This week Broken Souls Rescue saw our record number of dogs whom we have already rescued and rehomed once, in a 48 hour period readmitted into our care. The reasons were varied, from behavioral issues to personal health problems to absolutely no explanation at all and a dog on our doorstep… Whilst we strive to be as flexible and understanding as possible, all of these dogs had been adopted under a forever home contract and the average time in their new homes was 7 months which is not exactly a trial period or suggests it is something the dog the did.
Perhaps i should not be surprised about any of it, seeing how these dogs come into rescue initially having been dumped and found as a stray by county dog wardens or via private surrenders with a flurry of excuses. If we received just £1 for every time the emotional guilt train gets passed on to me and i hear the phrase “if you don’t take my dog today i’m putting it to sleep”, we would be able to save every dog in the UK. It seriously makes me wonder; why on Earth did these people acquire a dog in the first place?
I (rather naively) assume that every person who decides to buy or adopt a dog, be it a first dog or an additional dog, carries out some form of research into how it will affect their life. However, i am coming to my senses that most people actually don’t and think as long as they can fit the dog bowls and bed in as well as some toys then they are good to go…. Well there are far more things to consider.
Here is the Broken Souls Rescue list of questions to answer before getting a dog:
Housing – Do they have permission to have a dog in their property? Is their space? Is it secure? Is it ‘dog friendly’ (furniture, expensive items out of reach, house proud)? Should you move, are you prepared to search for a dog friendly property?
Family Members – Does everyone in the household want a dog? Are their children in the house, and if so are they dog ‘savvy’? Is there anyone with disabilities (physical or otherwise) requiring consideration? Are there any regular visitors who could be significantly affected?
Work – Are your hours dog friendly? How long will the dog be left alone? How tired are you before and after work?
Finances – Can you afford to cover all the extra costs: food, monthly worm and flea treatments, yearly booster vaccinations, neutering, insurance, toys and chews, training guidance and good standard holiday boarding?
Social – Are you regularly out in the evenings? Are your weekend social events dog friendly? Are your friends dog friendly? Will a dog make you feel restricted in any way? How often do you holiday? Can you provide appropriate boarding care for during your holiday?
Health – Are you physically able to walk the dog at a good pace for at least half an hour twice a day? Are you able to part-take in training activities that may be required, (such as leading a walk, controlling your dog in an excited state around others, agility, flyball)? Do you have any mental or emotional health issues that may restrict your ability to care for the dog? Is anyone who is regularly in your life allergic to dogs? Is anyone who depends on you expecting surgery? If you were to suddenly need surgery or become ill can you or someone you know provide care and board for the dog?
Puppies – Are you prepared for toilet training and cleaning up multiple accidents? Are you ready to accept damage to some of your property or home via chewing or toileting? Are you ready to take the time correct and train your puppy fully? Are you prepared to attend puppy group classes to ensure proper socialisation for a well rounded and safe dog? Are you prepared to teach puppy not to bite? Are you prepared for the sleepless nights of settling? Are you ready for the 6-9 months of age mark where puppies hormones will become particularly strong with females coming into heat as well as both males and females scent marking and becoming dominant which needs immediate correcting?
Each year, the genius scientists in university laboratories across the world discover new fascinating facts about the range of emotion different animals really have in comparison to the human race. Rats and dogs have been found to have just as many emotional processes and reactions as people do, which only further impacts the pain and confusion each dog abandoned to a kennel and a stranger, must feel.
Taking on a new puppy or adopting a dog from a rescue is a big commitment and requires dedication. A dog is the most loyal family member you will ever come across who gives you unconditional love no matter what. So how people can allow what i consider to be ‘life events’ to push them into giving up their “beloved” dog is beyond me. The UK is supposed to be the most animal loving nation on the planet, and yet we discard our pets like clothing and inanimate objects. Let’s start listening to what we preach as a nation, “A dog is for life not just for Christmas”.
Please take serious consideration into adopting a rescue dog or buying a puppy. to support our work at Broken Souls Rescue go to:
Pictured: Toby, Jug puppy surrendered Winter 2016 happy in his forever home.