Central Coast Herding Dog Rescue (CCHDRescue) is dedicated to finding homes for Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Australian Cattle Dogs/Queensland Heelers and other herding breeds and mixes. The organization is a federally recognized non-profit organization, under Rescue Alliance. Their website lists dogs in shelters as well as dogs in homes and foster care, and is intended to help adopters seeking good dogs, and dogs seeking loving homes. 100% of adoption fees go back into the care of the dogs. The geographical area covers Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties but the organization can act as a resource to help Herding Dogs and owners throughout the U.S.
In 2008 Wendy Hoffman adopted her first dog from a Border Collie Rescue when she saw a woman fostering nine dogs in her small Los Angeles home. Wendy came to the realization that she could at least foster one dog. Wendy is not known for doing anything half way, she took over Central Coast Border Collie Rescue and expanded the rescue to become the Central Coast Herding Dog Rescue in 2012.
Herding dogs like many breeds are a misunderstood genre of working dogs. They were bred to be highly intelligent and are tireless. Like most breeds of dog, they should be with people who can provide the lifestyle required to spotlight what they really are, amazing and very active animals. They are as valuable as any hired hand on the job. In the environment these dogs are bred for they work relentlessly, for long periods of time, in every kind of climate and terrain. Wendy calls them “ten hour a day dogs”. Although they are physically tough, their intelligence makes them very sensitive.
Herding dogs don’t do well in shelters. Their intelligence, sensitivity and loyalty will turn a stellar dog, into the dog you see cowering behind bars. Herding dogs don’t “show well” in the shelter environment, they shut down and can quickly be deemed “Rescue Only” meaning, only a licensed dog rescue may pull them from the shelter, or labeled as “Fearful” for rightfully being terrified at the turn of events. This leaves the dogs stranded in the shelters and often among the first to be euthanized.
Challenging is an understatement for having a lot of these dogs in the rescue environment. They are not kenneled or crated at CCHD Rescue. The dogs are in yards and must coexist with each other. Wendy’s job is to ensure they socialize well, so she knows they will behave in a new home. A big priority is ensuring they are exercised properly. Walking is not going to be enough for most Border Collies or Cattle Dogs, they need to run off leash. Running off leash requires land. Dog parks are an option, but the best situation is open land with varying terrain.
The dogs at CCHD Rescue are in need of new homes for various reasons ranging from being unwanted pets, no longer useful due to injuries or age or not quite skilled enough to be working dogs. The other end of the spectrum, are the ones who are high drive working dogs, purchased as a pet for an urban home, and unprepared for a dog with a need to work. Dogs are also acquired who’s owners loved them, but for financial or health reasons are no longer able to keep their dog. Whatever the cause it’s always bad news and tragic for these die-hard, loyal dogs.
The Central Coast Herding Dog Rescue is here to help. The fostered dogs stay here in rescue indefinitely, until they find their perfect situation. Sometimes they can be placed in a foster home, where they can experience more personal attention. When a dog is adopted, the adopters have a trial period to get to know the dog and see if they match. If the match does not work the dogs come back to CCHD Rescue. If issues come up during the trial period usually things can be sorted out over the phone or through email, but in the event the dog does come back, a more appropriate match is found. To date all dogs that have come through the CCHD Rescue program have been adopted. No dog will be returned to a shelter.
The long term goal of CCHD Rescue is education and awareness. Here are some high impact steps every responsible dog owner can take.
1. Spaying and Neutering are at the top of the educational list. Sterilizing your dog doesn’t make them any less of who they are. Dogs can’t control the pet over population and indiscriminate breeding issue that is destroying thousands of dog lives daily. As some TV show hosts have ended their segments with “Please, spay and neuter” we can’t stress this enough! No reputable rescue adopts a canine out that hasn’t been sterilized.
2. Vaccinate. Even one vaccination can be the difference between life and a heartbreaking cruel needless death. Although Distemper / Parvo vaccines are not mandatory as is a Rabies vaccine, these will save your dogs life. A simple $15 vaccine will save you, your family and your pup from an agonizing, unnecessary and often, very expensive death. All unvaccinated dogs are susceptible to these diseases, but 1 year and under as well as older dogs are the most vulnerable.
Another future goal is to purchase a van that will better accommodate the transportation of multiple dogs and crates. Please take a moment to visit the Central Coast Herding Dog Rescue website at www.cchdrescue.org. If you can provide help in anyway it will be appreciated. There is a PayPal button available for donations which are completely tax deductible. A simple visit to the website today might just lead to a forever loving partner tomorrow. Follow CCHD Rescue on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cchdrescue.org/?fref=ts. If you are interested in fostering a dog or becoming a volunteer, please contact Wendy Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.