The Importance of Dog Rescue

The Importance of Dog Rescue

Man’s best friend sometimes needs a helping hand.  Fortunately, dog rescues exist solely to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of our canine friends.  What would the world be like without dog rescues?  Undoubtedly the pet population would increase, communities would not have access to vital services, and families would have a more difficult time being reunited with lost pets.  Here, the importance of dog rescues will be discussed.  

Dog Rescues Save Lives

First and foremost, dog rescues save lives.  Every day, dog rescues take in animals that are relinquished by their owners, save stray dogs from the streets, and pull dogs from euthanasia lists at other shelters across the country.  Some dog rescues work in niche fields, such as Beagle Freedom Project which saves and rehabilitates dogs formerly used for lab tests, while other rescues serve a more general population.  

Dog Rescues Help Control the Pet Population

The ASPCA estimates that 3.9 million dogs enter rescues and shelters each year.  A major dilemma facing most countries around the world is pet overpopulation.  This situation is directly related to unethical breeding, as well as the resistance of dog owners to spay or neuter their pets.  Dog rescues help overcome these problems in multiple ways.  

First, they provide education on the difference between good and bad breeders.  An ethical breeder will ensure his or her puppies go to homes where they will be neutered or spayed, except in certain circumstances such as when the dog is used for show.  An unethical breeder, on the other hand, breeds dogs simply for profit and without concern of what happens to its puppies, or how they are taken care of in their new homes.  

Second, dog rescues generally spay and neuter every dog that comes through its doors.  While these procedures can be costly for the rescue, they help prevent future generations of puppies.  

Next, dog rescues help control the pet population by providing an alternative to dog breeding.  Instead of continually breeding new dogs while other animals are unwanted, dog rescues provide a way to “recycle” pets, lowering the chances that a dog becomes tossed aside in the future. 

Finally, dog rescues control the pet population by keeping animals off the streets, where they are more likely to find mating partners.  

Dog Rescues Serve the Community

If you have ever thought that dog rescues solely serve dogs, think again.  Dog rescues are integral parts of the community.  For instance, when pet owners fall on hard times, dog rescues often assist by providing dog food, low-cost vaccines, and veterinary care at reduced prices.  

In addition, dog rescues can help community members by temporarily housing animals when certain situations arise, such as military deployment.  

Finally, dog rescues provide peace of mind for elderly dog owners who ask the rescue to care for their pets should they move into assisted living or pass away.  

Dog Rescues Reunite Families

When an animal is found as a stray, dog rescues serve as temporary holding facilities until the dog’s family can be found.  Without dog rescues serving in this capacity, many animals would continue to roam the streets to potentially be hit by a car, get taken in by another person who doesn’t attempt to find the owner, or worse.  Dog rescues work their hardest to network animals that are found in search of the rightful owners.  

In addition, dog rescues often form search parties when dog owners reach out for help in finding a lost pet.  Dog rescue workers and volunteers take their jobs seriously, and will often perform overnight stake outs and set up live traps in order to ensure that every animal is reunited with its loving family. 

Dog Rescues Keep Communities Safer

When the dog population is not properly managed, the spread of disease can be rampant.  Dog rescues do their best to ensure that animals within their community are immunized against dangerous diseases such as Rabies and Distemper.  When there are sightings of a dangerous or sick animal, rescue workers and volunteers tirelessly work until the animal is apprehended.  

Dog Rescues Provide Alternatives for Pet Ownership

While every dog lover should appreciate the joys of owning a puppy at least once, the fact remains that puppies are a lot of hard work – not to mention expensive.  Dog rescues provide additional options for people who are seeking a pet.  

For instance, purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder typically costs in excess of $1,000.  While this high price tag ensures good genetics and covers the cost of quality care, it can be prohibitive for many people.  Unethical breeders often charge substantially less money, $300 - $500 per puppy, but these dogs often have poor genetics and are prone to congenital disease.  After purchasing a puppy from a breeder, there are still the costs of deworming, vaccinations, spay/neuter, microchipping, and supplies.

Rescues, on the other hand, typically charge less than $100 for the adoption of a dog.  In most cases, the animal that you receive is up to date on vaccinations, dewormed, spayed or neutered, microchipped, and has been assessed for medical or behavioral problems.  While a common misconception is that purebred dogs can only be acquired from breeders, this notion is simply false.  Even purebred puppies with papers can be found in a rescue!  

For people who do not care about their dog’s lineage or who would prefer to have an adult dog and avoid the hassle of training a puppy, dog rescues are a wonderful option.  Even fully trained and well-behaved adult dogs wind up dog rescues, through no fault of their own. 

Dog Rescues are Animal Advocates

Finally, dog rescues are important because they serve as the voice of animals.  Dog rescues are commonly the first responders to cases of abuse and neglect, and are the ones who file charges against the perpetrators.  The volunteers and workers at dog rescues make sure that every animal has a voice, and they do not give up until every animal within their community is fairly treated. 

1 comment

  • Stephanie Lowe

    From a person that has only adopted dogs from kill shelters and as a dog activist, thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this very important piece. It will hopefully make people wake up and help a Bully out by saving his or her life. Bully breeds are by far the most in shelters and sadly the most to be euthanized on a daily basis.

    I adopted my Pocket American Bully from a rescue who barely beat the clock of his euthanasia time. He is a purebred Pocket Bully, purebred dogs are constantly in the kill shelters or their are breed specific rescues to choose from if you want a specific breed, especially Bully breeds!

    Thanks again for writing such a wonderful piece!

    Regional Manager of Animal Cruelty Task force International or ACTI

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