Overlooked Dogs In Rescue

Overlooked Dogs In Rescue

I haven’t written about dog rescue for a while and as it’s a subject close to my heart. I wanted to highlight the overlooked dogs in rescue shelters and share a poem I wrote about it.

All dogs in rescue deserve a good home. However, some dogs get overlooked due to their age, breed, medical condition, behaviour or even colour.

Overlooked Dogs In Rescue

Adopting A Senior Dog

There are many benefits of adopting a senior dog. They are usually house trained, neutered and have a more sedate attitude to life than a bouncy, overexcited puppy.

I fostered a lovely Yorkshire Terrier who went on to be adopted by a retired couple. Mickey went on to be the centre of their world. He lived a long, happy life and was given so much love. In exchange, the couple who adopted him became more active, they met lots of people when they were out walking and their mental health improved too.

Breed Misconceptions

Here in the UK, our rescue centres have a much higher proportion of one breed of dog. This is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Unfortunately, there has been some tragic newspaper articles about this breed. My heart goes out to anyone who has ever suffered an attack by any dog. However, if this breed is trained correctly they are incredibly loyal and loving pets.

Here is an article called Staffordshire Bull Terriers- Myths and Misconceptions which shows that the ‘Staffy’ is often misunderstood.

Other breeds which are notoriously overlooked in rescue


Bull Breeds


Jack Russell

Doberman Pinscher



Mixed Breeds

Overlooked Dogs In Rescue

Here is the poem called ‘The Kennels Were Quiet’

It features the plight of overlooked dogs in rescue.

The kennels were quiet

Now the gates were closed

The puppies had left

For forever homes

Old Patch and Old Billie

remained in their pen

Not surprised to be

staying again

Their eyes were cloudy

Their muzzles grey

The people would stop

then just walk away

For Old Patch and Old Billy

there was no surprise

they didn’t want oldies

loyal and wise

They wanted the young ones

eager and small

But the years weren’t always

kind to them all

So, next time you visit

with a new home in sight

Consider the oldies

and their sorry plight

For Old Patch and Old Billie

deserve a break

Their eyesight is failing

Their muscles ache

Next time you visit

 there is your match

 look no further

Than Old Bill and Old Patch.

Kate Hanford

Medical Conditions

Some dogs are handed to rescue when they develop health conditions. I once fostered a dog who developed epilepsy and another with heart disease. Once these dogs had been diagnosed, given the right medication and the correct dosage, they went on to live really happy lives. There is, of course, a monthly medication bill and regular vet checks which makes adopting a dog with a chronic illness expensive. However, if you are in a position to make this financial commitment, please consider a dog with medical needs. The change that is made to a dog’s life is unbelievable and deeply fulfilling for the new owner.

Black Dogs

There is an actual name for this called ‘Black Dog Syndrome’

Now I didn’t realise that this discrimination existed until recently. The main reason is that rehoming centres have difficulty photographing black dogs to look their best. Unbelievably to me, black dogs are perceived to be more aggressive than lighter coloured dogs and there are even people who consider black dogs evil or unlucky.

Cats are also subject to this ridiculous stigma. They are linked to superstition and the connection to witchcraft makes black cats less appealing to potential adopters.

I will refrain from commenting but I will show you a picture of my rescue dog Mr Darcy.

Overlooked Dogs In Rescue

I think he is beautiful !

Dogs Known To Have Behavioural Problems

If a dog is has behavioural problems ie aggression, separation anxiety, resource guarding or other anxiety symptoms they are so hard to rehome. If you have children (or visiting children) I would advise against this. However, a patient person with a good understanding of dog training can rehabilitate a dog and completely change his life.You need to have the time to find out how the behavioural problems materialised and the patience to help the dog overcome them. Most problems come about because the dog is fearful, so a strong bond with a human they can trust will help the dog relax.

Overlooked Dogs In Rescue

Large Breeds

Large breeds are overlooked rescue dogs because they need a reasonably large garden or someone who can provide several walks per day. If you have the space for a large dog, give these gentle giants a chance.

Trendy Dog Breeds

There always seems to be a dog breed which is considered ‘fashionable’ to own. TV advertisements and films are partially responsible for this or a celebrity may be photographed with a certain breed. As a result, everyone goes out and buys one without researching the breed. We have seen a rise in the figures of pug, dachshunds, and chihuahuas in rescue due to this. These breeds are difficult to train and an inexperienced owner is overwhelmed and underprepared. These breeds end up in rescue when they go out of fashion or the owners cannot cope.

 overlooked dogs in rescue

Additional Reading About Dog Rescue

This is a letter I wrote to my rescue dog, Darcy. It shows how he came to live with us and is brutally honest about some of the struggles we have had. However, it also shows how much this little dog means to me.

Dear Darcy – A Letter To A Rescue Dog

The weather is getting much colder and perhaps you would like to help by supporting and fundraising for a dog rescue. It shows how really small gestures of kindness can make a massive difference to the dogs who are sadly in kennels at the coldest time of the year.

How To Help Rescue Centres In Winter

Anyone in a position to foster or adopt a dog will find the following articles interesting.

Everything You Need To Know Before Adopting A Dog

Have You Thought About Fostering Rescue Dogs?

Rehoming Websites

The following are reputable UK rehoming centres. However, don’t forget to check out your local dog rescue associations too.

Battersea Dogs And Cats

Dogs Trust

Thank you for reading

Please let me know if you have a rescue dog who makes you happy, regardless of breed, age, health or colour. I would love to hear your stories.

Thank you for reading.

Overlooked Dogs In Rescue

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8 thoughts on “Overlooked Dogs In Rescue

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  1. My Kirby looked like your Darcy and was rescued, but nobody wanted him because he was black. I also rescued dachshunds with epilepsy, glaucoma, cancer, severe overbite, and back and hip problems. All that being said they all turned out to be great pets!

    1. Ohh do you have a photo of Kirby?, I would love to see him. Thank you for being so kind to these poor dachshunds, I bet you were showered in love, they are such affectionate dogs. I honestly never knew about the black stigma!

      1. The little photo by the name Doxiedad, if you can see it, I don’t know if that shows up or not, is when Kirby is 15. If I can figure out how to upload a photo when he is younger I will do that. Doing this stuff is new to me. Darcy looks like a young Kirby!
        John Jilek

  2. Loved reading your advice and guidance. I love my dog (have had 10 precious babies in my life). Keep up the good work!!

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