Dogs and puppies find themselves in rescue centres for a variety of reasons. The majority of dogs in rescue centres find themselves there through no fault of their own. They are often already house-trained, ready to be part of a family and full of love. They are just waiting for somewhere new to call home. There is a misconception that all dogs in rescue centres are fully grown, this is not the case. Many puppies find themselves in rescue centres because their owners have been unable to find homes for them, or because their mother has been abandoned, sometimes while she is pregnant. Another misconception is that only cross-breeds or a small number of pedigree breeds are found in rescue centres. Again, this is not the case. Many pedigree breeds can be found in rescue centres; in fact most pedigree breeds have their own breed specific rescues.
Reputable rescue centres work very hard to ensure all dogs are placed in an appropriate forever home. However, on the rare occasion a dog and family aren't the perfect match, the rescue centre will be very supportive and ask that the dog be returned to them so they can find their right forever home. Although rescue centres often conduct home visits and ask that new owners meet certain criteria such as not leaving a dog alone for more than four hours, most, if not all rescue centres are more concerned with finding a loving home for their dogs than with ‘ticking boxes’. So please take the time to discuss your concerns about their checks and criteria and explain that you will give their dog a loving home. Also, remember that all rescue centres are different, so don’t discount them all if one discounts you.
Some people assume because a dog or puppy is in a rescue centre that they should be ‘free to a good home’. This is not how rescue centres work, and for a very good reason. Reputable rescue centres will give all dogs and puppies a full health check upon arrival, including paying for any required treatments such as vaccinations, worming and flea treatments. Along with the full health check, the rescue centres will assess doggy behaviour and provide relevant basic training where required. This is on top of caring for their basic needs whilst he or she is in their care. And all this costs money. The majority of rescue centres in the United Kingdom are either a charity or voluntary organisation, relying solely upon donations from the public. The smaller local rescue centres, of which there are hundreds in the United Kingdom, struggle to raise funds quickly enough to care for the dogs and puppies, which is why covering vet bills and food via an adoption fee is so important.
It is estimated 126,000 dogs are being picked up by Local Authorities across the UK each year. 30,000 homeless dogs are sent to 'rescue' every year to be rehomed and of that number 7,000 are euthanised by Local Authorities. Many of these dogs and puppies will have been euthanised for no other reason than nobody wanted to give them a second chance in life. These figures do not include those dogs sent to charity or volunteer rescue centres. So before you buy a puppy, please consider giving a rescue dog or puppy a second chance.
Alongside the rescue centres there are also voluntary transport organisers and voluntary home-checkers that help rescue centres where a potential adopter is out of their area. So if you find the perfect dog or puppy for you, but he or she is not in your area, please don’t be put off. Call the rescue centre and discuss their procedures for home-checking and transport arrangements for potential adopters who are out of their area.
The majority of rescues are reputable, but unfortunately there are always going to be a few that aren't. It’s always a good idea to get a recommendation from someone who has rehomed a pet from a rescue.
Here are just a few of the best possible reasons to rescue:
My name is Darcey and I am 7 years old. Until recently I'd lived with the same family all my life, but unfortunately their circumstances changed and they needed to find me a new home. My previous family advertised me 'FREE TO A GOOD HOME', but fortunately a reputable rescue saw the advert and saved me from being handed over to just anyone where my fate would have been uncertain and maybe very sad and scary. I am very loving and have a full bill of health from the lovely veterinarian that tested my heart, ears, eyes and much more! I am now living with a wonderful foster family until I find my new forever home. Love and Licks, Darcey x
Flora here. How are you doing? I'm doing great since I found my forever home through Friends Of The Animals RCT. I had a rough start in life, but one day all that changed and I got a new mum, a new home and a whole new life! I think people who adopt rescue dogs are amazeballs.
My name is Duchess and my mum adopted me from The Dogs Trust when I was 18 months old. There are lots of other loving dogs like me in rescues around the UK, so please be a hero and save a life.