October is Adopt A Shelter Dog month. This is a good time to explain how rescue works.
There are organizations and individuals who work tirelessly to help homeless pets, dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses, goats. You name it and there is an animal out there that has been thrown away and needs a home.
In some cases an animal can be surrendered directly to a rescue organization. Others work with local shelters to save the animal from death row. If you are just looking for a furry companion to share your life, check any shelter of rescue organization. Most of them have adoption days at pet stores and parks trying to reach the most possible families to adopt.
If you are craving a particular breed, there are rescue organizations for every breed. You can contact the breed club (do a Google search) and they will put you in touch with someone who handles rescue for that breed.
Some breeds have rescue organizations in every state and others like my breed, the PWD, have one central rescue with volunteers across the country who rush to remove a PWD from a shelter and place the dog in foster care until a home can be found.
Most rescue organizations have volunteers who regularly visit shelters in their area, remove the dogs they hope to place, keep some in a central location open to those seeking a pet and place the rest with a network of foster families.
The foster parents take the pet into their home, get it medical care, give it basic training and evaluate the animal. They observe it's health, temperament and any problems the animal may exhibit. They determine if the animal can be placed in a home with children or other pets.
Once a home is found for the animal, the foster parent may work with the new family to make a smooth transition for the animal.
A couple of rescue organizations that accept all types of animals are Best Friends Animal Society and PetFinder.
For specific breeds there are many organizations available. For bully breeds try Mid America Bully Breed Rescue. For all you Basset lovers try Basset Hound Rescue. For those interested in my breed, contact PWD Rescue. Whatever breed you want, there's a rescue out there waiting to hear from you.
So you can have that purebred dog or cat that you've always wanted and still help a homeless animal that needs a family. Or you can do as we do and just fall in love with a furry face asking for help. Over the years Rob and I have taken in eleven homeless dogs that needed a home. We specialize in animals that have been abused. We give them medical help, training and lots of love. Three of them we placed in safe loving homes and we kept the others.
It's a very good feeling to look into the happy face of a dog that was once homeless and scared and to see a light in the eyes and a tail wagging in pleasure.
If you can't adopt right now, if you're at your limit of pets for the time being, you can still help. The shelters and rescues need money and supplies and most of all help. Maybe all you can do is spend a couple hours once a month walking dogs or tossing a ball for them to chase. That is an enormous act of kindness for an animal that has no family.
The next time you're thinking about adding a pet to you household, think about rescue. All the dogs pictured here are available for adoption.