It started when an acquaintance of Clare’s who had initially expressed interest in rescuing a dog ended up buying one from a Pomeranian breeder with this over -the-top website. Clare joked, “I usually don’t approve of buying fancy bred dogs, but she is truly rescuing one in this case.”
I hasten to interject here that, based on the site’s graphics and music, I was initially convinced that the acquaintance had ordered online from a puppy mill front. I began going into my “There’s no such thing as rescuing from a puppy mill” tirade. Clare assured me that her acquaintance had personally checked out the facilities, which were clean and pleasant, and that the dogs were well cared for. Moreover, after browsing the site, I found a section on housebreaking puppies that recommended positive and humane methods. So while I think it’s nuts to spend $1250 or more for a dog when you can get one from a breed rescue (if your heart is set on a purebred, although, no, you can’t check bloodlines), I’m glad I was wrong about my suspicions.
But that brings me back to my Friday topic. Rescue is trendy and lots of people throw that term around to show how compassionate they are. And others, who are holier than thou (not in the way of that website, though), tend to be purists. So who can legitimately claim to be a dog rescuer?
As Clare wrote:
If you adopt from a rescue group, you’ve rescued. If you adopt from a shelter is that a rescue? How about if your pup was a stray and you just kept him? How about if he was a stray, got turned in, and adopted out immediately (like Arch)? If you take a dog from a friend who has to move, is that a rescue? If you adopt from breeders who might turn him into a religious zealot? [Ed: Joke alert] I’m sure there’s a plethora of other categories. People have told me Arch isn’t a rescue because I didn’t get him from a rescue group, and he was incarcerated at Animal Control, but hadn’t yet gone through the Animal Shelter system.