Pet rescue groups were born out of a need to save adoptable dogs and cats and find them homes. Years ago, shelters were the place most strays and unwanted pets ended up. When the shelters got full and a pet was there too long, the pet was killed to make room for other more adoptable animals coming in, or sold for laboratory research. It was, and still is, a very sad situation when a healthy pet is euthanized as a direct result of human neglect or ignorance. The staff working in shelters are forced to make incredibly gut-wrenching decisions every day, mostly caused by pet overpopulation and the failure of too many people to recognize that pets should be spayed or neutered.
Bob Barker, the host of The Price is Right ended every broadcast of the show with a plea to spay or neuter your pets, starting in the 1970s. But even today, there are those who just don't bother, don't care or think that their Sparky would change if neutered. This leads to healthy, wonderful pets being euthanized daily around the world, for no other reason that no one wants them or has room.
Today, there are many No Kill shelters, where adoptable pets are not killed, but the problem of overcrowding persists. There are now breed specific rescue groups for nearly every canine breed, as well as groups that rescue any dog. There are also groups that rescue cats, rabbits, birds, ferrets and other pets.
There are two major difference between shelters and rescues. Shelters are usually run by the Municipality in which they are located, and funded through taxes and licensing. In many cases, though, this funding is inadequate to care for the large number of animals that need help. Rescue groups are funded only by donations, and all the people are volunteers. While some shelters do put animals into foster homes, many are housed onsite in kennels. Most rescue groups place their rescues into foster homes, as they do not have shelter facilities. Animals in foster care tend to fare better, as they are in a real home, just like the forever home that is out there for them somewhere. Both shelters and rescue groups are essential in the long term care of animals.
We have chosen to assist reputable rescue groups. However, any time a homeless pet finds a new and permanent home, it's a good thing. If there is a shelter near you, then visit there to find a pet, or just volunteer to walk a dog or clean a rabbit's cage. Don't think someone else will take care of it, because quite often that someone else has already been volunteering 20 hours a week for the past 5 years,
We urge everyone to, 'Please consider adoption first'. Adoption is not for everyone, but there are many wonderful pets, that will love you forever if you bring them home with you.