Rebecca and Steve are two of the most caring people I’ve ever met in my life. They’d give anything to save, feed, shelter, and love in-need dogs (and other animals).
Since dogs, especially German Shepherds, are so close to their heart, in 2013 (after fostering for 2 years) they founded Palace of Paws; a non-profit dog rescue that focuses on German Shepherds.
I realize that, before I met Rebecca and Steve, I didn’t really know (or cared to research) the difference between adopting a rescue dog, and buying a dog from a store/breeder. Even though hubby and I adopted our gorgeous 8 month old black lab mix Chloe (she’s now 9 years old) from the local shelter, I didn't have a true understanding of how important adopting a dog is vs. buying from a store or a “breeder”.
Disclaimer: It is not my intention to undermine legit breeders that have a legitimate business and care about the well being of their dogs, and are focused on quality rather than quantity. I’m referring to the so called puppy-mills that reproduce popular breeds in massive quantities for sell and re-sale purposes (that made my stomach turn just typing it).
I find it a bit disturbing that this issue is so misunderstood and that so many people are poorly educated on where and how to properly and humanely look for a lovely pet.
So here are some tips from these pet heroes on how to search for a pet, how to spot a shady for-profit puppy mill, and what to do if you encounter one of those while searching for your new best fur-friend.
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH.
The first thing you should do is to google where your local rescue is located. There are several websites that are great to help you narrow it down. You can search www.petfinder.com and www.adoptapet.com to contact a good rescue.
2. BEWARE OF FAKE RESCUES AND/OR PUPPY MILLS.
They just breed to sell, make money and line their pockets. A good rescue makes sure all animals are vetted and fixed before adoption. Also, a good rescue will do a home check, a vet check, and some do background checks. A fake “rescue” that’s in just for the money will give a dog up for adoption with no records or vetting. They don’t care who gets the pup.
3. REPORT SHADY RESCUES.
If you happen to encounter a fake rescue or a so called puppy mill, report it! Don’t let them get away with this inhumane crime! Dogs (and cats) are living, loving animals that will take care of you, if you take care of them. They will be part of your family and love you forever without caring how you look, or what you do. They’re not a commodity for others to get rich. Ask yourself, would you report someone that is selling their children for profit? Absolutely! Call your local animal control department, humane society, or police station and open a claim against any suspicious unscrupulous sellers.
4. PREPARE YOURSELF BEFORE YOU ADOPT.
“We look for people who genuinely love their animals. Who always make sure they are cared for. Ones who will treat animals as family and not as yard decor or keep them chained”. If you are not going to treat your dog as part of the family, don’t bother adopting a dog. There’s nothing sadder than seeing a dog chained to a tree in the back yard. They have feelings too, you know.
Over the past few years, I’ve seen them rescue, foster, and transport hundreds of dogs, saving their lives from the inevitable death that they would’ve encountered in a shelter. Yes, you read it right. If the dog is in a “kill” shelter (which most are) and he/she is not adopted or claimed within a few days (or hours) they get euthanized.
Let me tell you two stories about two puppies that would’ve never survived if it wasn’t for Rebecca and Palace of Paws.
Little Ms. Addy was 6 weeks old and (along with her sister) were on their way to be euthanized that afternoon. Rebecca. Here’s her story:
“I was going into Rutherford NC shelter to pick up an German shepherd that was going to be killed that day. As I was walking out, there was a lady coming in with these 6 week old pups that were going to be euthanized that day. I said, no way let me have them also!. They said ok, so I brought her home, had her about 2 weeks when she and her sister broke out with Parvo :( it can kill them so fast if not treated. I rushed her to the er vet the day the signs started. We treated her and her sister at the vets with a grand total of $637 dollars. That was just the vet bill. We then needed to make sure to get special baby food to feed them, meds, and fluids. Plus gloves, because for 10 days they needed to be isolated. They could not be together or around other dogs. But I knew it would be 2 weeks of hell for the rest of a healthy life. So we did that. Then she grew healthy daily. She was strong and had no issues after and the vet cleared her for normal play and activities ;)"
I adopted her to a family I call friends. They treated their animals with nothing but love from the day I met them when my older weenie mix dog ran into their yard lol . I knew it was a life of love. Plus they have this awesome lol girl who I knew would love Skylar. They wanted to adopt a allergies dog for their family and one their daughter could grow with. They are awesome and loving. Even though Skylar turned out to be a smaller but bigger girl. They still love her.
Not long after we adopted Skylar (formerly known as Ms. Addy), Rebecca found Flora, abandoned in a ditch near the house. At first she thought it was Skylar, because they looked very similar from a distance, but then she realized that this little pup was pregnant, malnourished, and left to die in a ditch. (insert an angry face here...despicable human being who did this). She took her and named her Flora.
Ms. Flora had to have emergency C-section, and treatment for cherry-eye. Unfortunately, all of her pups were already deceased in the womb due to the extreme circumstances she went through. Rebecca paid for the surgery and treatment out of her own pocket and saved her life. After she recovered from the surgery, the emotional recovery began. Flora was very scared of people (I don’t blame her). But with their love and safe environment provided, she eventually rehabilitated. “We adopted her out to a family with a mom who is at home and knew what they were getting into with her scared not wanting the trust anyone. She is happy as can be she has gained trust and found love with her family and now approaches anyone she meets with no worries thanks to her family.”
Rebecca is a super woman in the flesh. She manages to work hard rescuing in need pups, and transporting them to other rescues so they can be saved and adopted. She also fosters when she’s able to. She has a beautiful family and two amazing children that are a perfect example of compassion and good-heartedness. All out of her pocket and without asking for anything in return. You can’t find people like her just anywhere.
If you love animals, please volunteer at your local dog shelters, or donate to legit non-profit rescues. Every penny helps!
For donations to Palace of paws please visit www.paypal.com and donate to firstname.lastname@example.org. Many fur-friend will be saved with your help!
If you know someone in your community that is an example to us all, send us their story! ContactRealLifary@gmail.com.