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It’s only a shelter dog

IMG_0195If we had R1 for every time we’ve heard “it’s only a shelter dog” then Dogtown would have been able to build and fully equip its very own 5 star animal clinic !

Why is it that so many people have the misconception that a dog, in or from a shelter, has to be of a lesser quality than a dog from some other source. And it’s not only members of the general public that harbour this misguided belief.

“Are you sure you want to spend so much money on this dog’s health issues, after all it’s only a shelter/rescue dog” has been heard so many times in veterinarian practices and the likes that one begins to wonder if only pure bred dogs sold for exuberantly high prices have the right to live safely in a comfortable and loving home.

This very statement was recently directed at Dogtown’s very own miracle furkid Spice and those who have followed her incredible story will all agree that for this little shelter dog the cost and effort was more than worthwhile. Her daily updates were eagerly awaited for by hundreds of caring followers.

Animals that land up in shelters, almost without exception, do so because their previous owners have a problem – not the dog. Speak to anyone who has the privilege of owning an ex-shelter dog and they will tell you they would never have any other dog. J These dogs, by and large, will give far more love and attention to their owners, are usually far more resilient to illnesses, and are better socialised than their “upmarket cousins”.

There is no denying that there are many dogs with severe behavioural issues in shelters, but at the risk of repeating myself, these issues are mostly man-made and are the result of ignorance or disinterest by the owner as to the needs of the dog. Dog owners need to be more responsible and circumspect when deciding on what dog to get. By choosing a dog that best fits their life style rather than a pretty “ornament” or “an early warning alarm system”, then there would be far less dogs around falling into the category of “only a shelter dog”.

Think seriously about why you want a dog and whether you have the means, the time and are willing to put in the effort necessary to be a responsible dog owner.

Remember too, always adopt don’t shop. 🙂

By Gordon, Trainer