During the peak of isolation, due to Covid 19, animal pounds & rescue organisations reported a significant increase in pet adoptions. Some of those adoptee’s landed on their feet & are still, now living their best lives. Sadly though, a good number of rescue’s have ended up ‘back in the system’.
Back to their own isolation, back to the ‘un-known’, back to the confusion of an unsettled lifestyle. Why? I think a little because of ego & a lot because people aren’t aware of just what it takes to be responsible for a pet, let alone one that has had a former life….
Perhaps with the knowledge of the bare minimum of what it takes to adopt or even foster one of these needy souls, there would be less of them re-entering the cycle.
If you’re thinking that taking in a rescue pet will stroke your ego & give you cute content for your Instagram page – then please DON’T…
Any well run rescue organisation with a decent screening process would see right through your agenda –but for those potential adopters that put on a good act or get selected from pure desperation by inexperienced rehoming groups, they are usually the ones with whom these animal’s don’t even last the night…..
These animals (the vast majority of them being dogs), have experienced a great deal of uncertainty. Even if they originally came from a decent home & have been surrendered due to ‘unfortunate circumstances’, these dogs don’t know what the hell is going on. Their internal systems are completely out of balance & this will show in their behaviour – they could be timid, anxious & wary. Not eating, unable to settle & even vomiting.
Some of these dogs have also experienced differing levels of abuse & neglect, so not only will they show the aforementioned signs, they may also portray aggression, be highly wired & difficult to handle or the complete opposite; deeply depressed.
Tricky animal behaviour can be a reflection of an imbalance in their internal systems – mental, emotional, physical & even spiritual.
Rescue animals come with baggage. No, not a cute little port with their teddy & favourite blankie variety–serious emotional, psychological & sometimes physical baggage. There is rarely much information available about the animal’s history or experiences. This is being carried around with them every day, in their cells, organs & systems… from foster-to-foster or pound to new home even after they’ve been integrated for weeks, months or years….
This is where BodyTalk for Animals with a certified practitioner (like myself) is a fantastic modality for your pet. It uncovers what is imbalanced, why & what the root cause is & then we begin the journey of repair, re-balancing & recovery….But I digress a little.
So, what does it take to adopt or foster a rescued animal?
A soft yet practical heart. Some previous experience with animals helps too but the bare minimum is: commitment, time, kindness & patience.
Adoption is a commitment for the lifetime of the pet, so at least you have the opportunity for consistent therapy & training. Fostering is a bit of a different ball game – you need to treat them like your own but with the knowledge that they will be leaving at some stage.
I can guarantee however, that all they want is someone to give them time & a chance.
Here are some things to consider:
-Just take a step back & examine your life. Do you have time? Do you have some experience? If you’ve just brought a new baby into a household with an existing toddler -this is not the right time. If you & your partner both work 40+ hours a week – this is not the right time. If you have existing pets with no way to separate a new addition so that they are all getting their needs met– this is not the right time. The list goes on but the takeaway factor here is have a good think how a pet you fit into your current life & household…
-Do some research about breeds as they can have wide & varied needs plus some guaranteed hereditary traits.
-Look into rehoming organisations that are close to home, the less travelling for you & the animal is usually better. I volunteer with like https://centralwestanimalrescue.com.au
If you do interstate adoption, please ensure it’s from a reputable organisation & use a verified animal transporter.
-Meet & greets are a must, especially with any existing pets & please include all of the humans the animal will share residence with. If you can do more than one -that is even better. If you’re in a foster situation: meet & greet on-lead only and then when at home keep them separate for at least 24 hrs – preferably in a space where they can see, smell each other but are both equally safe.
-See if there is a trial period available where you can take your potential rescue pet home to see how you all fit together. Fostering is a great option to test whether a pet is even right for you at this time.
Once you do accept a rescue animal into your space, there’s a few things to take on.
Debi from https://www.rescuedogs101.com/ devised a simple rule to follow:
The 3-3-3 Rule: 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months
*Three days for the animal to decompress. They’ll likely be stressed, overwhelmed & not fully ‘themselves’. They may be very wary, hide, not eat, & commonly have diarrhoea.
*Three weeks to get used to the people, the house & it’s routine. Some ‘true colours’ may start to show during this period. This is the time to step up as pack leader to teach some rules & boundaries.
*Three months for them to feel comfortable & secure in their new home. Bonds are forming and glimpses of what regular life with this pet will becoming apparent. For some pets the transition is longer.
It took our rescue cat a good 6 months to be completely comfortable with her surroundings & all the people. This was with regular BodyTalk balancing as-well.
If you’ve just adopted a new friend and think they need balancing to their new environment, position in the pack please or to needs rehabilitate from their past, BOOK an Animal Therapy package through Creature Speak – it could mean the world of difference to you & them.