If you are a kind hearted animal lover, then at some point you have considered getting a rescue dog. I don’t blame you, I have three, but my story of doggy rescue is different from most. This is how my rescue dogs came into my life and some advice if you are thinking of adopting a dog.
My first dog was adopted from an animal shelter who assessed my home and considered my house suitable for animal ownership. And that I was not a crazy person who took part in dog fighting as a hobby. The next two were from a friend who couldn’t cope with the exercise demands of a husky. She had a staffie as well, who I just fell in love with, so he came home with me too. I’ve had my dogs for a while now and it has been a success but there are times when I see a post on social network asking for a dog to go to a good home and I’ve had to stop myself from running to the rescue. It sounds unfair that I would so willing take three other dogs without a second thought but stop myself from taking more on. First of all, three dogs is more than enough for any sane person and bringing another one into the mix would be unfair on them. But if you have no dogs why shouldn’t you rush out and adopt one of these poor pets that need a good home? Maybe you should but keep in mind these hints to help you.
My first attempt at walkies. I now have harnesses for them and a skateboard for me.
Do not adopt rescue dogs from social network sites
When you see a post online “free to good home” and you feel the pull to throw caution to the wind, stop. Ask yourself why this person is getting rid of the dog. It’s more than likely that this dog has some problem that the owners can’t handle or don’t want to deal with. It could be a health issue which could cost you thousands in vet bills or a behaviour problem which could cost you a hand or a chunk of your arm. If these owners need their family pet rehomed, then they need to take it to an animal rehoming centre where it can be assessed and rehomed to a suitable family. When I took on my last two dogs, they were from a good friend who knew I could handle them, not a stranger. When these people are trying to pass their pet off to you, they won’t tell you about any problems, it’s the problems they are trying to get rid of. You may never know the full story of why it needs to be rehomed and unless you are an animal expert, and you put yourself in a dangerous situation with an animal with an unknown temperament and history.
Do adopt from a shelter
There are thousands, if not millions of dogs in rehoming centres which need a loving home. Most rehoming centres will do health checks and neuter the animal. They also do home checks to ensure that the environment the dog is going to is safe. They will also assess the dog to find out if there are any behavioural problems which might need to be addressed. Both your needs and the dogs needs are taken into account. A good centre will disclose all the needs of the dog including any health problems or training needs. These people are experts who will never place a dangerous animal in a home where people could get hurt. If you have children, big or small, they will find you a dog in their care who is suitable around children.
Don’t rescue dogs from a puppy farm
This seems obvious but I’ve known people who have bought a puppy from a puppy farm and considered it rescuing. But all they have done is handed over their money to a terrible person who will then continue to breed dogs with no thought for the animals wellbeing. If you know of a puppy farm, then report it to animal welfare who will investigate and tackle the problem. Do not try to deal with it yourself! There are people who get paid to deal with this sort of thing and they have the backing of the police and the courts.
The puppies from these mills are normally very ill from interbreeding with birth defects and disabilities. Sadly, many of these puppies die within the first year of their life no matter how much great care they are given.
I know it’s sad to think of a dog which might be suffering at the hands of others but it’s not up to you to solve the world’s problems. If you want to adopt, contact a shelter that can help you. Help your shelter out by volunteering your time, if you can’t do that then I find some cash normally goes down well.
As a parting thought, if you have gotten a dog or puppy for Christmas and have found it’s not working out, then I ask you to give it some time to allow the dog to settle in. It can be stressful for an animal to come into a new home. Adjustments need to be made on both sides. If after a month or two, it’s still not working, then please send it to an animal shelter with a policy that doesn’t put a healthy dog down. But normally some proper training and extra time spent with them can make a difference.
Do not put it on social networking or anything like that. The poor critter may find itself going into dogfighting. Many of the dogs advertised online with the caption “Free to a good home” end up being used as bait dogs for dog fighting rings.