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BOGO Spotlight: Wisconsin German Shorthair Pointer Rescue

by Kristin Waters |

As a part of our commitment to giving back to rescue groups, we select two organizations every month to be the recipient of our Buy One Give One (BOGO) program.Our BOGO program is based on online sales from two of our leash and collar collections (I Am A Rescue or Support The Underdog). For every collar/leash purchased from these collections, one is donated to a rescue group.

WGSPR logo

We are thrilled to announce that the Wisconsin German Shorthair Pointer Rescue is our BOGO recipient from August 1 - 15. WGSPR is celebrating its 10th anniversary, so we're happy to help them out and commemorate their founding! WGSPR saves German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs) from shelters, humane societies, and owner surrenders in Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan. Their dogs are placed into foster homes to be loved, nurtured, trained and in some cases nursed back to health while they find the perfect permanent home and loving family for them.

We asked WGSPR's director Terri Roehrig some questions about WGSPR and what the role of a breed rescue is in the world of animal shelters and rescue groups.


PBC: Tell us a little bit about WGSPR.

Terri:We are one of the smaller GSP rescues in the Nation. Our surrounding sister GSP rescues save 100 or more GSPs a year. While we do focus on the purebred dogs, we do take in GSP mixes, and GWP or GWP mixes, English Pointers and Pointer Mixes. It is about the dog and the situation they are coming from, along with available foster homes that help us make our decision to bring a dog in. We partner with our surrounding state GSP rescues and help each other out when one rescue has more intakes than foster homes, we help were we can. 90-95%% of the GSPs we rescue are purebred, the rest mixes.

PBC: Tell us about the German Shorthaired Pointer breed.


Terri: WGSPR is affiliated with the National GSP rescue which is sponsored and supported by the GSP Club of America. We are also supported by the WI GSP Club.Since the GSP is a special sporting breed that need lots of exercise and mental stimulation, they end up needing rescue because they are too much to handle for some people. They are a very versatile dog but need their energy worn off daily or they can start exhibiting destructive behaviors. Many times an owner who is not familiar with the breed will get a young dog and not realize how much work they are - yes they are work - they need to be exercised for 1-5 hours/day depending on age. Yes! 1-5 hours. If they are young or even old - you can't wear them out! Mental stimulation helps as well - lots of mental stimulation. GSPs need a job - daily. They are excellent swimmers as well. One of the rare breeds that have webbed feet.

PBC: How do GSPs end up in rescue?
Terri: There are owners and breeders that just give up on them. Generally around Christmas to March each year we see an increase in rescues because Hunters, owners and breeders will "dump" their hunting dogs due to old age. How old?  around 7-8 years old.  Life expectancy on a GSP is about 12-16 yrs old. Yes - the dog has half of its life left yet and are dumped because the owner/breeder wants a young dog to hunt with or breed. With every breed, you have your good breeders and your not so good breeders. The other reason we get busy that time of year is buyer remorse - people getting a GSP for Christmas as a present and after a few months realize how much work they are and give them up. That is why RESCUE exists.
The other reason rescue exists is for those unfortunate life circumstances. Death, divorce, loss of job, moving, hoarding situations, etc, and owners can't keep the dog, that is where we step in to help out. We recently rescued four 8 yr old GSPs that were homeless because they their breeder/owner passed away. They were kept in 3 x 5 kennels and were outside all of their life. The transition to a life of being with humans daily, house training, crate training and general commands has been amazing! They are so resilient and have flourished. Currently three of the four have been adopted and we have an adoption pending on the fourth one. They LOVE the human attention and are so loving and loyal.
PBC: Tell us a challenging moment in rescue and how you got through it.
Terri: The most challenging moment in rescue is when I took over the rescue at the end of 2014 from the previous president. She left us with $427 in the bank and we only had a handful of volunteers. We had no idea it was that bad. I rallied the volunteers we had, we developed a fundraising plan and started fundraising to get us back on our  feet. I looked for Board of Director members and we met monthly to strategize to save the rescue. We updated our bylaws and started operating by them. We got a new bank and partnered with them. We started marketing for new volunteers. It was not just me - it was our board and all of our volunteers that rallied to bring the rescue to where it is today. We now have a logo, a brand, an identity, a webstore, updated website.
We did all of this and tripled the amount of dogs we saved in one year and increased our volunteer base from 10 to over 60! We have a very dedicated volunteer organization that assists with fundraising and education. Brat frys, pet expos and shows, hunting events and shows, partnering with the WI GSP club are all things we have done to help educate the public about the rescue work we do and the importance of giving the rescued GSPs a 2nd chance at life.


Donate a PBC collar or leash to WGSPR when you get one for your dog!

Check out our Buy One Give One (BOGO) collections here.

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