There are many terrific, sweet, friendly dogs looking for loving forever homes in Nova Scotia. They are waiting at rescues and shelters across the province and they come in every size, weight, age, sex, breed or mixed breed you desire.
You can find most of these dogs listed on petfinder.com and they can also be posted on websites for a variety of individual rescues or shelters. You can also call the SPCA and check their online pet listings.
Many of these dogs arrive in rescue through no fault of their own. Many come from a home environment where families can no longer care for the dog. Significant life changes can lead to the agonizing, heartbreaking decision to surrender a dog to rescue. Families who make the courageous choice to contact a rescue should be embraced and supported. They should not be judged. Individuals involved in rescue will only want to assist in re-homing their beloved pet.
Moving thousands of miles away or even out of the country can be difficult on a family pet. Sometimes, the decision is made to find a new home for the pet because families worry about the health of their pet and want to put the pet’s welfare first.
Quite a few dogs in rescue are found wandering at large. They are picked up by animal control and held at a shelter until their family comes to take them home. If the dog is not wearing tags or is not microchipped, finding the family can be very difficult. If no one shows up to identify the dog and take them home, the dog will be put up for adoption after the grace period has passed. In the old days, the dog had an estimated three days of grace, but that period has been long softened and extended.
Sadly, dogs can arrive in rescue when an owner unexpectedly passes away. If surviving family members can’t care for the dog, the pet will find itself in foster care. If arrangements have not been made by the owner during their estate-planning process, a shelter or rescue will most likely be contacted for assistance.
Rescue dogs are not damaged. Most have been dearly loved and have been part of a supportive family. These dogs are social, well trained and they can bond with a new family.
There are dogs who arrive in rescue through very difficult standards. There are dogs who may have been seized by the police or SPCA officials while they investigate animal cruelty or negligence situations. If a dog has had a challenging journey, a rescue will ensure you are fully informed of the pet’s past. The rescue or shelter will also be very educated regarding the dog’s personality because the dog would have been under their care while being fostered.
Consider adopting a dog and giving that dog a second chance, or even a first chance, to be a well-loved family member. Everyone deserves a second chance.
Please be kind to animals.
Tracy Jessiman is a pet portrait artist who lives in Halifax with her husband and their three pets. She is a volunteer with Animal Rescue Coalitions of Nova Scotia. She has been rescuing animals most of her life, but more intimately, animals rescued her.