So in recent years I’ve become involved to a small degree in dog rescue. I’ve had several rescue dogs over the years, helped with fundraising, fostered dogs, volunteered for a while cleaning kennels, feeding dogs, exercising, now researching why so many dogs end up unwanted …….and it is hard not to feel overwhelmed by the huge problem we have created in our throwaway society.
Take last night ……in 20 minutes looking at local Gumtree ads I came across many dogs being rehomed because their owner was moving house and the new landlord didn’t allow dogs……Or people who had “no longer” the time to give the dog “what it deserves”. Or people who’s relationship had ended and while the children, car and couch were all well worth fighting over neither of them wanted the dog in their new lives.
I came across 5 dogs all needing rehomed from one owner. I came across one lady who was selling a dogs, a dresser, a lamp and also for the princely sum of £90 was selling her 9 year old chocolate lab as she had two labs and now felt (after 5 years) that one was enough.
I look at all these beautiful trusting faces in the photos and my heart breaks. They have no say over the home you sell or give them to. They have no control over their future. They just want a roof over their heads, someone to love them, exercise them, play with them, feed and water them. Some of them will undoubtedly get that and more. They may become part of a wonderful, loving family and for them their life may get better. But as anyone in rescue knows the next family is also likely to sell them for the same reasons above or for others. They will spend their lives being passed from one home to the next. Homes where their needs are still the same but the expectations, routines, rules of the new family will differ. They don’t know what is expected from them so they become insecure and develop behaviour problems. What happens then?
What happens when no other “loving family” answers that ad? When you ring around the rescues with a variety of excuses but they’re all bursting at the seams?
I can’t even bear to write down the possibilities of what happens then.
I don’t want to be drawn any deeper into this dark place. Instead I’m going to cuddle my fat little elderly rescue then I’m going to put on my wellies and go for a tramp around the muddy fields throwing balls to tire out my two younger rescues while my newfy plods along by my side.
And I’m going to look into their eyes and promise them that I will do everything in my power to make sure that their world is never turned upside-down.