Saturday, October 2, 2010

Canine Rescue Groups

By Suzanne Alicie

As a responsible pet owner, it breaks my heart to see dogs that need to be rescued. There are foundations that put up heartbreaking ads on television, and shelter animals for adoption at local pet stores. For someone like me who recently lost a dog to cancer, it can really cause the tears to flow to think of those poor dogs having no homes and no one to love. The love of a dog is a truly unconditional love. A dog is never too tired to play, they never want you to leave them alone, and even when they are sick and in pain they want you nearby. When it comes to comfort, there is nothing like the soft eyes of a dog as she nudges your hand to let you know she is there.

We are all aware of animal shelters, or that other term “the pound,” and although they provide a beneficial service to the community, it’s difficult to accept that not all of them can be “no kill” shelters. When it comes to saving dogs and keeping them alive, placing them with foster families for socialization, and making needy dogs available for adoption, canine rescue groups are considered the cream of the crop. There are breed specific rescue groups, rescue groups for different areas of the country, and rescue groups for specific disasters such as Hurricane Katrina which left thousands of animals without homes.

Why Adopt From a Canine Rescue Group?

When you find yourself in the market for a new dog, there are several reasons why you may want to consider contacting a canine rescue group.

• First and foremost, when you adopt a dog from a rescue group you know that you are truly saving a life.
• Adopted pets often respond to the real stability of a forever home by forming a strong bond with their new family, and becoming a whole new dog. It's so rewarding to see the changes that love and stability can have on a dog.
• Because of the many different types of canine rescue groups, you can pretty much pick and choose your new dog much as you would if you were going through a breeder. The difference is that you will be providing a service to dogs everywhere be adopting a rescued dog.

When you contact a canine rescue group, you may be surprised at the amount of information you have to provide before they will let you take one of their dogs. These dogs have been rescued from abusive homes or from the streets, or have been turned over when the owners were unable to keep them. They need real stability, love and attention, and they need to have their potential new family evaluated to make sure their personality is a good fit. This helps ensure that an adopted dog from a rescue group is truly going to have a forever home. 

If you find a canine rescue group that doesn’t seem to have each and every dog’s best interest at heart, one that doesn’t have current medical records and treatments since the rescue, or one that doesn’t explain to you as much as they are able about the dog, please consider having the group checked out further by officials in the county where they are located.

To adopt from a canine rescue group, you will need to prove that you have a safe environment for your new dog, that you can afford to care for the dog properly, and that you and your family understand the challenges of dealing with a rescue dog. These dogs are often like small children who are placed in foster care. They can be wary, timid and often nervous, but they are eager to please and want your love. Some rescue dogs are not suitable for homes with children; others may have issues with men. Each rescued dog has his own story, and each day of his life has shaped him into what he is today. It can be up to you and your family how his story plays out for his future.

A few rescue groups to check into that are highly recommended include:

• Purebred rescue groups approved by the AKC can be found on their website.
• The All Breed Rescue Network of Colorado can assist potential adopters with finding a reputable rescue group in your area as well as in Colorado.
• The PGAA Rescue Contacts page offers national and individual state rescue listings for all types of animals, not just dogs.

If you have room in your heart and in your home, please consider adopting a rescued dog. The benefit of having a dog in your life is beyond measure. You will reap the benefits of your dog’s love for years to come, and they will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie


  1. We are all aware of animal shelters, or that other term “the pound,” and although they provide a beneficial service to the community, it’s difficult to accept that not all of them can be “no kill” shelters.

    Of course they can. What's your basis for saying they cannot?

  2. Christie, it would be great if there were enough resources and money to make all shelters no kill shelters, but there are so many animals and with limited space and funds it is essentially impossible for all shelters to be "no kill" because you can only cram so many animals into a space and keep them healthy. For example in my county alone the animal shelter receives 30 to 40 animals each week, and I am in a rural area. These animals require medical care, food, cleaning and of course space to live. There aren't enough funds in the county and there aren't enough donations to provide for this many animals indefinitely.

  3. Its so sad to see and hear about animals being given up. I understand that there are circumstances when an animal is given up; But I,ve heard people at shelters telling the people at the counter and from people in general making comments like " I have no time for the dog" I didn't realize how much there was in taking care of a dog or even a cat sometimes-WTF! Usually its just plain laziness on the former pet owners. I feel so sad for these pets that given up due to irresponsible people. Get your pets spaded/neutered and be responsible. They should also enforce animal cruelty/dog fighters with harsher penalties and up the crime to a felony upon consideration of the seriousness of the crime; Should also includes puppy mills and people caught abandoning their pets on purpose!

  4. It's so wonderful to see how many responsible pet shelters exist and how much they care about placing the animals they care for into the right home environments. Staff and volunteers--my kudos to them all!


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