I always have a great time helping to choose the winners for each CANIDAE photo contest. I mean, come on – who wouldn’t enjoy looking at a bunch of photos of adorable pets? The hard part for me is when I have to get down to the business of choosing my favorites. It was even more difficult with this contest, because the theme was rescued pets. So there was the usual menagerie of cute photos, but also heart-tugging stories of how the pets found their forever home.
The #CANIDAEfureverhome Contest, as it was called, received hundreds of submissions. How could we possibly declare one of these beloved pets the winner? They are ALL winners, because they were rescued, and they now have a wonderful home with people who adore them!
Nevertheless, the CANIDAE pet loving panel hunkered down and picked their favorites. I wanted to share their photos and stories here, and a few of the finalists too. I truly wish I could share every one of the touching rescue tales we received because, as I said, all of the pets win by getting adopted!
Dog Winner Chosen by CANIDAE: Macy
Macy is a 2.5 year old shepherd/collie/mystery rescue from Washington state. She was on her way to the shelter when I found her at 12 weeks. She had already had 3 families that couldn’t handle her energy, but that is what makes her the best hiking/running/adventure partner I could ask for.
Cat Winner Chosen by CANIDAE: Boots
You can see in this picture by her ear clip that Boots was originally a true born feral. I finally lured her and her sister inside, but Boots has become my savior and hero during some difficult times the last 2 years. I can do more to her than my other cats like toe rubs, belly rubs and much more. She saved my life.
People who rescue dogs and cats deserve a thank you for what they do. A rescue animal may come with scars and behavior that takes patience, love, kindness and warmth to work through, or it may be fine and simply needs help finding a forever home. The individuals and groups who offer the love and dedication necessary to help these pets get treatment or healing and help them find a new forever home, are a very special breed of human being. To deal with the issues some rescue animals have takes strength and courage as well as understanding, persistence and dedication.
Whatever the reason a dog or cat is in need of rescue, the people and organizations who help rehome them deserve praise that is often left unspoken. We as humans are the guardians of these beautiful, loyal and loving creatures. Animal rescuers take that a step further and practice the best of human kindness to fight for those creatures who cannot speak for themselves.
This poem about rescue pets was written from the animal’s point of view.
It takes a certain kind of heart to rescue dogs, and Diane Perrigo is all about that kind of heart. Living between two countries, Diane and her husband Alan have spread the care across the border as well, spending time in both California and Baja, Mexico.
Diane remembers having dogs as part of her family when she was growing up, including a St. Bernard and Dachshunds that were pheasant hunting dogs of her fathers, but the importance of rescuing dogs in need did not hit home until about 20 years ago.
Her basic philosophy behind her dog rescue efforts is, “If I can help get a dog in need to a good home, I want to.” Her time and efforts include offering temporary foster care, transportation for dogs on their way to a new forever home, and helping to find a home for dogs in need. “I want to prevent the unnecessary killing of so many unwanted, abused or neglected dogs,” she told me. She believes that somewhere there is a home for each of these dogs, and she wants to help find them that home. Over the years, Diane has helped rehome dozens of dogs.
(CANIDAE loves rescue pets! They are running a “rescue” themed photo contest this month, and three lucky pet owners will each win a six month supply of premium quality CANIDAE food for their dog or cat. The details are at the end of this article.)
It is a wonderful idea to adopt a dog or cat in need of rescue. Every animal deserves a chance at a good life with a loving family. For a dog or cat lover, it’s a natural thing to want to give a home to an animal in need. Realistically though, it’s a good idea to look for one that is well suited to your life and living situation, and not just adopt because the animal is cute and in need. The relationship is for a lifetime, so it’s important to determine if a particular dog or cat is the right fit for you. Here are some things to consider.
The Pet’s History
No matter the age of the dog or cat, you are adopting an animal with a history of some kind. In the case of homeless, deserted or abused animals, they may arrive with behaviors that take some adjusting and retraining. Because of their past treatment, a rescue animal may have issues that require a special kind of patience to help overcome.
Adopting a rescue dog is a wonderful way to bring a new canine family member into the home. However, some rescue dogs are frightened by humans because of bad experiences with previous owners or homelessness which did not give them any bonding experience with humans. It takes patience and understanding to deal with a scared rescue dog and to help them acclimate to you and to their new home.
A skittish rescue dog may show his fear by being overly timid, withdrawn and untrusting or displaying signs of depression. Some may feel threatened by new people, situations and surroundings.
Warm Up to a New Home
When you first bring home a rescue dog, keep them confined to one area so they don’t feel so overwhelmed. Let them slowly get used to the new smells, sounds and sights around them. At first, your new rescue pet may seem jumpy, unsure and unable to relax. Keep the environment stress free for them. Use gentle commands, soft voices and quiet surroundings until they feel more at ease. They will eventually get used to the stimulation, but in the beginning, keep it a controlled non-threatening environment for them. As your dog begins to explore and perhaps timidly reach out, they will learn that your home is their home and it’s a safe place to be.
Although I’m not in the market for a new dog at the moment, when the time comes I will get a rescue dog. There are plenty of great dogs in need of a forever home out there. But what if you’re looking for a rescue dog to adopt, yet still want to get a purebred or a specific breed? That’s when you need to know how to find a rescue program for the type of dog you’re looking for.
Check with Breeders
Many dog breeders are approached when a dog needs a home, but they can’t take in all the dogs of a breed so they need to be able to tell people who to get in touch with for a rescue. Because breeders specialize in a specific breed, they often know a lot of people who deal with the same kind of dogs. When a person cares deeply about a breed and wants to be helpful, they will know of a reputable rescue where you can find the dog you’re looking for.
Simply use your search engine to find rescue groups and then narrow down the search with the breed you are looking for. BUT keep in mind that not all rescues are the same. Do a little research, check out their website, and try to locate people who have worked with the rescue to make sure it is a reputable program. Facebook is a great way to find out what people think of an organization and what their experiences have been.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.