Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Wordy Wednesday: Adopt a Dog Month
October is the Humane Society's Adopt a Dog Month and as Bloggers we've been asked to promote adoption. What better advertisement do we have than our own beautiful dogs.
I encourage those of you who have specific needs or interests in a breed or type of dog to look into breed rescue. There are many valid reasons for wanting a specific type of dog and that doesn't necessarily exclude you from rescuing a dog. My goal for this post is to get people who have those needs or interests to consider breed adoption. There are many already advocating for local shelters. However, there is a place for breed rescue, too. It opens the door to those who have a desire for a specific breed and are willing to consider adoption over working with a breeder. Those potential adopters shouldn't be discouraged, shamed, or pushed into considering animals that may not be what they want or need. It is great for people to consider their options, however for those who are committed to finding a certain breed, providing a homeless purebred dog with a home is better than turning people away from adoption and having them seek out a breeder instead.
One thing I'd like to offer as we go through this month is that we find positive, healthy ways to discuss pet adoption. The choice to adopt a homeless pet is an important one. Setting one group against the other is not a great way to encourage people to make new choices. I find all too often when I bring up the topic of breed adoptions I get lots of resistance from those advocating for mixed breed adoptions. There is a place for everyone at the table. However, when you push people to do something they aren't going to do, you just shove them towards finding a breeder. You aren't converting them to consider a mixed breed adoption. There are ways to have a healthy discussion about what people are willing to do. However, in my experience it all to often becomes a hostile discussion that ends with you aren't a real advocate of rescue.
Recently, we were faced with the hard choice of needing to consider bringing another pet into our home as we watch another heading to the Rainbow Bridge. I spoke with a family member who has been a pet owner for years thinking that of all people in my family I could discuss the issue with, she'd be the most open to me working with a breed rescue. After all she has a specific breed of cat that she has used a breeder to get because she likes to raise her cats from kittens. She will not consider another breed of cat. It has to be this specific cat or nothing. I don't judge, we each have our needs. However, when it came time to get a dog, she adopted a mixed breed from a local rescue. I respected that choice, too. Again we all make the choices that work for us. However, when I told her our plan to return to Bailey and Katy's breed rescue she let loose with what to me sounded like a script that comes all to often from people who preach mixed breed rescue. Pure breds aren't rescues. You only rescue when you take a mutt. I should just go to the local rescue and get what they have.
This is just not a productive reaction to people who are choosing adoption over breeders. We are supposed to be advocating adoption. As long as we are using a reputable adoption source that is what should matter. What type of animal the person chooses to adopt is personal. Hopefully if the person is using a reputable rescue that group should help he/she make a choice that is a good fit. There are times when the rescue isn't doing due diligence and then it can help to have a friend who can look with honest eyes and ask the questions a rescue should ask about how this dog fits into the family. However, that needs to be done with respect and sensitivity. The best interest of dog and family should be the point, not your personal feelings about the choice the owner is making.
I do hope breed rescues continue to grow and expand across this country. I know they are not available in all states and regions. Our rescue is a regional breed rescue that covers three states. It would be great if the American Kennel and other dog breed groups would work towards organizing and supporting individual breed rescues across the country. It would provide more opportunities for animals and adopters to connect. People who have specific interests in the breed often find it challenging to find available dogs as they sift through lists of dogs in the area. Breed rescues provide ways for people interested in dogs with specific qualities, characteristics, and abilities to connect. When we go to fundraising events I always enjoy visiting with the breed specific groups to find out more about their groups and how they are advocating for their breeds. The local Dachshund group has the best fundraising booth of any of them at the events we attend twice a year.
Blog Paws is hosting the Hop here.