“…it’s reported that more than 100,000* healthy pets are being killed in pounds across Australia every year without ever even being offered the chance to be adopted.” PetRescue
Abandoned domestic animals are a problem here in Australia, just as they are a problem everywhere I guess, thankfully here we have a number or groups involved in rescue and re-homing of abandoned pets and I just thought it might be worth highlighting some of them in case anyone is looking for a new fur family member. The RSPCA is the traditional starting point if you are looking for a new pet but they are not the only organisation.
There are a few rescue groups going in and saving dogs from country pounds that have high euthanasia rates. Lucky paws is one of those groups and the group that rescued Cassie at the eleventh hour. She was briefly with a wonderful volunteer foster carer until she found her forever home with Bronte. I cannot stress how wonderful groups like Lucky paws are and there are several operating in Queensland Second chance is another. Groups like these go in and save unclaimed dogs in pounds that would otherwise be euthanized. Often these dogs are young, healthy animals that are in pound through no fault of their own and without rescue groups like Lucky paws or Second chance they would have no chance of a life at all.
The photo below shows Cassie running at the dog park with the ever exuberant and loving Hendrix, the white bully. Hendrix is a rescue fail, in that his foster parents could not bring themselves to part with him and instead choose to adopt him as their own dog to stay, knowing Hendrix I can certainly understand how it would have been hard to give him up and yet Hendrix came to his owner as a kill pound rescue, literally rescued on the day he was due to be euthanized. Both Hendrix and Cassie are young dogs with a gentle affinity for other animals and children and yet both dogs were scheduled to be put down for no reason other than they seemed to be surplus to requirements.
Here in Australia we have a great platform that allows potential new owners to search across rescue groups to find the pet that is right for them: PetRescue lets you search groups scatted across the state and the country, including groups like Lucky Paws and Second chance, the RSPCA or greyhound rescue, a one stop location which is great for increasing awareness and opportunities for rescue for animals that might other wise have no hope of a life. I cannot speak highly enough of these organisations or the volunteers who go out and save animals or bring them into their homes as fosters until they can be re-homed. Volunteers often devote a huge amount of time to the rehabilitation of animals who have been injured or otherwise damaged by their experience. They identify any behavioural problems and train and overcome issues, literally giving a second chance to vulnerable animals.
Rescue animals aren’t for everyone and there is nothing wrong with going to a reputable breeder to get a pet, if you have your heart set on a particular breed, just be aware of puppy farms and disreputable back yard breeders who may not be putting the animals interests first. Never support a puppy farm!
I have to admit I am pretty comfortable with taking on rescue animals of one sort or another, one of the advantages of growing up in the country around dogs and livestock. I sometimes think I was raised as much by my dogs and horses as I was by my human family. For me rescues are a great option but I will admit large working dog breeds are not for everyone but you can generally find pets that fit you knowledge and commitment level through rescues. Sometimes you might have to wait awhile for the right animal to come up but they often do pop up, even the odd exotic breed.
Taking on a rescue does not mean you have to take on an animal with health or behaviour problems, there really are lots of abandoned animals that are in rescues through no fault of their own and all good rescue organisations help match you to an animal that will suit your needs, no one wants to set up adoptions to fail and end up back at the rescue. So if you are considering a new fur companion maybe think about checking out Pet rescue.
Both of our family dogs are rescues, Ada came to us via the RSPCA and Cassie was a Lucky Paws rescue, many of their playmates at the dog park were similarly acquired and never underestimate the love and gratitude of a dog who has had a rough start in life, they can and do make the best dogs. Both of our dogs will eventually undergo training as therapy dogs and so these dogs that started life as rejects from society will end up giving back to society as therapy dog volunteers.