I am greatly troubled by the lack of knowledge and education possessed by animal rescuers. There! I said it.
Rescuing is not just about getting an animal off the streets and putting it up for adoption for any Tom, Dick and Harry to adopt. It is not an overnight process that should leave you feeling pride at ‘saving an animal’s life’. It is not about increasing the adoption turnover only to have the return rate increase. And it is certainly not about making sure your rescues find a home as soon as possible so that the rescuer’s financial burden and obligations are alleviated.
All those who champion the rights of animals should make an effort to understand the importance of ‘ComPETability’. This is exactly as it sounds – you must identify the right match between a canine’s personality and human / families dynamics.
Think of it this way – similar to human compatibility is about finding two individuals that match so closely that the chances for a failed union are next to impossible, comPETability is about doing the same for the pairing of a domestic animal and its human. Imagine having to ‘return’ a potential partner because you both discovered that you just don’t ‘vibe’ together. We have forgotten that it works the same way with dogs and people. Rescuing and rehoming, while satisfying does not serve any benefit if the match isn’t perfect in the first place.
In this column, I will share stories of animals that we’ve rescued and what we’ve learnt along the way. It is my hope that as you read these stories, you, too, will understand what is truly needed of you before you rescue a dog.
I promise you this: more than entertaining you with my stories, once you know the ins and outs of pet rescue, placing dogs with compatible forever homes will be one of the most rewarding things you ever do.