Rescue animals have a story to tell

By: Lauren Gibbs, Associate Editor
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There’s something special about a rescue animal. They seem to appreciate just how lucky they are to be brought into a caring home with a warm bed, full bowl of food and too many play toys to count. And at shelters like Placer SPCA, or Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Roseville, there are tons animals in need of just that. Animals come in constantly, whether they’re the unfortunate result of a home foreclosure where the family is unable to care for the pet, or an abusive owner – each one is looking for a forever home. It’s quite a commitment to bring a four-legged creature into your life, but well worth it. Almost every animal I have owned has been some sort of rescue effort. The most recent has been Sadie – a playful, destructive and adorable yellow Labrador mix. At a little over a year old and 80-plus pounds, we found her at the Sacramento SPCA. In our search for a dog to bring into our family, my husband, Alex, and I searched for weeks. During one stop in a shelter in Placerville, one of the volunteers was hopeful we would find “our” dog – in fact, she said “our” dog would find us. We didn’t find our match at that particular shelter, but we remained optimistic in our search. A few weeks later, at the Sacramento shelter, we came across Sadie. She didn’t bark or whine at us like the other dogs, but was simply curious. She loved to run around and would do anything for a treat. About six months later, she still loves to run and will do almost anything if a treat is involved. While adopting her and filling out the paperwork, we heard her story. She was about nine months old, not yet potty trained and had spent her life outdoors. Staff said her former family had to move and could no longer care for her. The first few weeks with Sadie, we learned even more. She didn’t know how to play fetch or tug-of-war. She had never been introduced to stairs. She hadn’t learned any commands yet. And she wasn’t sure how to be around and play with other dogs. That all changed very quickly. As we introduced her to the dog park and walks, she became a huge fan of meeting new people and other dogs. It didn’t take long for her to pick up on the rules of fetch and she knows a handful of commands. Adopting Sadie made me think of two things – first, why would someone adopt an animal they could not devote the time to care for? And second, that I was happy the family realized this and took her to a shelter where she could find a forever home. Adopting an animal is a big commitment and too many times a family pet is left without playtime, walks and time with people and other dogs. At the Placer SPCA, there are events constantly that help people find their perfect animal companion. Whether it’s a cat, dog or other animal you’re considering as an addition to your family, rescuing an animal is a great way to go. Rescued animals seem to know how fortunate there are to have found their forever homes.