It seems that every time I’m with a group of people, the conversation turns to pets.  Could it be that I only hang out with animal lovers?  Is it also very possible that I’ve become incapable of speaking about anything else?  At a 4th of July party, I was telling someone about Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue where I volunteer and adopted two dogs.  

“Why would a Golden Retriever need to be rescued?” the person asked incredulously. He obviously had never lived with a one-year-old untrained, rarely exercised Golden!  But that’s not the only reason why a Golden Retriever rescue  and other rescue groups and shelters are so necessary.

Over the past couple of decades, Goldens have become one of the most popular dogs breeds with the reputation of being a great family pet.  And they are great, but a Golden Retriever requires exercise and training as well as frequent grooming.  Not all families have time for this maintenance.  And an untrained, unexercised Golden may and will develop bad manners such as destructiveness, jumping on people, pulling on the leash, etc.  So with the combination of the large number of Goldens purchased plus some owners’ lack of time or knowledge of the breed’s requirements, Golden Retriever rescue organizations remain quite busy.   Labrador Retrievers have unfortunately also fallen into this category of being very popular yet misunderstood, as well as other popular breeds.  There are rescue groups in existence in just about every state for each breed of dog.

There are many other reasons why pets are surrendered to rescue groups and shelters:  divorce, moving to a place that will not accept pets, allergies, new baby, financial issues, unwilling to spend money on the pet’s health care, lack of time to spend with the pet.  And of course, there are the rescued puppy mill breeder dogs who get surrendered to shelters and rescues.  

These issues are universal for surrender of pets and are not unique to just Goldens and Labs. Still so many people inaccurately assume that pets in shelters and rescues are there because of behavior issues.  Yes, some are, but many are there for the reasons noted above that are not their fault.  Please give rescued/shelter pets a second chance.

Book update:  Puppy Mills Dogs SPEAK! is only days away from being released!  It’s exciting to be so close to seeing my dream come true after three years of work on the book.   Please subscribe to my blog to receive the announcement as soon as the book is ready.  I now have readers all around the country, and I’m counting on you to spread the word!