There are many common myths and misconceptions surrounding rescue dogs, from the reasons why they are in that situation in the first place to how healthy they are or how they might behave. But a lot of these are really just that – myths. Many dogs are given to rescue shelters not because of their own actions but instead for issues relating to the owner: moving house, financial struggles, divorce and simply a lack of time are all common causes which lead to owners parting from their pets. Often, it can be down to the sad reality of failing to acknowledge the big responsibility that having a dog brings or taking the time to think whether it’s a commitment they can take on.
It’s often thought that many of the dogs in rescue homes suffer from poor health, and it’s true that in some cases of neglect or mistreatment medical care may be required. Most shelters subject dogs to a thorough examination and any necessary treatments upon arrival. If a dog does have an ongoing condition that would require regular treatment then the full details of this will be provided so any interested parties are made fully aware. Just as we love and care for family members if their health starts to fail, prospective owners shouldn’t be hung up on getting the ‘perfect’ pet because it is those with a potential need for ongoing treatment that will benefit the most from a kind home and in return will show endless love.
Perhaps the most common concern that makes people hesitant about adopting a rescue dog is surrounding their behaviour. A lot of dogs in rescue homes have no behavioural issues at all, but for those that do most good shelters undertake behavioural assessments to better understand and help such dogs. Importantly, rescue homes can then ensure that they’re able to fully educate any potential future owner about their needs to find the best home possible. Some people assume that rescue dogs are ‘damaged goods’, and due to bad past experiences and mistreatment must have developed issues towards humans as a result. In fact, dogs that are unfortunate enough to have suffered previously are often more likely to build strong relationships and bonds with new owners. With a lack of affection received previously, rescue dogs have bountiful love to give and are always eager to please to guarantee their new, safe home.
Besides the obvious good deed of adopting a dog and saving a life, choosing to see past these misconceptions and re-homing a rescue dog could be the best decision you ever make as it will leave you with a devoted and loving friend for life.