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Most rescue and shelter dogs are dangerous?

By on February 26, 2018

Many folks believe shelter and rescue dogs are damaged, difficult to live with, and beyond repair. Often, those folks disqualify those animals when shopping for a new family pet. We hope we can change their minds here because, frankly, those folks are wrong. Pictured to the right is Zoey- you can read about her below. She’s not dangerous or vicious. Her owner calls her perfect. She’s from a shelter.

Pets in Omaha just published the story of Ralston’s mayor, Don Groesser, and his new dog Zoey. Don and his wife were searching for the perfect canine companion and found it at the Nebraska Humane Society. Saying one person’s experience is representative of all experiences is silly, so we’d like you to know that Groesser’s story is only one of thousands that come from just the Humane Society every year.  Read the Groesser family’s story about finding the perfect shelter pet here. 

Also, we’ve been highlighting a legislative bill that’s currently in Nebraska’s Unicameral which proposes that, among other things, pet stores in Nebraska should only sell animals from shelters and rescue. In a recent edition of the Omaha-World-Herald, a Public Pulse story about this pet store animal bill caught our eye.

To make a long story short, here’s why the bill has been proposed: Pet stores, like Tully’s and Pets R Us, sell puppies. Most of those puppies come from large, commercial breeding facilities we call puppy mills. In order to cut mills out of the story, animal advocates want mill dogs out of the stores and shelter/rescue animals in. The bill also contains language that provides consumer and animal safety measures. Animal advocates love the bill.

Why would anyone oppose the bill? If you are one who does, we’d love to see you comment on this story’s Facebook post which will be found on the Pets in Omaha Facebook page. One may not support this bill because one thinks it will harm small businesses like Tully’s and Pets R Us. It’s true that those stores wouldn’t be able to sell shelter/rescue dogs for $1,200 like they sell their mill dogs for, but there’s much information out there that tells folks how to run a financially-successful, humane pet store, too. Also, one would oppose this bill feels it would harm breeders of the animals sold in pet stores. This could also be true, but the bill is simply placing the welfare of thousands of animals over a few folks who value pennies more than puppies.

The Public Pulse story, which can be found at the World-Herald link above, says a few things that animal advocates would argue with. For one, Troy Burress, the author of the World-Herald comment, reasons that because he knows one rescue dog that bit people that most animals from shelters and rescues are going to be violent. Burress says he had a family member who adopted a rescue dog, he was a biter, and this is, therefore, common. This is a big old generalization that is unfair.

We’re not going to dissect the entire commentary from Mr. Burress and he’s got a right to make his voice heard. But when his reasoning includes a statement like “Puppy purchasers should have options”, (the headline for the story) we would ask him to consider this:

Nebraska has hundreds of rescue organizations. The Nebraska Humane Society adopts out thousands of dogs every year. There are shelters peppered all over the state. We also know that rescues ALL OVER THE COUNTRY will gladly find a way to get the dog you want delivered to your door. There is no shortage of adoptable animals in Omaha, in Nebraska, or anywhere else.

Puppy Mill Free Nebraska, an animal advocacy group, said this on its Facebook page yesterday:

WE’RE insulted that anyone would overlook the facts and hold hundreds of thousands of breeding dogs captive in puppy mills based on one unfortunate experience. This piece is insulting to the tens of thousands of dogs in rescue, most often through no fault of their own, and insulting to the rescues/people that work tirelessly for them.

If Mayor Don Groesser’s story proves anything, it’s that Zoey, his Humane Society pup, is an example of what can be found at a shelter. And Zoey isn’t a rare occurrence. A rare occurrence is the one reported in the Public Pulse about a rescue not placing a dog in a satisfactory environment with a satisfactory disposition.

Do you support the bill? Is the author of the Public Pulse article being fair? Are we being fair? Let us know on our Facebook page or log in here to leave a comment we’ll surely discuss.

Don’t stop adopting from shelters or rescues. Keep advocating for mill dogs. Be educated. By doing all these things, we can all make the world a better places for animals and the people who love them.

About Eric Forrest

Eric is a pet lover, bookworm and dad. He's had 5 family dogs, 4 cats, a cottontail rabbit he nursed back to health, and two ducks. Cats are his preference, but Eric loves all little critters.

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