Earlier today, Josh, Teddy, and I encountered a sweet older man in the grocery store parking lot. The man, parked in the spot next to ours, rolled down his window to inquire what happened to Teddy’s eye. I explained that we didn’t know, and had adopted Teddy from a rescue organization. The man peered through his enormous glasses at Teddy, glanced at Josh and I, then said, “I bet he’s the best dog you’ve ever had,” going on to explain that he and his wife had adopted a dog as well.
Today wasn’t the first time I had such a conversation – many of the dog owners we cross paths with have found their best friends in shelters or rescues. Adopted dogs make ideal companions for so many families, and with countless homeless animals needing forever homes, it amazes me that folks still head to pet stores or breeders when searching for a dog. Millions of potential companion animals are euthanized each year – animals guilty of nothing. These creatures would have been loyal and loving companions had they been given the opportunity. The Humane Society of the United States comprised this list of the top five reason to adopt your companion animal. A quick Google search will produce many other organizations advocating adopting instead of purchasing.
Clearly, I feel strongly about animal adoption, which is why one of the things keeping me busy over winter break has been my new volunteer job with Friends of Retrievers Rescue. FOR Rescue is the organization we adopted Teddy through, and they are a remarkable, compassionate group of dog lovers. Based in Alabama and Tennessee, FOR Rescue works with a network of foster homes in the southeastern US, taking in animals that have been surrendered by their owners, living in overcrowded shelters, or (as in Teddy’s case) living on the streets. The animals are adopted through animal rescue websites where they can be seen by potential adopters in several states. The group rescues all breeds of dog and even some cats! I’ve been wanting to do some animal rescue work, so I was thrilled when a call went out for data-entry volunteers. My job is to receive information about the dogs from their foster families, then post them on AdoptAPet.com. It’s only a few hours of work each week, but I’m already in love with the entire process of animal rescue. There’s nothing more satisfying than hearing that one of the dogs has been adopted.
If you’re unable to adopt at this time, donating to FOR Rescue is a supremely helpful way to contribute to animal rescue and will help pay for vetting, preventative medicines, dog food, and so on. However, if you or someone you know is in the market for a new best friend, I highly recommend taking a look at FOR Rescue’s website here. I can personally vouch for their organization and confidently assert that they are some of the most animal-loving individuals I’ve encountered.
If you’re lucky, you might even find a dog as cute as Teddy!