Yasmine Moss is a 21 year old and owns 6 rescue dogs. She is not a typical mother of a child, but she is a mother figure to not only her own dogs but has helped hundreds of dogs in her lifetime so far…She is a vegetarian and owes her mother a lot, who is also an ardent animal lover, for what she is today.
I don’t know about many others, but I admire her work and cherish her acquaintance…
Yasmine Moss, finally finds time to speak to Beachwalkmuse about her favourite topic – Rescuing dogs…
Tell us something about yourself?
I was born in Margate and have lived in Birchington my whole life. I did my degree in law from University of Kent. After finishing my degree last year, I went on to working for Tag and started fostering dogs.
How did you get involved with TAG?
My mum has always been an animal lover. She was always into animal rights since she was very young. So she knew TAG and she knew Debbie who is from TAG. When I expressed my desire to working with rescue animals, she put me through them and that’s how I started working for TAG.
When was your first rescue?
I think my rescue was when I was around 19 and we found this dog called Marcey in the pound, whose time was up and she was about to be put down. And so I decided to rescue her. We did eventually find her a home – took us about a year but we got there.
So apart from TAG what are you doing job wise?
Right now I am, apart from TAG which is my part time job [so she says!] I also help my brother with his property development business. I manage some properties in Margate. I did a law degree but that is not where my heart is at the moment. I love property and working with TAG part-time allows me the flexibility to pursue my other interests.
What is it that you like about rescuing dogs? What is the most rewarding part?
We have had rescue dogs since I was a baby. My mother would rescue all kind of crazy dogs, so to not have a dog would be weird. Rescuing and finding homes for the dogs is just natural for me. That is how I was raised, perhaps to be an exceptionally tolerant and accepting of dogs in need.
The rewarding bit is to see them improve in health, behaviour etc. Most dogs who come to us or we rescue come with major trauma’s. One of the greatest example would be my dog MILO who was found under a coffee table peeing all over out of fear of people. He was really scared of hands – meaning he got abused a lot. But now he’s come out of his shell, he is outgoing, he enjoys life and to see them come such a long way is very rewarding.
Do you keep a count of how many dogs you have rescued so far?
For TAG, last year we homed about 90 dogs. But I also work for a little rescue called Angels for Dogs which is my mum’s and her best friend rescue organisation. So we rescue from them as well. So between us we have rescued about 60 dogs.
There are so many staffies in the shelters, what are the main reasons why they end up in the shelter?
Most of them come because they fall pregnant, or are unwanted puppies. Some people don’t want a dog after they get into a fight. When people get a dog, they don’t take certain factors into consideration. We never rehome two females in the same house. They get very dominant and tend to get into fights. And a female dog fight is far worse than males. Males fight and forget but females like humans hold a grudge. It is very hard to rehabilitate them to be together.
What do you do to unwind?
If I find time, I like to sleep. But I have got some really lovely friends, if I am stressed and tired I can just call a friend and pop out for drinks or coffee. They understand that this job stresses me out and sometimes makes me upset so I need to talk to people and my friends are always there. I am very lucky that way with my friends. And taking my dogs out as well, walking them and spending some time with them is really nice. When you are fostering a dog, a lot of your attention is on the new dog and your own pack gets ignored so as and when I get a chance, I try to take my lot out on my own and enjoy bonding with them.
If somebody wants to get involved with TAG, what can they do?
Apart from fostering, one can always volunteer at the centre. You will have to contact TAG for that. One of the biggest thing for us at all times is fund raising. It costs us about £2,000 just to look after the kennels. So if anybody could fund raise on our behalf or contribute to TAG, that would be a great help.
We have a lot of Romanian dogs coming in? And there are a lot of people not quite understanding the need to rescue them when we already have so many dogs in our own shelter? What would you say to that?
As I said earlier that TAG has a lot of Staffordshire Bull Terriers and a lot of people don’t want a staff. I get a huge amount of phone calls saying that they don’t want a pit bull or pit bull kind of dog and I have to ask, “do you mean a staff?” People don’t want them and they have a bad reputation and unfortunately you can’t change everyone’s mind.
For me personally, no matter where the dog comes from – Africa or Romania, if a dog can come here and find a home that’s brilliant.
Romanian dogs are street dogs. Their only problem is fear of people. But that is easy to fix with food and affection. Most English dogs in my opinion are spoilt brats. They are victims of neglect or lack of training, abuse and trauma’s which can sometimes take a lot longer to fix. Most of them are not socialised at an early stage, whereas street dogs are already socialised, one doesn’t have to worry about doggy socialisation, that comes to them naturally.
Also dogs in our rescue are not suitable for everyone’s lifestyle, whereas these Romanian dogs are very humble and easy to look after. They just need their little spot to sleep and be fed. Everyone can find a dog amongst them.
People often don’t know how much to walk their dogs. Or they give up because the dog pulls a lot. what would you say to people with such dogs?
I would say get up early, take them out for a walk and try different places. When you take them to the same place, they get bored and pull you towards what attracts them the most. Take them to different places. Exercises is not just a long run, sometimes a short walk but full of smell like a walk to the woods would stimulate the dog’s mind so much that they’d sleep peacefully for a few hours. There has to be a balance between physical and mental exercise. Both are important.
A lot of dogs are not neutered. Would you like to stress on the importance of neutering/spaying your dog?
The reason that there are no many dogs in the centre is because people don’t neuter and spay their dogs. I think a lot of people, especially men don’t like to neuter their male dogs thinking it makes them less of a man or something. But the fact is that the dog can get cancer and you wouldn’t even know it until its too late. And with females, it is so common to find their wombs being infected and they die within a matter of days. And treating that itself is £1,000 if that happens. It is a shame that as a country we’ve come to a point where we have to neuter every possible dog. Just because of a few irresponsible owners, we now neuter every dog. Some dogs are lovely with all their bits but then again in todays time it is only responsible to neuter than otherwise.
Any advice for people who want a dog for their children?
Well a dog is not for children. We have many cases where parents bring a puppy back because their kids wanted the dog but won’t pick up the mess or walk the dog. Children who want dogs, are not necessarily going to look after them even if they promise. As an adult, parents need to know that when they adopt a dog for their children, the major responsibility is theirs. It is not fair on the dog to be passed on from one handler to another because you child couldn’t take the responsibility. I never picked up any of my dogs’ poo for until I was around 18 or so. A dog is not a present, it is a responsibility of at least 15 years.
Yasmine Moss can be contacted through Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/yasmine.moss.798?fref=ts
Or visit their website for animals in need of homes : http://www.tagpetrescue.org.uk/