Did you know Benji in the movie “Benji: Off the Leash” was actually an adopted rescue dog? He came from the Humane Society of South Miss. Benji was found wandering around the streets and ended up at that humane society.
While it’s true most dogs won’t have such good fortune to become movie stars, but they will certainly be glad to be rescued. And the person who rescues them can rest easy that they’ve done the right thing. It’s definitely not hard to find a dog to rescue; there are thousands of animal shelters all over the United States.
Some people tend think that rescue dogs are unhealthy and unclean, or that there must have been a good reason the previous owners gave them up. This may be true in some cases, but it is more often it was the owner’s fault and not the dog’s.
Are you still undecided about buying a dog from a shelter? Here are three good reasons you should consider getting one.
1. Shelters everywhere are filled to the brim with great pets. A sad but true fact is when you adopt one of these dogs you will be freeing up room for the shelter to save another dog.
2. You could be saving a lot of money. It can cost a lot to buy your dog from a pet store. When you buy from a shelter you will only spend in the neighborhood of $75 to $160. If you choose to buy from a breeder you could end up paying in the thousands.
3. You are saving a dog’s life when you rescue a dog. There are no two ways about it. When these shelters get overcrowded they have no choice but to put some dogs to sleep.
Everything is not always so wonderful though. There are some negatives to buying a dog from a shelter as well. Many of these concerns are physical and behavioral reasons.
1. The dog you rescue might be physically disabled in some way. Even if you don’t notice these problems at first they might show up stronger down the road. One example is Hip Dysplaisa. This is kind of like dog arthritis and can impair your dog severely.
2. If your dog is hurt in some way the pain can cause them to act out in ways they would not normally. If you have small children this can be a bad situation for everyone involved.
3. Behavioral issues are also a problem because you never know what kind of life the dog had before it was in the shelter. If the dog was malnourished or abused by it last owner you might run into a lot of problems and odd behaviors.
4. It can be hard to train a dog that you find in a shelter. These dogs might be set in their ways and not willing to learn. Housetraining is a must and it can be very difficult with a dog that is wary of training.
Don’t get discouraged by all of these seemingly negative problems. There are ways for you to overcome physical and behavioral problems. By taking the time to train and bond with your new dog it will surprise you how quickly they will respond to your attention.
Rescue dogs in general have been given a bad rap. Many are in shelters through no fault of their own but rather the fault of their previous owner’s ignorance or abuse. I have heard stories of Chihuahuas placed in shelters because they bit a child and while any form of biting is unacceptable, I question whether it was provoked by a taunting child or the Chihuahua had poor socialization training.
I only mention Chihuahuas here because that is the breed I am most familiar with, any breed placed in a shelter for biting needs careful review. If the dog has bitten children and you have children this would not be the best dog to choose. I would consider your choosing this dog another abuse to the dog.
Try going to your local Humane Society or ASPCA. There are also specific breed animal rescues that are likely to be in your area. Rescuing a dog means getting a brand new member of the family.
Even though I am a Chihuahua breeder and promote my puppies, I encourage all dog lovers to look at their local shelters. I try to be as honest and truthful as I can about my Chihuahua puppies. I consider it my responsibility to inform and educate potential buyers on all options available. Acquiring a new dog through rescue is definitely one worth looking into.