Rescued dogs are worth it

Do you know how many organizations there are in the Ottawa and eastern Ontario region that rescue and find homes for abandoned, unwanted and homeless dogs?  Twenty-eight.  And each facility lists a sizeable number of dogs, making hundreds of potential best-friends waiting and hoping for a family and a permanent home.

This includes not only city-run facilities like shelters but also independently run rescues, both breed-specific and not.

Many of the dogs who wind up in non-profit, volunteer-run rescues are from far away and have been pulled from shelters where they were days or hours away from being euthanized.  Many of these dogs were picked up as strays and many of them were surrendered by owners who could no longer care for them.  They come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, all temperaments and all stages of obedience.  But they all share one thing:  through no fault of their own, they were born into this world and then they were discarded.

It shocks me how many discarded dogs are looking for homes.  And yet, when looking for a new canine member of the family, so many people still look in the classifieds, online or on bulletin boards to find that ‘perfect’ puppy.   They go to advertised breeders and have in mind a specific type of dog or a specific “look”.  They often don’t research the breed they’re about to share the next ten to fifteen years of their lives with.  They don’t meet the dog’s parents, they don’t sign a contract that promises they will return the dog to the breeder should they not be able to keep it.  They don’t imagine this puppy will end up being riddled with health issues because it was created as a “designer” dog.  They don’t consider whether or not this breeder is reputable, that is, how the breeding parents are vetted (health, temperament, genetic predispositions, etc.), how often the dogs are bred, their reasons for breeding and last, but not least, what kinds of conditions the dogs are living in.

Not all breeders are bad and not all rescues are good.  But all dogs deserve to be given a chance after they’ve been cast aside.

If you’re thinking of adding a dog to your family, please visit the website for Canada’s Guide to Dogs here.  There is a comprehensive list of organizations where rescued dogs may be adopted (the adoption fee takes into consideration the cost of running the rescue), reputable breeders, as well as breed information that will help you decide which kind of dog is for you.

"I was discarded."
“I was discarded.”

7 thoughts on “Rescued dogs are worth it”

  1. Thanks for putting this out there!!
    Each one of my dogs has been a rescue; whether SPCA, through being given away, or a rescue organization. The only one that came to me as a puppy is my lovely boy, Trigger and that was about 15 yrs ago..(another case of puppy being too much work)…seriously, people think they grow to be well behaved, socialized without some work??? My 2 labradors are rescues (not due to abuse or neglect but because the owners could no longer care for them) and then my lovely little border collie who was rescued from a local kennel (who is just wonderful) after she had been tied up in a backyard for nearly 3 yrs and not very well cared for. When she escaped the last time and the owners contacted they said they didn’t want her back. Another case of “cute puppy” then “cute puppy” becomes an adult…sigh. I love them all and now, I cannot imagine my life without them.
    Rescues rock but be careful and do your homework.

    1. My pleasure Sue. I have been wanting to post on this for a while and I’m sure it won’t be the last time! If one truly loves dogs, then give a discarded dog a chance. Don’t give your money to irresponsible breeders. Period.

  2. Thank you very much for this wonderful post. I don’t have a dog, but have 2 cats who’s fathers are unknown and their mothers were both stray cats.

    I am a member of the Ottawa Humane Society Auxillary Group, a group who are interested in raising money for this wonderful shelter. All monies spent by OHS has been raised or donated. It receives no public money and I expect this is the way it is for all shelters in Ontario.

    I encourage everyone to help out at a shelter, whether it’s as a dog walker or raising/donating funds to keep them in operation.

    Thanks again. I’m passing this on to my friends and family. You may end up with lots of new followers, as folks who care for Earth’s creatures usually love the green world too.

    1. Thanks for your input LIbby. Yes, I agree. I don’t think I’ve met a gardener who didn’t love all animals.
      Both my dogs came from the OHS, and I was blessed each time. There are just too many dogs in shelters and rescues awaiting homes – how can anyone looking for a puppy or older dog turn their backs on them? If we thought twice about purchasing from a backyard breeder, then surely they would disappear and the number of discarded dogs would be fewer.
      I truly believe that dogs are a way of life, not an accessory.

  3. Well said!! And pets -dogs, cats, bunnies, lizards, snakes, mice, etc.- are NOT toys. Please don’t get a pet to amuse your children.

    1. Thanks for your comment Carmen. Yes! No pet is a toy – they should all be treated with respect for the sentient beings they are. If you bring a pet into your family, understand it is your responsibility to make sure your children treat it with honour and consideration. It will make them into better people.

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