adopting a dog , please consider the following -
What do you
think you can offer the dog? If a dog was going to choose to come into your
home, what experiences do you think it would have? How do you think it’s going
to feel, living with you? Tell me about you? Do you shout a lot? Do you sleep a
lot? And then see what kind of dog might be able to live with you. And if you
think you don’t have time for a dog ...then you don't .
Why on earth would anyone
want to adopt a rescue dog? After all, aren't they like used cars? Who
wants someone else's problems? If the dog is so wonderful, why would anyone give
him away? If he was a stray, why didn't someone try to find him? I'd rather buy
a puppy so I know what I'm getting, and besides they're so cute!"
Rescue groups often hear a variation of this
conversation. Many prospective dog owners are just not convinced that owning an
older (i.e, 6 mo.+)"pre-owned" dog is better than buying a puppy. But there are
a number of reasons why adopting a pet from a rescue that carefully screens and
evaluates its dogs can provide an even better alternative.
Here are the "Top 10 Reasons You Should Consider a
In a Word--Housebroken. With most family members
gone during the work week for 8 hours or more, housetraining a puppy and its
small bladder can take awhile. Puppies need a consistent schedule with frequent
opportunities to eliminate where you want them to. They can't wait for the boss
to finish his meeting or the kids to come home from after school activities. An
older dog can "hold it" much more reliably for longer time periods, and usually
the Rescue has him housebroken before he is adopted.
Intact Underwear. With a chewy puppy, you can count on
at least 10 mismatched pairs of socks and a variety of unmentionables rendered
to the "rag bag" before he cuts every tooth. and don't even think about shoes!
also, you can expect holes in your carpet (along with the urine stains), pages
missing from books, stuffing exposed from couches, and at least one dead remote
control. no matter how well you watch them, it will happen--this is a puppy's
job! an older dog can usually have the run of the house without destroying it.
A Good Night's Sleep. Forget the alarm clocks and hot
water bottles, a puppy can be very demanding at 2am and 4am and 6am. He misses
his littermates, and that stuffed animal will not make a puppy pile with him. If
you have children, you've been there and done that. How about a little peace and
quiet? How about an older rescue dog?
Finish the Newspaper. With a puppy running amok in
your house, do you think you will be able to relax when you get home from work?
Do you think your kids will really feed him, clean up the messes, take him for a
walk in the pouring rain every hour to get him housetrained? With an adult dog,
it will only be the kids running amok, because your dog will be sitting calmly
next to you, while your workday stress flows away and your blood pressure lowers
as you pet him.
Easier Vet Trips. Those puppies need their series of
puppy shots and fecals, then their rabies shot, then a trip to be altered, maybe
an emergency trip or two if they've chewed something dangerous. Those puppy
visits can add up (on top of what you paid for the dog!). Your donation to the
rescue when adopting an older pup should get you a dog with all shots current,
already altered, heartworm negative and on preventative at the minimum.
What You See Is What You Get. How big will that puppy
be? What kind of temperament will he have? Will he be easily trained? Will his
personality be what you were hoping for? How active will he be? When adopting an
older dog from a rescue, all of those questions are easily answered. You can
pick large or small; active or couch potato; goofy or brilliant; sweet or sassy.
The rescue and its foster homes can guide you to pick the right match (Rescues
are full of puppies who became the wrong match as they got older!)
Unscarred Children (and Adults). When the puppy isn't
teething on your possessions, he will be teething on your children and yourself.
Rescues routinely get calls from panicked parents who are sure their dog is
biting the children. Since biting implies hostile intent and would be a
consideration whether to accept a "give-up", Rescue Groups ask questions and
usually find out the dog is being nippy. Parents are often too emotional to see
the difference; but a growing puppy is going to put everything from food to
clothes to hands in their mouths, and as they get older and bigger it definitely
hurts (and will get worse, if they aren't being corrected properly.) Most older
dogs have "been there, done that, moved on."
Matchmaker Make Me a Match. Puppy love is often no
more than an attachment to a look or a color. It is not much of a basis on which
to make a decision that will hopefully last 15+ years. While that puppy may have
been the cutest of the litter; he may grow up to be super active (when what you
wanted was a couch buddy); she may be a couch princess (when what you wanted was
a tireless hiking companion); he may want to spend every waking moment in the
water (while you're a landlubber); or she may want to be an only child (while
you are intending to have kids or more animals). Pet miss-matches are one of the
top reasons Rescues get "give-up" phone calls. Good rescues do extensive
evaluating of both their dogs and their applicants to be sure that both dog and
family will be happy with each other until death do them part.
Instant Companion. With an older dog, you
automatically have a buddy that can go everywhere and do everything with you
NOW. There's no waiting for a puppy to grow up (and then hope he will like to do
what you enjoy.) You will have been able to select the most compatible dog: one
that travels well; one that loves to play with your friends' dogs; one with
excellent house manners that you can take to your parents' new home with the new
carpet and the new couch. You can come come home after a long day's work and
spend your time on a relaxing walk, ride or swim with your new best friend
(rather than cleaning up after a small puppy.)
Bond--Rescue Dog Bond. Dogs who have been
uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are more
likely to bond very completely and deeply with their new people. Those who have
lost their families through death, divorce or lifestyle change go through a
terrible mourning process. But, once attached to a new loving family, they seem
to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless
again. Those dogs that are just learning about the good life and good people
seem to bond even deeper. They know what life on the streets, life on the end of
a chain, or worse is all about, and they revel and blossom in a nurturing,
loving environment. Most rescues make exceptionally affectionate and attentive
pets and extremely loyal companions.
Unfortunately, many folks think dogs that end up in
rescue are all genetically and behaviorally inferior. But, it is not uncommon
for Rescue to get $500 dogs that have either outlived their usefulness or their
novelty with impulsive owners who considered their dog a possession rather than
a friend or member of the family; or simply did not really consider the time,
effort and expense needed to be a dog owner. Not all breeders will accept
"returns", so choices for giving up dogs can be limited to animal welfare
organizations, such as Rescues, or the owners trying to place their own dogs.
Good Rescues will evaluate the dog before accepting him/her (medically,
behaviorally, and for breed confirmation), rehabilitate if necessary, and adopt
the animal only when he/she is ready and to a home that matches and is realistic
about the commitment necessary to provide the dog with the best home possible.
Choosing a rescue dog over a purchased pup will not
solve the pet overpopulation problem (only responsible pet owners and breeders
can do that), but it does give many of them a chance they otherwise would not
have. But, beyond doing a "good deed", adopting a rescue dog can be the best
decision and addition to the family you ever made. Rescue a dog and get a
devoted friend for life
Written by Mary Clark at LABRADOR RETRIEVER
RESCUE, INC. Permission has been granted to freely reprint and distribute this
Transports: What Are They and Why Do We Do Them ?
In these hard economic times, shelters and
rescues are filling up with companion animals at an alarming rate. Just as fast
as they are being surrendered to shelters, they are being euthanized due to a
lack of space. There just never seems to be enough room for the animals that no
longer have a home, due to no fault of there own. Frequently, we pull dogs from
kill shelters and transfer them to rescues that have room for them. Many times
these rescues are several thousand miles away. With local rescues in Tennessee
and in the Southern states already full, transports have become a necessity in
order to save these dogs lives. We need your help! We are looking for donations
and/or sponsorship to assist us with the cost of these transports and moving
these animals to safety.
How does it work?
The transport itself works kind of like a
Doggy Railroad. Kind-hearted people between the pick-up and drop-off points
kindly volunteer their time and resources to get the dog to safety. The dog gets
picked up at the shelter , boarding facility or foster home by the first
volunteer; they drive it to a pre-determined destination, usually about a one
hour drive. Then another volunteer takes the dog to the next destination and so
on and so forth until the animal gets to where it needs to be, with each
volunteer driving a leg about an hour long. Many times there are not enough
volunteers to go around, so the ones we have for that trip offer to drive
several of the legs; again, at their own expense. The average rescue / transport
costs $ 300 dollars and up depending on vet care needed . While the people that
actually transport the dogs are all volunteers, the dog needs spayed or neutered
, to be up to date on all vaccinations and screened for any diseases before it
can be transported, this can become quite costly for our rescue. This is where
we need your help! Could you help save a dogs life by temporarily fostering a
dog , volunteering to drive, donating veterinary services or making a monetary
contribution to assist A Better Life Safe Haven and Foster Care with these
A Better Life Safe Haven and Foster Care various foster homes