Adopting a rescue or shelter dog is a wonderful way to give an animal a chance to have a loving family. However, before you decide to open your heart and home, it’s important to understand what is involved. From paperwork to understanding the unique needs of each furbaby, here are things to consider before adopting a shelter or rescue dog.
Difference Between Animal Shelters and Animal Rescues
While both provide a safe haven for homeless animals, there are some distinctions between the two facilities. Shelters are run by the local government or non-profit organisations and get funding from government grants and donations. They usually take strays or surrendered animals and house the precious dogs in kennels where potential adopters can see them. On the other hand, rescue facilities are usually privately run and rely on volunteers to help care for the animals in their own homes. They focus on rescuing animals from abusive or neglectful situations and rehoming them with families dedicated to providing the best care possible.
Things to Consider When Adopting a Shelter or Rescue Dog
Paperwork and Fees
Most shelters and rescue facilities require adopters to fill out an application with questions about lifestyle and living arrangements to ensure the dog is going to a loving and caring home. They may require proof of employment or landlord approval for certain breeds or ages of dogs. The fees may depend on the type of dog, medical care provided, and other services the facility offers. Ask the adoption coordinator what you can expect before committing to any adoption agreement.
Each breed has unique traits and characteristics that make them well suited for different lifestyles. For example, some breeds require more exercise and attention than others, while others bark more than their counterparts. Knowing which breed is right for your lifestyle will help ensure you and your furbaby are happy together.
Every pet has a unique personality and quirks, and adopting a shelter or rescue dog is no different. However, with them, it’s essential to understand why they were surrendered in the first place. Did they have behavioural issues? Were they exposed to trauma or neglect? Knowing this information can help you prepare for any health issues they may have or potential trust, anxiety and behavioural problems they may exhibit. Patience and understanding are vital when adopting a shelter or rescue dog.
Space, Supplies, Training
Similarly to bringing any new pet into your home, be prepared to have ample space and enough supplies (e.g. food dishes, toys, leashes) that the dog needs. Invest in professional training classes if necessary, and keep in mind that some shelter or rescue dogs may require an ongoing training process due to what they have gone through. Continue working on obedience techniques to ensure your fur buddy is better behaved and socialised with people and other animals.
Adopting a Shelter or Rescue Dog: A Rewarding Experience
When you and your family are prepared to share your home with a dog from an animal shelter or rescue facility, it can be a genuinely fulfilling experience. It benefits the animal, you, as the pet parent and the entire community. By adopting a shelter or rescue dog, you can help reduce pet overpopulation and free up space in the facility to give way to other animals in need. Moreover, knowing that you are able to provide these precious dogs with their forever home and practically a second chance at a happy life is reason enough to adopt. When they receive the care and understanding they deserve, these furbabies can thrive and be the sweetest and most loving companions.