rescue or rehome

Rescue or Rehome?

rescue or rehome
Beautiful dogs in the wrong place

Doing the right thing

It is very fashionable these days to have a ‘rescue’ dog, isn’t it? Celebrities do it, so it must be the right thing to do, mustn’t it? Rescuing sounds heroic – we are taking a dog that’s had a terrible time and giving it a much better life, aren’t we great!

It’s not quite that simple. I’ve already talked about whether you should get a dog from a rescue or a breeder and covered a number of points. Now I want to focus specifically on the difference between going to a rescue centre vs finding a dog the ‘old-fashioned’ way, through word of mouth. In other words, taking on a dog straight from the unsuitable home it has been in.

Why re-home a dog?

There are lots of reasons why a dog might not be suitable for the home it is in. Circumstances change. Many people take on a dog believing that they are in a position to cope with it, only to find that their job changes, or they have to move house, or their relationship status changes.

Often though, people simply don’t appreciate how challenging it can be to have a dog in your home. What looks cute and fluffy as a puppy turns out to be a weeing, pooing, chewing nightmare! Parents often decide they simply don’t have time to cope with a dog as well as their children.

rescue or rehome
It’s not his fault

Where to start rehoming a dog?

If you are feeling overwhelmed with your dog, please start by talking about it to a few people? You might be surprised that other people have similar problems with their dog. Sometimes talking it through can help you see things differently and keep things in perspective.

If people agree that for whatever reason, your dog is not in the best place, it is worth asking around to see if someone can offer a better home. This has happened to people I know a few times. I have been able to ask my contacts in the dog world, who have passed the message on.

Of course you still want to ‘vet’ anyone who offers to re-home your dog. I remember the first time I did this, I was quite anxious about meeting the person who was interested in the dog. I didn’t need to worry, they were one of the nicest people I’ve ever met! They took the dog and gave him an AMAZING home! It was everything I wanted for him. They were young enough to take him for long walks, had other dogs to keep him company and were experienced enough to cope with his quirks.

A better home makes a better dog

More recently, I helped move on a super dog with no faults, who just didn’t really fit into the home he was in. Once again, through contacts and messages, a more suitable home was found. When I asked how things were going, I received this response:

He’s doing really well. They’re so proud of him, meeting grandchildren, family members, other dogs etc. They can’t believe how well he walks on lead. They adore him, which makes me so happy.”

Isn’t that lovely? As much as the dog was previously loved, the owner knew it wasn’t the best fit for him. He’s happy now.

Rescue centres – pros and cons

A few months ago there was a super series, called ‘The Dog House‘ about Wood Green Animal Rescue. It really clearly showed all the ins and outs of rehoming: the trauma of bringing the dog in and leaving it (including the dog being upset). Then the people coming in being vetted and helped to realise that what they thought they wanted might not be the best fit for them. You saw the dogs having to make a good first impression and how challenging that was for some of them.

What was most upsetting about the series, was how many of the dogs shown were taken home by the people, only to be returned, sometimes after as long as a month. Heartbreakingly, many dogs who end up in a rescue go backwards and forwards into a number of homes. How much better to go straight from one home to another, forever?

rescue or rehome

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