By: Sarah Rance
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – As a dog lover, it is so hard for me to see people who would rather pay tons of money for a purebred dog rather than pay a much smaller fee for a dog who will make just as great a pet. There are many reasons I believe that people should rescue rather than buy from a breeder, but overall it is simply due to the fact that all of the dogs in shelters deserve love.
My dog is a rescue. My family and I went to the Niagara County SPCA to see a dog we read about on their website. We knew we wanted her, but we had to test out if she clicked with our family. Unfortunately, she did not. Instead, the lady at the SPCA asked if it was okay if she brought in another dog. As soon as the doors to the room we were in opened, the most full-of-life dog we have ever met came prancing in. She ran up and greeted each of us and immediately tried getting us to play. This is the perfect example of how a dog picked us, rather than us picking her. Four years later and Reina is now a huge part of our family. She has bonded with each and every one of us and we could not imagine a life without her. Seeing how much she loves and cares for us makes me wonder why, for some people, she wouldn’t have even been given a chance simply because she came from a shelter.
The dogs in shelters obviously have not had easy lives. Some are abandoned, others abused, others surrendered due to their owners not being able to properly care for them. Regardless, they did not ask for the lives they were handed. Reina was found wandering the streets of Buffalo when the SPCA found her, and then she was at the SPCA for 8 months before we rescued her. That’s 8 months of concrete floors, kennels, and a walk outside every once in a while. However, this is not the workers at the SPCA’s fault. They are doing all they can to provide for these animals, but they can only do so much considering how many animals need that care. One walk doesn’t seem like much, but imagine doing that for plenty of other dogs as well. Other dogs in rescues aren’t even given the guarantee that they will live. In some shelters, animals are euthanized if they don’t find a home quick enough. Imagine being euthanized just because your forever family didn’t come to the shelter a day or two sooner.
Because my family rescued, we saved a dog from sitting in a concrete cell. We gained a family member who loves us unconditionally. We opened up a spot in a shelter so another dog who wasn’t given a fair shot at life can get another chance to find people who will love them like we love Reina.
For all of you who are hoping to add a dog to your family, I ask of you this: Go to a rescue and visit with some of the dogs. Look past the fact that they may not be newborn, purebred puppies and instead get to know them and see how loving they can be. And then see if you can still say you’d rather spend $500+ for a dog just because it’s purebred and young. I for one know that as long as there are dogs in need of a loving home, I will rescue before I even consider buying from a breeder.