Finnish Lapphund Rescue Situation
  • TrzcinaTrzcina
    Posts: 331
    This is a different breed, of course, but a total of 61 Finnish Lapphunds ended up in rescue this week after being given up by a hoarder in California. It wasn't totally unexpected, because people knew about the basics of what was going on with her... but it sounds like nobody expected there to be so many, including apparently three young litters (all being fostered).

    They've been taken in by the Sonoma Humane Society, which is no-kill, but it's still a huge number of dogs and a huge undertaking. I know there are a lot of California members, plus just generally dog lovers--so if anyone would like to help out in some way or another, and donations are very much needed right now. If anyone is interested in that aspect, you can visit the donation page for the Sonoma Humane Society--and there is an option to earmark your donation to help these specific dogs if you're so inclined.

    Of course, they are presumably also going to need foster and permanent homes, so if anybody is interested or knows anyone who might be... pass the information along. I don't know much about the condition or temperaments of these particular dogs, as they are coming from a hoarder situation, but Lappies in general are pretty cool medium-sized spitzy dogs. Placement is going to be handled through Sonoma Humane Society, and they're probably mostly going to want people in the relatively local area to Sonoma. It sounds like they're in pretty rough shape currently, as the shelter is estimating $200 to $300 per dog just for basic care upon entering the shelter.

    Donation page, if anybody's interested in that: Sonoma Humane Society Donation Page

    Feel free to pass it on to anyone else who might be interested, and for more details I'd suggest contacting the shelter directly--the Finnish Lapphund Club of America is involved and being kept up to date on the situation (as is the Canadian club), but it sounds like the shelter is going to be handling most of the practical matters.
  • I will share this with our Sacramento Shiba Inu Meetup members.

    Also with the Bay Area Shiba Meetup.

    Alerted some of the Northern CA/NV Shiba and Jindo rescue folks so that they are aware of the situation.
    Post edited by sukoshi_mom at 2014-01-24 00:47:02
  • MintyMinty
    Posts: 8
    Wow, 61? Must be a tough time for the shelter, I hope they all end up in good homes. I'm going to crosspost this to another dog forum I frequent to see if anyone's interested, if that's okay.
  • TrzcinaTrzcina
    Posts: 331
    Absolutely you can crosspost and share!

    Here's an update that was put up on Facebook this morning from the FLCA president about what she's heard from the shelter thus far:

    Good morning,

    The Sonoma HS has been a pleasure to work with and I commend their strong hearts to help these dogs. The shelter has 55 "single" units to house dogs and in addition to their other shelter dogs and cats, they have taken on 61 dogs at once. I cannot imagine the heartbreak of this rescue for them and the huge load on the shelter and staff.

    Since the initial contact from Sonoma to me as the breed rescue contact, I have been in daily contact with the Sonoma HS and this is a very, very tragic situation for the dogs. Aside from what has already been reported re; the severely matted coats which will require shaving, their toe-nails which have curled and grown in to their pads, etc. they have even bigger health problems. Ranging in age from newborn (yes, a singleton was born late last night) to approximately 15+/- years, their condition is severe. While assessment and treatment is ongoing as medically needed, the dogs have multiple issues. All have internal parasites including giardia, all have severe dental issues which will require treatment including the probability of having teeth pulled. All are malnourished. All have social issues and the worst issue found as of today is they all have lice. This may not be everything they find but it's bad enough, the lice alone requires treatment over a two week period and it is recommended that these dogs be in ISO until their treatment is completed. While not a crossover to humans, it will be passed to other dogs as well as furniture, etc. so you can see where this is a real severe problem. That is just the tip of the iceberg. There may indeed be more puppies because there was no oversight of the dogs, there may be more health issues that come to light in the coming days. As we all can surmise, these dogs are probably very inbred which could lead to genetic problems not yet apparent.

    The shelter will not release the dogs to anyone but a 501(c)3 because whomever takes on the dogs will need to accept sole responsibility and liablity for them in every way; medically, financially and socially. Obviously, that will limit the options as to who can take custody of the dogs. With the dogs being in Northern California and their requirement for continued medical care the immediate concern was to keep them as local as possible to assure that medical care is ongoing and continue the temperament assessment of the dogs since some have bitten their current care providers. Understandably they are frightened and have had little human contact but that must be taken in to consideration. Additionally, because of their health issues there probably isn't a vet anywhere who will issue a health certificate for travel out of state. Yes, their condition is that severe.

    In light of the release restriction and their health, in order to get the dogs out and into a more "home-like" situation ASAP, we have reached out locally for help. The Tibetian Mastiff Rescue has volunteered to help since they are a separate 501(c)3 rescue organization and have volunteered to accept the responsibility and liability in order to obtain the release of these dogs for us. Their rescue chair is not only very experienced in "mass" rescue and dealing with shelters but she is located in Southern California and we both have been in discussions with Sonoma to get these dogs released ASAP "officially" to their rescue and we can move forward from there to get them healthy and eventually in to forever homes. Local experienced foster homes are being lined up and we have two Board members who will be visiting the shelter within the week to not only volunteer to scoop poop and work on their socialization but to assess the dogs to determine who's needs require them to leave the shelter first as we will be moving them out in groups to get them to their foster homes and veterinarians. The hope is that the first group of dogs will be out by the end of next week and on to a brighter future filled with plenty of good food, a warm soft place to sleep and most of all a soothing touch and soft words of Lappy love as they regain their trust and health.

    We will continue to keep you all updated as we progress and will answer any questions, please direct them to

    As we have all seen already, the Lappy community is willing to help from all over the world and once we are able to move these dogs from the shelter, we will continue to need donations for their ongoing care until such time as they find their forever home.

    We need to keep in mind that it's about the dogs.


    Carmen Petersen
  • Shared update with Sacramento and Bay Area Shiba Meetups as well as rescue folks.
  • TrzcinaTrzcina
    Posts: 331
    Some photos of the rescues are up on this Facebook page now:

    Definitely not all of them, but some of them at least. They've all been shaved down, but of course their coats will eventually grow back out and they'll be fluffy again.

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