Why Rescue?

Why Rescue?

Blair Warren, Staff Reporter

Pets are great, and many people have them, but all of us are continually facing a choice when deciding who we are bringing home: do I rescue or do I buy from a breeder? While many people fear the idea of buying a “mutt” from some shelter in the middle of nowhere, those same people don’t stop to think about where some of the “adorable puppies” come from. Many of those cute pups that we are all begging to love are from puppy mills. These puppies are churched out by the litter. Their mothers are bred with different male dogs over and over, until she can’t breed anymore, and then they euthanize her. (Unfortunately, this situation is the same for kittens.)  These horrible places aren’t even close to the only places that euthanize animals, some shelters/pounds do it, too. 


My family has two rescue dogs, Ember and Smoke. Smoke’s story is pretty straight forward. He was an “owner surrender”, meaning he was given to the shelter by the owner who couldn’t take care of him anymore, at the Snake River Animal Shelter (SRAS). Smoke, as we soon realized, wanted a friend and needed some training. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we were unable to connect with the trainer from the SRAS until late June. During those few months without training, we debated surrendering Smoke to the shelter because of how uncontrollable he was, but after a few weeks of training, he was a changed dog. He was only hyper on occasion, he was more obedient, and he was more loving. He could be around young children and babies without hurting them, but most importantly, he was able to stay in our home and we were able to know what to do for him as owners. 


Ember’s story is a bit different. When Ember was a pup, she was thrown out onto the streets of California. She had a litter when she was only about six or seven months old. When she got to a shelter in California, she was going to be euthanized, because the shelter was overflowing with animals in dire conditions. What was the reason for this overpopulation? Everyone wants the idea of a pet, but no one wants to take care of the reality of a pet, so they either turn them loose or turn them in. In short, Ember was going from a horrific life on the streets to a death that was all too soon. 


Obviously Ember lived, but we didn’t adopt her in California, we adopted her from right here in Blackfoot. The shelter that Ember was held in holds an agreement with the Blackfoot Animal Shelter. This particular shelter in California transports animals that they don’t have the room for to the Blackfoot Animal Shelter. This is where we met Ember. I knew that she was the next addition our family needed, but this story doesn’t end here with a big red ribbon and balloons to wrap up the whole shebang. Because of Ember’s life before her adoption into my family, she had to undergo intense training for a few months. Her life on the streets made her very anxious as well as distrustful and protective. She was malnourished, skinny enough that you could feel her ribs when you gave her a pet. Her coat was patchy and short. There was dirt in her ears. Worst of all, she had “fly strike” on the tips of her ears. Fly strike, by definition, is, “the infestation of an animal with blowfly maggots” (Oxford Languages). She had enormous marks from this. Anyone could see that Ember was thoroughly drained of her life when we met her. Since then, she’s gotten taller, filled out, her coat has drastically improved, and she’s let us see who she truly is. 


It’s true, having a rescue dog like Ember is hard. There are ups and downs to the entire relationship, but seeing the light in her eyes and being blessed with her presence is so much more than those downs in our lives. My family was able to give someone another shot at living because we chose to rescue instead of buy. The purpose of this article isn’t to tell you my sob stories, but to enlighten you. Shelter animals need you. They need someone who will turn the world around for them. They need someone to love and care for them, because no one else will. Consider these things before you adopt your next furry family member. Think of what these animals have been through and how you can help them.


Here are some shelters in South East Idaho: 

  1. https://www.facebook.com/blackfootanimalshelter/
  2. https://www.snakeriveranimalshelter.org/
  3. https://www.bingchs.org/
  4. https://www.facebook.com/ifanimalshelter/
  5. https://www.fourpawspetadoptions.org/home/rexburg-animal-shelter
  6. Bonneville Humane Society
  7. https://superheroanimalrescue.org/
  8. http://www.tvshelter.org/
  9. https://twinfallsanimalshelter.com/
  10. https://www.bannockhumanesociety.org/