Have you reached that state of evolution where you are ready to get a pet dog? Congratulations. You will add a loving member to the family and make a true and loyal friend.
Where are you going to get the dog from?
Please don’t buy one. You will add to the burden of misery in the world by encouraging a criminal who breeds female dogs till they die and separates them from her children early so that they remain sickly. You will encourage a criminal who takes the money in black, pays no taxes and kills his dogs as soon as they stop breeding. Most pet shop puppies come from slum puppy mills where dogs are not bred for good health and temperament, and where they are often raised in inhumane conditions.70% of bought dogs die after a few weeks because they are the result of inbreeding – mother with brother/father/son etc so you will make yourself and your family so miserable that the joy of having a dog will go away.
The best place to find a dog or puppy is your local animal shelter or rescue group. They have plenty of pedigrees, mixed-breeds, big dogs and little dogs -- you’re sure to find a great companion.
When you adopt from a shelter or rescue group, you’ll give a dog a second chance at finding a home. Dogs die in shelters, some from a broken heart at being abandoned, some from disease that they have picked up from a sick dog. Dogs in shelters are at the mercy of all – if food does not arrive they cannot do anything. If they get sick, they cannot get specialized treatment because their symptoms go unnoticed in a crowd. So many of them are euthanized -- many because they could not find families to adopt them.
The abandoned pedigreed ones are the worst. They cannot be left on the road as they have no means to fend for themselves. They have seen love and now their hearts ache to belong to someone. They are as frightened and confused as a child would be – one day in a loving home, and the next day in an orphanage. First they wag their tails at any human who passes by, hoping to be loved and taken away. Then, after a few weeks they get despondent and give up hope. They refuse to eat, fall ill quickly and within a few months they are dead.
So choose a rescued dog. Here are some reasons why:
1. Pet stores often source their dogs from puppy mills. Puppy mills are breeders who are simply growing dogs to make money. They have no affinity to the animals and keep them at near starvation level so that they have to spend no money. They do not give them vaccinations and certainly no medicine. Any puppy that does not sell is killed. The mothers are forced to breed through every heat cycle until their body physically cannot support it any more, & then they’re either killed or sold to a laboratory. These dogs are stuck in cages all the time and often have extremely serious illnesses. They often die young. The puppies suffer from major psychological problems and end up abandoned by the families that bought them.
2. An adult cat or dog is always a better option than getting a puppy or kitten! As adorable as little babies can be, they are a LOT of work! You have to housebreak them, clean up after them, go to the vet frequently, socialize them. While most shelters have hundreds of young animals available, if you want to get an animal who fits in without the bother of so much work then an adult is already trained and more than happy to be part of your family.
3. Having a pet is good for you. Pets combat so many problems, from old age illnesses like dementia to loneliness, depression even autism. People become less agitated & more interested in social interaction. Pets control blood pressure, make you exercise and reduce stress. Children get into a routine and become more disciplined.
4. No animal has been dumped in a shelter because he is bad. Their owners are the bad guys. They are going on transfer and don’t want to pay for the animal’s ticket. Their children have left and they don’t want to look after the animal. They have a new baby and don’t want the hassle of looking after both. Some can’t afford to feed them any more. Some animals that have been in shelters have been abused and have been rescued from bad families. But the dog is still perfect and is still hoping for a good home.
5. Adopting a shelter animal is a lesson in compassion. When you welcome an abandoned cat or dog into your family, you are leading by example. The only way to teach compassion is by showing it. If you have children, one of the best things you can teach them is how to take care of something which needs their love. The idea, of course, is that they take these lessons they’ve learned from having a pet and extend them to their future relationships.
6. All deeds of compassion are good for you. Scientists all over the world have found that children below six years old who get pets will have better social skills, better speech, better co-ordination, more confidence and will be less likely to suffer from allergies.
7. You are saving a life. Most shelters in India do not euthanize abandoned dogs. But some do because they do not have the resources to look after them forever. Which means that when you adopt an animal , you have literally saved a life. That brings brownie points with all the gods in every religion!
8. Knowing that you rescued an animal will amplify the joy of having it in your life even more. And the dog never forgets. They will love you more, try even harder to please you. Every day is a miracle for them and you are their miracle. No matter what happens, they adore you, are happy to see you every time you walk through the door and want to be with you as much as possible. They will protect you from intruders and keep you warm at night if you let them.
There is one waiting for you now in a shelter. Go get him or her and you will be rewarded beyond anything you could possibly imagine.
Pl. add: To join the animal welfare movement contact firstname.lastname@example.org, www.peopleforanimalsindia.org
*Proper wildlife rehabilitation is an extremely biologically and ecologically responsible attitude toward all living things.*