Why a Rescue?Everyone should experience the love and devotion of a dog and when deciding what type of breed would suit the family it should also be carefully decided where this new member of the family is coming from.
Different TypesA rescued dog can come from all sports of places: A friend or family member, no longer being ably to keep his dog, may need an urgent home for the animal. A breeder may have had a dog returned, but why? A local rescue sanctuary could be close enough for you to collect a dog, but where would this dog have come from?
The Dog’s HistoryYou need to know the history of the dog before you hand over cash or sign an agreement. Ask the rescue centre for a history of the dog, if it has been handed in then the person handing over the dog may have given the dog’s health record as well.
You need to know the health background of the dog. Veterinary costs can be astronomical and it is not unheard of for someone to dump a dog rather than commit to the care and treatment that the dog really needs.
TemperamentThe most important aspect of owning any animal is to be assured that its temperament is one hundred percent solid. Even if buying a puppy you would first check out both parents. With a rescue dog this is not always possible so you have to be able to know the dog well and have the assurance of the kennel that the dog is not dangerous and can be returned if there is a problem.
The FamilyHow old are your children? Are there elderly people in your home? Both must be considered before introducing an older rescue dog into your home. Are your children old enough to understand that a dog can be unpredictable and can harm them if it is teased or provoked? There are often horrific stories in the national press of dogs attacking and sometimes killing young children. Quite often it is a dog that is either unknown to the child or has not been in the family very long. Could you risk this happening to your child? If you have any doubt do not rescue a dog – better still don’t even purchase a puppy until your children are old enough to handle the responsibility.
Where to Find a Rescue Dog
If you are sure a rescue dog is right for you and you have a breed in mind then the next stop is to find a reliable rescue kennel. If you are hoping to rehome a pure bred dog then contact a Kennel Club recognised breed club who will put you in touch with their breed rescue division. Most breeds do have a recognised breed rescue which members of the breed support and raise funds for the dogs less fortunate than their own. If you want to rescue a cross-breed then try to support a rescue society close to home. You will then be able to visit often and build a rapport with the dog before taking it home. There is also some really good national rescue organisations such as The Blue Cross and Battersea Dogs Home. No society that cares for a dog will let you take home a dog on your first visit. Expect to have to supply references and have a home check before adopting the dog.
Once the dog is home you will have a lifetime commitment to the new family member. If the dog is old enough enrol him and the whole family in some dog training classes. Not only is this an enjoyable way to spend time with your dog but also from day one he will know what is expected of him and who is boss. Your dog will then be happy in his ‘furrever home.’