This I Believe

Andrew - Santa Cruz, California
Entered on April 20, 2007

I Believe in Adopting Rescue Animals

Right now I’m sitting on a couch in the dark at 12:30 with three of my six dogs, all of which are rescues. One of my dachshunds, Fabio, is sitting next to me trying to get me to scratch his belly. My no-eyed pit bull Stevie just went to bed. Something I just realized and rarely do think about is that if we hadn’t adopted any of these dogs, it is likely that they would all have been killed years ago.

I believe that all animals are born warm-hearted, and that if we choose to abuse them, they will turn out mean and angry. And I believe that if we choose to rescue ones that were abused because we can improve their lives, and ours, and make them warm-hearted once again.

We rescued Stevie, our eyeless pit bull, about seven years ago. He had one of his eyes gouged out by some teenagers and the other had lost vision from the same incident. The SPCA found him along some highway. We adopted him because my mom fell in love with him while he was in the shelter. The abuse this dog suffered demonstrates the horror that humans are capable of, that which no animal would do to one-another.

Another dog we rescued is Teeny Weenie, along with her son Fabio (both dachshunds), Teeny Weenie was being kept in a small crate for seven years and was used solely to breed puppies. She is very old now (about 15), and although she is still doing well; she is very skittish and frequently pees all over because of her abusive history. However, she is still very kind to us, especially after all she has been through.

The only non-allergy or financial reason why I wouldn’t recommend adopting an animal is because the pain you feel when they die. One of my first dogs was Minnie, a reverse-Dalmatian Great Dane whom we had for thirteen years until her death in 2004. I grew very attached to her and over time, and watched her grow weary. When I was twelve, Minnie was very ill, and we had to have her put to sleep. My parents arranged for a veterinarian to come to our house and kill her through lethal injection. I stayed and watched her die. While my parents were crying profusely, I did not cry, for I didn’t want her to see me crying in her last moments. Instead I smiled, and thought about how lucky I was to have had her in my life and our eyes locked as she passed away. This was a very difficult experience for me to go through that I don’t want anyone else to ever have to experience.

I believe in adopting rescue animals because it is a great feeling to know that you made a dog’s previously miserable life into something wonderful. After adopting many dogs that very few people would consider adopting, I have grown to love them more than I would ever imagine loving any “normal” dog. I have learned a lot from taking care of these animals, and I believe everyone should consider doing likewise.