Driven by love and compassion, dog breed rescue groups play a vital role in providing an alternative to breeders, animal shelters and pet shops. They don't have a central location where you go choose your new pet; instead, they are a small group of dedicated dog lovers who maintain a network of temporary foster homes where surrendered, abused or abandoned dogs are loved, feed and cared for while in search for their forever home.
As breed specialists, purebred rescue groups know what to expect in terms of personality and temperament and even what medical problems dogs of that breed might be prone to suffer. This knowledge helps them to be correctly placed. Much time, effort and emphasis is put into making successful placements and they rely heavily on foster homes until they are adopted. In contrast to what most shelters can afford, rescue groups often spend hundreds (even thousands) of Rands caring for individual animals with whatever they should require from behaviourists and training, to flea baths, grooming, vaccinations and medical care. This isn’t to say that rescue groups have lots of money. In fact, the most valuable commodities to rescue groups are similar to those of shelters: volunteers and funds!
Driven by love and compassion, dog breed rescue groups play a vital role in providing an alternative to breeders, animal shelters and pet shops.
Surrendering your dog is never an easy decision. If you have exhausted all options to keep your dog, consider surrendering them to breed specific rescue organizations. A loving foster home best suited to his or her needs, is far better suited than a shelter environment. Fosters offer their invaluable time and TLC, caring for your pet as if they were their own until a forever home is found.
Foster families play a major role in helping each dog heal and get prepared for their forever homes. While the rescue group works at finding a forever home, foster homes are vital in giving needy dogs, that have lost their families or have been abandoned or abused, a shelter and love. Foster families generally provide a loving home environment and often have the capacity to keep dogs for extended periods of time — two things that most shelters just can’t do.
If you think you’re ready to adopt, do your research first and then after that, do some more! All adopters should thoroughly investigate different breeds to be assured that their needs as well as their new pet’s are compatible. Remember, rescue groups are not selling dogs! They have a vested interest in placing each dog in the best permanent home. So, adoption requirements are often very strict. Expect to fill in an application, go through an interview process and have a home inspection. This is done to all prospective adopters (as well as fosters) to ensure each rescued dog is placed in the safest and best suited home possible.
When adopting a rescue dog, as opposed to an animal shelter dog, you’ll be comforted knowing that the dog has already been evaluated in a home setting and the foster family can tell you about his or her nature, habits and behaviours. They know if he's housebroken, if he barks a lot, if he likes children, if he gets along with other dogs or cats.
Also, don’t expect a whole catalogue of choice. A rescue group will have whatever dogs they have at the time, and if they think you might be a good match for a specific dog, that's the one you will get to consider. Please also remember that it's usually more expensive to adopt a dog from a rescue group than from an animal shelter. But, it makes sense once you consider that the dog is neutered and has also been treated for any health problems, been provided grooming, and invested one-on-one time and effort in basic training and socialization. Rescue groups don’t make money! In fact, the adoption fees most often don't cover the costs.
A few reputable breed rescue organizations doing amazing work in SA!
Boston Terrier: www.bostonterrier.org.za
Great Dane: www.greatdanerescue.co.za
Yorkshire Terrier: www.yorkierescue.co.za
Pit Bull Terrier: www.underdogs.co.za