Sure, it’s probably savvy advice to use caution when you buy a used car because you may be purchasing someone else’s problems. But adopting a dog or cat from a rescue organization isn’t nearly the same thing. So, if you have that view of pet adoption I am hoping to reduce your concerns, dispel two myths and open your eyes to the wonderful world of rescue pet adoption.
Myth – Shelter animals were given up because they were “bad.”
This is simply NOT true – The vast majority of dogs and cats that are in rescue were not given up because they were bad – or had behavioral problems. In fact most of them were given up because their owners bought or adopted them without thinking about the time and costs required to properly care for an animal.
Unfortunately these animals end up in a shelter where they are often euthanized, are dropped off along the side of the road, or, if they’re very lucky, left with a rescue organization – most rescue groups are No-Kill.
Fact – the most common reasons an animal ends up with a rescue organization include:
• Owner had no time for the animal.
• Owner cannot afford basic vet care or the expense involved in treating an illness or injury.
• Owner dies or goes into a nursing home.
• Owners’ divorce and neither party can keep the pet.
• Couple has a child and no longer has time for the animal or it no longer fits into their “lifestyle.”
• Owner is moving to a place that doesn’t allow dogs.
We also get animals from shelters where they were on the kill list – because they were brought in and not quickly adopted. Most agencies cannot afford to keep animals for extended times because there are simply and unfortunately not enough homes for all of them.
Myth – Rescue animals are inferior to purchased animals.
Fact – The origin of our fostered animals runs the gamut.
Some of the cats and dogs we foster came from show and hobby breeders, pet stores, and shelters. They are a cross-section of the animal population, and, as such, are no more or less likely to have genetic problems than any other dog. Animals of pure lines are no less likely to find themselves abandoned than the mutts and mixes. In fact if you are looking for a particular breed – a foster home within our network likely one. An interesting statistic is that 25% or more dogs at Animal Control facilities are pure bred.
Now – I’d like to offer you several good reasons to adopt through a rescue organization
Many people are experiencing a longer than usual workweek – and housetraining a puppy with its small bladder takes time and patience. Puppies need a consistent schedule with frequent opportunities to eliminate where you want. They can’t wait for the boss to finish his meeting or the kids to come home from after school activities. An older dog can “hold it” much more reliably for longer time periods, and usually the rescue has housebroken the dog before they are adopted.
Matching Socks, shoes – furniture legs and beds in tact… etc.
Young pups and kittens are curious, and need stimulus, if left alone without supervision too long they will find their own fun. With a young pup or kitten you are likely to “enjoy” the loss of a shoe, sock, or in my case an entire couch and in another case all of the linoleum in the kitchen. You can also expect holes in your carpet (along with urine stains), pages missing from books, at least one dead remote control, shredded curtains, toppled plants etc. etc. These things will also happen no matter how well you watch them, it’s a part of their healthy growth to explore, challenge and try things! An older animal has come through their youthful exploratory years and can generally have full reign over the house with little or no destructive behavior.
Additionally, when puppies are getting their adult teeth – they want to chew – table and chair legs are often the focus of this normal growth period.
A Good Night’s Sleep
A puppy or kitten can be very demanding at 2, 4 and 6am. They miss the warmth and companionship of their littermates and that stuffed animal you gave them is not a substitute for a warm cuddle.
You can finish the ….
You got the puppy or the kitten for the kids – but who has to clean up the messes or feed them? Do you really think your kids will feed him, clean up the messes, and take the puppy for a walk in the pouring rain every hour to get them housetrained? With an adult pet, it will only be the kids running amok, because your adult animal will be sitting calmly near allowing you to pet away your workday stresses and lower your blood pressure – giving you time to finish the paper or read that book or…
Easier Vet Trips
Pups and kittens need a series of shots and exams, a trip to be altered, maybe an emergency trip or two if they’ve chewed something dangerous. The time and cost of those vet visits with your little fur ball can add up. Your donation to the rescue when adopting an older pet will get you an animal current on their vaccinations, already altered, heartworm negative and on preventative medication at the minimum. Plus, Kellen Rescue also microchips our animals so that if they do get lost the chances of a return home is better. Sure the pup or kitten that you adopt from a friend or box at the grocery store is free – but you still need to provide shots, and exams and have them neutered or spay to help assure they remain healthy and to help reduce the number of unwanted animals.
They call it Puppy Love.
Puppy love (or kitten love) is often no more than an attachment to a look or a color, which is not a good way to make a decision that could last 15 years or longer. The puppy you chose simply because they were the cutest in the litter may grow up to be the exact opposite of what you were hoping for in your companion. A couch potato, when you wanted a jogging buddy, or a water dog and you don’t even like the water. Pet mismatch are one of the top reasons rescues get give-up phone calls. A lot of people give up their puppies when they are no longer cute and little and now they are untrained, ignored animals that they won’t deal with.
What You See Is What You Get
There are a few unknowns when you adopt a kitten or puppy. How big will that puppy be? What kind of temperament does the cat or dog have? Will he be easily trained? Will his personality be what you were hoping for? How active will they be? When adopting an older animal from a rescue, all of those questions are easily answered. You can pick large or small; active or couch potato; goofy or brilliant; sweet or sassy. The rescue and its foster homes will help guide you to pick the right match. I recently found a home for a sweet little Chihuahua that the owner didn’t want – only because he thought he was going to be bigger – this story had a happy ending – many do not. Rescue organizations – are full of dogs and cats that simply turned out to be different than what the owner thought they would be as a baby. Most rescue groups get to know their dogs and cats so a well that a match can be made easily.
With an older dog or cat there’s no waiting for them to grow up you have been able to select the most compatible pet for your lifestyle
Animals who have been uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are more likely to bond very completely and deeply with their new family. Those who have lost their families through death, divorce, or lifestyle change go through a terrible mourning process. But, once attached to a new loving family, they seem to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless again.
Those animals that are just beginning to learn about the good life (and good people) seem to bond even deeper. They know what life on the streets, life on the end of a chain (or worse) is all about, and they revel and blossom in a nurturing, loving environment. Most rescued animals make exceptionally affectionate and attentive pets and extremely loyal companions.
Why Adopt from Kellen Rescue?
Of course – not every one of our rescue animals has perfect manners or are perfectly socialized or house or litter box broken. Animals who have been neglected and abandoned need training and gentle discipline to become good family members.
Kellen Rescue animals spend time being cared for in a foster home before they are placed in an adoptive home. During this time they are evaluated (in terms of their personalities – how well they deal with other dogs or cats with children and so on) and they are trained, housebroken, and socialized as needed. Kellen Rescue, as do other rescue groups, does extensive evaluating of both their cats and dogs and their applicants to be sure that both will be happy with each other until the end of the animal’s life.
Our foster homes do a great deal of this work in advance to identify and correct any issues so that you should have very little to do to integrate them into your home. The same cannot be said about the puppy or kitten you might adopt out front of Rally’s or Vons. And Kellen – like most rescue groups – will take back their adopted pets if it doesn’t work out or if there are changes later where the adopter can no longer keep the dog.
Rescue your next pet and get a devoted friend for life!
Choosing a rescued animal will not solve the pet overpopulation problem (only responsible pet owners and breeders can do that), but it does give many of them a chance they otherwise would not have. Beyond doing a “good deed,” adopting a rescued animal can be the best addition to the family, and the best decision you ever make.
For more information, to foster an animal or to adopt call us at 209-742-4294 or (559) 692-2488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also – see available animals at http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/CA1382.html