10 reasons why you should not adopt a rescue

February 6, 2019

Welcome! If you've Googled for reasons why adopting a rescue might be a bad idea, you've probably clicked on other links which told you some reasons which sounded logical to you. I call those myths because no blanket statement about animals can ever be correct for all individuals. So this is actually a myth-busting blog.




Myth#1: Rescue animals are not toilet trained

Most rescue animals toilet train themselves and the rehoming team just has to make sure they are let out often enough. Think about it this way. You don't go to the toilet where you eat, drink or sleep. In your case it is because you think it is gross. For an animal it goes deeper. Feces attract predators so you don't want it near your living quarters. Wet bedding and pee stained fur make for a cold nights and skin rashes. If the animal can avoid it, they will. If you spend any time volunteering in shelters cleaning animals enclosures, you will notice that within a matter of days from being admitted they start waiting to be let out to do their business. They toilet train themselves to do their business outside their home (the kennel) so of course when they get adopted they don't feel at home just yet. That is going to be the case wherever they come from so it really is not a good reason to favor any other animals above rescuer animals. Any animals you take home will need training and not just toilet training. If you don't want to train your pet you really should consider getting a stuffed animal instead.


Myth#2: Rescue animals have difficult behavior

This myth assumes two things. The first is that animals end up in rescue because a previous owner couldn't cope with their difficult behaviour. The second is that difficult behaviour is inevitable after an animal is kenneled. We have animals that were surrendered to us becasue the owner is sick, or dying, or dead, or going to prison, or being evicted, or loosing their financial stability to the extent they cannot afford food and vet bills, and many other reasons. In 2013 we had taken a measure of this and found that 45% of animals were surrendered due to behavioural issues, but now in 2019 that amount has greatly reduces, probably due to behaviorists and trainers rising in number to meet the demand. In fact most of the animals we take in would make a wonderful companion for almost anyone. We've had dogs that came in with problems that were solved through living in a kennel. Difficult behavior in any case is mostly down to context so we make sure that the adopter's home is suitable for the mental health of the animal before finalizing any adoption.


Myth#3: Rescue animals are old
we wish> hey"d be a lot easier to care for in a kennel if they were all old> hey"d need less exercise for starters, so I think that for most people an older pet might not the worst fit for a couch potato or someone with a busy lifestyle. Anyhow, the animals we have that are old often got old in the kennels and were already up for adoption when they were younger. We have puppies, juveniles, adults, and old animals. There is not an age that people are less likely to surrender a pet. Unwanted puppies are still a thing, maybe because some people who think they knew better refused to neuter their bitch, or because despite the writing on the wall many still get a puppy in a whim and freak out a few days later. You'll find animals of all ages in rescue.


Myth#6: Shelter pets are sad

Even if it were true, I don't see how that is a valid reason to leave them there, instead of cheering them up by taking them home. Nonetheless, we'd do cartwheels if that cheered up our animals. So we manage our kennel environment to reduce sadness in our rehoming center to almost 0. I look at my dog at home and she looks sadder then they do. Animals in our care get toys, options, enrichment, exercise and anything else we can provide. I sometimes think we overcompensate because we feel bad about not taking them home with us. They are certainly not sad and will not make you sad.


Myth#5: Rescue animals are all mutts

We have all sorts of dogs and cats. We get mutts, purebreds, designer dogs, small, medium, large in any configuration over time. We obviously do not keep all types in stock at all times because our supply depends on the people who need to rehome their animal. After all we are not a dog retail, but an animal charity. In my almost 4 years now at the MSPCA and 4 years before that in other animal rescue projects I have seen some beautiful specimens of dog that would make the designer breed or pure breed people jealous. Just the ones I can remember here are a brindle French bulldog, countless Yorkies, Pugs, A Dogo Argentino (such a sweetheart too), GSDs, Malamutes, Huskies, Boxers, A Maltese terrier, Staffies,a Whippet, a Cairn terrier and this adorable Pughighland terrier that to this day wish I had adopted. We also have seen some interesting dogs and cats that nature came up with without artificial selection that just outshine any purebred I can remember. Thumbellina was a fluffy scruffy haired, tiny little thing that had the cutest little face and the best personality I have ever met. I can recount many pointer crosses that had physical form and temperament that any hunter would have envied. Of course we have mutts too, because mutts exist. In rescue we tend to get a representation of what's trending. When people follow the trend blindly they often find out they made the wrong choice and they send their pet to us for adoption. And there is absolutely nothing wrong about mutts so that would not be a reason to avoid adopting them.


Myth#6: Rescue animals are all sick

This one really makes me angry. The assumption here is that rescue pets are kept in such filthy conditions that they must be harboring a plethora of diseases or that animals are kept in crowded conditions making the spread of disease easy, nay inevitable. Whoever believes that has certainly never stepped foot into our rehoming center or bother looking at our housing policies. Yes filth and crowding do lead to sick animals but that is not the way we keep our animals. If you've seen that happen elsewhere report it, but don't judge every rescue shelter based on a sample of one. It's like taking a glass of sea water and ending your fishing trip because that one glass of water did not have any fish. Our animals are vet examined on admission, before adoption and at any other time when we notice any malaise so we can treat them and avoid giving you sick animals unknowingly.


Myth#7: Getting animals from a shelter is a gamble as their family history and bloodline is unknown

It is true that in most cases we do not know the family history or bloodline, but I submit to you that that is no more a gamble than 99% of purebred dogs and cats. Of all the breeders i know (and I do keep tabs) only 1% actually can be trusted to be honest about the parentage of their puppies, to have done enough research on breeding genetics, to actually have done genetic tests on their breeding stock, to make ethical decisions based on those results, to provide consistent medical support through gestation, whelping and weaning and to provide an enriched environment for puppies and kittens to become well balanced adults. The only instances I know when breeders do all this they demand a hefty fee and can back it up with documented evidence. Those that do not, will not and cannot provide documented proof are scammers after your money without investing much into their bloodline and their dogs are likely to come with more problems than any mutt or rescue. On the other hand, even though we do not know the animals blood line or family history in rescue, we do keep a detailed medical history, behaviour assessment history and any other information we obtain about our animals, and it is all documented. Most heritable diseases people worry about have an age of onset, so if you really want to avoid that, get an older pet.


Myth#8: You can't breed from a rescue because they'll be neutered

Wrong. Well it is true that they will be neutered but it is not the reason why you shouldn't breed. You shouldn't breed unless you have done the necessary checks, educated yourself and obtained breeding stock that has robust genetics, and more importantly you shouldn't breed unless you are willing to sacrifice your personal and social life to raise the offspring properly, have people already interested in your puppies and commit to taking them back if their owners cannot keep them. If you just want a pet for breeding with no consideration about the rest then go back to Myth#7.


Myth#9: Adoption is too difficult and expensive

That it is...for us but not for you. We ask for a donation of around 50 euros at adoption and before we finalize we want to perform a home check and have a discussion about getting the pet settled in and any risk factors we identify. That involves out time, our fuel expenses, our commute and therefore our money, and when it doesn't quite work out it is our time and money down the drain. When you adopt an animal here, you get a pet that has been microchipped, vaccinated, neutered and dewormed, which means they are less likely to get sick and that unless they get sick you won't have to see a vet for many months. Getting them polished up like this for adoption costs us roughly 112 euros per animal. Your donation doesn't begin to cover what you'd need to fork out elsewhere for an animal that isn't even vaccinated or microchipped.


Myth#10: You;re not allowed to get to know the animal well enough before taking it home

9 times out of 10 adopters are ready to take the animal home before we start easing into saying yes to it. We have been disappointed by people many times so we are cautious often when we don't need to be. We don't like keeping animals back just because we have had bad experiences, so we keep our caution in check by hand-holding if you need it. No one is forcing you to adopt an animal you don't want or aren't sure about. We are not a non-profit organisation. Our success isn't measured on our sales pitch. We are match makers. Our success is measured on how well we manage to find the right pet for you. If it is the right pet for you, we won't need to force you to take it...all we need to do is offer it. I've always head people saying "When it is the right time I'll get a dog" and what experience has told me and keeps conforming is that it is the right time when you meet the right dog and there is very little else to it.


Apologies for the shameless click-bait title, but if you read this far it obviously got your attention.




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