Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rescue vs. Rehome...what is the difference?

There seems to be alot of things that are being said about my rescue group right now. A lot of accusations and assumptions are being made. I would like to take one of these things and address it.

I was angered by a statement that said "ABC just rehomes basset hounds". I thought that a "rescue group" is just that...they rescue dogs and this was a negative comment toward my group. I didn't know if I was justified in my anger, so I decided to do some research of my own to find out the difference between "rehoming" and "rescuing" a dog. This is what I have found out.

NOTE: I know that some definitions of things change from place to place and person to person. I looked up both the terms "Rehoming" and "Rescue dog" on the same source. All be it was Wikipedia, I believe they are both good definitions of each term. I will outline each below (I won't use quotes in this outline, but know that I am quoting the source mentioned).

"Rehome" refers to the process of taking guardianship of and responsibility for a pet that a previous owner has abandoned or release to a shelter organization. Common sources for adoptable pets are Animal shelter, rescue groups, pets found loose or stray without identification and which are unclaimd by any owner, advertisements placed by individuals trying to find a new home for their pet, pets that have been abused or neglected and have been confiscated from the offending owner, and online pet adoptions (you know these ones...petfinder, craigslist, etc).

"Rescue" is the event of rescuing a dog from possible euthanasia after being found as a stray, a dog that has been saved from an abusive or neglectful home by an animal rescue organization (like the spca) or a dog that is simply no longer wanted or can no longer be cared for by its owner.

Alright, so that's alot of information to take in and process. Let's break it down in the simplest terms..."Rehoming" is finding a new home for a dog who isn't wanted anymore. "Rescuing" is taking a dog out of a bad situation where the dog's life is in danger. So I sit back and think to myself...my rescue group does both of these things. They find new homes for dogs who aren't wanted for whatever crazy reason people get rid of their dogs for (I won't go into that in this blog!!), but they also take dogs out of situations where the dog's life is in danger. I could list a specific situation for each of these terms over and over within my rescue group, but I may be writing for several days.

I think that every rescue group gets dogs that are what we call "owner relinquishes", which is an owner handing over their dog to the rescue group to find them a new home for. I also think that we all go out of our way to try to save dogs at high-kill shelters and humane societies when we are able. Not every shelter or humane society will allow dogs that they have in-house to go to a rescue group. Not every rescue group can get to a dog in time to get them out of a life threatening situation. All we can do as rescuers is the best that we most possibly can do to help as many dogs (bassets in my case) as we can. Isn't that what it's all about?

So, I think that there is a definite difference between the two terms. I also think that these terms could be used in place of each other and can be done in conjunction with each other as well. As for me being angry, I still am a little bit, as I am sure that the word "rehoming" was being used to fault my group and the work that they do. And as I've said before...if you think you can do a better job of it then have at it!!! Let me know how it goes for you.

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