What are Pet or Breed Rescue Organizations?
Pet & Animal Rescue
Animal rescue organizations are groups or individuals that take in dogs and find them new homes. Most rescue organizations receive no or limited funding from official sources. The vast majority of rescue operating funds come from the personal "out of pocket" money of the rescue workers themselves, some private donations, and the donated time and effort of various individual volunteers. Rescue adoption fees rarely cover the true costs of any rescue. The need for rescue is quite high, sometimes higher than the number of good adopters and often greater than the number of animals rescue workers can help.
Purebred Animal Rescue
Purebred rescues specialize in one or two specific dog breeds. Some purebred rescues may also have mixes of their chosen breed. These rescues are usually smaller in size than all- or mixed breed rescues and often are as few as one or two active volunteers.
The Rescued Dog
All rescue groups often fall victim to a great misconception about the rescued Pet. Some potential new owners may fear adopting a rescued or adult dog because of this misconception. What misconception is this? The FALSE belief that rescue dogs will not make good pets or that something must be "wrong" with these dogs if they are found in rescue! Well, there is nothing "wrong" with a dog simply because it found it's way into a rescue organization. Most of the time, it was because there was something "wrong" with the dog's former owner... the dog is actually lucky to be rid of them.
Many rescued dogs are "turn-ins" by their owners. The number one reason owners "get rid" of their pets is because they are moving and won't take their dog. Or an owner's lifestyle may have unforseen changes. Or because taking care of puppy, an unwanted litter, or an adolescent dog is more work than the owner expected. Other dogs are found loose and turned in by "Good Samaritans". And occasionally rescue dogs come from closed puppy mills or when the dogs are no longer "useful".
In fact, most rescues are simply "lost dogs" that found their way into shelters for various reasons and then saved from the threat of euthanasia. Regardless of where they came from originally, all these dogs deserve a second chance at a new life.
Yes, rescue dogs make very good pets!
The rescued dogs love you as much, bond to you as well, and are just as enjoyable as any other dog you may have owned. They may even be "better" dogs because they understand just how good it is to have a "real" home and family.
Puppies are available in rescue, although there is usually a waiting list for good owners. But don't overlook the adult dog! With an adult dog, it is easier to find the type of dog that you want to live with happily. Yes, you may miss the "cute" puppy stage.. but you will also miss the puppy problems and help save a dog's life. Sure, there will be adjustments to make as they settle into the rhythm of their new homes... but that is the same with any new pet you bring into your household.
Rescued dogs may spend several weeks to months (occasionally even years!) in rescue, or foster care homes, waiting for their new family to find them. Reputable rescues ensure that these dogs are given full health checks, spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated, and given any needed medical attention. The dogs are put on a heartworm preventative and some are also permanently identified by microchip or tattoo. Their temperament and personality are evaluated to determine what type of home they will be best suited. Prospective adopters are screened for compatibility and the home's suitability to the dogs in rescue.
Finding a Rescue
Rescue groups and individuals are rarely listed in the local phone book. But there are still several ways you can find a rescue group in your area:
You may see the rescue group or their dogs advertised in the local or neighborhood newspapers.
Your veterinarian may have a rescue group or breed club listings available.
Local Animal Control shelters and Humane Societies usually know who the local rescue contacts are.
Some pet supply stores sponsor "adoption days" for various rescue groups or can give you rescue listings.
Local obedience or activity groups can refer you to local rescues.
Public pet events and planned activities may have rescue organizations present with information, sales, and donation booths.
Breed specialty Ccubs and all-breed kennel clubs can direct you to the breed's national or local rescue group. (Most All-Breed Kennel Clubs are licensed with the AKC to sponsor local dog shows.)
Most national rescue organizations or breed clubs can be found on the internet. The national groups can direct you to a local breed club or rescue. Some local groups are also found on the web.
All-breed or mixed-breed rescue groups can also help you find a particular type of animal or a pure-bred rescue.
If you can not find "your" breed rescue group, locate a similar breed rescue group and they should help you find the local contacts. (For example: Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky rescues usually know each other well, as often work together or help each other.)
Please remember that there are many dogs in desparate need of finding new homes every day. Most animal rescue organizations are over-filled with dogs needing good owners. Maybe YOU are the owner that the rescue, and their dogs, are looking for?
Many new dogs are often left in shelters to die, or are turned away for lack of rescue space. Rescue groups need help to find new homes for these dogs.. maybe YOU can help rescue save one more life by offering to foster a dog, help with transportion, breed or pet education, or becoming active in any number of ways.
PLEASE contact your local or national rescue organization today!