Adopt don’t shop is a mantra we can all get behind. When I was looking for a companion, I was considering a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, which I would have to forge a relationship with a breeder hours away, or looking for a rescue. I wound up with a rescue, not a Corgi, either, and that worked out just fine for me. She’s the love of my life and everything I wanted. She’s even got red fur. However, for most, a specific breed is in mind and they refuse to settle for anything less. I totally get that. You want what you want. I’d love to rescue a Great Dane, but MAGDRL has rules that kicks me to the curb as a potential home, despite my history of being a great dog mom, a special needs Jack Russell and now my rescue. The rules are there to safe guard the animals. There is no guarantee, and they see the contrary all too often, that you will be a good fit for one of their dogs. To save the pet from multiple re-homings, they have parameters you must fit. Renting is a big problem for potential adopters. The rescues just don’t want you. You’re risky, despite the devotion, I am sure, you would have for your new pet. I yupped MAGDRL right off the phone, listening to the shitty advice and bad behavior issues the foster was chatting me up about–she’s okay to foster, but I can’t adopt–my dogs ate face to face with no incident. It’s called training. Hers could not because of behavior issues she addressed by not addressing them.)
I recently came across this article on the plight of the NYC Homeless pets and the facilities that are failing them. With the uphill battle rescues face, you’d think they’d reassess their plans (allow pet owners who rent to adopt, because their applications read 13 years with a special needs pet, adopted a pet who is now 5–adopted when 6 mos. No fence, but a dog park nearby and doggy grandparents with lots of yard, but also an owner who uses leashes for the dog’s safety regardless…a fence won’t keep them in, that’s false security). Well, in this case, the NYC comptroller is making them. Finally! Rescues mean well, but a great many get in over their heads. There simply are too many animals and too little money to go around for support. It’s a sad testament to humanity’s lack of empathy and connection to the world in which we as a species live.
The best thing you can do is to educate yourself on dogs, especially if you have never had one, and then go to your local shelters (there will be many in your drivable area) to look for a pet that needs your shelter. Take your time, even though a shelter dog doesn’t have time, it’s best that you don’t make a false promise to one.