An update is long over due for what has been happening with Sloughi Rescue since the last update in July 08. Due to a big move for me amongst other things, although we have still been helping and promoting Sloughis needing new homes there has not been the time for much else. So what has been happening over this period?
In December 2008 I lost my beloved rescue Sloughi Oscar. It was very sudden and broke my heart. He was the driving force behind me getting involved in Sloughi Rescue and everything else that I have been a part of within the breed ever since. He is very much missed.
Adoption across the Continent
In 2009 there was a huge influx of Sloughis in rescue in Europe. Thankfully there are many good Sighthound Rescues on the continent that are always happy to step in and help find suitable homes for Sloughis when needed. I am often asked by owners of rescue Sloughis in the UK if there are any needing homes. The answer is usually no, which is good for the Sloughi in the UK that there are rarely any that appear in rescue now but frustrating when so many appear on the continent needing homes that we have here in the UK. Rescues in the UK will never want to rehome a dog in Europe in the main because if something goes wrong it is very difficult for the dog to get back to the original rescue. Same for the dogs coming to the UK especially with the length of time it takes to get a pet passport (6 months).
However WindhundHilfe EV in Germany, who I have got to know well over the past few years, had many Sloughis through their doors in 2009 and in July I asked them whether they would consider re-homing a couple of Sloughis to some people in the UK who had already adopted 2 rescue Sloughis here and after losing one of them they were really keen to share their lives with more. It would mean 2 dogs going into long-term foster care for 8 months while pet passports etc were arranged.
Helge Wenger who runs Windhundhilfe EV, had a long chat with the prospective new owners and decided that this would be possible. She talked to them about their current dogs and made a decision as to which 2 Sloughis would best fit their family. And so Lino and Schmusi, two beautiful young brindle Sloughis, were chosen to become the first 2 Rescue Sloughis to make the journey from the continent to the UK. Huge thanks to Helge and Deborah of Windhundhilfe EV and the two families that kindly agreed to foster these dogs while they awaited their new lives. The waiting then began…
Maria Goodman – Rescue Situation in Florida
In October 2009 it was widely reported within Sighthound Circles that Maria Goodman was yet again in the middle of another welfare scandal. Maria had moved to Florida some years before to set up a boarding/training kennels with her new friend Joyce St Giermaine and her husband Tim Selden called Dog Stars International. She had taken a few of her Sloughis, Pharoah Hounds and Ibizan Hounds from the UK with her. Other dogs she owned in the UK mysteriously vanished and no-one has found out what ever happened to them. Maria integrated herself into her chosen breeds in the US and with her Sloughis ended up on the board of The American Sloughi Association, ironically also being their representative for any rescue situation that may occur in Florida.
As has been reported in the original Rescue Story, The American Sloughi Association decided to ignore all evidence of Maria’s involvement in the abuse case in the UK, story here. However what is not reported in that piece is that once my website published this story, they silently removed all traces of her from their club. They were willing to stand by her despite the evidence given to them when they thought no-one else would know about it but I assume that when this became public knowledge which may reflect badly on their Club (which of course is much more important than the welfare of the dogs) they dropped her. Not the first time they have tried to cover up their association with a neglect case (see Baasils story). I can only re-iterate what is stated on my website, if there is a Sloughi needing help in the US, the Sloughi Fanciers Association of America would be a good place to get help. They have consistently supported Sloughi Rescue on many levels and consistently proved how they put welfare of the Sloughi first. Email Kate for any enquiries.
So what was now being reported was quite horrifying. Maria had fled the kennels from where she worked with 5 dogs, but had left 23 dogs (16 Ibizans, 4 Pharoahs, 2 Sloughis and 1 Sharpei – the Sharpei belonging to a client who had decided to leave the dog with the kennels). Reports said that she had locked them in a hot unventilated kennel building, plugged the drains and left them with no food or water. Most of these dogs were severely underweight, filthy dirty and covered in sores and ticks. It sounded very much like the mess that the Kamet rescue dogs had been in back in 2002/2003 and 2005. Maria as ever raised her head briefly to deny that she had been part of this as she’d been ill again and claiming that Joyce St Giermaine had supposedly been looking after these dogs. Representatives of Joyce denied this version of events and as it stands I am not sure anyone will ever really know what happened there. A rather hysterically written blog was started regarding events but with conflicting stories from both sides. As ever both sides were more interested in name calling and shifting blame than worrying about how the dogs were coping with such a trauma.
An enormous rescue effort was taken by various sources in the US to collect these dogs, find them safe places to get well again and then slowly try to rehabilitate and rehome those that needed homes. An ASLA representative went to collect the two Sloughis that had been part of this ordeal. I only wish they had bothered to take an interest in what I had told them 2 years previously, maybe these dogs could have been saved this horror if they had bothered to keep track of how they were doing.
I have some contact now with a couple in New York who adopted Deacon, one of Maria’s Ibizan Hounds. It has been wonderful to see updates on Deacon and to see that with every update Deacon looks less and less bewildered about life, and more and more confident and happy in what he is doing.
Maria has since claimed she is out of the dog breeding/showing world now. I only hope this is the truth and that no-one will be fooled into giving her a dog ever again.
This saw 2009 out with a rather sour end to the year.
Adoption across the Continent continued…
Better news in March 2010 was that Sloughis Lino and Schmusi (now renamed Linus and Snoopy were ready for their trek across the channel into their new home in the West Country. They were going to live with an elderly Sloughi, a elderly Greyhound and two young Lurcher boys.
Their new owners drove to Germany to pick them up (a very long drive!) and brought them back to the UK and they began their new life together. They settled very well and are enjoying the English countryside where they can really stretch their legs.
Twisty Marsh Kennels – Rescue Situation in Sweden
In September 2010 another terrible rescue situation was unearthed this time at the Twisty Marsh Kennels in Sweden. Kerstin Asplund and her husband bred Sloughi, Salukis and Azawakhs. Reportedly she also kept other breeds although these were not mentioned at the raid that took place at her home by the police after an anonymous complaint had been made about the terrible neglect of her animals. The police reported that the dogs were all kept in a filthy environment several with injuries, 2 horses that were kept were in such poor condition they had to be euthanized at the property. Included in the 25 dogs that were taken by police, 15 were Saluki puppies from 2 Litters, one litter were 3 months old and one of only 8 weeks old. The 10 adults remaining were Saluki, Azawakh and Sloughis.
Thankfully for these dogs an extremely competent and caring vet was asked to assess the dogs for homing. When it was decided that the dogs should be either collected from their respective breeders or rehomed, the vet decided to take immediate responsibility for the 15 puppies and then her enormous task of contacting breeders and breed clubs for help began.
There were 5 Sloughis needing to be rehomed. 3 were identified, Atika Madina al Fadila, Magistere Vyasa and Magistere Selma. The breeder of Atika Madina al Fadila made immediate arrangements to drive from Germany to Sweden to collect her dog. Monsieur Cazin, breeder of the two Magistere Sloughis refused to take his dogs back. As ever it is highly disappointing to hear of breeders refusing to help with dogs they bred and these type of breeders are what give some the impression that all breeders treat dogs as disposable commodities. Once they are sold they are no longer their responsibility. Thankfully due to the work and perseverance of the vet and several others the other Sloughis, Azawakhs and Salukis were either returned to the breeders, found rescue spaces and/or rehomed.
This story was widely reported in Sweden and got newspaper and television coverage. A blog was also written up by the wonderful vet who helped to save all of these dogs. The blog is in Swedish but can be translated into other languages via Google Translate.
I am amazed that given how rare the Sloughi is, just how many times the breed falls on hard times. Every time another horror like this is revealed I hope that it is the last time the Sloughi has to go through this. But it seems to go on and on. And of course it is a worldwide problem for all breeds. There will always be those who think of dogs as commodities to buy and sell, with no thought about welfare or care. As long as they keep making money and keep their egos inflated nothing else matters especially not the welfare and care of the animals they profess to love. It has certainly become very apparent to me in the past 6 years which people within the Sloughi breed are not to be trusted as far as welfare and respect for the breed are concerned. The same names, clubs and breeders crop up time and time again.
At the time of writing this update it is March 2011 and for now I hope that 2011 will be peaceful and kind to the Sloughi breed.
Caroline Mathews – March 2011