Dog Heroes Dog Ownership & Training Rescue & Adoption

Service Dogs Therapy Dogs

Rescue & Adoption

Heather Pidcock-Reed

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K E Y I C O N S T O L O O K F O R : Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more! Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout this series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field. Chapter 1: Saving a Dog’s Life Through Adoption. ............. 7 Chapter 2: How to Adopt a Dog. ......................................21 Chapter 3: Bringing Your Rescue Dog Home. ....................33 Chapter 4: Training Your Rescue Dog. ..............................49 Chapter 5: Enjoying Life with Your Rescue Dog.................63 Series Glossary of Key Terms. .........................................74 Organizations to Contact................................................75 Further Reading and Internet Resources..........................76 Index............................................................................78 About the Author / Photo Credits. ...................................80 CONTENTS


euthanize: to kill a living organism peacefully and painlessly inhumane: without compassion or mercy; heartless and cruel veterinarian: a doctor who treats injured or sick animals and works to keep animals healthy

Rescue & Adoption


Saving a Dog’s Life Through Adoption

Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog The special relationship between people and dogs began when ancient humans and wolves discovered that it was mutually beneficial to stick together. The wolves found that staying near human encampments and keeping those places safe gave them a steady source of food, while the people found that the wolves gave them protection. Over time, these wolves became further domesticated and were bred to become the dogs that we are familiar with today. While dogs still serve functional purposes such as guarding property and livestock, they are also considered companions. Many modern people view their pets as part of the family. If you’re thinking about getting a dog, you’re most likely looking forward to bringing a treasured friend and family member into your life. However, there are a few things you need to think about to be sure that you are ready for the responsibilities that pet ownership entails. Before you get a dog, you need to be sure that you can afford the expenses that pop up when you have a pet. An article on


Many dogs perform work for their owners. However, many dogs in the modern world are primarily companions.

Money.com states that “the annual cost of owning a dog depends on its size: $1,001 for a small dog, $1,214 for a medium-sized dog, and $1,448 for a large dog, excluding one-time capital costs like spay and neutering fees and a carrier bag.” These numbers were based on estimates provided by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). They include routine veterinary care, food, and other basic expenses. In addition to feeding your pup and providing it with veterinary care, you also need to be willing to invest your time and energy into caring for and playing with your pet. Dogs need to be trained in order to function well in human society. While most dogs are eager to please and learn, it can take a lot of time to reliably train a dog to behave as it should.

Rescue & Adoption


Another part of dog ownership that you need to account for is your dog’s desire to be around its people. Canines are pack animals. Your pet will see you as part of its pack and will want your attention. Having a dog means you have to make time to play with it, walk it, and engage in other bonding activities with it. If you lead a lifestyle where you are rarely home, a dog may not be the right choice for you. If you’ve taken all of the above factors into consideration and decided that you are ready to invest your time, energy, and money into owning a dog, then congratulations! You’ve just taken your first step toward pet ownership. Now it’s time to consider where to get your new canine family member. While you can always get a puppy from a reputable breeder, another option lies in adopting your pup from a shelter or rescue organization.

Providing your pup with veterinary care when it’s sick or injured is an important part of dog ownership.

Saving a Dog’s Life Through Adoption


Millions of dogs just like these are placed in animal shelters every year.

Why You Should Adopt According to the ASPCA, “Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter US animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.3 million are dogs.” The ASPCA also states that the number of dogs surrendered to shelters has actually decreased from 3.9 million. Many of these dogs have been placed into shelters through no fault of their own. Sometimes these animals are brought in as strays; other times they have been surrendered by owners who are unable to take care of them because of financial, housing,

Rescue & Adoption


behavioral, or other issues. Dogs are also brought to shelters in cases of hoarding or extreme cruelty. Most of the dogs brought to a shelter or rescue organization are great family pets—they just landed in homes where they weren’t cared for properly. Some of the most common reasons cited for

Adopting a dog saves not only that dog’s life but the life of a dog that may be waiting for a spot in the shelter or rescue you adopt from.

Saving a Dog’s Life Through Adoption


surrendering a dog to a shelter include not having the time for the animal and not having the money to properly take care of it. Sometimes an owner has a change in their housing situation and is unable to bring their pet to their new home with them. Other times, people bring in their dogs for behavioral issues that are easily addressed with proper training. The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell says, “Some people believe that shelter dogs are somehow damaged or second-rate because they were given away by their first families. This is simply not true.

You can adopt a dog of any age from a shelter. Many adult and senior dogs are in need of loving homes.

Rescue & Adoption


“Many of the animals that we take in are here because of an issue their families couldn’t resolve, but one that has nothing to do with the animal’s temperament or behavior.” The Humane Society of the United States says that “Each year, it’s estimated that more than one million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States, simply because too many pets come into shelters and too few people consider adoption when looking for a pet. The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When you adopt, you save a loving animal by making them part of your family and open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it.” The Benefits of Adopting a Dog There are a number of other benefits associated with adopting a dog. One of the biggest is the knowledge that you will not be contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. This issue is perpetuated when you purchase a puppy from a pet store, as most come from puppy mills. According to veterinarian Elizabeth Berliner, “Puppy mill dogs have higher rates of inherited and infectious diseases, and the mothers of these puppies often suffer from inhumane breeding practices and inadequate care.” By refusing to purchase a puppy sourced from a mill or other irresponsible breeding practices, you will not be giving these businesses an incentive to keep producing puppies. Another benefit of rescuing a dog is that you can adopt one of any age. There are many pros to adopting an older dog. For instance, you can get a better idea of what your new canine companion’s personality is like. Adopting an older dog also means you get to skip the time-intensive puppy stage. However, if you do want a puppy, shelters and rescues frequently have puppies available from accidental litters and stray dogs.

Saving a Dog’s Life Through Adoption



Adopting a dog not only helps your new pet, but it also benefits you. Recent studies have shown that dog owners see a number of improvements in their physical, mental, and emotional health. These benefits lead to happier and healthier lifestyles and may even lead to a longer lifespan. Findings from these studies show that dog ownership is associated with a 24 percent lower risk of death for all causes. For individuals who have had previous heart attacks or strokes, there is more than a 30 percent reduced risk of early death if the person owns a pet. One of the ways that having a dog makes you healthier is a significant reduction in stress. Cardiologist Dr. Marc Silver says, “Petting your dog is relaxing, but more than that, it can help lower your blood pressure and cut down on levels of a stress hormone. And, exercising is another way to reduce stress, which is something you are more likely to do when you have a dog.” Exercising not only reduces your stress level, but it also contributes to a healthier lifestyle. As Dr. Silver pointed out, dog owners are much more likely to engage in physical activity, which leads to healthier hearts and lower rates of obesity, as well as provides a host of other benefits. Dog ownership has also been proven to alleviate depression and anxiety. The simple act of sitting and petting an animal can help people feel better. Gary Christenson, the chief medical officer of Boynton Health at the University of Minnesota, says, “The calming presence and the social bond that pets bring can be very powerful. Animals give something to focus on instead of the negative thoughts a depressed person is prone to have. When a pet pays attention to you, they’re giving you unconditional love and acceptance.”

Rescue & Adoption


Many dogs that arrive in shelters have already undergone some form of basic training. Sometimes this was done in their first home, and other times it’s something that happens while they are in the care of the shelter or rescue. Adopting a pup that has already received a little bit of training gives you a solid foundation on which to build. When you adopt a dog, the shelter workers and volunteers will have a good idea of what the animal’s temperament and energy levels are like. These workers have likely spent some time with the dog and are committed to finding it a home where it will best fit in with the owner’s current lifestyle. The knowledge that these workers have will help you find just the right pet for you.

Scan here to watch a short video on the reality of puppy mills.

Saving a Dog’s Life Through Adoption


There are plenty of dogs just like this one available at shelters across the United States. You’ll have no problem at all finding a dog that is suitable for you.

Rescue & Adoption


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