Rescued dogs are usually more than six months old, are
housetrained, and mainly past the 'chewing-everything' stage, they
are normally happy to be placed in a loving home. Many have been
uprooted from a loving family by some misfortune, and some have
been abused or neglected and need lots of patience and care, to get
past the trauma in their short lives.
Rescue dogs may be neutered, and should be vaccinated and at
least relatively healthy before purchase. A dog on medication for
an ear infection or arthritis can easily go to a new home; a dog
with heartworm or an active respiratory or intestinal infection
should stay put until the disease is cured to avoid the stress of
relocation while under treatment.
Most rescue dogs have had at least one home and sometimes many
homes. They may come with behavioural 'baggage' and some problems
due to the fact that they may have been rejected at least once and,
in some cases, a number of times.
Some will have been in kennels or the rescue centre for some
considerable time. This will have an effect on dogs, especially
those that are normally used to family life and constant attention.
The dog may have been put in a rescue centre because of behavioural
problems, which could include toileting indoors, excessive barking,
destructive tendencies etc.
The initial adjustment can be difficult as the dog may need to
learn to trust again or even for the first time. Separation
anxiety, fear of noises, and attempts to run away are common. But
once past the first few months, when the dog learns to depend on
the kindness of his new owners, then the bond is forged. This
however can be an exceptionnally rewarding experience.