For years, my daughter has been asking for a dog. My husband and I have always thought about it, but would inevitably end up by turning her down on account of us not having enough time to devote to a pet. We both work full time outside of the home. Every Monday through Friday we’d leave the house by 7:30 am and wouldn’t return until around 5 pm. I knew it wouldn’t be fair to have a dog be alone in the house all day for five days a week without any companionship or exercise.
But the great pandemic of 2019/2020 hit and suddenly we were housebound for the unforeseeable future. We no longer had an excuse to not get a dog. And the more we thought about it, the more we actually realized that we really wanted a dog. So in August of 2020, we went to a shelter (we specifically went to Don’t Be a Bully, a rescue in York, PA) and adopted the newest member of our family, Cooper “Corona” Graham.
After adopting Cooper, I found that I was drawn to everything and anything dog related. I watched animal planet, I read doggie blogs, and started noticing all of the dogs in the neighborhood as they walked by my house. It was no surprise that I found the book “Rescue Dogs,” by Pete Paxton.
Paxton works as an undercover animal investigator and has experience revealing the hidden cruelties associated with puppy mills, slaughterhouses, and many organizations that exploit animals. In “Rescue Pups,” Paxton focuses on dogs that have been abandoned, abused, and sometimes stolen. It’s an important book to read if you want to get more in depth knowledge regarding dog adoption.
Before adopting Cooper, I really didn’t know very much about how most people get their dogs. I knew that I shouldn’t shop at a pet store because those were considered “bad.” But honestly, I didn’t really know why. Paxton explains how pet stores usually get their dogs from places called “puppy mills.” Basically, a puppy mill is a large scale dog breeder and is sometimes referred to as a “dog factory.” The dogs are often kept in horrendous conditions and are neglected and abused. The dogs who are used as the breeders are put down once they can no longer have puppies.
In “Rescue Dogs,” Paxton also explains what to expect when you adopt a dog from a rescue shelter. Far too often, people believe that rescues have behavior and anxiety issues that can’t be resolved. As a result, rescue dogs are overlooked as good companion animals. However, that is far from the truth. Rescues can be amazing pets. In fact, it is more common for dogs who were adopted from puppy mills to have unresolved anxieties due to neglect and abuse they experienced before they were adopted.
One of the things that pleasantly surprised me about this book was that Paxton provides valuable information regarding how to care for your rescue dog. He gives a list of items needed before you even bring your rescue home and gives ideas on how to make sure your rescue feels comfortable and safe.
“Rescue Dogs” is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves dogs and is looking into adoption. It’s also an informative guide for anyone who wants to know the truth about the dog breeding industry. It’s important to know why dog lovers should choose to look at shelters for adoption and not pet stores or corrupt kennels. By adopting from a shelter, you are saving a life.
When we adopted Cooper, our family became complete. I didn’t realize how much I would love my little cuddle monster. But I can’t imagine my life without him.
According to the website One Green Planet, there are about 6 to 8 million homeless dogs and cats that enter animal shelters every year. Nearly half of those animals are euthanized due to overpopulation and lack of space in the shelters. If you have room in your home and in your heart, please consider adopting a dog from a shelter. You won’t regret it. I certainly didn’t!
For more information from Don’t Be a Bully (the rescue we used to adopt Cooper), please visit them at their Facebook page at: facebook.com/dontbeabully01