Valid Dog Rescue or Backyard Breeder? 13 Tips To Discover The Truth
So, you’ve decided to rescue a dog. You begin scanning the internet for possible matches and a potential companion. But, the questions begin to arise. How do you know if it’s a valid rescue organization or a backyard breeder? There are numerous telltale signs.
- A valid rescue organization will always have a 501c3. Ask if they have one and if donations made to their organization are tax deductible.
- Rescue organizations almost always have adoption “events”. They can be adoption days at a dog park, a fund raiser, or an allotted time at a big-box pet retailer.
- Rescue organizations will spay/neuter your pet, or have you sign an agreement to do so and sometimes provide a voucher to do so.
- Rescues will ask you LOTS of questions. When I adopted Murphy, I had to fill out an application, have a phone interview and an in-home inspection. They care about these dogs and want to make sure they are going to good, loving homes. Don’t be put off by this process — they’re doing their jobs.
- They will ask you to sign a contract agreeing to return the dog to THEM if things don’t work out.
- They will never give puppies away that are too young. Most will not adopt them out at less than 10 weeks of age.
- Breeders won’t encourage you to stay in contact, send photos, provide information about the adopted dog.
- Breeders won’t ask you about your knowledge of the breed you’re adopting.
- Backyard breeders won’t allow you to see the parents, or where the dogs are housed/raised.
- There are also “Dog Flippers” – these people are the worst of the worst. They scan craigslist for free dogs or kittens, over-breed their own pets and have also been arrested for stealing the companions of others and later trying to sell them to make a quick buck. They will sell pups that are sick, un-vaccinated, too young, or not their dogs to begin with.
- If you’re adopting an adult dog, ask for the veterinary records. If they’re a valid rescue, the will be up to date on shots, any special dietary or other needs will be noted, and the dog should be well socialized, not timid and afraid.
- Ask LOTS of questions. If you feel uneasy about an adoption, walk away. There are lots and lots of dogs at animal shelters, humane society, breed specific rescue organizations and weekend events. You want to make sure you and your new pet are a good fit and one that will last for many years. Do your homework – this will guarantee a happy, healthy relationship between you, your family and your new addition.
- Finally, when you do get your new pet home, let him/her acclimate.This will take time. They may be shy or scared at first. Offer encouraging words, lots of love and attention and keep them on a leash until they’re well used to their new environment. If there are other pets in the home, introduce them slowly. If there are small children in the household, please make sure they’re gentle with the new resident and they understand the dog will be a little cautious and wary of their new surroundings. With lots of patience and love, within a few days, the dog will understand he/she is “home” and you will be delighted with the change in personality. I honestly think rescued dogs somehow *know* they were rescued and they are the BEST! Both of my boys were rescued dogs and they have brought me so much joy, humor and pure, unconditional love that I can’t even begin to describe. As the saying goes, “It was them that rescued me”.