Why Rescues Make One of the Best Resources When Looking for a New Furry Companion

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Rescued dogs are HAPPY dogs!

I LOVE animal rescues, at least most of them!  Most animal rescues have the animal’s best interests in mind and are run effectively and by good and loving people.

I have spent a good portion of my career working with numerous animal rescues and getting to know just what is involved in the processes that they deal with daily!

When I hear people complain about adoption fees, my whole body cringes.  I wish that the average person or naysayer had to spend just a week watching the intricacies involved in animal rescue.

Did you know that some rescues, fully anesthetize spay or neuter, and clean teeth of older dogs that are in need?  Good rescues also make sure their animals are vaccinated, heartworm negative, and not in need of regular medication.   Thousands of dollars are spent on dogs that need surgeries, or heartworm treatment.   They don’t charge $1,500 for the 10 year old dog that went through treatment, so they have to make up some of the differences for their compassion in other places.

These rescue workers scour dog shelters to rescue dogs on the last days of their lives.  If not for these rescues, hundreds of thousands of dogs would be euthanized!

Most rescuers work FULL TIME to fund their rescues as there is really no money offered in saving animals! 

The amount of money these rescues save the new owners is not even close to the minimal amount that they charge to find a good home.

Most rescues only charge to ensure that people are willing and able to pay.  If $100 or $300 or whatever the adoption fee is, is too much for the prospective new owner how can that person expect to pay for dog food, toys, or an emergency vet visit?

And, most of the hoops they make people jump through are to ensure that their dogs go to forever homes and do not end up back in their care, or worse at an animal shelter or testing facility.

Yes, unfortunately there are sick people out there that adopt animals and then sell them to animal testing facilities or use them for dog fighting.  But the application process and home visits usually deters the sickos and better ensures the safety of the dogs that they love and are placing.

What I Really Love About Rescues?

Most rescues house their dogs in REAL homes.  They don’t have a large kennel where the dogs are left day and night, and so these dogs live with people and families.

Rescues Pay for Medical Treatment

Why does that matter to you?

Because real people know the best environment for certain dogs.  These foster families know if the dog is good with children or cats because they are living in an environment with kids and cats.

Foster families know how much exercise certain dogs need, or if the dog would prefer to be a couch potato and sleep under the covers with their new owner.

They get an idea of what the dog is good at or scared of and what the temperament of the dog is.

People say “Foster families can lie about the dogs in their care because they want to get them adopted” and whereas that can certainly be true it is not usually the case.  Most foster families don’t want to see the dog returned so they try FOR THE DOG to find him or her just the right living scenario.

I have cats, and so I know the fear of bringing an adult dog into my house.  It is much easier to contact a rescue and tell them I only want a dog that has been tested with and has been successful living with cats.

I would also want this assurance if I had small children!

Most people are better suited to integrating an adult dog into their already busy lives.  So rescues take the pain and unknown out of the situation.

That is not to say that you let your guard down when the dog comes home!  I would never bring a dog in and turn it loose with my cats or children “hoping” the foster family was right.  But it certainly eases my mind if I know the dog has lived in a similar scenario!

It also takes away the factor that ruins most dog/human relationships; which is simply based on looks.  We see a picture of a dog and “fall in love” we think at first we don’t care what the personality of the dog is we just love how “cute” he is or how “fuzzy” or how much he looks like our last dog; when this shallow factor should be eliminated completely to help us find a successful relationship!

Yes, it is true you can still pick the dog rescue by breed and by general looks.  In most cases, the rescue will still be selecting the dog that it thinks best suits you, not the one with the prettiest fur.

There are also plenty of mixed breed rescues out there for those of you who love the personality and style of your mutts!

Another Best Reason?

The World would be a Sad Place without Rescues!

A rescue will take the dog back if you deem he is not the right fit for you and your family, and that promise usually lasts a lifetime.

Most rescues would rather take a dog that has been successfully homed for the past 5 years back than have it go somewhere else or to a shelter.

I don’t believe that animals are disposable, but I also haven’t had a huge traumatic event in my life so I try not to judge.  If I lost my home or had to move overseas this would be a good thing to know.

So if you are looking to add a furry face to your montage I suggest you do your homework and employ the help of a good rescue, you are almost guaranteed to succeed!  You can’t get that anywhere else!

There are 65 Comments

  1. Caroline says:

    100% agree the fees or donations requested by shelters or rescue organisations are reasonable and fair. How could they possibly afford the vets fees, feeding etc if they just handed out dogs to anyone. Being prepared to pay shows an acceptance of responsibility by the prospective owner – keeping any animal has it’s price. Example – here in the UK to treat a dog for fleas, ticks etc with an effective prescription item requires a consultation fee £25-30 and the product for 3 months treatment is about the same. If you have 5 dogs as I do that’s quite a cost!

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    Diane Reply:

    I recently fostered a young dog who had been hit by a car, she was high HW Pos. She underwent an amputation and is doing very well. She runs like the wind on her 3 legs and is extremely loving and sweet. Rescues see potential in some animals where others might only think non worth. One of God’s first comandments where to take care of his animals on earth. I particularly like one of our other fosters moto, “Rescue one, until there are none!”
    Please, consider fostering, even just one!

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  2. Barbara J says:

    I Watch Animal Planet and the rescue work that people do. They are fantastic. These loving people are heaven sent to animals. Long may they reign.

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    Beth Moore Reply:

    God bless the rescue people ….. the world is the richer for them.

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  3. Jacqui says:

    Both of my dogs were rescues. One was a hyperactive Jack Russell which lived until he was 19 years old and the one I have which was having puppies before she was a year old. I agree in paying something and only special people would agree in paying anything for these lost souls. Rescue agencies need more appreciation in stead of being judged.

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  4. Jackie Pickford says:

    Many thanks for this article. I am a foster mum for a rescue in UK. It is hard work but very worth while, and wonderful to see that this is appreciated and aired as you have done. Again thank you

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  5. lisa wenn says:

    dear dog training secrets,
    I’m sorry i havent taken the time earlier to thank you.
    Your letters and videos have really helped my family settle our shihtzu into our family. we were lucky enough to have a friend gives him to us.
    But I agree with completly about the rescue dogs. Those people go above and beyond to give dogs and cats a new chance at life.
    I still worry about any emergency vet bills. I wonder if we really should have taken this sweetheart on.
    Vets should be more flexible when comes to emergency operations that are expensive. A payment plan of some sorts could be arranged.
    Its one thing to say if you cant afford the vet bill then you shouldnt have a pet. but thats not reality. The fact is there are alot of people that arent that well off and have pets.
    Once again thank you sooo much for your help. You are down to earth nd passionate about your work.
    Cheers Lisa & Biscuit

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    Minette Reply:

    check out my article on pet insurance, it may give you some piece of mind!

    http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/pet-insurance-jump-bandwagon/

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    Amy Gero Reply:

    Ask your vet if they accept something called CareCredit. It is like a credit card for medical expenses, some human as well, and they don’t charge interest if you pay it off by 6 months. Not all vets use it, but it has helped me a lot with major horse vet bills, and the like..

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  6. Excellent article. I have been a foster mom to two pitbulls and the first was a puppy that drove me crazy and the second was a big cuddle bug. I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything. Foster moms treat the dogs in their care as if they were their own. As we approach Holiday season please consider a rescue pup before spending thousands at the pet store. These dogs did not ask to be abandoned. They would just like a home with a loving family.

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  7. jean-pierre guillon says:

    i got my dog from a rescue shelter, she was 8 month old at the time.
    i still can understand how anyone would leave such a wonderful animal, i am thankful for the shelter for all the care that was provided, (feed, testing, some training, neutered etc) The fee i paid was needed for all the care she got and to allow the shelter to exist.

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  8. Mary Garriga says:

    Thank you for that information. I did not know how much work and attention is involed on a rescued dog. Now I know.

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  9. mel says:

    A rescue dog! generally very healthy, neutered, vacinated, temperment tested and lots of great (and free!) advice and help
    Of course it has to be paid for.
    I have a rescue dog and he is worth every penny and much much more
    Mel

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  10. Katie says:

    The price one pays for a rescue dog is in a sense justified but it all depends where one lives. In France the humane society takes over $100 off the owners who could or can not care for their animals anymore, for whatever reason, finance, death or others. I personally think this is unfair because the result in France is, cats and dogs are being thrown out of cars or left in inhospitable areas to be found. Of course this is illegal and if the person is caught, the fine is $4500. There are never caught. This situation in France puts a strain on dogs and cats in need. In the UK the RSPCA is one of the biggest rescue centers. For this institution, animal rescue is big big business. They have a multimillion dollar turnover and all the employees have a new car every year and are being very well paid. The RSPCA also employs nearly fraudulent methods against the public. Their “officers” are dressed in uniforms which are a very, very close copy of the police force, they assume the same rights the police has which is highly illegal but it scares the people and makes them feel helpless so they comply. The RSPCA’s budged makes it possible for them to spend vast amounts of money on TV advertising and publicity and elaborate court actions against individuals. Not all of their actions are justified, some people with pets are in dire need for some help and even when they ask for help they get denied. Even people who have very little money to spend, are capable to take care of their cat or dog, as seen in many cases of the homeless with dogs in the UK. These dogs always come first before the owner eats, the owner prefers to sleep in the street because the dog is not allowed to enter the shelter. Many people would like to get a rescue dog or cat but can’t afford to buy one, even if they were able to look after the animal.In my opinion each adoption case should be looked at individually and processed according to the circumstance of the person. Too rigid controls and demands on adoptive people will turn these to buy dogs off the street from unscrupulous dealers. This is the greatest risk, because a great percentage of these animals acquired like this will end up in animal shelters.

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    Caroline Reply:

    Katie – I’m in the UK and I have to comment on your representation of the RSPCA here some of which is totally untrue.
    1. ALL their employees do not have a new car every year or even have a car at all!!
    2. They do not pass themselves off as police officers and do not assume the rights of the police either. As for scaring people to make them comply – what a ridiculous statement, very often they are the ones at the mercy of people running illegal operations such as dog fighting puppy mills etc.

    I’m not a great supporter of the RSPCA but let’s keep some balance here. Apologies for going OT.

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    Luan Reply:

    I also found Katie’s post disturbing and filled with judgments, untruths and gross exaggerations. I imagine that RSPCA Officers have certain powers bestowed on them that allow them to conduct investigations and seize animals from neglectful and abusive situations. They are “Police” when it comes to Animal Welfare laws, and wear the uniform required to perform their duties.

    In Ontario, Canada, SPCA Investigators are sworn Provincial Offenses Officers, which covers a wide range of specialized Bylaw Enforcement (i.e. Building Codes, Health, Animal Welfare) and allows them to lay changes and operate under certain conditions where they have limited powers of arrest. Due to funding and poor Animal Welfare Legislation, there are never enough Officers and they are limited in what they can do. They see a lot of terrible situations and examples of the worst kinds of human behaviour. I have nothing but respect for these Investigators and the job they do, and none of them get rich doing it.

    Back to the original subject of the blog, Veterinary costs in Ontario are ridiculously high now, and the average dog neuter costs $300+ and a spay $450+. Vaccinations are on average $75-100 per visit (and pups require 3 visits), and a HW test is about $40, and micro-chipping is about $60. Yet people say $300 for an adult and $400 for a puppy adoption is too high! People who complain about our adoption fees are the ones who never bother to take their pet to the Vet anyway, and I now take the tack that it is good that they annoy me with such remarks, as it shows me their true character and after explaining the above I don’t have to waste any more time screening them to give one of my foster dogs a good home.

    However it does show how badly we need more low cost spay/neuter clinics, so that the low-income people who do truly care for their pets can get these basic once in a lifetime services done and lessen the need for Rescue in future.

    Luan
    Southern Ontario Border Collie Rescue

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  11. becky says:

    I tried to get a dog from an animal shelter, but one said I lived too far from the shelter and the other said they thought the people housing the dog might just keep the dog. That put a bad taste in my mouth. Plus the cost of s dog in sm animal shelter was close to the cost of my registered puppy I ended up getting.

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    Em Reply:

    When we were first married we got a farm shepherd puppy ( standard farm mix of collie, hound dog and some kind of spaniel) from my husband’s uncles’ farm. He was a wonderful dog but after a few years, no longer an only. When we bought a home it was near some woods owned by a large cemetery and before long we found strays that had been dumped by the woods. Our dogs, after our first, were all rescues even though we never saw a rescue shelter. We got a bleeding body from the road after he was hit by a car. We got a wonderful golden lab with a hip out of joint and well into starvation. We got a few without such dire problems that we were able to place with friends who gave them good homes.My current dog, a rottweiler/husky/lab mix was rescued from the yard next door when he was about to be sent to the city/county animal rescue were he would have been euthanized within a week because he was a year old and had never been socialized. He is an absolutely wonderful pet and would lay down his life for me and my granddaughters.

    I guess the real point here is that there are many ways to rescue and animal. None are free. You have vet bills for animals hit by cars or animals that are very close to starving to death as well as for the stray puppy who was looking for warmth and got a major burn on his back from a hot manifold.I have taken the dogs that G-d has sent me. None were pure breds, all were well loved and very loving. I have no idea why most were abandoned but once they were mine, they were mine for life and I have a clause in my will to provide money to care for an animal if it is my pet when I die.

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    John Reply:

    I firmly believe that God sends these creatures, that are in trouble, to only a selected few!! If u believe in a God, then u can also be assured that when u pass on, all those creatures that u helped and saved, who have gone to the place where all rescued, loved, animals pass on ahead of u to await u!! When u get to hug them again, it will fill your good soul with joy. The name of the waiting place, BTW, is called “The Rainbow Bridge”! Folks like your self have to cross it to gain entrance to God’s realm!! Thanks for caring!!!

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  12. Nicole says:

    I love my rescue dog and I am very grateful that there was an organization helping me, a first time dog owner, to find a great dog (well almost but we are working on that). The adoption fee wasn’t cheap, but they are a charity paying for all the medical costs of a lot of poor homeless dogs and providing a great service to people looking for pets. It was still much cheaper then getting a puppy mill puppy from a pet shop and I kind of knew what I was getting. De-sexing and vaccinations are all paid for already as well and I love the fact that they don’t give out dogs to just everybody.
    I haven’t done it but I really don’t know why anybody would want to raise and particularly toilet train a puppy if you can get a fantastic one year old with all the hard work done already.

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  13. Steve Crye says:

    I have been rescuing German Shepards and Labs for some time now and have herd all the excuses for people turning ther dogs in to a shelter, And have found that the real reason most dogs are turned in is people dont take the time to train them. Weather you get a dog from rescue or a breeder remember the animal is now part of your family and should be treated as such.

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  14. Cheri McLain says:

    Thank you for sticking up for rescues . Sometimes we do get people that don’t like the adoption fee , they surely don’t understand that for an average dog to be fully vetted , altered and fed averages $300 and that’s if we only homed it for less than a month . The foster homes make it worth it to seek out rescue groups so you know some of the
    dogs habits right up front. So……..Thank you for choosing to rescue

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  15. Heather Borean says:

    About four years ago we found ourselves in the unfortunate situation of having to give up our pets. The local pound charged a lot of money to take our animals from us. We simply couldn’t afford it. We did find home for them, but it was hard. We are thankfully back in a good situation. What amazes me is the attitude of people who want a “Free” pet. Then the pets of the people end up unfixed, unvacinated and untreated when they are ill. Pets are a responsibility, just like kids. Rescues do awesome work, our Rosie is a rescue dog and she is a wonderful dog. I know a lady who works with abandoned and abused dogs, helping them to get over the abuse and socializing them. It’s something I wish we could do, but we don’t have the experience. someday we plan on looking into cat fostering, especially for mothers with kittens. It would be a good way of getting “kitten fix” with out having a million cats (g)

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  16. Cathy says:

    We are the happy owners of our first “rescue” dog and would have been happy to pay twice the price. Kincaid, our rescue collie, has been part of our family for two years now and as a result of our relationship with him and his rescue facility my husband now volunteers at our local animal rescue facility helping other families welcome rescue pets into their homes.

    To say that most animal rescue facilities have the animal’s best interest at heart is almost an understatement. They have not only the animal’s best interest, but also the prospective families’ best interest at heart as well. These facilities are manned mostly by volunteers who love animals. They work long hours for little or no money trying to make pairings that are long lasting. They want the families to love the dogs and the dogs to love the families.

    Previously, when we purchased dogs from breeders, we did not get follow up calls or letters to make sure things were going well for us and our new pet. However, with Kincaid, we’ve had a two year relationship with his rescue facility.

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  17. Dianne says:

    Thank you for speaking up about the financial realities of rescue. I am a foster home for Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network and we regularly spend more than our adoption fee on vet expenses when a dog comes into our rescue. We also pay all fostering expenses (but many of our homes give this back). We survive by fund raising from the public through calendars, cookbooks, and ebay items and fund raise among ourselves through raffles and holiday events. We are all volunteers and do it for the dogs.

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  18. Bonnie says:

    I volunteer for the Caroline County Humane Society in Ruther Glen,VA. 2 weeks ago we just finalized our Foster/Adotion Program and already have more need than I have “parents”. Instead of people purchasing new animals I suggest they check their locals helters and organizations for a pet first. You can agree to foster(to see if it is really for you) and then either return the animal(if it is not) or adopt it. Our organization pays for all medical bills and food while fostering and the animal receives all of its shots, boosters,spaying/neutering, and any medical treatments it may need BEFORE it is placed in a home. There are so many animals that need homes and alot of them are already trained and are terrific pets. Most of the animal acts that you see on TV are with rescued animals. It takes a lot of money to pay for all that these pets need before they are adopted and we are non-profit. Some shelters are kill shelters which mean sif they run out of room or the animal is sick and going to cost a lot of money to make well, they will euthanize the animal!!!!!! Wouldnt you rather take that animal and give it a loving home? Think about it.

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  19. M. L. Papurt,DVM says:

    This is the best article that you have ever published!

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    Minette Reply:

    Thanks! I love good rescues!

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  20. marlene says:

    I have always had rescue dogs until this year. The only difference between getting a rescue and getting a pup from a breeder, is if you are certain that you want a puppy of a certain breed, certain gender, etc. I wanted to do this once in my life, so this is it….and I love and welcome my little Lola to my family.

    New puppies cost money from the breeder apart from the price of sale. My other dogs did cost money as well. Had rescue dogs from city shelters, local smaller shelters, etc. always, and even once added to my dog family a pup that a friend had adopted and couldnt keep. I didnt learn the full extent of Kahluas problem until he was already with me. This dog was never short of love, and I paid big money through training and outside assisance to save this biting dog from the eventual end that would stop him forever. He was dangerous…a switch would go on without warning and he could and would draw blood. Finally when he bit one of my daughters friends, when I was not at home, we had to do the dirty deed. We mourned Kahlua like one of our children.

    If you dont have the money to spend on a dog, no matter where you got the dog, dont get one. dogs are expensive. And fees to those who run the shelters are a part of that cost, just as spaying and neutering are part of the program. I always get dogs that require grooming…..dont ask what that costs…..both the rescues and Lola always get the same treatment…..because all the animals that I adopt are my family…..until they tell me in old age or grave illness that it is their time to go…..and then I even import a vet to the house so they can die unstressed in my arms and in peace.

    Blessings to all of you who adopt from shelters. Although I love Lola, if I ever got another dog, it would absolut4ly be from a shelter, no matter what the cost.

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    Candace Reply:

    I work at the SPCA of Erie County N.Y. Part of my job is to work with puppy mill and abused dogs (which are way too many). I just want to let people know that even if you want a specific breed and age of dog, many shelters offer a service where you give us your specifications, and when we get a dog meeting your requirements, we call you. There is a fee, since we are saaving you lots of gas, as well as holding your dog so noone else can adopt him until you have seen him and decided if it’s a good fit. At that time, part of the fee you paid goes towards the adoption, the rest is for the time and trouble we saved you. This program works well for busy families who might have a child with fur allergies, or an apartment dweller who wants a small dog. I’m glad that you got your “Lola”, and that she is everything you hoped. I also thank you for keeping shelters in the back of your mind for the next time.

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  21. Linda says:

    Rescued 2 first time ever. Love them to pieces. Only problem is one of ours has become aggressive with us. We have spoiled him rotten and treat him like a king, but for some reason he has began doing this and without warning. We definitely do not want to retun him (had him oer a year and he is about 1 1/2) Any suggestions. Can’t really afford a behaviorist and besdes there are no guarantees with that. We’re a little nervous if our granddaughters are ever around him. We live out of state and board when we see them. But we may move back to where they are eventually and are very concerned. My vet put him on Prozac, but I haven’t seen much of a change. HELP, HELP HELP

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    Minette Reply:

    Medication very rarely works without behavior modification!!

    You admit you treat him like a king but this is probably part of the problem! He needs rules and to work for his attention, food and affection.

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    Linda Reply:

    I was afraid my wording would be over the top, but I just wanted to reassure everyone that we would never mistreat him so that had nothing to do with his change. But however, he went to obedience class and did well when we first got him. He is yorkie/snauzer mix about 20 lbs. He does sit for a treat, his food, and to be let out. He’s very smart an will do these commands. Maybe we’re not asking him to do these things often enough or with enough actions such as jumping on furniture and beds. But even if he is laying in the floor he has actually jumped up and come after us if we got too near him. That’s why without warning it makes it very uneasy.

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    Janet Reply:

    Hi there,

    A behaviorist is not what you need, you need to have the dog understand he is part of your pack but not the alpha of the pack. Obediance training and retraining of where he/she is in the pack, is the problem. There are few alpha dog out there, your dog may be one, but more likely because of how you have treated the dog ” like a King”, the dog has an unbalanced understanding of where he’she stands at home. The size of the dog does not matter it is what is in between his ears that counts. The dog needs to understand he is a follower in the pack. You are the leader so lead , , , therefore have rules. Your number one rule should be No aggresssion with anyone. From there the rules list moves on.
    At 1 1/2 years the dog is around 10-12 years old in people years. There is still time to get him/her in line. Good Luck

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    Linda Reply:

    I have understood that but it is not as easy as it seems. He attacks without warning and we actually have to get away from him quick. He stops pretty quick and looks as though nothing happened while I’m fussing at him for doing it, but it’s too late then. I can’t correct him when I don’t know when it’s going to happen. Have any more suggestions. I appreciate them. thanks

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    janet Reply:

    The reason why he stops and acts like nothing happened, is because he has it in his head he controls the household. In the wild alpha have the run of what they do. They correct and others listen. He acts agressive and rightfully you back off. No one wants to be bitten. The more this occurs the more he is reenforced in his behavior. You need to change that wiring in his head. The first things you can do is stop catering to him. Let him know his position in the pack has changed. He will learn. He is the last one to eat, He is the last to come through any enterance or door way. He follows you lead. When attention is given it is given on your terms. Do not come home and fall all over him. Change your cloths get something to eat/drink and then tell him hello. Think of the leaders in the wild. They come home with the food, after they have eaten the pack gets the rest. The alpha do everything first. When he attacks, do not fuss. Take the object away from him. IGNORE him after that even if he comes to get it back. When you see he is calm you can give it back but on your terms. Be careful in taking the item of desire away. In the wild alpha can and do nip lowers in the pack. Get help from a dog trainer. Discipline is what is needed with narrow boundaries until he learns who is boss. Never yell or hit him, no good alpha leader needs to resort to that behavior.

    Good luck

  22. Penny Parker says:

    We adopted a dog from a rescue,(it was in a foster home with cats) and I asked many times if the dog got along with cats and was told yes…we got the dog home and the minute it saw our cat, barked & chased it…I told this to the rescue place and they inquired with the foster home..I was then told well it got along with one of the cats but did chase the other one….this situation is still happening….had I known this, the dog probably would not have been chosen…it has been a very hard dog to train, he’s around 9 months old and very destructive.. I personally feel that we were told what we were told so that he could be adopted…we are still trying to train him…the odd thing about rescues—they are so happy to see a dog get adopted, but in our case they never stay in touch to see how things are going, or offer any kind of support….after you pay your fee–you’re on your own !!!!

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    D Reply:

    I am sorry you had this experience! I am concerned that you asked for help from the rescue and felt they didn’t give it. I wish more people spent more time with the dog they wished to adopt to see how it will go. So many are “impulse” adoptions. Our rescue asks that if the potential adopter has other pets that they bring them to a meet and greet with our dog. We also do home visits with our dogs in these cases. Do not be afraid to ask for this. We see many returns to shelters where this process did not occur. So many dogs are given up because “they didn’t get along” with other animals. A rescues goal is to find a furever home and it is a HUGE decision for an adopter, so we try to take all things into consideration. most are there to offer advice or direct you to a trainer that can help. Most rescue workers are volunteers so once the dog is adopted, the new owner needs to take responsibility and help the dog be the best he/she can be and expecting a group of good hearted volunteers to train your dog or help it to adjust for free is illogical and unfair to the rescue and the dog.

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    Mike Reply:

    Not all rescues are the same. I work with one that would never tell a possible adopter what they wanted to here just to get rid of a dog. The people that adopted my last foster were at my house for 3 1/2 hours before I agreed to the adoption. I also send a letter with the dog stating plainly all the good and bad habits the dog may have. I spell out in great detail all issues I have discovered while fostering the dog and what still may remain to be worked on by the new owners. I call all my adopters after 3 weeks to see how everything is going and include my e-mail and phone numbers with the paperwork I send home with them. They are welcome to contact me 24-7 with any questions they may have. I am still in contact with the owners of my very first foster and I love getting updates on him. I hope you won’t hold a bad rescue against all the really good ones out there.
    Mike

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    Minette Reply:

    Well said Mike! The good, I think, out weigh the bad!

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  23. George says:

    I am what is referred to as a “foster failure”. I am a “Volunteer” with MTGRR, and I do transport. I have been associated in one way or another with Golden Retriever Rescue for 14 years. My last 2 failures came into my life at the same time. They came 2 months after I had to put my lovely companion Holly down due to cancer ravaging her. I was not wanting to even foster because I felt it was not right so soon after loosing Holly. Was I ever wrong. I ended up fostering for 1 week, and then put in the papers to adopt. These fuzzy butts ended up being just what the doctor ordered for easing my grief. These 2 dogs have become my whole life. They go every where with me. So yes you can go to a breeder and get a “registered” dog, but that breeder will not give you the oportunity to “test drive” your new puppy. I cannot recommend enough to take advantage of local rescues or breed rescues. As in any case, as they are checking you out, you check them out. Are they who or what they say they are. Have they truely done the things needed to ensure you are getting the dog they say you are. It doesn’t take to many bad deals for the truth to get out.

    Most rescues are a 501 accredited organization. So they have been around a while.

    All I can say is ADOPT, ADOPT, ADOPT!

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  24. Sue says:

    Thank You for this article !!!
    Penny, (comment #22) I am so sorry you happened to get your dog through a Rescue Group that did not have it in their contract that you had a certain amount of time to change your mind if it wasn’t working out. It is unfortunate you felt after you paid your fee you were out on your own. That is NOT how most Rescue Groups work, I can assure you. I have been a volunteer with Animal Rescue since the 1990’s. The groups I have been associated with absolutely do follow ups. It is only fair to do a follow up for the new family AND the animal they have just adopted into that family.

    About the cost of adoption fee’s. Most have covered this well with your comments. Yes, the Rescues can spend a couple thousand dollars on just one surgery to help get an animal in shape to be adopted. This may not even include the fee’s for spay or neuter and update on vaccines. Heartworm treatment is extremely expensive if that is needed. That same animal is then adopted for about $250.00
    A lot of the public doesn’t even take into consideration that most foster families feed these animals on “their own dime” – I personally feed the same high quality of food to my fosters as I do my own dogs. I am not wealthy by any means, it just means I care that much, and sacrifice in other areas of my life. AND there are those of us, who have a “special needs” foster, that we will feed, love, and take care of for the rest of their life. We hope that some of the public who also loves animals might donate toward that animals care and treatment, but even if that doesn’t happen, we are going to be the love and care that animal knows for the end of its days on earth.

    It hurts me to see an animal advertised in the paper “free to good home” In a lot of cases that means these mentally unbalanced people who fight animals, or those who use animals in lab experiments, can call and make up a story to get that “free” animal, then use it as a ‘bait dog’ or a lab experiment.
    Rescue Groups screen families, do home visits, and get references before adoption.

    There are many Recues that have families return and adopt from them again after being so happy with their previous choices.

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  25. Hansi says:

    All our pets for the last 35 years have come from the SPCA shelter and have
    all been great. Our latest looks just like the little yellow dog in your
    above article. He was supposed to be an escape artist, a menace to kids and
    not good with people. We got him at 10 months and are his 4th family. A year
    after adopting him we took him for a visit to the shelter and the staff recognized him right away. None of the “bad behaviour” ever showed up, he loves
    kids of all ages and plays with our cat. He is a ham and loves performing his tricks for people. We fully support the shelters and have always appreciated the work they do, but they can only go by what previous owners have told them. We were put through a multi-page questionnaire, both of us had to show up before they would let the dog go with us, and this after 35 years of having rescue dogs and cats. But they need to make sure the homes are right for the animals. The fee is very reasonable when you consider the service that the shelters provide not just for the one animal that you adopt.

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  26. Eileen says:

    It isn’t a question of “fairness”. It is a question of how much you are committed to your rescue. People do not value what is free. Rescues take energy, commitment and sometimes money to make the relationship work as most shelters do not know the history of the dog well enough to say yes or no to a specific question about a rescue’s physical or emotional past.

    If you are balking about the fee then perhaps owning a rescue is not for you. Mine cost $75.00 and has turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

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  27. Rob Lastiri says:

    My experiences with adopting have been nothing but positive!!! The fees associated with these animals is well worth it. If you were to purchase a pup from a store or a breeder you fees will easily exceed the fees of a rescue animal. The biggest benefit is to test drive your rescue to ensure it fits into the pack or the family unit. My last two dogs have been rescues and they have brought nothing but joy to our family and have had fewer behavioral issues than the purebreds I have owned most of my life…I really think the reason for this is that these rescues dogs are so eager to please and only want to be a part of a loving caring family and will do whatever it takes to fit in. They of course will require the training and discipline as all dogs would require but in my opinion end up being more grateful and loving animals. I am attaching a link to my Rescue Pup Cairo…He was 79 pounds and approx 9 months old when we rescued him…he matured into a beautiful specimen. We often wondered what he was really a mix of and as it turns out after we had his DNA validated he was purebred German Shepherd and Purebred Doberman…So half/half which are considered Hybrids. An amazing dog who I still miss to this day. He gave us many years of love and affection and helped me get through the loss of my twin son Steven when he was 17 years old. He was there to lick my tears every single day and was my link to my son who helped raise and train Cairo. He missed my son as much as I did and I think we actually helped each other deal and cope with his loss and absence.Please click on this link and enjoy the pics of my Beautiful 150 lbs. Rescue pup Cairo. http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/d/dobermanshepherd.htm. I can’t forget to mention my latest rescue, Roxy…She is a Black Lab/Pit Mix and she is my Angel…She was chosen by my daughter Jamie after She lost her twin brother Steven. She is so loving and affectionate that you can’t help but want to hug and love her right back….She was supposed to be 50-60 pounds and has grown to nearly 100 lbs!!! She is a big bundle of love and I will never trade her for any purebred pup in the world!!!! NO question about it the work the rescue shelters and foster families do is noble and sorely needed!!!! Thanks for all that you do!!!

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  28. Carol says:

    I adopted a jack russell at the beginning of august. I am in the UK. Over here you also pay a fee for adopting a dog but for this your dog is spayed, dogs and bitches (to slow down the breednig oflater to be unwanted pets. They are vaccinated, dewormed and deflea-ed, have a complete vet check and are microchipped including update to your details instead of the previuos owners. As it happens my little bitch was not in the kennels for long but some dogs are there for a while and they have to be fed, so obviusly as well as the fundraising events that the rescue charities do, some of the adoption cost help feed the dogs and their general welfare.

    If you received a dog that wasnt spayed or m’chipped etc it would cost you more to go to a vet and have this done than the charities charge.

    Also most of our animal charities insist that if you and the pet dont get along or if for any reason you cant keep your adopted dog, you’ll have signed and agreement when you adpted saying that you will return your dog to them and they will try and find another home for it. Also this way they will have a better idea of the dogs history.

    Before you can have a dog, the charity sends someone round to your hometo make sure that you have one good enough for your pet. It is also said that if you cant afford the adoption fee (around £105-£115 for a dog, less for a cat and more for a horse and so on) then you cant afford a dog – as you will have to continue to update vaccinations etc., as well as feed the animal.

    Thank goodness there are a lot us out there who will adopt these poor dogs – and they havent all had a bad time, sometimes the owner has just got old, arthritic hands and the like or have other health issues or change in family circumstances or didnt realise what they were taking on ….. it is often that they have had loving families before coming to our homes.

    All best everyone outthere, cheers

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  29. Laurie says:

    I have two rescue pets(plus my non-rescue pets). 1 dog, 1 cat. I paid $75.00 for my cat in 2008 (already neutered) and $250.00 (which included vet neuter when he turned 6 months) for my puppy in Dec 2010 (adults are less). I think it is absolutely fair. If I purchased a puppy (way too much money) then got the shots, then got him neutered, it would have cost a lot more than $250.00. And don’t forget about the care and feeding that took place before I got my rescues. I think when there is a charge, the shelters are much more likely to get someone who will keep the pet forever. Our local SPCA is always putting on events to raise money, so obviously they don’t make enough through the adoptions. And when I’m ready and we have more room, I will be adopting again.

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  30. Fonda Workman says:

    At present we have 10 pets, 9 of which either wandered in or were rescued. We love them all and are grateful to have them, but we spent over $5,000 last year on vet fees. Yes, it was a bad year, not normal, but those happen, too. I think if you ever looked at a shelter’s record of expenses, you will see that they are careful with their spending. Those fees may prevent someone who does not have good intentions from adopting. They also bring home the fact that a pet is a responsibility.

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  31. Polly Tracey says:

    I absolutely agree that a fee should be paid for these little creatures.

    In our case, Our 1st adopted Cairn Terrier was kept in a cage breeding for 5 years. she had at least 10 litters in that time. When we adopted her she was checked over by a veterinarian: had been spayed: had dental work: was free from all parasites: and all of her inoculations were brought up-to-date. She had a microchip implanted, which now has all her information updated. All of these thing are paid for by the association rescuing them.

    Our second Cairn Terrier is a male and he was thrown into the fray whenever the females were in heat, and the males fought fiercely over the bitches, where the only the strong survived, and the weak thrown away.

    Unlike our first adoptee, he had many issues. Fear mostly. Fear from beatings, Fear of having a serrated knife shoved down his throat to stop the barking, starvation, and God only knows what else. Both of these dogs went through the healing stage in loving foster homes after being rescued.

    We were only too happy to help these poor creatures live the rest of their lives in a happy, animal loving home, and we had absolutely no hesitation in paying whatever it took to give them this chance at a new life.

    We donate to our local SPCA, and to the Canadian Wildlife Preservation Society on a monthly basis in the hopes that our dollars help other neglected, and tortured creatures.

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  32. patricia says:

    I have 3 dogs at home and 2 of them came from a pet rescue. My first was a female beagle and for $100.00, she was spayed, up to date on all her shots, dewormed,and heart worm tested. My second beagle also came from a pet rescue and was neutered, up to date on shots, dewormed, and heart worm tested. I also got a free vet visit for each of them. Now, Sadie and pickles were not perfect when I adopted them. Sadie would pee on the floor if your voice was above a whisper and pickles can still get into the cabinets above my kitchen counter. These dogs though were prefect for me and with lots of love and training, have become an absolute joy to have. Adopting a pet from a rescue takes a lot of commitment and time because if you get an older dog, you won’t quite know the type of trama they went though, but like I said, with training, lots of love, and an ample supply of patients, it can be an amazing eye opening experience. I wouldn’t trade my 2 beagles for anything.

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  33. Dianne Carroll says:

    I foster for a rescue group and though the cost of the animal rescue I volunteer for is 125 I don’t think people realize how much goes into that animal. Sometimes an animal might come thru that is spayed or neutered but the majority are not, plus nearly every dog that I have fostered this year had heartworms and had to be treated. So with rabies, worming and heartwood treatment rescue is not a profit maker. Most of the time they are losing money.

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  34. Kay Doty says:

    I have 2 wonderful rescue friends. Sadie, rescued at age9 was a hugely overweight beagle who had been completely vetted, had extensive dental work and spayed, and her fee was only $125.00. She is now 11 years old. Odie, a Japanese Chin came to me at age 11. He also had dental work, was neutered, and had spent some time with a wonderful foster family. The information I was given about both dogs was “right on”, and we have had few problems. I was at a “Pet Store” recently, and the price of a puppy, and not necessarily a purebred, was nearly $1000, and that did not include any vet work. The rescue group I worked with both called me and e-mailed me for several weeks after the adoption. It has been a wonderful experience.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    And, may I say thank you for adopting older dogs! You are their angel!

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  35. Cypa says:

    I got my jack russel at a shelter there were soo many dogs piled on each other it was sad. However the shelter works only on donations and what they charge for the dogs. I always thought dogs should be free or less than 50.00 simply because all our family pets have always been from friends or family. We only went to the shelter cuz they were having a 15 dollar sale since they had so many dogs or they would have to uethinize after that weekend. We paid the $15 but now that I know and love my jack I would have paid a lot more I was just worried since it was a pound dog. I must say my bond with this dog is stronger than any of my past dogs maybe because she is an inside dog or maybe because she appreciates us I don’t know but she is worth a lot more than what I paid when I think of the money the put into her to shelter her for 4 months ( winter) feed her give her the needed shots and fix her I feel like I robbed the place

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  36. Corinne says:

    Thank you for this article. I foster with Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network and know that many of our dogs have much larger bills than what we charge the forever fmailies. In addition, being a 501c3, we are able to give a IRS donation receipt for most of the money as well.

    Many of the dogs we take in came from very bad circumstances and seem to know that they are on a track to a better life. The over 30 dogs I’ve fostered have almost all done well – I have had two returns – one was a family situation falling apart, one was another dog in the home who took an immediate dislike to the cairn.

    There are many breed rescues as well as ones who take in any dog needing help – if you want a particular breed – or not – check petfinders to see whats near you – and broaden your range as well. Col. Potters ia a nationwide rescue and even if you arent near, you might find a new love on our pages.

    Thank you so much for the article – it does help when folks know the reason behind the fees.

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  37. JUDY says:

    I got my sweet little Bruno from a rescue, and I do love him so much but the rescue people told me some lies. I was looking for a very small dog about 10 lbs because I have a bad back, I also wanted a dog about 2 yrs old.
    Bruno weighs 20 lbs and is 4 yrs old but he is so cute I had to adopt him. I cannot lift him up but he follows me everywhere and loves me so much. I am s happy that he is part of my life, my hubby love him too but he is definitely my dog!!

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  38. sam says:

    another good and practical reason is that it costs money to raise a dog. the fee filters out people who are to stingy to pay for thier animals.

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  39. Marcia says:

    I have had pedigree dogs all my life, but we adopted Heidi, a little 4 year old Shih-Tzu 5 months ago, and she is the sweetest most loveable dog we have ever had. I was told she was on death row until she got a foster parent. I can’t even imagine this dog being put down. I will never, ever get buy a puppy. I feel the money I paid for Heidi was totally acceptable because she had been fostered, spayed, groomed, etc. I would recommend this Rescue to anyone.

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  40. Ron says:

    I wish more people would consider rescue dogs. Your post is right on the mark with the fees and the use of foster homes until the dog is permanently adopted. My first wife and I had a mixed breed rescue dog and he was one of the best dogs I ever had. Thanks for presenting this topic in a complete and caring way.

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  41. Luann says:

    I feel that adoption fee is necessary because when people give animals away anyone can take them and either resell, put in a pitbull ring, hoard and abuse. If someone cannot afford the fee then they cannot afford the vet bills anyway. By charging a fee I feel that you are weeding out people that can harm the animal or even kill them and the dog, cat, would go to someone who really wants them. Also fees help support rescues and even shelters so they can house the animal, due any medical needed and shots, feed, supplies and save more.

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  42. Denise says:

    Hello all:

    We purchased our dog from a rescue group in front of a Petsmart. Did not intend to own another pet but she had an adorable face that reminded us of a German Shorthair Pointer we had years ago. This choc.lab/Stafforshire terrier mix was 3 mos old….was rescued from a shelter and treated for Parvo, which was costly to the rescure group but we were given a clean bill of health on her and actually visited with the Vet that treated her a cpl weeks later. The staff knew her well too. I feel she was well worth $200.00 for what she had been through and was told by the Vet that they had caught the Parvo early and she responded well within a couple days. However, she flared with a whopping urinary tract infection the day after we got her home…..it had been with her for awhile evidently and my vet put her on 30 days of meds. That was not a fun start. She gets a cranberry capsule every AM now as her breed supposedly is prone to UTI’s. She is very loving and friendly dog albeit hyper!!!Socializes well at dog parks and has a blast. We just need to work on obedience as the rescue group did not advise what training she had had so far and some things she knew already, such as sit, wait till the food is down and she is called, she is extremely smart and when she decides not to obey when she knows what we are telling her, I believe it must partly be our fault as she thinks everything is a game. All in all….she’s my buddy now and next spring I would like to train her in agility classes as she would love it! And whoever it was that said the rescue people don’t care once the pet is sold…Your’e right. I called to talk to the woman and ask a couple of questions and she was bored and curt with me. We had to promise to give her back to rescue if it didn’t work out…We signed an agreement she was to be an inside dog, except when we were with her outside…..

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  43. Thank you so very much for you wonderful articlwe on rescue.
    I have been very active in rescue for many years. Our group ensures our dogs are fully vetted (Current on all vacines),treated for all medical problems identified by the vets (HW treatment when they are positive, allergeies treated and under control, knee surgery when required,heart surgery when required, cataract surgery when needed, etc. We are presently spending in excess of $700.00 average per dog for all this. Our adoption fees are nominal and we work very hard to make $$ to cover this expense.
    Sure you can buy a cute puppy for more bucks that our adoption fee, but then you incure all this cost when it becomes necessary, or call us because you cannot afford this dog anymore, and the dog becomes disposable.
    If Rescues Groups charged what it cost to take care of these dogs, very few could afford them.
    Rescue is a labor of love, and I love every minute I spend with my personal dogs and all my fosters, evern the ones I know will only be around a very short time. And yes, we take sick ones who have no chance of a full life. We make them confortable and give them love. When the time comes, they “Go To Sleep” in our loving arms with someone to hold, love, and confort them.
    Rescue is hard, but so rewarding, especially when one of your fosters find that perfect forever home. I want nothing else in my life but to help these little furbabies.
    Sorry, did not mean to write a book, but rescue is my passion. Thanks to all of our rescues friend who will understand exactally what I am trying to say.

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  44. Angie says:

    hi my names angie im 26 and a ex drinker/drug adict when i decided to get clean the first time about 9 months ago me n my partner were talking about possibly adding another pup to our family. we already had a 3 yr old shitzu x hes my husbands dog he was a rescue from my husbands daughter she moved into a small apartment so she had to get rid of buger he is the sweetest dog in the world a lil over weight though lol. well sam which is my rescue dog is 5 yrs old shitzu x japense chin cute and cuddly with me but if anyone comes to the door or comes towards me while were walking he gets a lil loud he isnt vicious just protective i wouldnt trade him for the world now although to be honest wen i first got him i considered giving him back as hes been a bit of work hes gotten better now though. so in my personal experience rescue dogs have been a better fit for me then the dogs ive bought at the pet store.

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    Frank Liso Reply:

    Minette,

    I think this was an excellent article, great job. We have had Two Boxers from rescues. Our first rescue dog Copper was a three old male that was starved and abused. He was over 45 lbs underweight! Fortunately, we had a female 3 year old boxer that was able to teach him how to be a dog. He didn’t even know what a toy was. He was afraid to do anything, after 6 months he turned around once he felt safe and loved. Copper was a wonderful dog and companion for our female Maggie. He knew we saved him and he tried and to show his appreciation everyday. We miss him everyday, Copper lived with us until his passing 10 years later in 2008.

    After Maggie and Copper passed away we were heart broken, we kept all their toys and things. We even moved to another state. After some time we decided to donate their things to a AHS Cares Popcorn zoo and rescue. They were very nice, listening to our sad story and they said we have a young boxer want to see him?
    Of course we said yes! All we herd were feet trying to run under leash, all of a sudden from around the corner came this unbelievable site, A young male Coppers size Maggies markings, running as fast as he could, then leaping straight into my arms.

    like he hadn’t seen me in years! Yes he was ours from that moment on, We named him Mugsy, He was 7 months old on the 7 month anniversary of Maggie and coppers passing. He will be 4 years old, in January. He’s a very good boy and our dog bakery mascot.

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  45. Michael Dau says:

    My wife and I rescued two Austrailian Shepherds. One a male at a year and a half and the other a female, same age. We were checked out by the rescue organization and cleared.
    These two dogs were the “apples” of our lives. Both are gone now. Boomer, the male a year ago and Angel had to be put down two weeks ago.
    Both were like our kids. Obedient and caring. Boomer was a red merle with blue eyes. He never met a person or dog he didn’t like. Very outgoing. Angel was a little more shy but once she got to know yo she was your companion. She was a blue merle with one brown eye and one brown/blue mix.
    They left a hole in our lives.
    Now we have a rescued Red Bone Coon Hound named Beau. He turned two in September and is a treat to have. Very loving and VERY vocal. He also hasn’t met anyone, human or dog, that he doesn’t like. He was in a 6 by 6 foot run with his mother, another female and their two litters. My daughter originally rescued him but she took him home and introduced him to her three dogs and he went and sat in the corner with his back to the room and wouldn’t move. She brought him over to show us and we kept him!
    While we have recued these three dogs, Angel was the only official rescue through Aussie Rescue. Boomer was refered to us by Aussy Rescue and Beau was just rescued.

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