Sunday, March 20, 2011
Dog Rescue Groups
When the movie 101 Dalmatians aired in 1996, children and parents clamored to get a Dalmatian. It did not take long for people to realize that they could not meet the needs of this excitable breed that requires a tremendous amount of exercise and attention. Shelters soon filled up with unwanted Dalmatians.
This is when the Dalmatian Club of America came into existence. This national organization helped rescue thousands of Dalmatians.
Rescue groups have been a natural outgrowth of dog clubs that specialize in maintaining purebred dogs. Too often, people see a dog that looks interesting or is a popular breed and they purchase a puppy without investigating the breed's characteristics.
People unprepared for the demands of certain breeds quickly become disenchanted and get rid of the dog. In response, those who have a love and understanding of specific dog breeds have developed rescue groups. The majority of these rescue groups are for a particular breed, though some rescue shelters are open to all dogs.
Purebred Dog Rescue
Breed rescue groups have a vested interest in saving their particular type of dog. Because they understand a breed's requirements, they can assess the dog's behavior, training needs and suitability for placement. They know what type of family a Dalmatian, for instance, would be most happy in. This insight dramatically reduces stress on families, the dogs and ultimately humane shelters, where many dogs unfortunately wind up.
Beware of so-called "rescue groups" that attempt to sell rescued dogs for a profit, particularly those that sell to pet stores. While it is perfectly natural to recoup some of the fees for maintaining the dog, the fees should not be constituted as the "price" for a particular dog. Moreover, a rescue group will spend time talking with you about your particular family and living situation to determine if you are right for the dog. The last thing a rescue group wants to see is a dog returned, once again, after placement.
A reputable rescue group will also not attempt to breed a rescued dog for two reasons: any undesirable traits can be passed to the offspring; and breeding dogs only adds to the problem of overpopulation.
If you are looking for a dog of a specific breed and do not care too much about lineage or American Kennel Club papers, consider contacting a breed rescue organizations. These dogs can make great pets, as long as they are with a family that understands them.
Contact your local veterinarian or shelter to find the names and information for breed rescue organizations in your area. You can also search the Internet. In addition, the AKC Web site lists the official dog club contact information. Individual clubs are often affiliated with rescue organizations.