Open main menu

A rescue dog is a dog that has been placed in a new home after being abused, neglected, or abandoned by its previous owner.[1] The term can also apply to dogs that are found as strays, surrendered by owners for a variety of reasons, including relationship breakdowns, moving home where the owner is unable or unwilling to take their pets, or elderly people who are not permitted to take their dog(s) into a nursing home.[2]

Many animal rescue organisations exist to rescue, protect, care and re-home dogs from unnecessary euthanasia.[3] Common examples include the RSPCA in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries, the ISPCA in Ireland, or the ASPCA in the United States. Many rescue dogs are rehomed quickly, but some wait longer for a home. This may be relevant when the dog is older.[4][5] Some agencies provide ongoing health care and support for older dogs after they have been placed in a home. There are several charities dedicated to rescuing and rehoming older dogs.[6]

The ASPCA estimates that approximately 3.3 million dogs in the United States enter shelters each year. Of these, 1.6 million are adopted, 670,000 are euthanized, and 620,000 are returned to their previous owners.[7] A study conducted by the United States National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP) in 1998 found that the main reasons for pets being relinquished are: family moving, landlord will not allow pets, too many animals in household, cost of keeping the pet, owner is having personal problems, inadequate facilities, and no homes available for puppies. The study found that 47.7% of dogs turned in to shelters were not altered (spayed or neutered), 33% had not been to a veterinarian, and 96% of dogs had no obedience training. The conclusion of the researchers was that the owners who were relinquishing their pets did not have the knowledge to be responsible dog owners, and that educational programs aimed at present and prospective owners would reduce the number of dogs relinquished to animal shelters.[8][9]

A mixed-breed rescue puppy at a foster home waiting for a prospective owner.



Benefits of RescuingEdit

There are many unknown benefits of rescuing a dog that many people are not aware of. A lot of these benefits are not specific to dogs, but overall dogs are one of the most popular animals to have as a pet. (1)[10] Rescuing versus adopting from a pet store can save money. Besides the fact that the physical puppy or dog will be cheaper than if purchased at a pet store, shelters often microchip, spay, neuter, and vaccinate[11] the animals that they are taking care of. Therefore, one can save up to $300 by already adopting a neutered or spayed dog. (2) Rescuing will help eliminate puppy farms. Despite the fact that puppy farms are illegal, many people throughout the world still benefit from the profits made. A lot of the problem comes from the fact that people are not even aware of the fact that they are adopting a puppy that was bred from a puppy farm. That is why it is vital to research on exactly where one is adopting from before purchasing a puppy. (3) Owning a dog can benefit one's own health and wellbeing. Multiple studies have shown that not only can having a dog improve one's happiness and health, but it can also elongate one's life. Specifically, service dogs help with depression, stress, and anxiety. Playing with a dog daily is proven to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals naturally produced in the human body that make one feel happy and play important roles in brain and body function. (4) Parents that have dogs provide life lessons and extended benefits to their children. Not only does having a dog naturally teach children responsibilities, but it can also help them with separation anxiety and feeling a sense of security when they are at home. (5) Dogs will always provide unconditional love. Regardless of what may have happened minutes, hours, or days before, a dog will love you and will always be there, greeting with as much love and kindness as if nothing had ever gone wrong.

Puppy FarmsEdit

A puppy farm[12] is a commercial breeding dog facility. At these farms, the female dogs are used as breeding machines. With no rest in between, these dog’s bodies become so exhausted and consumed by breeding until they can no longer produce puppies at all and then are killed. Once born, the puppies are immediately separated from their mothers and put into the smallest cages possible. The more cages that can fit in one room, the more puppies, the more money. These cages are rarely cleaned leading the puppies to get sick and/or develop sores from being unable to sit without cutting up the rest of their bodies on the wire cage. These cages are often stacked on top of each other, leaving the puppies on the bottom to get drenched in the urine and feces from the puppies above. Care and hygiene for these puppies tend to be expensive, so the puppy farmers turn a blind eye and leave them to suffer. This causes a vast majority of the puppies that arrive at pet stores to be adopted to end up having life long immune system deficiencies or chronic medical problems. Although it may be fun to have the “perfect” purebred puppy that you imagined, remember that often adopting this puppy supports the inhumane treatment as well as leave you with a higher likelihood of owning a dog with serious mental and physical issues.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rescue dog. Collins English dictionary. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  2. ^ SA Dog Rescue. Home Page. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  3. ^ SAFE Busselton. Home Page. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  4. ^ 8 reasons to adopt a senior dog. Animals Australia. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  5. ^ Seniors for Seniors. Dogs' Refuge Home. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  6. ^ "Oldies Club". Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  7. ^ "Shelter Intake and Surrender". American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Dogs from the Shelter". Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  9. ^ Salman MD, New JG Jr, Scarlett JM, Kass PH, Ruch-Gallie R, Hetts S (28 October 1998). "Human and animal factors related to relinquishment of dogs and cats in 12 selected animal shelters in the United States" (PDF). Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science: JAAWS. 1 (3): 207–226. doi:10.1207/s15327604jaws0103_2. PMID 16363966.
  10. ^ "10 Benefits of Adopting a Pet". 2015-02-03.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "The Hallmarks of Cruel Breeding".

External linksEdit