When we looked into getting a dog I said from the offset that I wanted to rescue. I knew that I wanted a husky, and had done all the research, but never considered going to a breeder to buy a puppy. My mums friend works for an animal charity so I told her what I was looking for and asked her to keep an eye out for me. I expected it to take a while for her to come back to me, I was wrong, we had a dog about a week later! It made me realise just how many dogs are out there needing homes and how often rescues intake new dogs. According to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home they take in on average 13 dogs a day, and that is just one of the many rescues out there.
Had we have not taken Hendrix when we did he would have ended up in kennels and thinking back, his life could have taken a very different path. It is safe to say that Hendrix came to us with a lot of behaviour problems. At 10 months old it was clear that he’d had little or no training. He was boisterous, hyper, mildly aggressive and understood no basic commands including his own name. He was hard work! For weeks I was covered in scratches and bruises from him ‘playing’ with me. I had friends and family asking if I was going to keep him, it was obvious that some of them thought I’d made a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, at time I did ask myself ‘what the hell have we gotten into’ but at no point was I prepared to give up on him. And it paid off, now he is lovely, calm and gentle. He has won over all of my friends and family that doubted him at first, even the ones that don’t like dogs! At the end of the day, it wasn’t his fault that he was like that, he wasn’t a bad dog, he just didn’t understand what was expected of him.
I often sit and think about what would have happened if he had gone to kennels. I know for a fact he wouldn’t pass a behaviour test to be put up for adoption. Would he have found someone who was prepared to put the time and effort in that we did? Would the kennel atmosphere have made his behaviour worse? How long would he have spent looking for his forever home? It upsets me to think about it.
Why should you rescue?
If I can persuade just 1 person to adopt a dog rather than buy from a breeder then I will be happy. Here are a few of the reasons why I think adoption is the best option:
- More often than not, it is not the dogs fault that it has ended up without a home. Dogs end up in rescue centres for a number of reasons, they are often lost, unwanted, abandoned or cruelty cases and this is more often than not the human’s fault. Most behaviour problems (like Hendrix) are from a lack of training or as a result of ill treatment. With training and TLC it is possible to turn this around so don’t be put off.
- Rescue Centres get to know their dogs and can match you with your perfect pooch. With older dogs (although you can rescue puppies) they have had time to develop a personality which helps when pairing with an owner. If you have a more laid back and relaxed lifestyle, you don’t want a dog that’s constantly 100mph!
- There are so many rescue dogs to choose from! Last year the RSPCA rescued and collected 118,994 animals. And that is just one of the many charities dedicated to rescuing and rehoming animals. No matter what you are looking for, it is out there waiting for you to find it.
- It is the most rewarding feeling to know you have given a dog a second chance, or saved it from a horrible life.
- The donation you give to adopt your new pooch means that charities can continue to help other dogs in need. If you give money to a breeder it just goes straight in their pocket.
- Rescue dogs are all vet checked before they are rehomed so you know there are no underlying health issues you are unaware of. Puppy farms are an ever growing concern amongst dog lovers and often the puppies coming out of these farms are unwell and some don’t survive to see adulthood. For more info please check out the Pup Aid website
I could go on but I feel I will just end up ranting (if I haven’t already, if so, sorry). Adopt Don’t Shop is something I am really passionate about and going forward with my blog and my business, I aim to help out rescue centres as much as possible.
Where to rescue?
If you are a Husky (or sled dog) lover like me, here is a list of rescues dedicated to finding new homes for unwanted sled dogs in the UK:
If you are looking for another breed, just search on google and there are plenty of rescues dedicated to individual breeds.
If you don’t know which breed you want, check out the main rescues or see if there is one local to you.
Emma & Hendrix