Ew, Shelter Dogs?

SO it’s the weekend, and I wasn’t going to blog but then I saw a photo of a wee little dog in a rescue that I’m gonna work my butt off to adopt! Anyways, that’s another story! Today let’s talk about the myths of adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue.

Growing up all I ever heard was “Ew, shelter pets have issues, there’s a reason why they are there, and they’ll go crazy when they come out”. So my family always purchased our pets from a breeder. And of course the first one we got from a breeder turned out to definitely be a puppy mill dog. She was so sick, so full of worms, extremely tiny when we got her, and the breeder wouldn’t allow us to visit the parents or the location of the parents. Now I know what you’re thinking, RED FLAG HELLO! When we went to meet the man he met us at a car dealership. He opened the passenger door to his truck and pulled the little puppy up from under the seat (he traveled with her on the dirty floor). She looked like she had an eye infection because there was a dark streak down her face from her eye, she was thin, and very sickly looking. It was obvious she had been treated like crap and was just a dollar sign to this man, but we felt compelled to take her from him for her own well being. I think I was about 12 when this happened and I couldn’t understand why my family would knowingly take in a sick puppy. I remember for weeks we sat with her and her sickness, taking her to the bathroom and just seeing a pile of long white worms all over the yard (disgusting, I know). 6 months after we brought her home SURPRISE she was diagnosed with a genetic deteriorative cartilage disorder and her bones were grinding on each other causing a lot of lameness and pain. We were told with surgery she could expect 4 more years of life. We did the $3000 surgery and 10 years later she’s still kickin’ but her vet bills have been quite hefty over the years.My parents have such unconditional love for this dog that they say it was worth it. This experience along with volunteer experience has taught me that mutts are so loveable so I wanted to dispell some of the myths people think about rescued pets (whether it be a horse, hamster, cat, rabbit, dog, etc..) I’ll refer to dogs in my sample questions though.

“This dog obviously has some serious issues otherwise the original owner never would have given them up!”

Actually some of the main reasons a pet is given up is because: the family has moved; the family has a new baby; the family can’t afford treatment; and the owner was either old or passed on.

“A previously abused dog will bite!”

Most pets are so relieved to be out of the system they are actually more devoted and loyal to their new owners whom provide proper attention and care.

“As soon as you adopt a pet they’ll get sick you never know what you’re in for!”

I think my previous story sums this one up pretty good. A pet, no matter if purebred, from great bloodlines, etc, will be sick at least one time in it’s life if not more. Breeders have bad batches, mills sell an alarming rate of dogs and cats, etc. You can’t expect a living creature to never get sick.

“I can’t find the breed I want at a shelter!”

This is simply not true. Maybe your local SPCA doesn’t have the breed you are looking for but there are rescues that are breed specific all over and will work with you to find your right companion. Some are even papered.

“Why would I pay a $200 adoption fee when I can go on craigslist and get a free dog?”

First if you won’t pay or can’t afford to pay an adoption fee you can’t afford a free pet either, nor should you have one. Adoption fees cover the pet’s medications, spay/neuter, mircrochipping or tattoo, shots, etc. All of which you’ll probably have to pay for yourself if you were to get a “free” pet.

Have you ever heard a myth about pet adoption? Let me know!

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One thought on “Ew, Shelter Dogs?

  1. I found Gretel – a purebred, rare chocolate dapple mini Dachsund – at a rescue. Yes, she did come with some behavioral issues. Mostly it is that she is fearful. Her experience in early like was probably bad but I have known dogs that came from a breeder that were fearful too. Sometimes it is just a personality quirk.

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