is 16---you can imagine what his life is like!
    No, I don't have a lot of spare time during the week, but everything gets done, and we almost always eat dinner together. I enjoy my weekends, especially if it's just spent working outside or vwgging on the couch. My hubby? He enjoys spending his free time at a local pub, shooting pool or going to a casino. I don't drink, but I go with him quite a bit now that the kids are older, mainly to play the jukebox.
    Animals are my main passion in life, and I've raised puppies, kittens, goats, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, turkeys, raccoons and a squirrel. I've rescued so many strays in my life that I lost count YEARS ago. But when it is obvious that it's time to return an animal to the wild, place it in a new home or with a rescue, I do it with a sense of peace and bittersweet joy.
    But something about these puppies is different. Maybe it's their breed. I have a fierce protectiveness towards this mistreated and misunderstood dog. Here are some facts that fuel my feelings for my pups:

    1). The majority of dogs in shelters in my area are pitbulls or pit mixes---most relinquished by their owners.
    2). Most apartment complexes do not allow any dog that even looks like it has pitbull in it.
    3). Many people do not know how to properly raise a pit bull through socialization and proper training to ensure a non-agressive dog.
    4). The area I live in is inundated with pitbull breeders and renowned for pit bull fighting.
    5). In 5 mins or less I counted over 22 listings on craigslist rehoming pitbull/pit mixes----all dogs were 6 mos to 2 years old. That doesn't include all the pit puppies being sold.

    My heart turns to ice when I think of these 2 puppies spending their lives at a shelter. Yes, they're adorable, but all the dogs at the shelter started out adorable. Yet there they sit, losing their minds from boredom and the constant noise. All people who adopt shelter dogs don't always keep them. Some return them to the shelter when the cuteness and novelty wear off. Some just rehome them on craigslist. Here is a horrible incident of a pit bull rehomed on craigslist (by the way, I posted this story in the pet section of craigslist----it was "flagged" and removed.

    Here it is: (I've attached a photo)
    A 27-year-old Virginia man plead guilty to the shocking torture death of his own dog, an act of cruelty that a veteran animal controller officer called "one of the worst cases" she had ever seen. The charred remains of the dog, a pit bull named Lucky, were first discovered by firefighters responding to a small brush fire in May.

    After the fire was put out, the dog's body, nylon rope, a muzzle and a can of lighter fluid were found at the scene, The Virginian-Pilot reports. Investigators later determined Lucky had been burned alive.* Using a microchip recovered from Lucky's body, authorities were able to track down the dog's owner, 27-year-old Arthur M. Vieira, who reportedly adopted Lucky off Craigslist after her previous family could no longer afford to care for the dog.

    According to police, Vieira initially said he had given the dog away, and then that she had run away, before finally admitting he'd tied Lucky's feet together, muzzled her snout, doused her with lighter fluid and set her on fire. Vieira then claimed he had punched Lucky after she bit him, and burned her body thinking she was dead, WTVR reports. "I can't even begin to comprehend why somebody would do something like this. I don't think any of us can," animal control officer Meghan Conti told WVEC in August. "If a person's capable of taking a living, breathing animal and torturing it in this manner, what else are they capable of doing?" Vieira now faces up to seven years in prison on charges of felony animal cruelty, misdemeanor obstructing justice and misdemeanor dumping companion animals on private property. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 13 2016.

    "I intend to ask for the maximum," prosecutor David Laird told The Pilot.

    RIP sweet baby girl. You have lots of love in rainbow bridge and will never feel pain again.

    Maybe I'm being melodramatic, maybe not. I just think that if the choice of life for these two pups is either languishing in a shelter or living a life of chaotic order with me, they would much prefer the latter. (Of course, hubby does have the deciding vote.....)
     

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  16. Dayna

    Dayna Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Pahoa Hawaii
    Breed aside.

    If my life partner was against it, thats a huge red flag for me. I would put the breaks on. Cuteness doesn't mean anything. Adding two lives to a pack of 6 dogs would only detract from the 6. There is no benefit to the other dogs lives that I can see.

    The questions you ask yourself are questions that always lead to too many animals that are improperly cared for, no matter how good the intentions are.

    You saved them from a terrible situation and now they have the ability to find and spend their lives in loving homes where people give them the attention and care they deserve and need.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  17. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    I think you're really overthinking this. Six dogs is already a lot. Eight dogs is way too many for most people. I know you want the best for them, but actually keeping them might not be the best thing for them. Give them a chance to find loving homes. If you won't take them to the shelter, then maybe try to find homes for them yourself.
     
  18. rachelseden

    rachelseden New Member

    192
    Dec 8, 2013
    N.E. Indiana
    You're absolutely right about my hubby being against keeping them. I'm not trying to convince him, and the plan is still to give them to the shelter. I'm not over thinking the situation, those were cold, hard facts about pit bulls and really, other Bully breeds (because so many people tell the breeds apart). And I DO realize cuteness doesn't mean anything, but other people make rash decisions because of a puppy being cute, and a lot of people DO lose interest once the puppy is out of that cute stage. That was the point I was making.
    I know they'd be better off in homes of their own, I just do not trust people any more. I.E.: My daughter in law called and said she knew someone interested in the little brindle puppy. It's someone who is going to put down their 3 year old lab because it's going blind and snapped at their toddler. There's a red flag for you. The guy isn't even going to take the time to find the dog----healthy in all other aspects---a home w/O children. Maybe some of you don't find that wrong, but I do. And to want to rush out and get a puppy right away? Animals are not disposable play toys, they are living, feeling creatures.
    Anyway, the plan with the shelter is still in motion. I am fostering until a foster or permanent home is found. Whatever the outcome, I will never forget little Gremlin and Gaea.
    By the way, there are several others on this forum who have upwards of 6 dogs. I guess it's OK if they are planned for and not sudden rescues. I really didn't plan for 3 of my current dogs. Most of which were in a shelter or on their way their as adults.
    I don't want to argue, I really do appreciate everyone's input. I'm just playing devil's advocate a bit. I know a lot of people couldn't handle 6 digs, let alone 8, but they really are my adopted children.
    I'll keep updating the puppies' situation. I'm just so glad they are not living in that unheated garage anymore.
     
  19. NyGoatMom

    NyGoatMom Shady Acre Homestead Supporting Member

    I wish you luck in your decision.

    ( I just have to add, that a dog that snaps at kids is a big red flag to me..I am kinda on the side of the owner here, if it bites once, it'll do it again, kids are everywhere and if I knowingly had one that I knew had that tendency I'd worry all the time, kids at home or not)
     
  20. rachelseden

    rachelseden New Member

    192
    Dec 8, 2013
    N.E. Indiana
    As far as the dog snapping at the owners two year old, dogs bite for many different reasons. A dog that's going blind is scared and nervous, not understanding what's happening to it. Add to that a toddler, not quite stable on his feet, grabbing at ears or tail, stepping on tail and toes, hitting the dog and throwing hard toys at the dog. I can understand an otherwise perfect dog snapping out of fear. I never said they should rehome the dog to someone with children. Maybe a single adult, or a couple whose children are grown---I'm sure a responsible owner wouldn't take the dog and let it run willy-nilly through a playground of children. Maybe the owner could contact a lab rescue. There are many options besides having an otherwise healthy 3 year old dog down.

    On another note, a puppy update! Both puppies are doing well, although I suspect that the male (possibly the female too) has rickets. The males hind legs seem extremely bowed and at times weak. I am following vet advice, feeding cooked egg along with puppy food that has added probiotics. Temps are normal, and bellies are slowly losing that distended appearance. No word yet as far as another foster or permanent home.