Myths about Rescue Dogs
With millions of healthy animals euthanized every year across Canada, rescuing a dog is the responsible and ethical thing for an animal lover to do. Despite this, many people have hesitations about rescuing based on stereotypes and myths about rescue animals that abound. We break down some of the most common myths and misconceptions about rescue dogs.
1. They’re in the rescue/shelter because something is wrong with them
Most dogs wind up in shelters and rescues because they were given up by their owners for reasons that have nothing to do with the dog’s behavior. A lot of families give up their dogs because they can’t afford them anymore, or because opportunity forces them to move to a place where they can’t have dogs, or they just don’t have the time for their dog anymore.
Dogs also end up in shelters when expectations and reality don’t meet — that little puppy grew up into a large, energetic dog living in a studio apartment with no exercise, or that tiny lap dog became uncontrollable and dominant because it was never trained.
2. You’ll never know their history
While this is true, it’s not a bad thing, because a rescue dog will never really know its own history, either. Dogs don’t dwell in the past.
The great thing about adopting a dog from a rescue is that since the dog is living in a home with a person, or sometimes even a family, you will know quite a bit about that dog’s behaviour – how he/she is on leash, with other dogs, people, and any additional likes/dislikes/habits and things to work on.
3. They may have a disease
Most shelter and rescue dogs are fully vetted before being adopted out – and have received all of their standard vaccinations, deworming, flea and heartworm treatments, and standard blood work. In addition, they have been spayed and neutered or will be spayed and/or neutered once they are old enough. Many dogs that come from our rescue have also received additional veterinary care, such as teeth cleaning, if needed.
4. They aren’t purebred
Around 25% of dogs that enter shelters or rescues are purebreds. Despite the fact that mixed-breed dogs make amazing pets too, if you have your heart set on a specific breed, there are many breed specific rescues across Ontario.
5. They’re too old
Dogs of all ages enter into rescues and shelters. It’s true that young puppies aren’t as common, but a quick search of Petfinder.com or a look at some of your local shelters will tell you that puppies are definitely attainable if a puppy is what you have your heart set on.
However, an adult dog can be ideal for many people! Adult dogs are much easier to housetrain (if they aren’t already) and often already have some basic training. If they don’t, they learn quickly. There is predictability in terms of both size and temperament with an adult dog that you just don’t have with a puppy.
And don’t forget about the senior dogs! Senior dogs can be ideal for lower-energy households, or in situations where you don’t want to commit for ten or fifteen whole years but still want a loving companion.