Rescue dogs aren’t broken, many are pure bred


My two rescued dogs, Rosie and Ben


Lately, I have been hearing how amazed the people attending adoption events are, at the great condition of all of the rescue dogs, and how incredibly surprised these people are at the number of pure breed animals available.

The perception that only pure bred dogs are of good healthy stock is astonishing to me.  Apparently, most people don’t know that millions of pure bred dogs come from puppy mills, the product of unhealthy and horribly abused parents.  Dogs for sale in pet stores are always from puppy mills, no matter what the store owner will tell you.

There ARE reputable breeders out there, but many pure bred dogs come from back yard breeders, who provide little or no vet care to the puppies or the parents.   Many of these puppies are sold on street corners or on the Internet. A new addition to your family who is sick or dies is probably not what you had in mind when you brought home the puppy!

You should know that most rescue groups go to great lengths and spend inordinate amounts of their own money to make sure that every dog they put up for adoption is in perfect health, has been temperament tested, groomed, vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed or neutered.  Many of these animals have come into rescue by being saved from death at shelters, or found on the streets or abandoned homes, or tossed from a moving vehicle.  The dogs are dirty, tired, sick, or injured, and every one of them is scared and wondering what they did wrong.

Each one receives the special love and treatment they deserve and each one becomes an adoptable dog again, ready to connect with a new, and hopefully forever family.

Though puppies abound, many rescue dogs are older and frequently get passed over for younger animals.  Older dogs are housebroken, have lived through the eat-everything-in-site puppy stage, and all they want is a meal, a comfy couch, and love.

Some rescue dogs have been so abused that special treatments or surgeries are required to save their lives, followed by many months of fostering.  Don’t discount a three-legged dog or one with special needs.  They need homes too and many of them are pure bred too.

At a recent PACC911 adoption event, Pug Rescue found many people who were shocked at the number of Pugs available for adoption.  Surprisingly, 25% of all dogs in shelters or with rescue groups are pure bred.  In fact, rescue dogs come in all ages, sizes, breeds, colors, abilities, temperaments, and each one has a unique personality.  Give a rescue dog a chance!

If you can’t bring yourself to walk down the rows at your local shelter or Humane Society, attend an adoption event in your area (check for an event in Phoenix) or go to You can enter your zip code, the species, age, breed, and size of the animal you want to add to your family.  The shelters and rescue groups post their adoptable animals on this site.

Give a rescue dog a loving home today; they’ll be eternally grateful, and you’ll be glad you did!

Author’s note: Both of my dogs are rescues.  Rosie, who is a pure bred Pit Bull,  was born and  lived at a no-kill shelter for over two years until a rescue group came and saved her.  Ben, who is part Pit and who-knows-what, was thrown from a moving truck at a park.  A rescue group saved him too and now I am the lucky one who gets to share life with them both.  Rosie is a bit wacky and Ben is attached to me like Velcro, but I wouldn’t trade either one of them for a million dollars!


Hotel for Dogs

This morning I went to see Hotel for Dogs and I really liked it.  It was entertaining, humorous, emotional (I needed tissues), and fun.  Friday, the dog star of the movie, was extraordinary and I wish I could teach my Rosie to do some of the things that dog did so effortlessly.

The Animal Control officers were portrayed as villains and nasty men, the scenes in the pound were dark and scary, implying the importance of taking care of your animals.  And the message that animals deserve to be treated with compassion and kindness was loud and clear.

Where the writers and producers of this movie failed miserably, was at getting the message out that spaying and neutering your animals  is imperative to control pet populations, and that adoption should be your first choice when searching for a dog.  This movie was the perfect venue to drive those key points home to every person who enjoyed the movie, and yet, until the end of the credit scroll…after the cast listing, key grips, producers, writers, location thank yous, and other things most people don’t care a lick about, passed, there was one single line that suggested adoption as a good choice when choosing a dog. It says – “Help a Furry Friend.  Adopt, Volunteer, Donate.”  If you didn’t sit through all of the credits, you missed it.

In fact, at the end of the movie there is a nursery filled with puppies, which would suggest to the viewer that dogs having puppies is a GOOD thing.  I assure you, it is NOT.

As an active member of the rescue community where I live, we are all well aware of the need for animals to be spayed and neutered.  Over 60,000 animals are killed every year in my county alone, so do the math around the country and the numbers are staggering.

I was hopeful that this movie would focus on the importance of adoption and spaying and neutering, and it missed the mark entirely.  And it was the perfect place to educate children…and their parents…in an entertaining way.  How sad.