What's "Wrong With a Shelter or Rescued Dog?  
Author: Joan C. Fremo
Published on: March 26, 2001


What's "Wrong" With a Shelter or Rescued Dog? People often wonder why so many dogs end up in rescue or in shelters. One of the most frequently asked questions to Rescue is: "What's wrong with the dog?" The assumption is folks just don't give up "good pets". However, that is usually not the case. The longer I "rescue", the clearer the picture becomes.

What IS wrong with these dogs? Usually it's the people who give them up! Rescuers and Shelters hear the most atrocious reasons. "He didn't go with my new blue carpet", or "I didn't know he would get this big!!" (This comment was made about a seven-month-old Great Pyrenees puppy). The most common excuses people use are that they haven't enough time to spend with the dog, that the dog needs more room, or that the family is moving.

I have moved, cross-country, a number of times---and never once considered leaving a Pet behind. I don't know of any state, any county, or any municipality in the United States where it is illegal to have a Dog! (I've been known to sweetly comment that I was unaware dogs were illegal in TN, or TX--where ever the intended move is to be.)

The reasons are many, and the majority has little merit. Read a few of the "Actual Excuses Given Why Pets are Taken to a Shelter" at: http://www.sniksnak.com/excuses.html. Divorce is frequently a reason given, and barks all night... What did they expect? Leaving the animal outside where he could not see what he was guarding--- his sleeping family in the house. "Won't stay in the yard" is heard from folks who had no fencing at all. Illness is another reason given, and can be either pet or owner. It is tragic that a faithful and loving family Pet may be "given up" when a family either can't afford or doesn't want to deal with illness--- illnesses that may have been preventable if reasonable care had been provided.

Sadly, we live in a disposable society. Folks spend more time picking an outfit they may only wear once, than they do choosing the living feeling creature that is meant to be a member of their family.

Most shelter and rescue dogs are loving and sweet. Some of these Pets may need some training, but many are already housebroken and are well mannered. ALL are just looking for the opportunity to love someone, to have a family--- to live in a loving, secure and stable home.

Rescued Dogs come in almost every age, and every variety. There are Pure Breeds, mixes, and mutts. They may be big, tiny, and every size in between. Rescued Dogs always seem to give just a little bit more, knowing how tenuous life is--- and many adopted Rescues are not only treasured family members, but have become Therapy Dogs as well.

What's wrong with that shelter dog? The person who purchased it! The family who failed to spend time training it. The one who bred it and failed to insure it went to a good home! What's wrong with a shelter dog? Often, that they only lacked a family committed to caring for, training and loving them.

"More than a pet
. . . a friend."