Rehoming Rescued Dogs Abroad

THE FIRST 2 MESSAGES HERE WERE ORIGINALLY POSTED IN “XiaoBai is safe and happy in the US- thanks to Eric!” IN THIS SAME FORUM

Great news all around! And it sound like there is potential for more great news. If people in Minnesota or elsewhere in the States are ‘fighting’ over an ‘exotic’ Taiwanese dog, then why don’t we give them some more?

Of course, here in Taiwan the focus needs to be on CNR, but we run into dogs that are just too friendly or for whatever other reason we do not want to put back on the streets, but instead to live with a family.

I’m currently looking for homes for 3 dogs and we all know others are too. With Eric’s know how and all of our (if only financial) support we can make this a regular thing.

  1. We need to find and evaluate homes in the US, which it looks like, Eric is really good at;
  2. We need to prepare the animal in question, shots, paperwork, etc., which would be the responsibility of the person who rescued the dog, hopefully with financial help of others;
  3. We need to find people who will take a dog as extra luggage on their flight to the US, dog’s flight to be paid by the Forumosa community and/or the US adopter?;
  4. We need to transport the dog to the Taoyuan Airport when the time comes; least of our concerns.

Eric, what do you think? I’m also trying to set up something similar to my native country.


Hi onrust66, it sounds like you are talking about something like TAARF, or the Taipei Abandoned Animal Rescue Foundation which was formed by a TAS student named Mina Sharpe more than 10 years ago. I don’t know exactly how she and her supporters did it, but they succeeded in re-homing a lot of abandoned Taiwan dogs abroad. I don’t think TAARF exists anymore. I was able to contact Mina a few years ago after she left Taiwan, and she was kind enough to help me find a home for a dog, but after that she kind of disappeared.

I wish there was a TAARF operating. If I need to find a home for a dog, I do try to find a good home here and sometimes I can or thankfully some other kind-hearted soul here can. But, in the past year I have gotten myself wrapped up into some desperately urgent cases. A couple of gorgeous lab mixes found me just a few days apart and were costing a lot of bucks to keep afloat, a crazy woman inflicting physical and mental abuse on a sweet dog rotting in a cage was trying to steal it back in her possession, Nemo the blind pup totally lost in his dark world who may also have epilepsy…I don’t know about the others here who have found homes for dogs abroad, but yeah I cross my paws and send an SOS to friends and family and pray I get lucky. It can be exhausting, but after it’s all said and done, it’s worth it. But yeah for sure, a new TAARF would be awesome.

I do know that there are some dog rescuers who send dogs to San Francisco, but I don’t know how that works or if they know what happens to the dogs once they get over there. If someone knows more about that program maybe they can fill us in. A couple of things that you need to keep in mind though, how do you decide which dogs go abroad, because I am assuming that it’s going to be a really long line, and also, how do you account for the funds. Some dogs if they have disabilities or disease may require extra treatment. Would that be completely covered by the fund. It could get complicated. Sounds like there would have to be a decision maker(s). Don’t mean to get this off the original topic, but just throwing out food for thought.

Mina Sharpe, I heard that name before. Shame no-one took over her operation when she left (or…?), goodwill, momentum and all that. BUT, we can do it again! (Mina rehomed 1,000 dogs!)

Here’s a 2006 interview with Mina: … 69,00.html

A 2007 article has a link to a t-aarf website, but it’s a dead link. Googling t-aarf brings up an old site last updated in March 2004 (Animals Taiwan(AT)'s web site also links to this site). But it details 2 US shelters Mina used to (?) work with and their sites are up-to-date. There’s also an e-mail address for Mina.

I’ll get in touch with them. I’ll also get in touch with the Taiwanese dog rescue organization that flies dogs to SF. I have a lot of questions about logistics and finances.

“How do you decide which dogs go abroad”.
At this point I’d say any dog that turns out to be friendly, has been rehabilitated, or has the potential to be rehabilitated (prior to being rehomed of course), to live with a family (of any size, including 1 of course). Ideally, we can work out something with Sean to have candidates live in one of his packs if they need rehab before they can be rehomed. In return of course we’d rehome AT’s dogs, if this works out. And I do think, we need to begin by rehoming one of AT’s dogs to get this show on the road (AT can determine the order). But keep reading.

“How do you account for the funds”
There is more money sitting in more foundations that are willing to spend it on something I’m envisioning here, than you’d think. Marloes and I just tapped into one in the Netherlands. If we can get funds to come in (and we already do, both for AT and for our own operation), and are successful at rehoming dogs abroad, than maybe our cooperation with AT, who already have many things in place, are an institution, and are about to go official, could be more extensive (or we could ‘be AT’). We should use what’s already there.

I think Marloes and I can get the funds to get started. I’m imagining this sort of scenario (and I am thinking out loud):

A dog is rescued with or without Sean’s help and taken to the vet (we need to discuss which vet; I’d like to know which vet gave Mina a room to keep rescued dogs in). The finder/‘we’ keep in touch with the vet to discuss treatment options, and release date if observation is necessary. ‘We’ pay the vet bill (or AT could pay the bills as well as receive the funds, which should at least even out). Upon release the dog is placed with AT. (Do you get the feeling I need to talk to Sean??? IOW this has not been discussed with Sean yet at all :blush: , although we have already carried out this scenario once or twice, minus the rehoming abroad. But AT is FULL and so we’ve had to ‘swap’ dogs with AT instead of adding to the number of dogs there.) Ideally, at this point the dog has been vaccinated and de-sexed, but in many cases rescued dogs are too sick or weak for either vaccinations or de-sexing. (So more often than not we’d be adding to AT’s workload with trips to the vet and administering meds.) The dog remains with AT until it is healthy and rehabilitated and can be added to the list of emigrants, so to speak (or is adopted here by one of the many visitors/potential adopters AT gets).
In the meantime, we work relentlessly with organizations in the US, the Netherlands, and any other country any of you has connections in, to place dogs that are good to go. AT’s dogs as well as the ones we find ‘on the side’. We need to discuss how we are going to assess a foreign home. Working through shelters or animal welfare foundations in the target countries could be the answer here.
When a dog is ready to go and a place abroad has been secured for him or her, the dog is prepared (paperwork and more vets visits) by ‘us’ and transported to the airport by ‘us’. Either ‘we’ fly with a bunch of dogs (more expensive option), or we find people who are prepared to take a dog as excess luggage. Cost to be paid out of ‘our’ funds and/or by the adopter. Dog to be picked up abroad by someone ‘we’ have arranged.

Who will be ‘us’ (t-aarf two)? Who has any suggestions that will improve above scenario (I’ll alert Sean to it)? Who has connections or knows of organizations abroad we could approach for placement of dogs and/or funds? Just shoot, as I did…

If any of this does not seem to make sense, I’ll let you in on my mitigating circumstances: I slept (or should I say stayed up) with 5 newly de-sexed kittens last night. And keep your minds out of the gutter, thanks.

And one last remark: yes, CNR is the end-solution, but if in the meantime we can rehome some of the dogs we pick up, we are also contributing to ending the miserable stray animal situation in Taiwan. I see both methods as complimentary, not mutually exclusive.

MO (Marjan)

I spoke to several representatives from large animal welfare organizations about sending dogs abroad, and they were nearly all against it, for several reasons: it looks like the situation here is hopeless; it’s more difficult to keep track of the animal; it kills an unhomed dog in that country; and you may be sending the dog to an environment that may be worse - for instance, to a culture that has more of a throwaway attitude than here.

I agreed with their points, and that’s why we actively seek good homes here in Taiwan and not abroad, but we never say no to the offer of a good home, so if someone abroad is interested and passes the interview process, we will ship out.

So far, it’s gone pretty well.

There is a group called AHAN, and they send dogs from Taiwan into foster homes in the States, and they do pretty well. Another group (or individual) used to send dogs to Germany, and that went well to, I think.

Anyway, it’s a great idea - I just hope we can consider all the pros and cons. :wink:

I think the rehoming abroad option definitely has its time and place. Especially for individuals who are really in a jam, or are otherwise forced to put their creature in a much worse or possibly harmful situation. Obviously, it’s not for solving the overpopulation, homelessness, cruelty, neglect problems of a particular nation. And I can understand some organizations wanting to look after their own. Personally, I view the animal world as a world without borders trapped in a human world with borders. I guess we have to live with that. I just think that there is a sensible approach (even if it is in a different land).

I totally support the idea of finding a home for dogs abroad.

I can understand Sean’s position and opinion and shares his concerns but I think this idea of finding homes abroad should be explored in greater detail.

For someone fostering 2 dogs and 1 cat (and I have my own 3 cats, one is an AT rescue), I feel I have little choice but to explore all the possibilities of getting these 2 dogs adopted. With AT full, what are my options? What do I do when I find another dog that needs help? I have to draw the line at these 6 animals in my care. So I need to get them adopted ASAP. I also think that foster parents play a very important role in rehabilitating and training dogs. Instead of rescued dogs going to a shelter or AT facility, I think it would be better if they can go to a foster parent/family. However, this can only work if the dogs in foster care are given priority in being adopted. It feels really hopeless when you are fostering an animal for longer than a year and it seems like no-one is interested in adopting it. So, … look for adoptive parents elsewhere. I think many people who help street dogs have looked or are looking into this. I have read it many times here. Maybe we can start a thread called something like: I am flying to… and can take a dog.

Good thinking Watson!

I hear ya! (Could that be the ugliest American phrase to date?) Why sacrifice a perfectly friendly dog by releasing it, when there’s still an option open for finding it a good home?

Yes, I have heard the arguments against rehoming abroad. And I am all for considering all the pros and cons. Keep them coming. This is my stand:

"it looks like the situation here is hopeless"…If I gave a flying f about that, I might as well throw in the towel now. :loco: Up to now Marloes and I have rescued, nursed back to health, neutered, fostered, vaccinated, and rehomed (occasionally released) 50 cats and dogs (thanks to AT and our friends for their assistance!). Apart from what that does for these 50, over their lifetime alone it also means that thousands of kittens and puppies will not be born into a life of misery. We ARE making a difference. And we are only two hardworking women, living in an apartment building, who didn’t have a clue what to expect when we came to Taiwan. YOU can do this too!

***“it’s more difficult to keep track of the animal”…Not if we work through animal welfare organizations / shelters abroad.

***“it kills an unhomed dog in that country”…It does not, or not directly, as I’d work with no-kill shelters only (like Mina Sharpe did). Besides, I’m not sure of the validity of this statement. Has it ever been surveyed? Maybe, the opposite is true. Maybe we’d tap into a whole new niche of potential dog owners. Maybe, the ‘added bonus’ of the animal being from Taiwan, where the situation is hopeless ( :wink: ) pulls people, who wouldn’t otherwise have adopted, across the line. Or maybe the publicity gets people there and here thinking and visiting their local shelter and adopting a pet. Or just maybe, the adopter of the Taiwanese dog goes to the local shelter to adopt a playmate for him/her. And yes, maybe the Taiwanese dog takes the place a local shelter dog would have otherwise had without any positive spin-off. We just don’t know, do we?

***“you may be sending the dog to an environment that may be worse”…Come on…I know what quality of life awaits the animal if I deploy my only other option of releasing it here. I also know the ‘average’ quality of life of dogs in The Netherlands, Germany, The States, Canada, … The choice is not hard to make.

I’ll get in touch with AHAN and see if I can find whoever was sending dogs to Germany.

P.S. Eric, personally, as a human I feel trapped in a human world with borders. But that’s a whole other thread alltogether…

Many good points onrust66, I think the idea is well worth exploring. Where in Taiwan are you? I can see the appeal for an airline company to offer some sort of goodwill promotion for this cause as well.

Try China Airlines - they already offer a considerable discount to another organization that I know of who ship dogs out.

I’m in Hsi-Chih, but really spitting distance from Nan-Kang, walking distance from Academia Sinica.

:offtopic: Wow, I love how my Yale was automatically converted to Pinyin :bravo: