Dog Adoption Barbara Beatteay COMM 215, Essentials of College Writing August 13, 2010 Jill Holslin Abstract Adoption of a well trained dog can be very beneficial to their human caretakers in terms such as lower blood pressure, guiding the blind, therapy assistance, and even saving a life. Owning an animal for some provides a stronger bond than that of family members, as families become increasingly dysfunctional. For those people who wish to adopt a specific breed of dog, their wishes can be fulfilled by checking with breed-specific adoption groups as well as leaving special requests with their local shelter.
Adoption of cats is also important, however, the focus of this paper will be on dogs. Adoption of animals helps to decrease euthanasia rates, the rate at which healthy animals are killed because they are unwanted. Dog Adoption According to Shelter Survivors, lucky are the dogs who are adopted from shelters as 64% of them, abused, neglected, and abandoned, are euthanized because of lack of space. With 70,000 dogs and cats born every day, as opposed to 10,000 human babies that leaves three to four million animals euthanized each year (Kilcommons, 2006).
Many are the stories of adopting dogs from shelters and the love and companionship that was provided by that adopted family member (Huxford, 2010). Dog adoption, unfortunately, is not for everyone. Elderly people on fixed incomes find the proper animal care, food, grooming, veterinary bills, expensive. The training of dogs is also a concern, dogs must be trained, to sit, stay, come, stay down, be quiet as well as heel on a leash. Dogs bore easily and need considerable daily exercise, play time with their human owner.
Many dogs are working dogs and have instincts that need to be stimulated for the well-being of the animal, for example, the Labrador Retriever is frequently employed as a therapy dog. They are capable of opening doors, shutting on or off lights, bringing certain objects to the owner, being the ears, and sometimes the eyes. Dogs have been known to save their owners when an accident occurs. The owner, two time adventure racing world champion, Danelle Ballengee, the dog, three year-old German shephard/Golden retriever mix, Taz, location, Moab, Utah (Metzler, 2006).
This adventure runner has run in places like Argentina, China, Mexico, Morocco, Sweden but nearly found disaster in Utah after reaching the half-way mark in a 10 mile run. The temperatures during the day were in the low 40’s, she had hit a patch of black ice and plummeted 60 feet down a canyon. She could tell that she was not paralyzed but could not stand. The first night, the dog slept on Danelle’s stomach after she did sit-ups to keep warm. The second night, Taz kept his distance. She finally told the dog, “I’m hurt.
Go get help. ” That was when the dog ran back up to the trail. A search and rescue team had been formed and noticed Taz on the trail (Flynn, 2008). The team tried to catch Taz, he was headed toward town but when Taz saw the team, he changed directions and led them to Danelle. She was later air-lifted to Denver where she had a titanium plate and pins inserted in her pelvis. She was told it would be two to six months before she would walk again because of the frostbite (Metzler, 2006).
Although the dog, Shannon, was inside the home when the accident occurred, a quarter of a mile away from the home, the half Border collie, half Golden retriever is also credited with saving a life. After unloading branches into a gully from the saw-toothed front-loader attachment, Ted Mandry walked back to the tractor when he noticed that the tractor had slipped out of gear, moving straight for him. He did get speared by the loader, screaming in pain. He whistled and hollered but doubted that anything could be heard over the noise of the tractor. No one knew where to find him.
His wife, Peggy would worry when he did not show up for lunch and would look in the south pasture, he told her he would be working in that area in the morning. When Peggy came home from her errands, Shannon had torn up the linoleum in the mud room and had claw marks on the door. She kept running from Peggy to the back door. Peggy put the leash on Shannon and she tugged, hard. Shannon led Peggy directly to Ted and she told Ted that she was going to go back for help. The doctors could not save Ted’s leg but he states that he gets around well with a prosthesis and credits Shannon for saving his life (Mandry, 2007).
People do still purchase their companion dog. Adoption of a specific breed from the shelters or breed-specific rescue groups is possible. The important point to owning a dog is that the decision made needs to be a life-time decision. People fail to take into consideration the psychological impact of a pet on the entire family (Frank, 2003). Although a child wants to have a cute, adorable puppy, the child may not be old enough to understand that the puppy is not a toy to squeeze constantly.
The parents may also not have educated themselves sufficiently to determine the best breed of dog for the family life-style. So when the dog scratches the child, attempting to get away from the smothering, the parents may think the dog is not appropriate for the child and leave it at a shelter. Choosing a dog is an important decision. Dogs have different energy levels and needs with each breed and these must be taken into consideration. According to the Dog Breed Info Center, the way a dog is treated reflects directly on how the dog behaves.
According to Shelter Survivors, dogs that are available for adoption have been taken from their owners for abuse, or neglect, or as strays. Dogs that are adoptable have gone through temperament testing and are regularly assessed (Kilcommons, 2006). These dogs need a loving home and will love the owner who gives them a second chance for a family. If adoption of a dog is not an option, the need is considerable for support from the community for the shelters. Showing up just to drop off dog food and bleach will help to provide for the dogs.
Providing volunteer services will be appreciated even more when a good job is completed, criticism is not provided, and other worker’s time is considered while working. Offering to walk, socialize, or train dogs will help the staff to do a better job in issues such as temperament testing and training. Three truths in rescue, agreement will be rare on which dogs are adoptable, what is to be done with the unadoptable dogs, and how the organization is to be run. That should never stop a person from helping (Kilcommons, 2006).
A huge shelter that takes in unadoptable animals is Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and takes up 33,000 acres at Angel Canyon. This is a no-kill sanctuary and after treating, temperament testing, and testing, three out of four animals are soon ready for placement in permanent homes, making way for the newcomers. Other animals too badly traumatized because of ill treatment will find a permanent home at the sanctuary. On any given day, the sanctuary is home to about 1,700 animals, mostly dogs and cats but also horses, burros, birds, rabbits, goats, farm animals, and other creatures.
The animals come from shelters that do not have the resources to rehabilitate them but will take them back for adoption once they are ready. Programs are available in which families can come, stay on-site, and help with such things as temperament testing or training. horses,s, goats, farm ad an assortment of otheConclusion Many are the breeds of dogs trained for search and rescue (SAR) who search for mines, narcotics, a lost person, alive, or dead (Kearns, 2009).
Dogs are on patrol around the world and one in particular, Wyoming, works for CHAMPS (Children Against Mines Program) sniffing for mines for removal by their handlers. More than one million land mines exist in Sri Lanka in which Wyoming works. Dogs are employed by the U. S. Customs and Border Protection Canine Enforcement Program by sniffing boats, trucks, cars, and ships for illegal drugs, explosives, and stowaways. A person would need 25 minutes to perform the search that the dog accomplishes in five minutes (Coco, 2006).
Many are the ways to help to improve the lives of dogs, for example, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ASPCA, is offering $100,000 to the shelter in the country that saves the most animals. Please review this link, http://www. aspca. org/adoption/top-10-ways-you-can-help. html, to discover the ways to assist local shelters. Dogs can be considerable work and expense to maintain their health, to train, and exercise. Out of six American Eskimo dogs I own, five are rescues, one rescued in March 2010. With proper food, water, shelter and care, their love is unconditional. Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened. ” ~unknown References Frank, Joshua, Frank, Pamela Carlisle, Attitudes and Perceptions Regarding Pet Adoption, Conference Papers – American Sociological Association, 2003 Annual Meeting, P1-20. Elder, Scott, Pet Rescue, National Geographic Kids, March 2007, Issue 368, p28-29. Mandry, Ted, Mandry, Peggy, the RESCUE, Angels on Earth, March/April 2007, p16. 20. Flynn, Sarah Wassner, Dog Rescues Owner, National Geographic Kids, Dec2007/Jan2008, Issue 378, p20. Metzler, Brian, Dog comes to racer’s rescue, ESPNOutdoors. om, December 22, 2006 Kilcommons, Brian, Wilson, Sarah, Rescue Groups & Shelters: Bridging the Gap, Dog World, Dec2006, Vol. 91, Issue 12, p46-49. Huxford, Kayla, Rescue Brings Years of Smiles, Dog World, May 2010, Vol 95, Issue 5, p80. Kearns, Colin, Not Just a Pretty Face, Field & Stream, Feb2009, Vol. 113, Issue 9, p9. Coco, P. , Dog Defenders, Scholastic News – Edition 4, (2006), p. 68. http://www. dogbreedinfo. com/about. htm http://www. sheltersurvivors. com/Shelter-Facts. htm http://www. bestfriends. org/ http://www. aspca. org/adoption/aspca-100k-challenge. html