My first blog post I ever published was about which I believed was the better option for adopting dogs, breeders vs. rescues. I can see both ends of this debate because I have done both. I love Mai Tai and Gronk both the same and to me it does not matter where they came from. Mai Tai is spoiled and has been a part of our family since day one. Gronk on the other hand has a past which left him with physical and emotional scars. We do not know how old Gronk is because we adopted him from a rescue. Over the past year he has shown us so much love. We have learned that dogs are so easy to forgive. He was heart by humans in his past and wasn’t afraid to open his heart to new ones. In this post I want to discuss the benefits of rescuing a dog like we did with Gronk.
First off I wanted to ask my mom a few questions about what it was like to go through the process of adopting a dog from a rescue. We wanted another dog to keep Mai Tai company during the day when we were not around. A puppy was not really an option because we didn’t have the time. We weren’t really “looking” to adopt again, Gronk just kind of came to us. My mom said that a Facebook friend shared the link to Ruff Start Happy Tails. The photo attached to the link was off an adorable pug with a giant tongue named Mugsby. I asked my mom what made her decide to go through with adopting Gronk. Her response was very simple, “I wanted to give him a better home.” With his adorable face and story we knew our home would be the perfect fit for him. She said the process of adopting him was easy and done very well, “I commented on the picture of him letting the rescue know I was interested in adopting him. They got right back to me and sent me the application. Not too long after they came to our house to interview us and meet our other dog. Just a day later we received the news that he was all ours.” At that point Mugsby became Gronk and became a bug part of our hearts.
Having Gronk in our family has shown me how truly special rescuing is. I know that when it comes time to adopt more pets one day I will find them at a rescue. Buzzfeed composed their own list of reasons to adopt a dog here. I composed my top ten reasons why I believe everyone should adopt from a rescue.
Other people seem to feel the same way about adopting from rescues as I do. I wanted to know more about rescuing from another person’s point of view. I recently spoke with Catherine who is a volunteer at Ruff Start Happy Tails. She had a lot to say about adopting from rescues and informed me of a lot of aspects of it that I never knew about. I never really considered that there was a difference between the terms “shelter” and “rescue.” I had always assumed they were the same thing. Catherine corrected my terminology and explained that the two are very different. Shelters are usually a physical location where animals are brought to from different locations. Dogs are taken off the street and are the responsibility of the town. Shelters are also where lost dogs are brought to be found by owners. Rescues on the other hand are usually made up of foster homes rather than specific locations. Rescues get animals usually from people who can no longer care for their dogs or from shelters or other organizations that have an animal they cannot keep. Rescues usually do not receive government donations, but instead survive by donations, adoption fees and the occasional fundraiser. Rescues are also 100% volunteer based.
Catherine adopted her first dog from a shelter in October of 2011. Rollo was an abandoned Pit Bull in Ohio. Pit Bulls tend to be euthanized because of their bad reputation. Her second rescue was another Pit Bull who they named Motto. Catherine recalled that Motto, “opened our eyes to how bad things are for dogs in shelters. 6 to 12 dogs are euthanized a day.” Motto was their first save of a dog about to be euthanized. 20 minutes before he was scheduled to be euthanized, Catherine was able to make a call and adopt him. Like it is the case with some shelter dogs, Motto had some behavioral issues. Catherine said that he would “bark and lunge” at people and other dogs in unfamiliar situations. As they soon found out this was just a result of being under socialized. After some training and being around other dogs, Motto became a social dog. He is now a tester dog that helps to see if other dogs have been socialized. The third dog Catherine rescued had 4 failed adoptions prior to her rescuing him. He is a boxer pit mix with the energy of a puppy. The reason for his failed adoption was not because he had horrible behavior or was a bad dog. He just needed strong leadership. Since she adopted him he has graduated from two obedience schools and is now a registered therapy dog.
She has found so much love through adopting dogs. Her advice for people looking to adopt a dog is to go through a rescue and not a shelter. Make sure to look for fostered dogs and not boarding. Boarding dogs is stressful. The best part about rescue dogs is that they are in home environments and so their foster parents have a chance to see their true personality. This chance isn’t given to them in shelters. Catherine said that, “People get to know the dogs as individuals and not just a number in a kettle.” Lastly, she said it is important to ask questions. You are adopting somebody into your family and you want to make sure they are the right fit. So if you are looking to adopt a dog or volunteer to foster a dog, give rescues a try.