We see it on social media or hear it from people in our communities. Prospective pet parents’ negative experiences highlight the roadblocks and miscommunications many have experienced trying to adopt a pet. Some of those experiences have sent them running to a breeder or pet store, or giving up getting a pet altogether. Rescue is really good at so many things. We get a lot right. We save dogs and cats in need who would otherwise be euthanized or abandoned and place them in loving homes. There are a few things however, that rescues definitely miss the mark on and we think a conversation about that is the key to encourage adopting and saving more dogs and cats. While we think the good far outweighs the bad, we know there is room for improvement.
One joke among rescuers is that we “like dogs more than people.” While we can neither confirm nor deny, we know rescuers can have tunnel vision and see every interaction through a lens of life and death. That makes some of the interactions rescues have with potential adopters less than warm and fuzzy. There are some things that does seem to stir up the most passionate debates.
Some people may say adoption is too expensive. This sentiment is understandable when you see dogs or cats being sold or in shelters for so much cheaper than rescue adoption fees. We do believe with rescues, you get more bang for your buck. Vetting such as spay or neuter, health checks, preliminary immunizations, and flea, tick, and heartworm prevents are included in your adoption fee with Angels. Your pet will come to you with clear and updated vetting.
Intrusive applications, home checks, and background checks
Rescue dogs and cats come from a variety of backgrounds and they can come in to rescue without us knowing much about them at all. Sometimes, we don’t even know their name. Background checks make sure that the dogs and cats that we’ve promised to give a loving forever home to, are going to exactly that. We rescue dogs from trauma, high kill shelters, hoarding situations, and who may have been abused and neglected. Or we’ve promised someone that we’re trustworthy to find a new home for a much loved pet that they must surrender. Either way, we want to make sure that all Angel dogs and cats, go to a home where they’ll be taken care of for their rest of their lives.
Having to be approved and possibly being denied for the pet you have your heart set on
Waiting on a pet you have your heart set on, can be excruciating. When looking through applications, it’s so important that fosters put the needs of the dog or cat in front of everything else. And unfortunately that means disappointing people sometimes. Fosters know their dogs and build trust in a pet who may not have much to start with. Knowing the situation that brings out the best in everyone and will ensure success for the whole family. If a dog is a flight risk, a home with a fence is a must. If a dog will live in an apartment, that means no pack of beagles for you! If someone is allergic to cats and has a spouse that says he’s a sworn enemy to felines of any sort, well, you get the idea.
Rescuers are human and humans aren’t perfect. We may misspeak, not see an email, or miss a text. We may not give you the answer you want, or sound unfriendly. But we love our animals, and our greatest joy is seeing them go to homes where they’ll be loved and cherished. Connecting with adopters and volunteers in a professional and kind way is a top priority at Angels Among Us Pet Rescue.
While many people have positive opinions about rescues and rescue dogs, there are some common myths that contribute to negative perceptions people may have. It’s important to note that these reasons may not be universally applicable and don’t reflect the experiences of all rescue dogs or organizations. Here are the top five reasons people may have a negative opinion about rescues and rescue dogs:
- Behavioral Issues: Some rescue dogs may have behavioral problems due to past trauma, abuse, or neglect. If adopters are not prepared for these challenges, they may have a negative experience and associate it with all rescue dogs.
- Unknown History: Many rescue dogs have unknown or incomplete histories, making it challenging to predict their behavior or health issues. This uncertainty can be intimidating for potential adopters.
- Misconceptions: There are misconceptions about rescue dogs, such as the belief that all of them are aggressive or have severe behavioral issues. These stereotypes can deter people from considering rescue dogs as viable pets.
- Negative Media Coverage: Isolated incidents of rescue dogs causing harm or being involved in incidents can receive media attention, perpetuating negative stereotypes about them. These incidents may overshadow the countless success stories of rescue dog adoptions.
- Inconsistent Adoption Experiences: The experience of adopting a rescue dog can vary widely depending on the shelter or rescue organization. Some people may have had negative experiences with poorly run or disorganized rescues, which can shape their perception of all rescue organizations.
It’s important to recognize that these concerns can often be mitigated with proper research, preparation, and realistic expectations. Many rescue dogs make wonderful, loving companions when provided with the right environment, training, and care. It’s crucial to base opinions on individual experiences and consider the vast number of rescue dogs that thrive in their new homes.
WHY RESCUE ?
- Promotes animal welfare: Rescuing pets from shelters or rescue organizations helps provide homes for animals in need, reducing the number of animals euthanized due to overcrowding.
- Saves lives: By choosing to rescue, you are directly saving a life and giving a second chance to a homeless animal.
- Supports ethical practices: Many breeders prioritize profit over the well-being of animals, leading to issues like overbreeding and unhealthy conditions. Rescuing supports more ethical treatment of animals.
- Reduces demand for breeding: Adopting rescues reduces the demand for breeders, ultimately discouraging the breeding of animals for profit.
- Wide variety of choices: Shelters have a diverse range of pets of all ages, breeds, and sizes, giving you plenty of options to find a pet that fits your lifestyle.
- Cost-effective: Adoption fees are typically much lower than the cost of buying from a breeder, and many adopted pets are already spayed/neutered and vaccinated.
- Already trained: Many rescue pets are already house-trained or have basic obedience training, saving you time and effort in training.
- Builds a strong bond: Rescued animals often show deep gratitude and loyalty to their new owners, forming strong bonds and companionships.
- Positive impact on communities: Supporting shelters and rescues helps strengthen your community by promoting responsible pet ownership and reducing the burden on local animal control.
- Encourages responsible pet ownership: Shelters often provide education and resources on pet care and responsible ownership, helping adopters become better pet parents.
Choosing to rescue a pet before shopping for one is a compassionate and responsible decision that can make a significant difference in the lives of both animals and humans. It offers a chance for countless dogs and cats in need to find loving homes and provides individuals with the opportunity to save a life while gaining a loyal companion. However, it is essential for rescue organizations to approach potential adopters with understanding and empathy. Recognizing that people come from diverse backgrounds and may have various reasons for wanting a dog or experience with dogs, rescues should strive to find common ground and work together with applicants to ensure that both the dog and the adopter find a suitable match. By fostering a collaborative and compassionate approach, we can increase the chances of successful adoptions and create a happy future for rescued pets and their new families.