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Adopting a Rescued Pet

Category Adopting
A dog awaiting adoption.
There are are so many rescued or abandoned pets that need good homes. Even if you are looking for a specific breed or temperament, adopting a pet is a great way to ease the burden on local shelters. This is a guide about adopting a rescued pet.
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By 4 found this helpful
January 4, 2012

I strongly recommend that anyone who is wanting to add a kitten or cat to their life, do so by adopting one from a shelter or rescue organization. I have done this often and have found the following tips helpful when bringing home a cat or kitten from a shelter.

A young tortiseshell kitten playing with a toy.

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By 4 found this helpful
August 23, 2006

When adopting a pet from the humane society, ask as many questions as possible.

  • The animal's history.
  • Where it came from.
  • If it was a voluntary release ask why. (such as Jake)
  • Was it taken from its owner? why?

This little bit of information will help you understand your pet's odd behavior, if it has any. It will also allow you to retrain the animal to over come its fears and except you as its new master.

  • Watch the animal for the first few weeks, see its quirks and take note, then if you do not know how to help the animal overcome its problems, seek help from a vet, a trainer, or the internet from a reputable site.
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  • Never put your new animal in a position that you know is a fear factor until you are certain it is the right thing to do.
  • Dogs are grateful for being adopted, but their history may mean intensive training, so ask questions and pick the pet that you know you can love without fear of it harming you, or anyone around you.
  • If adopting a special needs animal, make sure you can be dedicated to it and give it the benefits of a healthy, happy life.

Jake, black Lab, was born with 3 legs and a nub. It appears his brain still tries to use the nub as a full size leg. When he runs, he gets down low and uses the nub. We are constantly checking it for any sores or damage.

Don't be afraid of a disability in an animal, but be certain you can handle the problem properly.

Adoption is so much better than paying a breeder for an animal that may have been inbred. The purer the breed, the more health problems it will have in its life time.

Hope this helps you choose a wonderful pet!

By Tina from east TX

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 23, 20060 found this helpful

I too have an adopted adult dog and I will NEVER adopt a puppy again. We did have "issues"-a fully grown golden retreiver trying to get under the bed during thunderstorms and other loud noises (fire crackers, shotgun blasts, etc.) and she still won't go down in the basement (Wish I knew what Maggie's previous owners did to her), takes her food an will only eat it on the carpet, etc.

But she is the sweetest dog and I love her so much! SHe is such a joy to have as a poart of our family! Adopt and spay or neuter too!

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August 23, 20060 found this helpful

A lot of dogs are afraid of loud noises as you described. How did you get Maggie to overcome this fear? Remember next time you adopt, to find out some history. It may make you sick to your stomach to know what others have done but it will also give you a chance to properly care for it and love it like crazy. As for Maggie and the basement, there may be an odor that is present that reminds her of a bad situation, something that you can't see or smell. I suggest, not to force her into the basement. You might offer her a treat to follow you, but if she is still fearful, allow her the freedom of not venturing down there.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe in spay and neutering and most definately adopting. By adopting, I will not procrastinate about the spaying or neutering, instead, it will be done before I bring a new pet home.

Loving our pets,

Tina

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 24, 20060 found this helpful

Can you explain how you taught Jake to stop jumping up as a greeting. My one year old lab mix has been to puppy school (and graduated with top honors, I might add), but I still have trouble getting him not to jump up on people. This poses a real problem when my in-laws come to visit as they are quite elderly. Thanks for any suggestions you might be able to offer.

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August 24, 20060 found this helpful

I have two adopted dogs and love them dearly. One was scared of all men until my husband broke him of that; the other is completely blind because of neglect. I wouldn't trade either of them for a perfectly healthy breeder puppy! Give Jake a big hug and kiss for me.

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August 30, 20060 found this helpful

Hi Jennifer,

It took alot of patience with Jake, because that is all he knew. But both my husband and I went with the same technique, of gently removing his paw from us and placing it back on the ground while saying no, sit. Other times when we actualy saw he was fixing to raise up on us, we would put our hand out, palm to him and say 'no, sit', firmly and he would. Because of his disability, we stand next to him and allow him to lean on us and give him a good petting for doing a good job. I'm ashamed to say that one time I forgot he was leaning on me and took off after something in the yard and he just fell over. He was leaning on me so hard. Poor baby, I rushed back and loved him, but he wasn't hurt, nor did he act like it bothered him, but I felt so guilty.

When we first got him, his back legs were so strong from having raised himself up so much that being forceful with him to sit was impossible. He is a very hyper dog and requires a lot of attention. But with continuous work of putting our hand up and saying 'no sit', he has gotten to where he will sit on the spot and allow us to come to him, saving him a few steps.

I hope this helps. But I have not had any luck with my dachsund jumping up on people and licking. She welcomes everyone by trying to get higher than the blue heeler and then she will lick a person's skin off. I guess because she is so short, she can't see my hand and I know she has selective hearing. No one should ever think they are coming in this house to see me. My girls think they are coming to see them.

Take care,

Tina

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 31, 20060 found this helpful

Thanks to you and all the folks who responded for rescuing your pets. I also have two rescued LH doxies, and both have 'issues'- medical and behavioral- but I wouldn't trade them for anything.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 8, 20080 found this helpful

One of the things to remember is that ALL animals have some quirks because all animals have a personality. It doesn't matter where you get them from or at what age you get them. All you want to do is be careful for your protection and the pet's for the first few weeks. It's a learning process for you both.

You may see behaviour that looks odd to you but to another family it might have been a normal thing or something they wanted the pet to do.

It really does all boil down to undertanding that no animal is perfect; including you! All relationships take work and it may mean that you have to change your ideas on what you thought pet training or ownership would be like but it's so worth it like all of you have said.

ANY behaviour can be corrected or modified if YOU change your behaviour first!

I've literally adopted out almost 4,000 animals from my home after various municipal shelters ran out of time/space for them. The 3 dogs and 2 birds I have now are the ones that were smart enough to act really stupid when adopters came to see them.

My doberman is a pure fawn Dobi...gorgeous and he knows it. When a potential adopter came to meet him, he was friendly but had no intentions of anything above a friendly hello pet. The man was really well meaning and tried to coax Blitzen a little too much.

Blitzen gave him a dirty look and simply peed a FLOOD while giving the man the evil eye. When he finished, Blitzen went to his bed and proceded to cover himself with his favorite comforter as he still does today! He's almost 14 now.

I've also taken horrific rescues of starved and beaten pitbulls. My grandmother had early Alzheimer's (we didn't know it yet) and she'd often put her hand in the food bowls when putting a little kibble or a snack into the bowl...while the dogs were gulping down food! Never once did any of them even try to growl. They just ate around her hand while she explained to me that dogs don't bite unless they smell meat. :))

It's all about confidence, caring, exercise, training and lots of love!

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By 9 found this helpful
August 5, 2011

2 of our 3 Boston Terriers are rescue dogs (1 from Freecycle, 1 from a shelter). The one on Freecycle was on a short leash and left in a plastic barrel outside. They are the most amazing animals.

Our 3rd Boston Terrier came from a female Boston Terrier, who died during birth. It was up to me to raise 5 orphaned dogs. 2 died pretty quickly; 3 survived for 12 weeks, and then 2 of those died. We had the remaining one, and he is still here after 3 plus years. I bottle fed those babies every 2 hours, so of course my middle Boston Terrier is my special angel baby.

A year ago we adopted an older dog via a humane shelter about 60 miles away. They said he was about 6 - 7 years old, but he is more like a 10-11 year old. He has adapted to our family just fine. I will miss him when he passes on, but I know in my heart he was happy with his final forever home.

A few weeks ago we rescued another Boston Terrier from Freecycle, and my mother has him. He is an absolute delight. So anyone thinking about buying an animal from a pet store or anything like that, look to rescue dogs. You will have unconditional love, and one of the best pets you could ever have!

I have a sign in my kitchen that says "Dogs are like potato chips, you can't have just one". So true, kind of like kids. One more just makes things more interesting!

By LMay from South TX

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By 4 found this helpful
February 27, 2006

When bringing a rescued pet into your home be very aware of the subtle and sometimes not so subtle hints they give you. Our rescued Golden, Maggie was very fearful of loud noises, such as, thunder, firecrackers, shotguns, pans falling out of the cabinet, etc. She needed a safe place (under the bed) and time to adjust after each episode. We don't know what circumstances created her fears, but we loved her through them. She is now almost 8 years old (we got her when she was 14 months) and she can now tolerate mild storms and shotgun blasts in the woods near our home. She rarely gets under the bed anymore. Patience!

By Diana from Prospect, KY

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February 28, 20060 found this helpful

I agree Diana, sometimes it takes patience and a lot of love to bring these precious pets around. All of my dogs and kitties are from rescue, and I have no idea of their backgrounds when I sign the papers.

They are well worth any little quirks they might have when we take them into our hearts and homes.

Jennifer

Northern Virginia

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April 13, 20090 found this helpful

I have noticed that some breeds are more afraid of noises than other breeds are. I had a golden/shepherd mix that was scared of thunderstorms, and the shepherds seem to share that trait as well. My golden, actually taught my siamese cat mixes to be afraid of the thunder as well, and eventually they all huddled in the bathroom together with the cats on her back. It was not really funny, but it was interesting to see, I did a lot of therapy on getting them used to storms, but still never did quite eradicate the behaviors of running and hiding during storms.

Racer

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Catherine Forman0 found this helpful
March 23, 2006

Adopting a pet from an animal shelter or rescue group isn't as easy as going into the food store and picking out a new flavor of ice cream. Things are a little more complicated than that!

puppies awaiting adoption at shelter

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July 27, 2011

While I have adopted great dogs from the animal shelter, many are released to the pound because they have severe behavior problems and are completely untrained. This is fine if you have time to work with a dog with behavior problems...

Picture of Mason.

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February 18, 2010

I see, that once again, I have a foster baby. His name is Elrod. He is is an adorable, incredibly intelligent three month old Pibble. which is short for Pit Bull mix.

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November 21, 20041 found this helpful

When considering pet adoption, consider your local animal shelter or a rescue association of some kind. The animals there are truly in need of a home and the adoption rates are much more reasonable than they are to buy through a breeder or pet store.

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By 1 found this helpful
July 28, 2011

We have adopted three rescued dogs in the last 15 years. The first one taught us a lot. She had been abused and was afraid of everything. She needed lots of patience and tender, loving care.

Small dog standing on lawn.

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September 26, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about rescued dog has not warmed up to new owners. Choosing to adopt a rescue dog can have its challenges. These abused and neglected animals need lots of patience to become good household pets.

Scared dog hiding behind wall

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June 21, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about rescued dog is afraid of everything. Rescued pets have often lived in terrible conditions and have suffered neglect or physical cruelty.

Scared Chihuahua against a white background

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 19, 2009

I am looking for a small dog to bring into our loving home. Anyone know where I could adopt one?

By JLyn09 from Allegany, NY

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April 19, 20090 found this helpful

Check your local Animal Center. Be sure to take your kids and hubby! I once adopted a dog that didn't like men! So to be safe, ake the whole family and ask ALOT of questions about the dog before you take him home! ie: housebroken, food anxiety, men, temperment etc. They always act a little different in the shelter as they are scared. I always picked animals that walked up to my kids right away and loved on them! You can tell!

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April 19, 20090 found this helpful

Never buy from a pet store (they usually buy from puppy mills) buy frrom a breeder or go to a shelter or the humane society. ALSO, Use care when adopting an animal & be sure to choose one that fits your energy level. That means if you like to run, bike & throw Frisbees than you may want a "high energy" dog, whereas if you are a homebody like I am & don't get out much then be sure to pick a dog with an easygoing & very mellow disposition. Don't pick a dog by how cute they are. Look for they way they act & never choose a pet just because you feel sorry for them because you may end up with more problems than you can handle! Also, look for a shelter where you can take the dog on a walk first before you decide, that way you'll have an idea if it's meant for you & your family. If not, you may end up with problems!

Do your research on different dog breeds, some dogs are know for being stubborn & some like to chase or herd things, hounds make strange noises when they get excited & some dogs (like the cavalier king Charles spaniel are bred to be very mellow). If you know the breed you want, you can sometimes find a no-kill shelter devoted especially to that type of dog, be it dachshunds or pit bulls. Lots of tiny dogs have behavior problems, but it's only because they are spoiled (like children) by the owners. Be sure to give your new dog both love & discipline! The dog won't be happy unless you fulfill their needs. Be sure to take it on walks daily. The backyard isn't enough. If you don't want to walk a dog regularly, then you shouldn't get one. Dogs get bored if they sit around (just like people do!) & start tearing the place apart, etc. Anyway, these are some important things to think about!

Also, Most vet's have bulletin boards & there's lots of people these days that have to move into places where their pets can't come. These owners can tell you lots about their dogs & it's temperament, so think about calling around to vets & asking the receptionist to read you any pets for adoption on their bulletin boards. If you get a pet from someone like this you'll also know if they are good with kids or not & the owner can tell you all about them!

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April 20, 20090 found this helpful

We have a non-profit group in Erie county, PA ( not that far from where you live) that rescues small animals and finds homes for them. Their website is www.becauseyoucare.org They have pictures of the animals available for adoption on their website. Good Luck!

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April 20, 20090 found this helpful

You can see a listing of animals to be adopted on petfinder.com. You put in your zip code and it tells what animals are available for adoption. It is great!

Robyn

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April 20, 20090 found this helpful

petfinder.com

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April 13, 20050 found this helpful

This is our "Dusty Dawg". We rescued him two years ago the afternoon before he would be to be "put down". He was a sad and skinny dog. The day after we got him I took him to the vet for a normal check-up and discovered he had heart worms and the previous owner had never taken him to have any of his shots and he'd never been to a vet's before. After a week of very intensive and expensive treatment, Dusty is now a healthy, happy (and 30 pounds heavier - LOL) part of our family. During the day, his favorite spot to sleep is on my son's bed but at night, he sleeps with mommy and daddy.

The shelter that we found Dusty at is the Porter County (Indiana) animal shelter: http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/portercoanimalshelter.html

By Sue A.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 13, 20050 found this helpful

He is so gorgeous .. thank you so much for sharing his photo! :->

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 13, 20050 found this helpful

DUSTY IS ADORABLE!!

AND THE BEST PART, YOU ADOPTED HIM AND SAVED HIS LIFE!!

GOOOOD FOR YOU!

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 20, 20050 found this helpful

WOW YOU AND HE are lucky!!!!!!!!!!!! :) he is sooo cute....as I tell all my friends with doggies..."Pat the Puppies"!!!!!!!!!!!!! from me and my "boys" Reginald 12 yrs and Bogart 3 yrs!!!!

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April 21, 20050 found this helpful

So glad you saved him. He's a keeper for sure.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 26, 20050 found this helpful

u go...e rescued a doxie about 4 months ago...heartworm positve never been out of cage bowel obstruction,ear infections rotted teeth you name it....now we haveone precious little girl!!!! We have a male too but both are fixed this really calmed him down and they are inseperable. Abby had two surguries in two weeks ....she's the babe tho ...more people need to think like us!

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 26, 20050 found this helpful

Yes dogs get constapated too. Our doxie had a bowel obstruction. Our vet reccommend that we give her a teaspoon of canned pumpkin when she gets that way. It take a day or so but it works. Use common sense too and don't feed anything that would be contapating to you or your pet.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 1, 20050 found this helpful

Thank you for saving him,he has the face of an angel.

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August 27, 20050 found this helpful

He's one cute little guy and to think he was going to be put down breaks my heart. You're a great person, i'm sure he realizes that too :)

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