What’s On Blog

Busting the myths that surround rescue dogs

27th August
Whether born onto the street or turned out of their homes, rescue dogs are consistently on the back paw. To add insult to injury, rescue dogs lose twice: once in their unlucky start to life, and again as they struggle to find a forever home. Sadly, there are just too many myths getting in the way of their happy ending.

Last year, we began a series of ‘myth busters’ over on our Instagram, discussing some of the myths that surround rescue dogs alongside some truly amazing examples of just how wrong, and therefore damaging, these assumptions can be. 

Rescue dogs have a hard enough time without unfounded myths getting in the way of a happier future. Through engagement and education, we can help brighten the prospects of thousands of dogs currently languishing in shelters around the world, waiting to be rehomed but being overlooked for a ‘problem’ that simply doesn’t apply to them. It’s time to bust those myths!

  • MYTH No.1 “Black dogs are less adoptable”

Sadly, dogs with darker fur tend to spend far longer in shelter than their golden or paler-haired friends. This is particularly heartbreaking when you have a litter of puppies to rehome, one of whom is consistently overlooked and left behind.

Why this is we can’t be sure: perhaps it stems from century-old traditions such as the witch’s “familiar” or the Hound of the Baskervilles; a modern view might be that black dogs are harder to photograph. Neither origins are fair and yet, time and time again our gorgeous bundles of black fluff are overlooked.

If you’d like to help bust the myth that black dogs are “unlucky” or “tricky to photograph”, and would like to adopt a dog, please meet the dogs currently looking for homes.

  • MYTH No.2 “Rescue dogs aren’t good with children”

Hundreds of the 1,500 dogs we’ve rehomed have been welcomed into families with children. From newborns to teens, we truly believe a dog can transform a child’s life, teaching them so much about resilience, forgiveness and gratitude. In return, a dog’s loyalty to those who have given them a second chance is unparalleled. So this myth, in particular, breaks our hearts. 

Recent success story, Martha, recently took on the role of big sister when her owners welcomed a baby girl. Not only is Martha impeccably well behaved around her baby sister, and knows exactly what’s needed of her, but she’s been a great source of support for the new parents.

We’re delighted that Martha, amongst many others, are paving the way to bust this particular myth!

  • MYTH No.3 “You can only adopt older dogs”

Anyone who has been following WAHF for the past few months will know just how many puppies we’ve had up for adoption, from the Sugar & Spice pups to the Pepsi pups and even the Lockdown Litter.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. After all, with an estimated 1 billion puppies born on the streets every year, there’s certainly no shortage of adorable young dogs who need a home.

If you’re serious about introducing a puppy into your home and are ready to bust a myth while doing so, please meet the puppies currently up for adoption.

  • MYTH No.4 “Rescue dogs are damaged goods”

It’s hard to say which myth is the most damaging myth, but this one is certainly the most unfair. Whilst it’s fair to say that some rescue dogs need patience, training and consistency, the same can be said for many pedigree breeds who will demonstrate a similar spectrum of behavioural issues in their lifetime. In fact, many pedigrees come with inherited traits that prove hard to train out or overcome. 

To call these dogs “damaged” is to do them a disservice: these dogs have endured a tragic start to life and come out the other side more resilient, adaptable, loyal and forgiving.

  • MYTH No.5 “You don’t know where rescue dogs come from”

We take great pride in working extremely closely with all our partner shelters and oversea projects, and the WAHF team regularly visit, so we know our dogs come from safe and ethical backgrounds and will be well cared for right up until the day you meet them. 

What sets our shelters apart, and makes overseas rescue very unique, is that our partner shelters work extremely hard getting to know the dogs in their care. They spend weeks, months and for some dogs, sadly, years getting to know them. 

Here at Wild at Heart Foundation, we believe in true transparency, we help each and every dog find their ideal home, no matter their story or how niche their requirements might be.

  • MYTH No.6 “Dogs overseas don’t need our help”

“Why dogs?” is often the first thing people ask us, closely followed by “why dogs overseas?” Our first answer is that we believe in dog; all dogs, every dog, whatever their breed or size or age and wherever in the world they come from.

Beyond that, we point to a sadder reality: there are 600 million stray dogs around the world who are, right now, being slaughtered, eaten, tortured, beaten, gassed and starved by the thousands. In fact, there are 500,000 strays in Puerto Rico alone, an island roughly the size of North Yorkshire. The UK, in comparison, has just a 10th of that number.

When you put the problem into a global perspective, we hope you’ll see why our passion for our international projects burns so brightly.

We’re bringing ‘myth busters’ back soon and will be looking at some of the assumptions that are particularly applicable to life in 2020.

We’d love to hear from adopters and fellow dog lovers about your own experiences: Have you faced certain questions about your dog that you thought were unfair? Has your dog helped debunk some of the misconceptions that your friends and family had? Do you get frustrated with the assumptions people making about your dog or the process of adopting?

Let us know and we’ll add them to our list of rescue myths to be busted – keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram!

View basket ()