It seems very popular to say, “I have ‘rescued’ this animal.” In the past many people went to the “pound” to get a pet, but now it is all about rescue. Gee whiz I thought I was rescuing when I went to the pound and got a dog. I think there is a big difference between rescue and pound animals. The animals that are lucky enough to be grabbed up by a rescue group normally go into a foster home. So when you adopt from them they can tell you a lot about the dog, like if is she good with other dogs, cats, or had a problem with strangers, and so on. When you go directly to the shelter you do not get much information. If you are a newbie to pet ownership you should think about going through a rescue group or buying from a reputable breeder
On the other hand I also hear people condemn people who buy a dog from a good breeder. Why? They say there are too many dogs that don’t have homes, too many dogs in our shelters. I agree with both of those statements but do not agree with the view that buying a dog from a reputable breeder is wrong. We seem to have gotten confused with where the problem began — with backyard breeders, those people who refuse to have their dogs neutered or spayed, and puppy mills. I would stand by stricter laws to govern the backyard breeders, the puppy mills and people who do not alter their pet, but in my mind there is nothing wrong with purchasing a puppy from a good breeder. A good breeder takes the time to make sure her puppies are socialized, usually housebreaks them, and they are very choosy about who gets one of their puppies. A reputable breeder keeps records of any kind of illnesses or diseases and is always willing to take a dog back if something happens that causes the family to be unable to keep the dog.
Sometimes trying to get a dog from a rescue group can be quite frustrating. They have many rules and regulations and in many ways these are good. The problem comes when there is no common sense used in the application of the rules. One of the rescue groups I know of has a rule that if you do not have a fenced in yard, you can not adopt one of their dogs. I know many people who have owned dogs all their lives and have never had a fenced in yard. The dogs had wonderful lives, they were walked, taken for runs in parks and taken camping, and yet the answer is still no.
I have known people who have tried to work with rescue groups that were turned down because they had a child under 10 in their household. I certainly realize that young children are not always ready to handle a dog but that’s not always true. There are many children who have been raised with dogs and are perfectly fine with them, but again the answer is just no.
I hear rescue groups send out messages, “Urgent, need help, foster homes, need adoptive parents,” and yet when people want to adopt they hit this brick wall. I realize a lot of this is a way of protecting dogs from bad situations, but I just don’t see any common sense being used. I don’t see people looking at a situation and evaluating that situation before making a decision.
All these brick walls end up sending people who would like to rescue a dog trying to find a reputable breeder instead. Unfortunately not all of these people know how to tell who is reputable and who is not and they end up purchasing a puppy from a backyard breeder or a puppy mill. There has to be a better way for everyone to work together, to make sure that people who want a dog and who are responsible enough to have a dog get one without supporting bad breeders.
What are your thoughts? What are your experiences? Are you as frustrated as I am?