If you know anything about me, (or follow this blog closely), you will know that I currently have 4 rescue dogs.
Probably the most common question I get as a dog expert is about rescue dogs and how to rescue dogs. So I thought I would give you a brief lowdown as to why I rescue, and why I think it is so important to rescue dogs instead of purchasing
Rescue does not mean damaged. Let me just put that out there. So many people overlook rescue dogs when getting a new addition for the family as they think there is something wrong with the dog. This just isn’t always the case. Most of the time, there is something wrong with the human!!!
Most people who surrender their dogs to rescue groups, jumped into dog ownership without planning (the dog was an impulse purchase), they didn’t think ahead (didn’t plan for a baby or moving house), or frankly they couldn’t be bothered (they didn’t realize how much time, effort and money a dog would take). Now I am not by any means saying that this is the case for all dog owners who surrender. There are some incredibly legitimate reasons to surrender a dog to a rescue (including illness (mental and physical), death, domestic abuse, etc).
The problem is that now a perfectly good dog is sitting in a rescue center or kennel through no fault of it’s own. And sometimes the dog sits and waits for a new owner for a long time….sometimes years. There is nothing wrong with the dog in this instance. Circumstance has dealt it a bad hand and now it is being overlooked because it is believed to be damaged goods and someone would rather purchase a puppy from a pet shop
No matter how lovely a rescue is, they are not the same as a 5 star, loving home. It is very rare for a dog to thrive in a rescue environment. They are noisy by nature and don’t have the home comforts many dogs were brought up with. No rescue center in the world can provide the same level of care, love and attention as a good home can. Rescue centers are brilliant, but the dog will always do better in a home environment vs a kennel.
Yes, you may have heard this line before, and it is by no means a way to guilt trip people into rescuing dogs. It is just something that happens within the rescue system. Kill shelters exist, and even perfectly healthy dogs and puppies are sometimes put down through lack of space. Even non kill shelters can contribute to the death of other animals. Even if they are not directly killing the animals within the shelter, for each full cage in a rescue, the organisation have to turn down another dog that is in need (sometimes greater need) because they are full. The answer is to get dogs adopted as soon as possible in order to free up space for other animals to get help
This is such a common response as to why people don’t choose a rescue dog and it’s just not true. Yes, your local Animal Control may not have that breed in at the moment, however that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist in rescue somewhere else or will not appear at your local rescue in the future.
Almost every single dog breed imaginable has a rescue group associated with it. Even some of the rarest breed in the world (including the Dandie Dinmont Terrier and Mudi), have rescue groups that aid the breed.
Yes, if you specifically want a 4 year old, white, female, Pomeranian, it may take a while longer to source but it doesn’t mean it is not possible.
I always wanted a white Pomeranian (I was going to call him Broadway) but my local rescue in NYC hardly ever had pomeranians. I checked their adoption page twice daily for months. However, a female, black, pom puppy came into their rescue which was not exactly what my hearts desire was, but I went to see her anyway. I fell in love with little Folly and the rest is history. However, if I had just broadened my search a little more, I would have seen that California had at least 17 white/cream pomeranians in shelters at the exact time I was looking.
Also, consider why you want a certain breed. You may be better matched to a cross bread dog that has been fully vetted by a rescue. There is nothing wrong with cross breeds, and sometimes they are considered genetically healthier.
Most rescue groups will match you up to a perfect dog based on your lifestyle, not based on the color or breed, but the dog as an individual.
I hear this so many times. It just isn’t true. No reputable rescue group will rehome an aggressive dog to a member of the public. It just won’t happen. Yes, a rescue dog may be scared, or anxious, or mentally and physically fatigued and require some training and guidance. But, you can argue that any puppy you buy may be the same and will definitely need training.
Most rescues even pre- train the dogs a small amount before they go to their new home. It is in the rescue groups best interest for the dog to work out in your home so toilet training and basic obedience training starts early.
I absolutely don’t hate dog breeders and am in fact friends with many dog breeders. However, with the rise and rise of backyard breeders, puppy farmers and unscrupulous dog owners breeding for profit, you do have to do a lot of research before buying from a breeder.
A good dog breeder should not be breeding for profit, but rather bettering the breed. They should be doing extensive medical testing on the dogs genetics and making sure they are breeding in order to take their breed into the future, not just for aesthetics.
If you need your dog to perform a specific service, absolutely get a specifically bred dog. But, if your dog is just a family pet, I urge you to consider overlooking the local pet shop and considering a rescue dog.
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We agree 100%. Much as we would love to adopt a Siamese, finding one is a rescue will take time 😉 BUT we will not buy.
Some of your statements are excuses people use aren’t they? Not my breed, aggressive untrainable….. People want avoid adopting a shelter or rescue pet and THESE are the BEST kind!! Sheesh…….
I have seen a few Siamese cats in rescue so fingers one crosses your path soon
It’s so true that even “breeds” of dogs are available for rescue. There are many breed rescue organizations out there with dogs and cats waiting to find a home! What’s important is that you know and understand what you are “getting into” when bringing a pet into your home and the commitment that comes with it.
Absolutely. Thank you for commenting in support of rescue dogs
Thank you for spreading positive awareness about adopting!! You are so right – rescued pets are NOT damaged! So many times elderly people have to give up their beloved pets! That is just one of many examples of the non-damaged pets available to adopt! Good breeders are not bad people but there are a lot of bad people / bad breeders out there so one has to be so careful when buying and honestly pets for sale usually always find homes. It’s the pets in shelters that need us most! I think it is wonderful you fell in love with a black pom when your heart wanted a white one. I am sure plenty of humans have an IDEA of the type of PERSON we want to fall in love with but the heart falls for what it falls for! Most of the time we end up with someone we never imagined ourselves with. Same goes for pets. They just capture our hearts! Thank you for being a rescue parent!
That is such a good point. Thanks for raising it
YES YES YES!!!!!! This post is awesome and you touched on ever sensitive item that makes me fill with rage about people — like when I tell them about breed specific rescues and then they say “I don’t want to wait” —ugh. Thank you for a great post will share!
It;s our job as rescue advocates to educate those that don’t understand the rescue process
I am also a big supporter of animal rescue. All of our 7 cats are rescues! And when the time comes for us to get a dog, we will be adopting. Thank for debunking so many of the myths surrounding rescue dogs and for encouraging others to consider rescuing as well!
Thank you so much for commenting
There are lovely desirable dogs to be found in rescue. Mr. N came mostly pre-trained and is of a “fashionable” breed mix. People often tell me they want a dog like him and I mention that he is a rescue pup.
Mine are fashionable also and all from rescue groups. Thank you for being such a great rescue advocate
Yay! I love this post. My husband’s family always bought dogs from breeders. I’ve had a purebred GSD myself as a child. I don’t have anything against reputable breeders. That being said, I choose to rescue my dogs. Whether purebred or mutt, there is a rescue dog waiting for their perfect family to love them. My dogs are family and I would never choose anything but rescue.
I have nothing against good breeders either. However, there are so many bad breeders out there now
We agree with you, both our dogs are rescue dogs, one a pedigree, the other a cross mix. We love them both and they both had their own issues to overcome. One we rescued when he was 11 weeks old and the other at 1 year old. We love them both and couldn’t be without them now, it hasn’t always been easy, but we could never give up on them.
We love our dogs no matter where they came from
I only rescue, will not give a penny to a breeder. My parents always rescued and I learned from them that rescued dogs make the best dogs. Thank you for sharing this blog.
My parents always rescued also. I learnt from them
I am totally for adopting from the shelter and I would never buy a dog while there are so many of them abandoned. The dogs in a rescue shelter in my town are such sweethearts and they deserve a loving home, just as any dog.
We know many of our friends and family members who’ve gotten their dogs and cats from rescues. We came from a breeder, but Mom Paula researched, interviewed, and visited our location before committing to bringing us home. She withdrew from some breeders because of the “red flags” that went up when she asked questions. We believe people should obtain their fur children from wherever they feel most comfortable, but they should research the breed, the dog, and the location where it’s living.
Rescuing dogs is good to do. My cockers were sort of rescues since I inherited them. I haven’t gone to a rescue yet for an unknown dog. Possibly in the future.
We made the same points about rescues in our rescues rock TV series. I have nothing against responsible breeders. In fact, they work towards the health of breeds and I love what they do with service dogs etc. However I have rescued all my life. My 3 rescues before Kilo were perfect family pets that lived LONG and happy lives over an almost 40 year span. Kilo, my latest “foster fail” is the cutest little pug and has been with me 3 years but he had big issues – luckily we had the time $ and contacts to help. He has been the exception and he is still absolutely adored. We shine spotlights on all the amazing rescue dogs we know.
I love this! I agree that rescuing pets is important and a better option than breeding when there are so many amazing pets that need homes. All of my moms pets have been rescues and mine will be too!
This is a great post to dispel all those stereotypes about adopting from shelters. Shelter dogs (and cats) are the some of the most lovable , healthy beings (even more so than in fancy pet shops from puppy mills). At least from a shelter, dogs and cats get their vaccinations and in some cases spayed/neutered before adoption so a new owner is starting off on a good note. In the grand scheme of things, it’s about saving lives here and finding loving forever homes.
We have a rescue dog who is a mutt and will always rescue! Rescue dogs are precious and I don’t want to judge but honestly, if one lives in a city or town and does not need a dog for a specific job, why go looking for a certain breed (most times they are appearance based)? Give mutts a chance, they are awesome! thanks for dispelling stupid myths about rescue.
Adopting a shelter dog (not puppy) was probably the smartest pet decision I ever made. He was so easy and we didn’t lose any sleep, shoes, or rugs while he acclimated to the family. Although you should never say “never,” I think my puppy days are over. Rescue dogs make great companions!
This is such a great post, thanks for writing it! I’m always promoting breed specific rescues, so many people still don’t realize they exist! Anyone can have the dog of their dreams without buying one online or from a puppy store.
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them