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Who are we kidding - rescues listing DSH's under breeds - Page 2  

post #31 of 51
Thread Starter 
I still think it is partially a lack of understanding on breeds for a majority of those out there.

I hate to use anecdotal experience as some sort of proof, but really before I started posting on TCS I thought that a cat that LOOKED Siamese WAS a siamese. It wasn't until I read around here that I learned that without papers it is not and will never be. I didn't know this and I've loved kitties since I was a little girl (but never owned a pedigreed cats of course).

I wonder if other ppl were in ignorance like this, I can only imagine.
post #32 of 51
I think the bigger issue here is cats vs. dogs.

I know this sounds crazy so let me explain.

With dogs, it is a given that the dog is either described as a breed or a breed mix or a breed/breed mix. If the dog's heritage is unknown, an educated guess is made based on physical and behavioral characteristics.

There is *nothing* wrong with this IMO. Even if the dog's heritage is unknown, one certainly knows that a Basset Hound mix will be different from a Lab mix or a Pekingese mix or whatever. Listing an animal as a breed mix does give information about the animal's characteristics.

I think this is also a reflection of too little knowledge, in general society, about how cats are different from dogs. We see this in every area of life - from "leash laws" that cities pass for cats, to vets who recommend a diet of dry food only for cats, to pet guardians who assume that since the mixed breed dog they adopted from a shelter is a Beagle mix, then their DSH cat must also be some sort of breed mix.

What they don't fully know is that the differences in genetics and temperament between "extremes" of purebred cats (say, for the sake of argument, Persian and Sphynx) are way, way less than the differences between, say, a Mastiff and a Chihuahua.

I certainly would agree that it is necessary to educate people about the fact that identifying a cat by breed is very unimportant compared with identifying dogs by breed. However, in terms of priorities, it's just not there for me. I feel like we have enough on our plates educating people about the importance of spay/neuter before sexual maturity, why declawing is bad, that cats are a commitment of time and energy and money and love for their entire natural lives, why Hartz flea treatment is nasty stuff that doesn't belong near a cat, etc. If someone knows these things and still wants to adopt a cat that is identified as a mix of a breed whose name s/he recognizes - well, in that case I think I have just found a new home for my Lynx point/snowshoe/Siamese lookalike DSH foster, thank you very much!

I understand why a breeder would be reluctant to have the name of a breed associated with a random-bred cat, because it makes it seem as though this cat is the descendant of a purebred pet-quality cat who was unsterilized, allowed to roam, and possibly even abandoned. So it makes it seem as though the breeder was irresponsible in placing the cat in this home, and therefore it is a negative reflection on all breeders.

But it is hypocritical for a breeder to call on a rescue to be "honest" in marketing cats of unknown heritage who happen to bear a strong resemblance to that particular breed. Breeders too must be honest. They must acknowledge that there [i]are[i] irresponsible breeders who are placing cats in homes where they are not cared for properly. They must acknowledge that there is absolutely no reason to believe that a breed lookalike who ends up in rescue was not registered with the CFA at birth, or is not a direct descendent of a registered cat.

I also think it is not accurate to assume that people will return a cat upon finding out that their "breed mix" is actually not. For one thing, it is something that is pretty difficult to prove or disprove without very expensive genetic testing. But more importantly, such an assumption completely discounts the importance of the human-animal bond. People bond with and love their cats, not with whatever breed the cat is supposed to be.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
I understand why a breeder would be reluctant to have the name of a breed associated with a random-bred cat, because it makes it seem as though this cat is the descendant of a purebred pet-quality cat who was unsterilized, allowed to roam, and possibly even abandoned. So it makes it seem as though the breeder was irresponsible in placing the cat in this home, and therefore it is a negative reflection on all breeders.
While this is indeed a valid point, it isn't what bothers me the most. What bothers me is that "rescue" in general wants either 1) for all breeders to stop breeding completely or 2) for breeders to raise the bar and adhere to a higher standard of practice and disclosure - yet rescue seems reluctant to set that same standard for themselves. If you are going to ask someone to do something of importance and value because it is the right thing to do, then be willing to do that same thing yourself.

As for all breeders being lumped into the same smelly pile, I personally think that the animal rights zealots have had a whole lot to do with that ... and that is all I will say on that topic.
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal

But it is hypocritical for a breeder to call on a rescue to be "honest" in marketing cats of unknown heritage who happen to bear a strong resemblance to that particular breed. Breeders too must be honest. They must acknowledge that there [i]are[i] irresponsible breeders who are placing cats in homes where they are not cared for properly. They must acknowledge that there is absolutely no reason to believe that a breed lookalike who ends up in rescue was not registered with the CFA at birth, or is not a direct descendent of a registered cat.

.

Very true. My Lokis mom was a CFA registered Persian, his mom "got out" the breeder had poor practices in my book but..hes my doll anyways
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
I'll have to admit that when I see Rescue's claiming a cat is a Bengal Mix, or Russian Blue mix, when they clearly aren't makes me lose respect for the Rescue. It is dishonest, plain and simple. I'm sure if someone turned in a purebred Bengal to the Rescue, they would tell them it's a Bengal. I can tell the difference between a Bengal and a regular Tabby cat. Without looking at the coat or the markings, Bengal's have a distinctive face. They look a lot like my Simba in the face, no matter what types of markings they have, be it spotted or marbled. I think the kittens eatrawfish have up for adoption are adorable, but they don't even remotely look like Bengal's. Pepper sort of does look like there could possibly be Bengal in her, but without proof there's no way to be sure.

Anyway, the dishonesty of listing cats as a breed or a breed mix, makes me not trust the rescue's that list them that way. It seems to me, that they are trying to use a Breed as a selling point in finding the cat a home, and they don't care if they're honest. I say, unless you are SURE a cat is a specific breed, you should not list it as that breed or a mix of that breed.
Hope, you took the words right out of my mouth.

I agree with you on everything!
post #36 of 51
Quote:
What bothers me is that "rescue" in general wants either 1) for all breeders to stop breeding completely or 2) for breeders to raise the bar and adhere to a higher standard of practice and disclosure - yet rescue seems reluctant to set that same standard for themselves. If you are going to ask someone to do something of importance and value because it is the right thing to do, then be willing to do that same thing yourself.
And I think we have discussed that agnosium Gaye. I have to agree with semiferal:

Quote:
I certainly would agree that it is necessary to educate people about the fact that identifying a cat by breed is very unimportant compared with identifying dogs by breed. However, in terms of priorities, it's just not there for me. I feel like we have enough on our plates educating people about the importance of spay/neuter before sexual maturity, why declawing is bad, that cats are a commitment of time and energy and money and love for their entire natural lives, why Hartz flea treatment is nasty stuff that doesn't belong near a cat, etc. If someone knows these things and still wants to adopt a cat that is identified as a mix of a breed whose name s/he recognizes - well, in that case I think I have just found a new home for my Lynx point/snowshoe/Siamese lookalike DSH foster, thank you very much!
It just isn't a priority for me to go into the details of a cat that looks siamese but isn't and right now Petfinder isn't set up for "DSH with siamese traits". That may be due to how dogs are listed...but again, I'm sure you will find dog breeders have the same gripe. I do believe that for the most part rescue isn't trying to be snarky with their posting...even I thought a siamese mix (or anything that looked siamese) had siamese heritage. Only by being on this board did I learn that that is far from the truth. Imagine how many rescuers do not know what I now know. Again...we aren't geneticists...and for the most part, I think rescue has enough on their hands to try to bring down the overpopulation and keep cats OUT of the shelter environment. Accurate breed listings are probably low on the list....I haven't had a single case of a cat brought back because it wasn't the breed listed. We have however, had countless people come to us with cats that have peeing issues (these aren't even our cats...they just assume we are part vet, part behaviorist, part rescuer), biting issues etc.

The post that started this discussion was a clear situation of a rescue group who was trying to take advantage of the breed listings....but again, I'm not going to say they are a bad rescue...just a bit misguided when it comes to Bengals.

At some point it would be a good idea for rescues and breeders to come together to find ways to be more accurate in listings....but with 4.4 million animals losing their lives....I don't think today is the day. We (rescue) struggle forth and try to do the best we can...sometimes we falter a bit...but our goal is a lofty one (no more homeless pets) and we deserve a little bit of a break.

Katie
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
To get a grey cat off the streets and tell them they are a Russian Blue Mix, is what I would call embellishing the truth a bit. I can understand that adoptions are picking up, because people are thinking they're getting a cat of a specific breed or patially that breed for a fraction of the price they would be paying to get an actual Russian Blue.
i used to tell people that my Mouse was not a Russian blue, because she wasn't [saw her mother!] but she did have a thick, plush, double coat like a Russian Blue's. her eyes were wrong, tho - not that beautiful emerald, but a beautiful golden-green shade. i didn't care - she was beautiful! i chose her for appearance, because i think blue cats are lovely - but i loved her for her personality. if i had had to describe her for adoption, i would've called her a DSH with a double coat.
post #38 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
The post that started this discussion was a clear situation of a rescue group who was trying to take advantage of the breed listings....but again, I'm not going to say they are a bad rescue...just a bit misguided when it comes to Bengals.
In defense of the crazy lady who drives me nuts who trapped the kittens and is helping me foster, I have since come to the opinion that she is actually just very ignorant. At first I thought she was trying to capatalize on bengals popularity, but since then she has said a few things to make me believe she is just clueless about these things. I think she honestly believes she has a bengal colony because they look like bengals. And who is going to educate her on the difference?
post #39 of 51
I could be wrong, so I want someone who knows for sure to clarify this for me...

Aren't there almost no naturally occuring actual 'breeds' of cat? Weren't most of them sort of developed from DSH or wildcats ( or some combination thereof)? Thus making DSH sort of the 'industry standard' as it were?
post #40 of 51
i'm all for honesty. i've seen a shelter that charges $200 for "purebred" cats, and $100 for moggies....and lists almost EVERYONE as a purebred, and honestly, quite a few of them look nothing like the breed they're listed as. i'm all for saying it may be a mix, but i'd much rather they just come out and say "i didnt see this cat's conception and birth, and no one gave me papers when it was surrendered, and anything i thought it was would be a speculation, so i'll just stick to what i know and say it's a moggy".


This is not the only shelter i've seen label a bunch of moggies as pedigrees because they charge higher for peds either. Maybe if they were the same price as the cats in the shelter that didnt look like a popular breed, and labeled as a mix, i'd be more for it, but i've seen too many price-gougings that arent based on definite parentage at all...
post #41 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227
i used to tell people that my Mouse was not a Russian blue, because she wasn't [saw her mother!] but she did have a thick, plush, double coat like a Russian Blue's. her eyes were wrong, tho - not that beautiful emerald, but a beautiful golden-green shade. i didn't care - she was beautiful! i chose her for appearance, because i think blue cats are lovely - but i loved her for her personality. if i had had to describe her for adoption, i would've called her a DSH with a double coat.
My Lola is the same way...double coat, slate nose, completely solid blue...but green gold eyes. If they had told me she was a Russian Blue, I wouldn't have believed them (since my whole understanding of purebreds is basically that being an offical purebred comes from parentage and certification, not looks or traits) but I would have understood if we had sort of marketed her as such. Personally, I will never be owned by a cat who is not a rescue, but that's me. I am attracted to the breed DS/M/LH, I think they are lovely, wonderful kitties.
post #42 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
i'm all for honesty. i've seen a shelter that charges $200 for "purebred" cats, and $100 for moggies....and lists almost EVERYONE as a purebred, and honestly, quite a few of them look nothing like the breed they're listed as. i'm all for saying it may be a mix, but i'd much rather they just come out and say "i didnt see this cat's conception and birth, and no one gave me papers when it was surrendered, and anything i thought it was would be a speculation, so i'll just stick to what i know and say it's a moggy".


This is not the only shelter i've seen label a bunch of moggies as pedigrees because they charge higher for peds either. Maybe if they were the same price as the cats in the shelter that didnt look like a popular breed, and labeled as a mix, i'd be more for it, but i've seen too many price-gougings that arent based on definite parentage at all...
Perhaps I'm not understanding where you are coming from...but most rescues charge more than shelters. Most shelters hold a cat for a particuliar time and then euthanize them. Most rescues will hold a cat until it is adopted..which could take months/years...so the expenses of housing,feeding, advertizing etc. falls to the rescue. I don't see anything wrong with charging $200 for a cat that is UTD on shots and neutered/spayed..especially since the fee goes to rescue other cats that awaiting death in shelters. The rescue I volunteer with charges $150 per cat and that doesn't even cover the vet bills. We charge the same fee for a moggie or a purebred mix.

Oftentimes, it isn't even the rescue who mislabels a cat....it will be it's previous owner at the time they drop it off. Even the vets that we work with will call a cat a siamese mix instead of a moggie..so again, I don't see the false advertizing. I see a community that is trying to place cats....and labelling them the way they see them.

I would love for there to come a time when a moggie is just as "valued" as a purebred look-alike...but currently that isn't the case.

Katie
post #43 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1

Oftentimes, it isn't even the rescue who mislabels a cat....it will be it's previous owner at the time they drop it off. Even the vets that we work with will call a cat a siamese mix instead of a moggie..so again, I don't see the false advertizing. I see a community that is trying to place cats....and labelling them the way they see them.

I would love for there to come a time when a moggie is just as "valued" as a purebred look-alike...but currently that isn't the case.
But ... but ... when someone misrepresents a DSH as a "breed mix", isn't that just perpetuating the idea that a DSH isn't as valued as a pedigeed cat? IMO, it is in blatant disregard of the cat's intrinsic value as a potential companion ... and most certainly allows us to think that just because a cat might be a breed mix, it is somehow better than a mere DSH of unknown breed/heritage.

I must say that I have learned quite a lot from participating in this thread, but I think it is time now for me to bow out. I am becoming frustrated and since my thoughts on this topic are well documented, I really don't feel able to add anything more at this time.
post #44 of 51
(from www.dictionary.com)
mix
v. mixed, mix·ing, mix·es
4. To produce (an organism) by crossbreeding.

v. cross·bred, (-brd) cross·breed·ing, cross·breeds
To produce (an organism) by the mating of individuals of different breeds, varieties, or species; hybridize.

n. breed
1. A group of organisms having common ancestors and certain distinguishable characteristics, especially a group within a species developed by artificial selection and maintained by controlled propagation. Really, it's a matter of semantics. It's still open to interpretation, but in my personal opinion, to call an animal a "mix" is to imply that you have absolute concrete knowledge that there is an ancestor of a certain breed among his or her forebears. And of course, unless you know his genealogy that's just impossible. Call it a lookalike, call it a wannabe, but again unless you know, calling it a "mix" is inaccurate at best. This kitty is being called a Siamese mix. I find it doubtful that she has Siamese anywhere in her ancestry. She does have a well expressed white spotting gene :-) and what might be called a Turkish Van pattern just so there is something to compare it to as it is even MORE doubtful of course that there's any Van in her background.
post #45 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
Perhaps I'm not understanding where you are coming from...but most rescues charge more than shelters. Most shelters hold a cat for a particuliar time and then euthanize them. Most rescues will hold a cat until it is adopted..which could take months/years...so the expenses of housing,feeding, advertizing etc. falls to the rescue. I don't see anything wrong with charging $200 for a cat that is UTD on shots and neutered/spayed..especially since the fee goes to rescue other cats that awaiting death in shelters. The rescue I volunteer with charges $150 per cat and that doesn't even cover the vet bills. We charge the same fee for a moggie or a purebred mix.

Oftentimes, it isn't even the rescue who mislabels a cat....it will be it's previous owner at the time they drop it off. Even the vets that we work with will call a cat a siamese mix instead of a moggie..so again, I don't see the false advertizing. I see a community that is trying to place cats....and labelling them the way they see them.

I would love for there to come a time when a moggie is just as "valued" as a purebred look-alike...but currently that isn't the case.

Katie



It is a shelter, not a rescue . What I am saying is that purposely labeling a moggy as a purebred anything just so you can add $100 to the adoption fee is absurd.

I see nothing wrong with charging that much either as $200 in some places would buy one neuter and some food (and the price for unspeutered animals was an extra $100, btw), but the point i was trying to make was that their moggies were $100, and their "purebreds" who bore absolutely no resemblance to the breeds they were listed as were $200.

They should label them mixes at most (as they were mostly strays, not abandons to begin with) , but of the 30 cats this shelter had, they'd labelled all but 3 or 4 as purebreds (not mixes, but purebreds). Some of their "purebred siamese" had points and yellow eyes, every tailless cat was immediately a "purebred manx" or "purebred american bobtail", and they had a bunch of "purebred persians", most of which looked like they were just longhaired moggies. They even had a litter of "purebred persian kittens" that were simply longhaired moggies, and they admitted that those were found abandoned somewhere.
post #46 of 51
Quote:
But ... but ... when someone misrepresents a DSH as a "breed mix", isn't that just perpetuating the idea that a DSH isn't as valued as a pedigeed cat? IMO, it is in blatant disregard of the cat's intrinsic value as a potential companion ... and most certainly allows us to think that just because a cat might be a breed mix, it is somehow better than a mere DSH of unknown breed/heritage.
Nope...that is recognizing that SOCIETY at large views purebred mixes as intrinsically more valuable...I don't know why. Perhaps it has to do with owning something you can't find in every barn, on every street or for free. Every rescue will tell you how much easier to place any cat that "looks" purebred over your average DSH or DLH. We are working on that by spaying/neutering to bring the DSH and DLH into more reasonable numbers....but right now, cats lives are on the line. So, call me a hypocrite...I'd rather see more cats live under a wrong label then have more die calling them all DSH.

Katie
post #47 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
It is a shelter, not a rescue . What I am saying is that purposely labeling a moggy as a purebred anything just so you can add $100 to the adoption fee is absurd.

I see nothing wrong with charging that much either as $200 in some places would buy one neuter and some food (and the price for unspeutered animals was an extra $100, btw), but the point i was trying to make was that their moggies were $100, and their "purebreds" who bore absolutely no resemblance to the breeds they were listed as were $200.

They should label them mixes at most (as they were mostly strays, not abandons to begin with) , but of the 30 cats this shelter had, they'd labelled all but 3 or 4 as purebreds (not mixes, but purebreds). Some of their "purebred siamese" had points and yellow eyes, every tailless cat was immediately a "purebred manx" or "purebred american bobtail", and they had a bunch of "purebred persians", most of which looked like they were just longhaired moggies. They even had a litter of "purebred persian kittens" that were simply longhaired moggies, and they admitted that those were found abandoned somewhere.
Have you ever asked why they charge a different fee for what they believe are purebreds over moggies? Have you asked them what the extra $100 goes towards??? I think a lot of assumptions are made without asking the organization directly. I'd be interested in reading their response. BTW..there are no kill rescue shelters...they are different from kill shelters.

Katie
post #48 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseHawke
(from www.dictionary.com)
mix
v. mixed, mix·ing, mix·es
4. To produce (an organism) by crossbreeding.

v. cross·bred, (-brd) cross·breed·ing, cross·breeds
To produce (an organism) by the mating of individuals of different breeds, varieties, or species; hybridize.

n. breed
1. A group of organisms having common ancestors and certain distinguishable characteristics, especially a group within a species developed by artificial selection and maintained by controlled propagation. Really, it's a matter of semantics. It's still open to interpretation, but in my personal opinion, to call an animal a "mix" is to imply that you have absolute concrete knowledge that there is an ancestor of a certain breed among his or her forebears. And of course, unless you know his genealogy that's just impossible. Call it a lookalike, call it a wannabe, but again unless you know, calling it a "mix" is inaccurate at best. This kitty is being called a Siamese mix. I find it doubtful that she has Siamese anywhere in her ancestry. She does have a well expressed white spotting gene :-) and what might be called a Turkish Van pattern just so there is something to compare it to as it is even MORE doubtful of course that there's any Van in her background.
In your example....the group probably looked at the markings and thought..well, that may be interesting to someone who likes siamese cats...notice, they did say DSH mix. I'm not saying they are right in putting siamese in the title...I don't see it either...but bless them if it works to get this kitten into a home. Petfinder isn't an exact science..it is a guess at best and thank goodness it exists...so many more animals are living because people are able to do a search on the characteristics they like. But the problem arises in that the labelling is so narrow...something either is a purebred or a mix or a moggie. As stated before...I don't think it is intentionally to misrespresent a cat as to give it a better chance. Unfortunately a siamese mix who is a biter has a better chance than it's moggie cousin who is a lap cat. Gosh, I wish that wasn't the case...and I live for the day when moggies have equal standings (as cats) as their purebred cousins.

Katie
post #49 of 51
Thread Starter 
I find it very interesting what I have learned here. I will continue to act in a way which I find comfortable.
post #50 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseHawke
This kitty is being called a Siamese mix.
i don't know where they're getting that - she doesn't even show points or a mask! my sister has a moggy, with tabby points & mask... looks sort of like a lynx point siamese, the same way Mouse look sort of like a russian blue. but this kitty doesn't look at all siamese to me.
post #51 of 51
Some may notice that some posts have beed edited or removed. This was done because the posts in question were very much off topic from the question asked.

We believe that both sides of this argument have been expressed very well and very clearly. At this point it seems further posts would only make for a circular discussion.

Thank you everyone for expressing yourselves clearly and while attacking the arguments, not attacking the person behind the argument.
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