Deciding whether to get a dog from a rescue centre, or not
So you have decided that you would like a little four-legged friend, namely a dog, to join your household?
Even if you are looking for a specific breed of animal it may be worth checking out your local rescue centres. Believe it or not pedigree dogs do occasionally end up in a rescue centre needing a new home.
However, it could be that the dog, pedigree or mongrel, is there because it has behavioural problems or more.
Buying a dog from anywhere can be just as fraught with problems though. Even if you buy a puppy, if you are not 100% sure of its first home and parentage, you could be in for a bumpy ride.
Personally I would recommend adopting or fostering a dog, or puppy, from a charity as all my rescued dogs have been so successful as pets. We did have one dog that was a slight disaster but he was a stray which we simply rescued from the streets and he did live with us for more than ten years.
This woman has never wanted a pedigree dog but there are some fabulous cross-breeds out there if you are a little choosy. These dogs usually have great characters, better health in the long run and less hang-ups.
When your new dog is adopted from a rescue centre though you have to accept that this dog will probably come with baggage, and I do not mean an overnight case.
Depending on why the dog was in the rescue centre in the first place, the dog could be physically and mentally scarred. It may have been beaten, starved, maltreated in any number of ways or simply neglected. Unfortunately there are all too many sad stories of animal cruelty these days.
If you are unsure about adopting a dog, from a rescue centre, you could always try fostering first. This would give you chance to have the dog with you, provide a temporary loving home and could ease the financial burden of having a pet.
It can be hard to give up a foster dog though and maybe you would end up adopting after all. However, if you are unsure fostering can really help the rescue charity temporarily, and enable you to assess if a dog is really for you.
Fostering sometimes is partially funded by the charity and therefore expensive veterinary bills will probably be paid for by them not you.
Remember that when you adopt a dog from a charity there will be some sort of fee and it may be more than you would expect. However this is necessary to prove your commitment to the animal.
Finally never discount an older dog. The dog may only be in the rescue centre because its owner has died or had to go into permanent residential care. This could mean that the dog is fully trained and well-behaved but also sorely missing his or her previous owner and home comforts. Sure, you may want a puppy, but I have to say that the dogs we have taken in have all been between one and five-years-old and have all been little darlings. Well most of the time.
Dog Rescue Charities in the UK
There are many dog rescue charities around the country. Of course it makes sense to search for your new dog with a rescue service that is near to your home. This means that it will be easy to visit the centre, call back if you have problems and is just generally a more sensible idea.
The Internet offers lots of information about dog rescue charities, far and wide.
Traditionally, in England the RSPCA re-homed dogs however, as animal welfare is such a problem in the UK these days, there are now many smaller charities all over the country.
Consider offering your help in other ways, such as dog walking, donations or offering your help at the charity's sales and fairs for example.
Hints and Tips
Well get to it!