Rescue Dogs ( What you need to know before adopting)
I can’t tell you how much pleasure I have got from rescue dogs. The sense of fulfillment you achieve from rehoming a rescue dog is such a wonderful feeling. It is often thought that there must be something wrong with the dog if he/she is in a rescue environment, maybe a health problem or aggression issues, but this is far from the truth.
Maybe the dog’s elderly owners passed away. This is so heartbreakingly sad, the pain in those dogs eyes when they can’t understand where their soulmate has gone and why they are suddenly in unfamiliar surroundings. This is just one example of how a perfectly healthy well-balanced dog can find themselves in rescue.
It may take time for the dog to adjust but there is no reason why he can’t adapt and enjoy a wonderful new life, and boy does he deserve it!
Sometimes life changes unexpectedly and a well-loved family dog has to be rehomed. There could be a relationship break down, a change of working hours or a move to rented accommodation. Sometimes the owner cannot offer a good garden space in a new home or has to work away in a new job.
There is one reason that can be controversial. This is when babies come along and the dog suddenly becomes surplus to requirements. The thing is if the dog is rehomed by a reputable rescue centre it might actually be the best thing for the dog and he can go on to enjoy a long and happy life, Not all dogs like to have noisy children fussing around them and a peaceful environment might suit them much more.
Some new dog owners don’t research before getting a new puppy and when that tiny bundle of fluff becomes a four stone bundle of energy it becomes too much and the dog has to be placed in rescue.
People can develop allergies to the dog and have no choice but to rehome.
Rescue centres keep records and if a dog is handed over they will always try to ask as many questions as they can so that the dog can be found a perfect owner. Even if this can’t happen the dog may have lived in a family setting with foster parents since coming into rescue. Even the dogs in kennels soon build up relationships with the staff and they get to know a lot about the dogs.
So, it is important to ask lots of questions when you are thinking of rescuing a dog, no-one will be offended, in fact it is seen as a very good sign of a fantastic home.
Here is a handy checklist of things to ask if you are interested in rehoming a rescue dog. Don’t forget that all the answers may not be available.
1 How old is the dog?
2 What breed is he?
3 Is he friendly?
4 Is he good with children?
5 Has he been cat tested?
6 How much exercise is he likely to require?
7 Could the dog live in an apartment or flat?
8 Has the dog any health problems?
9 Does he need a special diet?
10 Will the dog benefit from training classes?
11 How does he react to other dogs?
12 Is he housetrained?
13 Is he fully vaccinated?
14 Has the dog been spayed or neutered?
Don’t let a home check put you off rescuing a dog and don’t spend hours cleaning and worrying if your home may be suitable.
The home checker will not be checking for cobwebs or clean sheets.
Here is a list of what the home checker is looking for:
What experience have the potential adopters had with dogs in the past?
Is there a secure garden, with adequate fencing and no potential hazards?
Is there a nice, safe area nearby where the dog can be walked and which member of the household will be the main dog walker.
How many hours would the dog be left alone each day?
If the property is rented do you have the landlords permission to keep pets?
Are there other pets in the household?
Do young children reside or visit the household?
Make sure all members of the family are present so that the home checker can see if everyone in the household is on board.
Put the kettle on, have a chat, the home checker will be a dog lover too and everyone loves to talk about their dogs.
An immaculate home with white carpets and expensive antiques may be a sign to the home checker that the householders may have trouble adapting to a new dog (and all the mess they bring). They would prefer a home which is comfortable and ‘lived in’.
Remember home checkers are not there to judge you but to assess the suitability of your home and lifestyle. You may not be the right fit for a Husky but a perfect home for a Westie. Home checkers have years of experience and an uncanny knack of knowing which dogs and humans are well suited, so listen to them.
Sometimes the home checker will bring their own dog with them just to see if you appear nervous around dogs or know how to interact.
Don’t be offended if the home checker thinks a different home may be suitable for a particular dog or asks you to make a few small changes, it will always be with the dogs best interests at heart and never a personal judgement.
So give your local dog rescue a call and see what dogs are available before you contact a breeder.
There are actually advantages to adopting.
The dog should be vaccinated, wormed, flea treated and neutered wherever possible. If the dog has been fostered in a family environment there should be a detailed behaviour assessment available and the dog may have been tested with cats and small children. The rescue should be able to tell you if the dog is house trained and used to being around other dogs
Most popular breeds have a rescue dedicated to that one breed so if you have your heart set on a collie or a poodle, for instance, there will be a rescue for you too,( but you may need to travel ) To find dedicated breed rescues simply google, you will be surprised how many there are and you can ask to be added to waiting list and they will contact you when a suitable match becomes available.
These posts might be useful if you are thinking of rescuing a dog. These are personal experiences that happened to me when I fostered and later rescued a homeless dog.