“He’s really unafraid for a rescue dog.”
“He’s very well behaved for a rescue dog.”
“Really – you got a purebred dog from a rescue group?”
I have a rescue dog and I get very tired of how often I hear these statements.
What upsets me even more is so-called “conscious” people and yogis who buy dogs. Buying dogs in this day and age is a death sentence for the millions of dogs sitting in shelters waiting to die.
When you buy a dog from a pet store you support puppy mills—manufacturers of puppies with profits in mind. Puppies which come from these mills are kept in horrible conditions and frequently have health issues. These mills are just in business to sell puppies. They will sell just as equally to scientific test facilities as well as pet stores just to keep their bottom line as robust as possible. Nearly all puppies in pet stores come from these types of operations. Not to mention the mothers of puppy mill puppies never see the light of day and endure a torturous life. Making money off a dog’s uterus is one of the most UNCONSCIOUS things you can do.
Facts about rescue dogs
- They are not all timid and not all of them have been abused.
Rescue dogs come in all temperaments and packages. All dogs have so much unconditional love to give. Even abused dogs can make a full emotional recovery in the right home, as long as you provide the consistent care and attention. Plus often abused dogs are so happy to be rescued you’ll find them to be very devoted and loyal to you. You can rescue a dog from a shelter or a breed-specific rescue group. Those in shelters are on death row, so if you can get one from a shelter please do.
- You can get a rescue dog that is a purebred.
There are literally thousands of “breed-specific” rescue groups so you can adopt the dog of your choice without supporting an unethical puppy mill, breeder, or pet store. Visit Pet Finder.com and check out all the PURE BREED dogs available.
- Rescue dogs do not all have behavioral issues and don’t necessarily end up inshelters because of behavioral issues.
There are many reasons why a dog ends up at a shelter. Many owners die, or lose their apartments or their jobs. Dogs that are strays, born on the streets, or lost are often brought in to shelters. Some owners just don’t have the time or patience to dedicate to a dog. Real behavioral issues usually make up a small portion of rescue dogs in a shelter, and often, these dogs are pre-tested and not even put up for adoption to the public before they are socialized.
Myths about Rescue dogs
- I won’t get “papers” with a rescue dog.
This is a myth: I have “papers” for Bentley; I adopted him from Labradoodle Rescue. He was purchased by a family in Orange County who had a sick child. They thought he would help make the child better, but they did not understand the rigors of raising a puppy; he was so wild they wanted to euthanize him. Instead, Labradoodle rescue took him in. He story is not unique.
- Rescue dogs are unhealthy and sick.
A veterinarian gives dogs that are taken in by breed-specific groups a complete health exam before they are put up for adoption. If a dog does has medical issues, you’ll be alerted—unlike a pet store which frequently does not disclose a puppy’s health issues.
- You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Older rescue dogs in shelters will impress you with their ability to learn. Dogs are incredibly adaptable. Give them guidance, patience, love, and leadership and they will learn new habits and tricks.
Go get a rescue dog—it will change your life. It changed mine.
Beth Shaw C-IAYT is the founder of YogaFit and the author of Healing Trauma with Yoga. Healing Trauma with Yoga combines a discussion of trauma from the perspective of modern neuroscience with empowering teachings from yoga philosophy and yoga practice. In the book,13 people share their inspiring stories of how yoga is an essential component of their own path of learning to heal and thrive. Order the book and learn more at: bethshaw.com.