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Why You Should Rescue Your Next Pet

With millions of animals crowding the shelters, rescuing your next pet is the right thing to do.

 

Have you ever noticed that people like to tell you when their dog is a rescue? That’s because they know they played an important part in saving the life of a deserving animal, and have gotten an amazing companion out of it. They have every right to be proud; rescuing an animal is the right thing to do. We want folks to spread the word so that others will consider the incredible good and personal satisfaction that comes from choosing to rescue. 

Rescue has been around a long time, but it’s only recently become a part of our mainstream culture. Adopting a rescued pet is the final step in a process that involves a dedicated network of volunteers who devote their time, resources, and homes to save these once-forgotten animals from bad situations, and help them find loving families. 

Many people who consider getting a new pet from a breeder or a pet store don’t realize the magnitude of the animal overpopulation problem in our country. Every year, American animal shelters euthanize seven to ten million animals. The overwhelming majority are healthy, loving, and adoptable pets whose only fault is they don't have a place to call home.

So, how does this happen? Some were brought into the world because their owners failed to spay or neuter them, and far too many owners decide that the responsibility of caring for their pet is just too much trouble, and choose to give them up to a shelter over living up to their commitment to care for them. Most of these owners probably believe that the shelters will find a new home for their pet, but with the enormous numbers and the shelters’ minimal resources, this is only true for the lucky few. That’s where rescue comes in.

Rescues work with the shelters to give these animals a voice and a second chance at life. One of the biggest misconceptions about rescued animals is that they are somehow broken or more challenging, but these are the same dogs and cats who were just recently living in your neighborhood. Rescue animals from all sorts of circumstances can transition into a well-adjusted, loving member of your family. They are very resilient, and quickly adapt to new environments and respond well to a loving home. 

Mutts Matter is a dog rescue, so obviously we’re partial to these furry friends, but rescues exist for every kind of pet, and we urge you to seek out a rescue if you or someone you know is considering bringing a new animal into your home. You can rescue dogs and cats of every age, breed, and temperament, from purebred to mutt, lazy to hyper, and in all shapes and sizes. These are normal, awesome pets who love and enrich their families. 

Below is a brief overview of how Mutts Matter Rescue works, and how a pup transitions from the shelter or life as a stray to becoming a member of your family.

 

WHERE DO OUR DOGS COME FROM

Dogs find their way into rescue through several different paths and most through no fault of their own, end up confused and alone in a shelter. Why?  An owner gets sick or moves somewhere that doesn't allow dogs. An owner adopts a cute puppy on impulse, but is not ready for the amount of work and cost involved with caring for a dog for the next 10 to 15 years. A new baby enters the family and the parents decide they no longer have time for their four-legged companion. Too often, owners surrender their dogs because it was just not convenient for them, and sometimes these dogs are taken in by animal control because their owners have neglected them. It's an unfortunate predicament for the poor pup who doesn’t understand why they lost their home and family. 

 

VETTING PROCESS

Dogs coming into the rescue are taken immediately to one of our veterinary clinic partners to have a full health evaluation. Every dog is spayed or neutered, brought up to date on vaccines, and microchipped before they are placed with a new family. Mutts Matter requires that ALL of our dogs be spayed or neutered to address overpopulation, and to ensure that it can’t be used for breeding. Mutts Matter dogs are also evaluated for temperament and personality, which helps us to place them in homes that are well-suited to their needs, and the needs of their future owners.

 

FOSTER HOMES

Rescue dogs taken in by Mutts Matter are placed in one of our volunteer foster homes, where they are given temporary shelter, care, and an enormous amount of love and socialization until we can find them a good home. Our foster homes serve as a transition for the pup from a bad situation to a new hopeful life. As the dog begins to realize they are safe and loved, they begin to trust and open up, and we can get a better sense of their personality, level of socialization, and understand the type of home and family that will best suit them.

Our foster families vary greatly, from single moms to families with four children, to graduate students, to retirees and singles who are looking for companionship and want to give back. They are your neighbors, friends, and coworkers who all have busy lives, but make time and selflessly give these innocent pups a second chance at a great life, and sometimes their first positive human experience.

Everyone benefits in the foster process. The foster family enjoys a rewarding experience and is able to see real, tangible results from the time and love they invest. The foster dog gets a break from a stressful life in a shelter or other unfortunate circumstances, and starts to learn how to be part of a family. The adopters get a dog that’s better socialized and adapted to home life, and receives first-hand insight and guidance from the foster family who has lived with and often rehabilitated their dog.

 

ADOPTION PROCESS

If you’re ready to adopt a dog, the first step is to complete an Adoption Application online. You can apply for a specific dog, or apply to be approved as a Mutts Matter adoptive family and we will work with you to find the right pup to fit your family.

Once your application is completed, your references are checked, and then a Mutts Matter volunteer will schedule a phone interview to discuss your application with you. This process helps us get a better feel for the type of dog that will best fit your family and lifestyle.

The final step is a Home Visit. A Mutts Matter volunteer will visit your home in person to meet you and get a sense of the living arrangements. This is to verify your home is a good, safe environment for one of our pups and also gives us an opportunity to answer any final questions you may have. Once you are approved, we connect you with the foster family and have you meet your pup of interest to see if it’s a match.

 

HOW WE OPERATE

Operating a rescue can be a very expensive undertaking. Adoption fees help cover only a fraction of our costs, which include routine veterinary checkups, microchipping, shelter fees, fuel for transporting new rescues, food and supplies for all of our dogs in foster care, temporary boarding facilities, behavioral training when needed, and supplemental or emergency medical treatment, which can sometimes run into the thousands. We also have basic administrative costs that include liability insurance, adoption marketing materials, and website hosting.

Mutts Matter Rescue is a 100%-volunteer, non-profit dog rescue that is run by volunteers who love animals. We rely on donations and support from our community to continue our work on behalf of the animals. Dedicated volunteers are the lifeblood of our rescue. Whether helping with transports, application interviews, home visits, fostering, or fund-raising events, there are many ways to get involved and help save dogs in need.

If you would like to Donate or get involved with dog rescue, you can fill out our Volunteer Application or contact Suzanne at suzanne@muttsmatterrescue.com

 

All of the dogs in this article's pictures were rescued by members of the local community from Mutts Matter Rescue.

Carl December 12, 2012 at 09:49 PM
And that's why you need to know the names of everyone living in my house? My employment plans? How much time we spend on vacation? I won't say any more because we've adopted some great four-legged pals and I don't wish to discourage others.
Mutts Matter Rescue December 12, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Carl you have obviously spent time and been thorough in investigating our process, so let me address your comments directly. Our goal is to find a loving, permanent home for the dog where it will live a happy, healthy life. We ask about the members of your household to ensure that the entire family is on board with the adoption. We look to confirm you are employed so we know it’s a stable home and you'll be able to provide care for the dog. We don’t call your employer or ask for records, we just ask the question, and hope folks are truthful with us. We ask about vacation to understand how you plan to handle the care of your pup when you’re out of town, and how long the dog will be alone. These answers help give us a feel for the type of home the adopter will provide. We saved these dogs from death-row and are committed to doing everything we can to ensure they don’t go back there, and that’s why our process is thorough. We bring these dogs into our homes to live with our families, kids, and other pets, and can offer a lot more insight on each dog than pups coming out of a shelter situation. We want to get to know our adoptive families, and hopefully build long-term relationships with them. Many former adopters now volunteer, foster, and have adopted again with Mutts Matter. It sounds like we would not be the rescue fit for you, and that’s OK, there are many to choose from. I’m glad to hear you chose to rescue. That, in the end, was the point of this article.
CJ December 13, 2012 at 05:30 PM
In the past, we have also tried to go through rescues and just came away frustrated. We currently have two dogs, one found on Craigslist and the other through our community web site. I must say that Carl does have some valid points. While I understand that rescues try to find the best match especially to make sure the dogs/cats don't return to the shelter, I find the application process much too cumbersome and intrusive. In fact, I know many people that refuse to use certain rescues because of this. It's too bad because there are many caring people and families that would adopt in a second. I believe that these people that are frustrated with these rescues begin to look for other means to get a dog or cat such as craigslist or even worse, buying from breeder or pet store. So my point is this, if rescues relaxed the process of adoption, I believe that many more dogs and cats would find loving and caring forever homes.
Carl December 13, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Mutts, no investigation was necessary - I just clicked on the link you provided to your application. I appreciate your taking the time to respond at length, and I think we can agree that you would not be the rescue fit for my family: CJ pretty well expresses my feelings. However, I wish your organization every success.
amiller December 13, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Maybe you came away frustrated because none of these places thought you were a good home for their dogs... Seems like the common denominator in your story is you, not the rescues. Having a dog is cumbersome; filling out a form and talking to someone about how you'd take care of it isn't. Congratulations on contributing to the criminals who sell dogs on Craigslist though!

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