Myths About Shelter and Rescue Dogs (and cats too)
It’s time to bust those myths about shelter and rescue dogs and cats too. Think of the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well don’t judge a pet by their circumstances, in fact if anything shelter and rescue dogs are some of the best out there. They know how lucky they are to be adopted and they like to show the love back!
If you’ve been following us for even a short while you’ll have seen photos of our precious rescue dog above Little Zeus aka LZ who crossed the rainbow bridge at the end of last month (May 2018). Now does he look like an old or ugly dog? No he was a cutie right? Did you know that one of those myths about rescue dogs is that shelters are full of old and/or ugly animals? Yep that’s what some people think.
Fact: You can find dogs and cats of all ages at shelters! And there’s nothing wrong with taking home an adult dog or cat. Puppies and kittens are certainly cute, but they aren’t for everyone. They require lots of attention, training exercises and socialization to become well-behaved adults, and not everyone wants or is able to make that kind of commitment. Older pets on the other hand, are often better behaved, potty trained and less energetic. Whichever your preference, you should have no problem find a pet in your desired age-range.
Another myth that our precious LZ was also proof that it was so wrong is that shelters only have mutts. There are no pure breeds available.
Fact: Shelters have their fair share of mutts – no doubt about that. But there are rescue dogs that are purebred. You might just need to have some patience and wait for one to be brought in. There are also rescue groups that are breed-specific, so if you really want a certain breed, you can look into adopting from one of those organizations. While LZ was a purebred chihuahua we love mutts too and certainly would never not get a dog because they were mixed breeds.
It’s also fact that people tend to have a very specific picture in mind when imagining life with a dog or cat, and due to a number of common misconceptions, they sometimes overlook the option of bringing home one of the millions of deserving animals currently living in shelters.Say hello to our Ollie above, yes a rescue cat and such a cutie patootie. He’s also the most affectionate cat we’ve ever had the pleasure of having in our family. He snuggles he gives face rubs and since we lost our LZ he’s being giving us extra attention like he knows we need the comfort. Ollie was rescued from a kill shelter in California and brought to us here in Vancouver by a rescue organization and we’re so glad they did! Our lives would not be the same without him.
Another myth is that shelter and rescue dogs and cats have more health issues that will be costly for potential new families. I don’t know how this myth came to be but the fact is many shelters ensure pets that are adopted have seen a veterinarian and are given a clean bill of health before heading home with you. And if something is wrong, they will let you know ahead of time so there are no surprises – at least none that you could have potentially been aware of or predicted at the time of adoption. In addition, many health issues are easily treatable so don’t dismiss a potentially great pet whose condition may be temporary or easily resolved – simply switching their food to a premium recipe like Petcurean’s GO! Solutions could make a world of difference. And there are many affordable pet insurance options that can help offset costs over the life of your pet. I know I’ve shared the photo above before of our yes another one of our rescue dogs Luna but I love it so much. It’s like Luna knew I was trying to get a photo to share how amazing rescue dogs and cats are and the hope they have to be adopted.
This next myth breaks my heart and it’s the myth thatshelter animals have experienced abuse or neglect, making them “damaged goods.”
Fact: Shelter animals have so very much love to give. Just look at LZ, Ollie and Luna above and you’ve got proof right there, they gave us back love tenfold. Even with abuse or neglect in their past, these animals can make a full emotional recovery in due time – especially when they’re placed in a loving home and given the right care and attention. Many of these animals are just so happy to finally end up in safe, caring environments that they are even more loving and loyal to their adopted families. Others came from loving homes but were surrendered by their owners due to unexpected circumstances, like relocating for a job.
The last myth that we want to throw out the window is that shelter pets have behavioral problems and won’t adapt well to living in a home.
Fact: There are so many reasons, beyond behavioral issues, that pets are brought into shelters – owners could have moved to a place that doesn’t allow pets, they may have been overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to go into training their pet, the animal could have been a runaway, or it could have been born on the streets. Most of the animals that are dropped off at the shelter would make wonderful additions to a loving family. And those that wouldn’t, usually aren’t eligible for adoption!
Give hope and receive love back from shelter and rescue dogs and cats.
If you, a family member, or a friend are thinking about welcoming a new pet into your family, I encourage you to do a little “digging” into your local shelters. If you are not sure if you are ready to adopt, or unsure which type of dog/cat you are looking for, many rescue groups and shelters have foster programs. Fostering allows you to learn more about the animal you are looking to adopt, and if your lifestyle/personalities are a match. It also helps you gauge if you are ready for the commitment and responsibility of caring for a companion. It also helps the animal by getting them into a temporary home, making space for a new animal at the rescue or shelter, and increases their chance for adoption. And if you fall in love with your foster, you can adopt – it’s a win win! You never know – the dog or cat you’re meant to bring home may just be the complete opposite of what you expected!
Our four-legged family members have brought us priceless joy and we can’t say how much we support adopting a shelter or rescue pet!
Make sure to check out our Pets section for more tips on cats and dogs and how to care for them.