Anyone who has ever been a pet parent knows what an amazing experience it is, regardless of where your furry bundle of joy has come from. These days, many people choose to adopt pets from a local animal shelter or rescue organization. Not only are they making their own lives better in rescuing their pet — they’re saving a life, too!
While interviewing animal rescue volunteers for one of our latest features, Real-life Heroes: Animal Rescue Volunteers Share How They Keep Fighting the Good Fight, the Rover.com team learned all sorts of things about the wonderful creatures waiting for their forever homes from the people who know them best.
Here are three surprising things we learned that rescuers want everyone to know.
Rescuers often work with other agencies to rescue these animals
Unfortunately, cases of animal cruelty occur every day — and that’s how many of these furbabies end up with the people fighting for their rights.
“The horses we rescue come from abuse cases when law enforcement removes them from their homes due to abuse and neglect,” explained Melanie DeAeth, President and Founder of True Blue Animal Rescue in Texas. “The dogs and cats in our care are usually strays, but we do take in abuse cases, too.”
In fact, many rescues work with local law enforcement agencies and even other nearby rescue organizations to give animals in need a second chance at life.
But the community teamwork doesn’t end when animals are placed in rescue. For example, True Blue Animal Rescue has allies in the veterinary field to help with their care, especially when it comes to spaying and neutering.
“The key is to spay and neuter to end overpopulation, but we need everyone’s help to get the job done,” she said.
True Blue is one of many organizations that will even spay and neuter pets for owners in need who didn’t adopt through their program to help make an even bigger impact on their community.
“True Blue Animal Rescue will pay to spay and neuter pets of the people who contact us and ask for help. We work with several low-cost clinics that will bill us, so there are a few options of where people can go. We’ll pay to spay or neuter dogs and cats, and to geld horses, too!”
Animals are sensitive — they understand when something wonderful is happening
People often talk about how their furry friends have a keen sense of what’s going on in the world around them — dogs light up when their human is giddy with excitement, and cats become extra-cuddly when the person they “own” is curled up sick on the couch.
And according to Ted DuPuis, President, Founder and Chief Pilot of Cloud 9 Rescue Flights in Kansas, they also know when their lives are about to take a turn for the better.
“They know on the transports that their lives are about to improve. I don’t know how they know it, but they do!” he told us of the animals he shuttles by airplane to their new beginnings. “They’re obviously nervous at the start, but they also seem to have a remarkable calm about them. They know something is changing, and they simply trust that it’s for the better — which is one of the wonderful traits of dogs in general.”
Then again, even with a sixth sense, there are still a few things that catch them off guard.
“When I fly dogs in winter from Texas to New Hampshire, that first breath of the frosty air does surprise them!” Ted laughed.
If you choose to rescue, you’re not limited in your choice of pet
While many people in search of a new family member aren’t sure what exactly they’re looking for, others hold fond memories or a familiarity with specific breeds, and therefore have a clear picture about the pet they’d like to bring into their home.
But whichever end of the spectrum a potential pet parent falls upon, their new best friend may just be waiting to be rescued!
“We have just as many purebreds in rescue as we do mixed breeds,” confirmed Lisa Jensen, Board Member of Safe Haven Animal Rescue in Oklahoma City. “What we get a lot of is that people want a purebred, or they need a hypoallergenic dog for allergies. We have those in rescues.”
She also admitted that many of these little (or big!) ones come from humble beginnings, so making a rescued purebred a permanent part of your family is still saving a life in a very meaningful way.
“In Oklahoma, we have a problem with puppy mills, and we often get the rejects from the mills. Those kids are great dogs, and purebred!”
Are you searching for a particular breed, but can’t find one in your local rescue? Lisa assured us that you can still rescue your new best friend.
“Even in the shelters, we have so many purebreds!” she said.
Every animal has a story — and the Rover.com team was incredibly touched to learn even more about the tales behind the lives of rescue pets! If you’re looking for a new forever friend, consider reaching out to your local shelter or rescue.
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This article was written by Kelly Wright. Kelly explores and celebrates the magical and mysterious bond between pets and people for Rover.com’s Animal Heroes section.