Spotlight on: Dog RescuesFamilyPet
Finding your new best canine friend is a fun–yet hard–task. So many different breeds. Ages. Sizes. And of course, places to get your new dog. With October being adopt a shelter dog month and the holidays coming up, more and more people are looking at big animal shelters for their new family members.
Some animals, though, just don’t do well in a big shelter environment–and that’s where smaller animal rescues come in. Rescues like Motley Zoo Animal Rescue in Seattle, Washington, work with local shelters to place pets that aren’t suitable for shelter life with private foster homes in hopes of getting them adopted more quickly. They take animals that are shy (making them unadoptable in a typical shelter), have a medical condition that prevents their immediate adoption, or simply those that have been at the shelter for too long. Executive Director Jme Thomas says the relationship between shelters and rescues is important–one can’t exist without the other. Sometimes a change of venue is just what an animal needs to get adopted.
Rescues like Motley Zoo mainly use social media and sites like Pet Finder to get the word out about their available animals. Since all animals are in private foster homes, interested parties must apply for either a specific animal or fill out a general application in which they describe what they are looking for in a family pet. The goal, according to Thomas, is to make the best match in the timeliest manner–which, surprisingly, doesn’t always mean the first home. Motley Zoo and good rescues everywhere have had to make tough calls when it comes to adopting out animals, but remember: they are thinking of what’s best for the animal–and that doesn’t mean there isn’t another dog waiting that is perfect for whoever is looking to adopt.
In terms of tips for potential adopters looking at adopting from a rescue, Thomas has these two main tips:
Consider personality and experience over breed and age.
Many people looking for a dog naturally gravitate towards a puppy; they might think that it’s the best way to make sure their dog will be good with kids, or to prevent future behavioral problems. Most dogs, however, are given up for financial reasons, not behavioral. And the best way to make sure your future dog is good with kids is to get a dog that happily lived with kids (or whatever trait you’re looking for).
Through a foster environment, you can also really get a sense of how a dog truly behaves; a shelter environment is stressful even for the most well-adjusted pooch. Rescues let you see dogs in real-life environments, so you’re more likely to make the right decision in terms of deciding whether or not a dog’s personality is a right fit for your life.
Pay attention to energy level.
If you have an apartment and want to get a high-energy dog, you can: as long as you provide them with adequate physical and mental stimulation through daily walks, daycare visits, etc. If you’re not prepared to provide the amount of exercise needed, then consider a lower-energy pooch, so you can be sure you will be their furever home.
So if you’re on the hunt for your next furry family member, consider checking out rescues like Motley Zoo. You’re not only helping rescue the dog you eventually choose; you’re also helping the rescue help other animals in need.