Finding the Right Home for Rescue Dogs

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As you all know, I have five rescue dogs and one that we purchased from a backyard breeder.

I also volunteer  for LUV4K9s which is a local Dayton, OH dog rescue. We believe that every dog deserves a loving home. It doesn’t matter the age of the dog, but because of  the past they have suffered we have an obligation to find good homes for our rescues.

It becomes very difficult when in that process we make a mistake. Recently we adopted a sweet poodle, Coffee, to what the woman’s application led us to believe would be the perfect home. The application was well written. The woman had a fenced yard. Her references were excellent and her past Veterinarian could not say enough good things about this woman. Everyone felt good as we handed Coffee over to this kind woman.

Well the first night that Coffee was in her new “forever home” the woman called one of our volunteers concerned that Coffee hadn’t bonded with her that she was piddling on the floor. After being reassured that time was needed for Coffee to adjust and for the new owner to bond with Coffee everything would work out fine. Oh how wrong we were.
The calls went on daily about all the things that weren’t working out….on and on. Eventually our volunteer reminded the adopter that there was a return clause in the contract that if the dog comes back within 2 weeks we will refund the adoption fees. On day 14 the woman and our sweet Coffee show up at the pet store where we have a booth every weekend. She is giving Coffee back. And she wants her deposit. Our policy is no questions just take the dog back. The woman walked away from the table after pocketing her check. Ten minutes later she returns and wants Coffee back. Needless to say, we have Coffee and she has her money back.

So you are probably wondering what this story is all about and why I feel it necessary to write it down. I want everyone to know what responsibility there is when adopting a rescue dog. These dogs are different. They are special and many of them need some special treatment. We try to ensure that all of the adopters understand the World of Rescue dogs. We want people to know that they may take a little time to adjust. They may never have been loved and so when you reach out to pick them up, they may shy away …but only for awhile. It takes time to build trust. And piddling? They are not doing it to anger you, they probably have just not completed there training. Didn’t we tell you about house breaking? One of my dogs had never walked on grass. WOW, that was unexpected by me. But she now runs and rolls in the grass like any dog. Rescue dogs just need love and patience. Some of these dogs are what we call owner release dogs. For some reason the people that have loved them are giving them up. How sad and scary for that dog to not have his family home those first couple of weeks. The nights are long and dark, as they would be for us.

Some of our dogs were breeders. They had puppies 3-4 times a year, for many years. They had lived on grated floors so their excrement would fall through to the floor. Rarely is a rescue dog altered. We do that before we adopt our dogs out. Some of these dogs have been abused by humans. They have never had a gentle ear rubbing.

We take them in, clean them up. We as a rescue have them Vet checked and treated when necessary. We bring them into our homes for socialization. We love them. So when one is returned we scratch our heads and ask why? What didn’t we see? Why did Coffee have to go through the almost “forever home” only to be returned to us?

So just remember, think twice about adopting a rescue. Please support your local rescues. And if you decide to adopt a rescue, please, be patient, find out the history and gently give your new best friend a strong sense of trust and security.

Thanks for loving the animals out there.

Jenet Mullins is a retired sales executive from the media industry. As a Poodle Parent she shares her experiences and true life situations as a rescue adopter. Find her at Mediagal on Twitter or Jenet Mullins on Facebook.

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