Rescue Dogs

Not everyone wants the hard work and problems associated with rearing a puppy, and may refer an adult or a rescue dog. A network of breed rescue organizations exists to help you, and a call to the Kennel Club will provide the information you need.

Reasons for rescue:
There are many reasons for dogs to be in rescue: broken marriages, deaths or owners going overseas to live. Many of these dogs come from happy homes, are well-trained and can adapt to life in any caring family. However, some have been ill treated and will require tender loving care before they feel confident in their new home. Because of this, potential owners should be prepared for some searching questions before the dog is handed over. You may have to pay a small fee to cover expenses.

Rescuing a Greyhound:
Of all pedigree dogs, Greyhounds have the biggest problem. Many racing Greyhounds are bred in Britain and the Irish republic – far too many dogs for the market to absorb – and, as a result, numerous Greyhounds are abandoned by callous owners if they don’t make the grade. These gentle dogs can be trained not to chase small fury animals and can make extremely loving companions and good family pets. There are specialist rescue organizations for the breed, which not only re-home ex-racers but actually go to the race tracks in Spain (where Greyhounds are frequently ill treated) and buy them back. These dogs are then re-homed in Britain.

Choosing a rescue dog:
When you are looking for a rescue dog, the main problem is the beguiling eyes of the dogs. Every one will touch your heart but you must be practical. Make sure you decide on the size of dog you want and how much time you are prepared to spend on exercising him and grooming his coat before you go along to a rescue center to look for one.

Talk to the staff:
It is in the interests of the staff to find permanent homes and to match you with a suitable dog, so listen carefully to their advice before choosing a particular dog. Speak to the person who normally walks the dog that interests you, and ask them about his temperament, obedience and willingness to please, how energetic he is and how he gets on with people and other dogs.

Choose a friendly, responsive dog:
The dog may be suspicious of you initially, but don’t worry – this is natural. He should come to you after about 5 minutes. However, if he shows any signs of aggression, then beware. If he lies on his back urinating slightly, he is being submissive, and although he is acceptable in puppies it is not desirable in adult dogs. However appealing these dogs may look, harden your heart and walk away. Taking on a rescue dog is inevitably a bit of a gamble because his history is usually unknown, but he is more likely to settle into his new home and become a much-loved member of your family if he is friendly and responsive. When you take him home with you, be patient and give him lots of your time.