You’ve heard a lot about rescue animals, but what are they, really? At the dog park, you’ve probably met more than one friendly face proudly smiling at their pal and proclaiming them a ‘rescue’. The term is endearingly sweet, and very meaningful to the owner, but the implications of the meaning may be very grave and shocking to you.
You see, for a cat or a dog to be considered a rescue animal, this means that they will have to have been literally rescued from a situation or shelter in which they otherwise would have been subjected to euthanasia. A rescue cat or dog literally owes its life to its owner, and rescuing a pet can create a lifelong bond of love and trust. Some animals are also considered rescues when they are taken from abusive or neglectful homes and rehomed to a responsible pet owner. Whatever the case, a rescue is an animal saved from a horrible fate by a kind-hearted person.
Just hearing all of that underscores one of the most important reasons there are to adopt or rescue rather than buy a pet: individuals selling the litters of their animals are not only committing an act that is morally ambiguous on its own, but saving an innocent animal from being killed is the obvious and superior choice. Some people may turn up their nose at an animal that doesn’t have a pedigree and is not purely bred, but ask yourself, does a thing like that really matter?
Our pets are here for us to love and take care of them, period, and whether or not they have papers to prove a pure bloodline have nothing to do with that. Our cats and dogs love us in turn for providing them with safe and loving homes, along with the occasional treat and new toy, and this is what truly matters. You can love a rescue pet just as easily as a pedigreed pet, and they can return your love just as easily, too.
You may have to prove that you have accommodations necessary for the animal that you’re rescuing, and you may also have to pay a fee. Usually these fees are important contributions that help feed the animals that have yet to be rescued, and keeps these animals from being sheltered in a place that would euthanize if they were not adopted after a certain period of time. The amount you pay to adopt your rescue pet is worth much less than the life of the animal, of course, and the love and bond you’ll experience with your pet over the years will outshine that paltry dollar sign very quickly.
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