After a recent conversation with a friend, I got thinking about the different ways to get a dog.
Throughout my life, I’ve had three dogs, all spaniels and all rescued. My friend has also had three dogs, which too were rescued.
To give back story on my dogs, we know the first, Lucy, who was a springer spaniel, came from Ireland and was placed in a pound. Wood Green Animal Centre rescued her, bringing her back to England where we got her. She suffered from several tumours when we got her, and blocked tear ducts, meaning she wasn’t in the best shape. We gave her a loving home until June 2015, when she sadly passed away following a series of strokes.
Our second and third dogs came as a pair, both coming from The Dog’s Trust. As far as we’re aware, they lived with an old man who was unable to walk or care for them properly. This may explain why Daisy, the younger of the pair, is terrified of everything. I mean everything, from clarinets to plastic bags. The other dog, Minnie, had a home prior to this man. It is believed she was at a puppy farm, evidence of this is by her back legs which appear to have been broken and signs that she has given birth.
Minnie is only four years old now, and we’ve had her for a year and a half. So she must have been incredibly young when she was forced to have litters. Is that really fair?
Imagine this- if it were humans being forced to give birth time and time again, and having their legs broken so they can’t escape, would you buy those babies being produced?
It’s just inhumane.
In fact, according to a 2014 survey by Kennel Club, 20% if puppies bought from pet shops or from the internet suffer from a potentially fatal disease called parvovirus (which costs up to £4,000 to treat). Do you really want to be spending hundreds on a dog which has been bread in such a way that they may carry this disease?
Puppies are expensive. Take Minnie for example, who is a cavapoo. To get a cavapoo puppy, it will easily cost you over £1,000, that doesn’t include vaccinations or their MOT, and it means you have to house train them too. But for us, we rescued Minnie for £50, which included house training, all her jabs and a free lead and collar.
You may think twice about adopting a dog who’s in a rescue home because they’re old or “there must be something wrong with them”. But that’s not necessarily true, even if a dog is eight years old it’s considered an elderly dog, even if it has the potential to live another ten years. And some dogs are given to rescue centres by people who can’t afford to look after them, or they aren’t allowed to keep pets in a new home they’re planning to live in.
The dogs in the shelters need loving homes too, and they’re often very shy but are great companions.
The next time you consider getting a dog, it’s worth you going to a local rescue centre and you might meet the dog of your dreams. It’s a much more humane and legal way of getting a dog, and it’ll give you peace of mind knowing that you’ve given a lonely dog a forever home.
Some of the dogs in rescue centres stay there for years without finding a loving owner. All because people are more interested in getting a cute little puppy.
Personally, I think that’s totally wrong and just heartbreaking. Rescue centres are amazing places, who care and love the dogs until people like you and me go and adopt them.
Just think, you’re saving money, saving a dog and saving yourself the effort of training the dog.
Try to find a fault in that.