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Managing Pet Rescue

Updated on April 2, 2014
A dog available for adoption.
A dog available for adoption. | Source

Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin

How to volunteer at an animal shelter

On a walk with my dog, Cloudy, a few evenings ago, I ran into a stray Labrador retriever which romped over to make friends.

It tugged at my pet loving heart strings as it scoured the grass for any edible morsels.

I took a look at Cloudy and my 13-year old schnauzer, Misty. My face fell. A reminder that we can't help them all stared at me starkly in the face.

I present a dilemma that pet lovers the world or have to deal with. our homes simply cannot accommodate all the pets we wish to rescue.

Still, we needn't fret, because there are ways for us to offer them a much needed hand. Our children can get happily involved too.

A cat available for rescue
A cat available for rescue | Source

What makes pet rescue difficult

There are a few discomfiting factors that make the job of rescuing a pet a difficult one. The situation, sadly,seems to be perennial, unless everyone cooperates.

Housebreaking/dog behaviors

All pet owners face the problem of housebreaking their new puppies and clearing up after the messes they make. This is aside from having to deal with issues of excessive barking and separation anxiety.

The problem is not limited to puppies. Adopting an older dog means retraining him, acclimitizing him to his new environment and dealing with the same issues.

The issues can daunt any well-meaning pet owner.

Space

All dogs, especially the large ones, need space to run around. A backyard or garden is ideal, though most dogs can adapt to living in an apartment.

In all cases, it simply isn't possible to accommodate every dog, no matter how much we want to
do so.

The lack of space for excess number of pets throws a curve ball in the way of pet rescue.

Adapting to family routines

Having family members with allergies or pet related phobias may stand in the way of owners who wish to provide a home to animals in need.

If you want to adopt a dog, consult the family and come to an agreement about the expectations
everyone has about having one. Visit the shelter and spend some time with the dog you intend to take home with you.

Then comes the exhausting and often work of getting the new dog to adjust to family routines, necessary to help it overcome issues like separation anxiety.

Regulations

Governments of countries may have imposed regulations about the number of dogs each family can own. Breeds deemed dangerous may also be banned.

Necessary regulations make rescuing every stray cat or dog an extremely difficult task. Potential owners may be daunted by the whole list of sometimes personal questions shelters have to ask.

An injured dog needing rescue.
An injured dog needing rescue. | Source

How would you help to rescue an animal if you can't adopt it?

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Novel ways to help our pets


There are many obstacles to adopting a pet directly. We may not be able to adopt pets,but there are novel, interesting and effective ways to help them.

Donations

If it's not possible to physically rescue a pet, donations can be made to make the process a little easier.

Money will certainly come to good use. Shelters and adoption centers always need monetary donations to buy food supplies and other needs.

Toys, such as Kong toys, Hercules toys or nylon bones are always welcome by shelters to make animals' lives easier.

Other necessities like food dishes,leashes and crates are always welcome, as are medical and grooming supplies.

All these facilitate the running of shelters and help the animals until suitable homes can be found
for them.

Provide second opinions

Second opinions on adopted pets are useful, and often necessary for someone who hasn't owned a pet before.

If it's not possible to take in a pet, providing a valuable, experienced opinion to someone who has not owned one before will always help.

Buy animal welfare friendly products

On a shopping spree, buy products the proceeds of which will be donated to animal welfare groups.

The money will be useful for the running of campaigns and shelters.

Volunteer

You may not be able to take a pet in, but you can certainly volunteer at shelters to ensure their good care.

Volunteering can take place in other ways too. You can volunteer as an animal welfare counsellor or run an animal welfare hotline on its behalf.

Encourage vets to provide discounts for rescues

Your local vet can also be persuaded to provide discounts for pets which have been rescued to provide the monetary motivation necessary to own rescued pets.

Provide those who need assistance

Assistance can be provided in other ways. Transport and the distribution of flyers is always helpful in persuading people to own rescued pets.

Participate in fundraisers

Welfare groups always need funds, so running or participating in Fundraisers is always helpful.

Run a pets blog/website to place dogs for adoption

Connect with your shelter and obtain pictures of dogs available for adoption. Running a pets blog or website for that purpose is always helpful.

Organize events to help foster families get to know rescue dogs.

You may not be able to own a dog or cat yourself, but you can still organize activities that will help those who are looking to adopt dogs.

You can take a dog for a day and organize walk ins for families who may want to get to know it better.

Microchip your pets.

Make sure that your pets are microchipped. It makes it easier to find if it's lost and less likely to end up at an overcrowded shelter.

You can get children involved in pet rescue by..

  • Fostering an animal
  • Volunteer with the kids
  • When you volunteer at pet shelters, take your children along. They can help to do a little feeding and cleaning.
  • Create crafts/Fundraisers
  • For a little fun, kids can create crafts that can be sold at Fundraisers for animal welfare groups. Your heart will be warmed by the response to them.
  • Organize parties
  • Organize children's parties where kids can get to know a rescue dog. Perhaps it can be brought to a child's birthday where their needs can be explained.
  • Let your child bring a rescue dog for show and tell.
  • Borrow a rescue dog from a shelter for your child to bring to show and tell. He can learn about and explain its needs to his friends.
  • Make and distribute flyers
  • Kids can help in the designing and printing of flyers that Tell people about dogs available for adoption.


Getting children involved

You can be a positive influence and spread animal awareness to the kids too. They can be involved in subtle or more direct ways.

Fostering an animal

An ideal situation will be to foster an animal and to get a child to know it as far as possible. Distract him from looking at pet shop windows as far as possible and explain that these animals often come from pet farms.

Volunteer with the kids

When you volunteer at pet shelters, take your children along. They can help to do a little feeding and cleaning.

Create crafts/Fundraisers

For a little fun, kids can create crafts that can be sold at Fundraisers for animal welfare groups. Your heart will be warmed by the response to them.

Organize parties

Organize children's parties where kids can get to know a rescue dog. Perhaps it can be brought to a child's birthday where their needs can be explained.

Let your child bring a rescue dog for show and tell.

Borrow a rescue dog from a shelter for your child to bring to show and tell. He can learn about and explain its needs to his friends.

Make and distribute flyers

Kids can help in the designing and printing of flyers that Tell people about dogs available for adoption.

Donate a little food to your shelter
Donate a little food to your shelter | Source

Conclusion


We may not be able to house all the animals in the world, but we can do what we can to help them.

Original work by Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin All Rights Reserved

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We just adopted a ten year old and everything you say here is true. Great point, Michelle!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      For some reason this reminds me of a couple of cats that got dropped at my house years ago and I had my own cats and didn't want them but they were so wild I could not catch them to take them to the pound and that is saying something cause that is the only two like that ever. So I called the pound and they said yeah they could get them and they brought their nooses or whatever you call them and I wish I had filmed the wild time they had to finally catch those cats and get them in their truck and then one of the men asked did I feed the cats and I said well I feed my cats and these get it half the time and he said well that will be $75...because I fed them...I guess making them mine, lol. I said well mister if after that chase you don't think they are wild then you just let them go cause I am not giving you a nickle. (Sorry, it was just the meany in me, for of course I never let those cats go hungry!) They took the cats on with them.

      Almost every animal I have had was a stray or from the shelter. I never could figure why they never wanted you feeding them.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Everyone should read this hub Michelle!!!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Pets need such special care and if people can't offer their pets love and proper care they don't need pets. I have seen documentaries and was quite shocked to see how people neglect their pets the lack of feeding and care is terrible to look at or hear of.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Bill!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I wish with all my heart I could rescue them all. I will share this with everyone and post it on my FB page. Thank you ~ Audrey

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thank you so much for being an advocate for these animals!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wonderful hub! Like Audrey, I wish I could adopt them all. I think I would have a hard time volunteering in a shelter! Innocent animals have a really soft spot in my heart.

    • Tom Schumacher profile image

      Tom Schumacher 3 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Animal rescue is an important subject to write about. People that are able to do this job have my deepest respect. Personally, I would want to bring every rescue animal home with me. Over the years I have saved a few dogs and cats, but as you stated resources only go so far. To this day I don't understand how people can abuse and abandon their pets. - It's truly heart-wrenching to see an animal in dire straits.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thank you for spreading the word on animal adoption! I'm on Board for a shelter foundation and it's heartbreaking to see all that needs to be done. Appreciate you emphasizing all the ways that people can help. For our foundation, we've needed so many different kinds of help from the community including business expertise. Thanks for supporting homeless pets!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      You and I both share our love for dogs. I fostered a Maltese once and later adopted him because I fell in love with him and couldn't let him go. Yes, there are many ways we can help the animals without actually adopting them.

      Great Hub. Voted UP and shared.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Jackie!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Audrey!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 3 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      It's so hard not to overdo it with the rescued pets. I still have a hard time not bringing them all home. Thanks for the reminder that there are other ways to help.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, they do. Thanks, DDE!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, I wish I could do something for all of them. Thanks for sharing, Audrey.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Rebecca!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Vicki!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I like your suggestions Michelle. The kennel that we board our dogs at when we are on vacation always takes up an annual collection for a local animal shelter. It's a great way to get them some much needed supplies. We adopted a 7 year old beagle around Christmas and absolutely love him. He has fit in very well with our family, including our other dog. Shared around.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thanks for this informative and helpful guide to help others find their role in pet rescue. All our pets are rescued either from shelters or from the street. We've had incredible luck with finding adaptable, easily trained and loving companions whose lives have enhanced our own at every turn.

      Living in the country for the past 20 plus years we've found dozens of dogs and cats who have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves. It is heartbreaking. What some folks fail to realize is that choosing an animal is a life changing decision for both parties and for life.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      It's all working together, Heidi! Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Yes we do, Mary! Hope to share more of that with you!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Sherry!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Glim. Having a heart for our furry friends is so important! Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Peg!

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