A dog becomes a rescue candidate for many reasons--something may have happened to his owner, or perhaps someone simply decided that they didn't want him. For whatever reason, there are thousands of these dogs out there in need of help. Rescuers spend thousands of hours helping these dogs, and it is heart breaking, expensive work. There are hundreds of dogs put down each day because there aren't enough helping hands, enough good homes.
Not everyone can go to a shelter and bring dogs out--individual situations vary. There are many other ways you can help, however. Below are some of them--
·BEFORE YOU BREED--make sure there is a GOOD reason why your dog should be bred--that he or she is proven to be a good example of the breed through showing, etc. Make sure that health screening is done, appropriate to your breed, and that your dog's temperament is such that it SHOULD be passed on. Realize too, that you will be responsible for the lives of the puppies you produce--and that homes must be selected carefully. It is your responsibility as a breeder to take a puppy back if a home doesn't work out.
· BEFORE YOU BUY--investigate the pedigree of your prospective pup, the temperament and titles (obedience, confirmation, etc.) of the parents, the results of health screenings. There is nothing more heartbreaking than having to put that puppy down because he has a severe health problem, when you've come to love him so much. Make sure too, that you realize you are making a commitment to that dog FOR HIS OR HER ENTIRE LIFE. Make sure you understand what kind of dog you are getting (no matter what breed). Know what the characteristics of the breed are, and whether or not it will fit in with your life-style.
DON'T BUY FROM A PET STORE OR BROKER--The purchase of any dog is much too important to do on the spur of the moment at the local mall. Puppies in pet stores normally come from puppymills, where they are often raised without regard for health concerns or socialization. While it may seem to you that you are rescuing a cute puppy from a bad situation, what you are actually doing is sentencing other dogs to miserable lives, since your purchase encourages puppymills to keep breeding. A good breeder will help you pick out a puppy that is right for YOU, both your lifestyle and temperment.
There are other things YOU can do as well--rescue groups are always looking for help. Some things require money, some time, some more advanced knowledge. All of it needs to be done, however, and all of it is Rescue.
Evaluate dogs in a shelter ·
Training - basic obedience is frequently needed.
Transportation - to and from adoption days, vet appointments, RUR transport
Just plain old dog-walking, playing with the dog, socialization at the park
Donate money, crates, blankets, food, leashes, collars, grooming tools, shampoos, medicines
Grooming - nail trimming and bathing are ALWAYS necessary
Returning phone calls - most rescuers get more calls then they can return.
Staffing an educational booth or adoption day
Desktop publishing, letter writing, web site design & maintenance, helping with mailings
General public relations
Put a can in your pet store and collect donations
Sell bumper stickers and other fund raising items.
Provide kennel space
Help with any expertise you may have--in training, raising puppies, etc.
Help socialize rescue pups.
Help the foster parent with any questions about temperaments, socialization etc.
Handyman work -help set up a kennel, fence, repair a dog house,
Process adoption applications, do home checks and references.