When did 'adoption' become 'rescue'?

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#1
OK, full disclosure - I thought adoption was a bit twee, but it was better than 'rescue'. It's so self-important, but it did make limited sense when it was basically used to differentiate between adopting from a shelter and adopting from a private organization such as an AKC group. Now, though, everyone uses it to refer to their dog - I rescued him, he's a rescue. I always want to ask "Wow, really? Wasn't it scary running into a burning building?" Come on. Many so-called 'rescues' are from no-kill shelters or adoption groups that aren't about to euthanize the dog.

Well, that's my take on it. But seriously, when did the terms switch? I bought my last shelter dog in 1999, and it was still adoption then.
 
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#2
My personal experience

OK, here goes: I state that I've "rescued" my new dog Rags. Why? Because he had been at the shelter nearly 6 mos. I see the shelter as a jail for dogs when they've been enclosed in a kennel for months & never allowed to RUN & be a dog.

I didn't "adopt" him because the shelter was so grateful I agreed to "try him out", they waived the adoption fee, micro chip, and a trainer offered free sessions also.

Had I paid the adoption fee, I would have stated I adopted him.

In the long run-what does it matter which term is used? Rags has a home now regardless of whether he was "rescued or adopted". He could care less how I refer to getting him here!

Maybe I totally missed your point?
 

bonster

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#3
:confused: No burning building here... but the no-kill shelter mine both came from 'rescued' (I think the term is fine) both dogs from a life in the wild (in Zelda's case a very patient process over weeks of coaxing her to trust and come in from the wild...)
Out here the wild life is obviously dangerous... (accident... hunger... illness... risk of maltreatment... even violent death...) and I took them both from this shelter (where the shelter workers do what they can, but the dogs quality of life is limited) into a home.... is 'adoption' a better word?
 

Zoom

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#4
The way I see it is that you "adopt" those dogs who were merely owner turn-ins, or a litter of puppies that was born after the mother entered into the program. "Rescue" is for puppymill dogs, strays and abuse cases.
 

pup-man

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#5
Here are my thoughts on this:

If you take a dog away from a place that may euthanize him/her, cause physical or mental harm, then you are "rescuing" that dog.

If you get a dog from a place that isn't jeapordizing the dogs health in any way, then that would be an "adoption".

.... so.. if you get a dog from a kill shelter, you rescued that dog... if it's from a non-profiit no kill shelter, that would be an adoption :)
 

Roxy's CD

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#6
I say I "rescued" Roxy, because she was an "unwanted pregnancy" by people who did not care for their dogs. Their three animals were tied to a ten foot chain 24/7. I imagine she would've been put in a plastic bag and drowned if I didn't drive 3.5 hours to get her.

As for my pitty, I call him a rescue because I got him about a month before the pittbull ban was in effect from a guy who just wanted to have a pittbull litter to say he was tough. I consider it a rescue because at least 2 of the 7 dogs from the litter have been euthanized since their birth in august. Why? Because the "BREEDER" ROFL, didn't search hard for truly good homes for these now outcast animals. In ontario it takes a responsible dog owner to truly take care of a pittbull....

I think if the dogs quality of life wasn't that great or their life wasn't going to go on much longer, I think it's fine to call it a "rescue". Your rescueing them from a horrible life!! I think it fits just fine.
 

J's crew

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#7
I rescue dogs, i.e. I take them out of a bad situation. I bring them in off of the street. I feed them when they are starving, give them vet care when needed. The people that get a dog from me adopt them. The certainly do not buy them as the amount of time and money involved is way above the fee charged.

Why does it matter if the term is self-important. In the end the result is the same. Someone opens their home and heart to a unwanted or uncared for animal.

It is a GREAT feeling when you make a difference in a animals life. If that is self-important, so be it. :)
 

RD

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#8
If a dog is from a shelter or rescue group, I call it a rescued dog. Not necessarily because you rescued it, but because that is the situation it came from. It's so much easier to say "he's a rescue" than to explain the entire history of the dog in detail every time someone asks where you got him. :p
 

jn527

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#9
I don't know our first was an adoption I guess because he was given up by his family because their kids were allergic (strange he's a Bichon), and our newest Bichon is a rescue because he was dumped in a kill shelter, adopted, then given up to a no kill because of his "aggressive" tendancies.
 

Brattina88

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#10
I've never really paid attention to how I word it.

I think I usually say that I "adopted Missy from the pound." I do stress that, because most people ask me what lines she is from - I want people to know that you can get amazing dogs from pounds and shelters. It was a kill-pound, but they had an excellent spay/neuter program after you adopt. I wish the local dog pound would take lessons from them!

I know I say "rescue" in Charlie's case, because I took him directly from his former owner due to the living conditions . . .
When I self-foster I usually say rescue
When the rescue places a dog with me to foster I usually say... foster, lol
 

Giny

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#11
RD said:
If a dog is from a shelter or rescue group, I call it a rescued dog. Not necessarily because you rescued it, but because that is the situation it came from. It's so much easier to say "he's a rescue" than to explain the entire history of the dog in detail every time someone asks where you got him. :p
That's how I see it also. The term "rescue" for when I describe Tilly, "she's my rescue dog", is more in a sense that she's from a rescue organization. She's not my rescued dog.
 
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#12
RD said:
It's so much easier to say "he's a rescue" than to explain the entire history of the dog in detail every time someone asks where you got him. :p
I suspect that's the core reason for the spread of 'he's a rescue' - it's shorter and easier. I'm kind of tickled at how varied the response is, and how different people use 'rescue' and 'adopt.'

I think I usually say that I "adopted Missy from the pound." I do stress that, because most people ask me what lines she is from - I want people to know that you can get amazing dogs from pounds and shelters

Good idea. That's something that I do get worried about with 'rescue,' that people are going to skip the shelters and head for the rescue groups. Not that rescue groups don't need help, but I think the increased
visibility of rescue groups gives people the impression that shelters are left with the dregs, and all the nice, sane dogs are taken into rescues.
 

Mike_SK

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#13
I agree... we can take dogs out of a bad situation, but does that make it a 'rescue'? Its a very self promoting word. I got my dog from the SPCA and although they're a kill shelter I'm sure she would have gone home with someone else had I not gotten her. I adopted her.

I like to feel like I may have saved her from death or another home (which I can only assume would be less caring than mine lol ) but I don't know if I can make that final leap and say that she needed to be 'rescued'.

Whats wrong with the word adopt? I say keep the word adopt unless the dog was beaten, was on the brink of death or truly in need of 'rescue'.
 
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#14
casablanca1 said:
I suspect that's the core reason for the spread of 'he's a rescue' - it's shorter and easier. I'm kind of tickled at how varied the response is, and how different people use 'rescue' and 'adopt.'

I think I usually say that I "adopted Missy from the pound." I do stress that, because most people ask me what lines she is from - I want people to know that you can get amazing dogs from pounds and shelters

Good idea. That's something that I do get worried about with 'rescue,' that people are going to skip the shelters and head for the rescue groups. Not that rescue groups don't need help, but I think the increased
visibility of rescue groups gives people the impression that shelters are left with the dregs, and all the nice, sane dogs are taken into rescues.
I was begining to think you either didnt grasp the difference between a rescue and an addoption, or you where just trying to stir the pot. Im glad it was the former and not the latter.
 

smkie

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#15
Victor was rescued from the kill shelter when his time was up and went to a rescue kennel to give him extra time. So he was adopted after he was rescued. That is often the way it works. I know wayside waifs is one shelter that goes into the Animal control pound and takes anyone that they think is adoptable to their location to do the same. Then their are breed groups that go to these kill shelters and do exactly the same thing.
 
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#16
blue said:
I was begining to think you either didnt grasp the difference between a rescue and an addoption, or you where just trying to stir the pot. Im glad it was the former and not the latter.
I understood the difference - my question was when did the two get so interchangable. I think brevity is a reasonable if possibly generous interpretation, but I still prefer adopt to rescue.
 

Mordy

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#17
I don't think I regularly use either word. When people ask me where I got him, I usually just say "I got him from the shelter".

I agree with the differentiation of "rescue" being a situation where a dog is removed from imminent danger to health and/or life, and "adoption" takes place where a dog is rehomed without such a threat. So a rescue organization rescues dogs, but they are then adopted out to new homes. If you pick up a stray dog off the freeway or something, you rescued it.

What totally rubs me the wrong way is when people who bought a dog from a pet store or commercial kennel use the phrase "adopted". You buy a dog at a pet store or from a commercial breeder, the puppies have been bred for the sole purpose of making a profit for cripe's sake! :mad:
 

ihartgonzo

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#18
I never say I "rescued" Fozzie or Gonzo, but I do say they are from "rescue". Because they are. Gonzo would've been dumped or turned into a very high kill shelter. Fozzie's mom was extremely malnourished & sick sitting in a kill-shelter and pregnant. I don't feel that Fozzie would be alive right now if it weren't for the rescue pulling his Mom, so they pretty much did rescue him from certain death.

I'm more annoyed when people say they "adopted" dogs that they bought from a breeder >_<
 
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#20
I consider my dogs rescues because...

If the shelter had not found Colby, she probably would have died or been a stray her entire life.

If we had not taken May in, I know she would have died. She was emaciated.

If we had not saved Tippy, she'd either be dead or chained to a tree right now.
 

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