The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

Posted April 26, 2018

Better Than A Shelter …

By Merritt


Overstaters … yeah, we all know a few.  Typically we don’t like them, or at a minimum, find them annoying or pompous … they’re usually just braggadocios!  Yeah … they’re typically the drama queens around the place - just screaming for attention (generally directed toward them!)


Well, here’s my tale …


Animal Shelters versus Animal Rescues … Are you wanting to find a new furry family member but are on the fence about whether to adopt from an animal shelter or an animal rescue?  Just read on below to find out the difference and similarities, of animal rescues and animal shelters.

An animal shelter can be your local pound and be government-owned but not all shelters are funded by tax-payer money.  Generally speaking, an animal shelter is a place where animals are surrendered or brought in when their previous owners either cannot take care of them anymore or if they are found on the streets.


Shelters generally take in all sorts of animals and are almost always full.  Because a big number of animal shelters take in all sorts of animals, they can have a problem keeping all of them and this often ends with the shelter having to euthanize animals rather than set them loose to fend on their own.  Of course people who run or work in shelters do not want this to happen and some have no-kill policies in place but sometimes, letting the animal be put to sleep may be the best option for the homeless animal.  This is the reason why shelter animals are typically seen as having their days numbered because in many instances, that can really be true.


An animal rescue is usually a private organization or a private endeavor which takes in certain animals (mostly pet animals or companion animal only) from abusive homes or homeless situations.  What an animal rescue does is to provide the animal a temporary home through a network of animal foster parents who agree to host the animal until it is adopted.  This is can be for the duration of rehabilitation if the animal has health or behavior problems, or for the duration of treatment if the animal is ill or in need of veterinary help.


An animal rescue can also be focused on only one or two types of animals.  Some are breed and age specific which is a good thing because this means that the people who are fostering the animals really have a passion for the specific breed or age of animal the rescue is focused on.  Generally speaking, animal rescues run on pure donation and goodwill of animal lovers.  It is very rare for an animal rescue to receive any help or funding from the government.

So … adopting a new family member – shelter or rescue?


Oftentimes people tend to choose a rescue or shelter out of simply liking one over the other or because one’s process is easier.  What pet parents have to know is while it is important to do a bit of background checking on the animal shelter or animal rescue that they have in mind, what is more important is to get to know the process of adoption each facility or organization follows.  There is no real answer regarding which is better to adopt from.  It all boils down to who are the people running the shelter or rescue and how much they care for the animals.  Some animal shelters have partnerships with local rescue groups to ensure that animals who may not have a chance of surviving in the shelter or have special needs will still have a chance to be adopted[i].  Now, I’m not judging or slamming here, but I expect that a main difference between shelters and rescues is probably like the difference between the Motel 6 and Ritz Carlton … both do serve an important purpose though (but, ol’ Tom Bodett says that he will even leave the light on for you!).


In any event … as you know, I was in pretty bad shape when I was taken from a shelter by a rescue group (that’s be good ol’ GiGi and the good ol’ ABCR) and then dad saw me on the www and talked mom-D into adopting me.  Yeah, they decided to take a chance on little ol’ three legged me!  I will always keep in mind that I could have stayed in a shelter, a rescue … or way worse!!!


A shelter (and even a long term rescue) wasn’t my fate though!  You see, it was only a short while after my “leg work” when I was adopted (just like dad and my two younger sisters were!!!)!!!  Me and my new people hit it off real swell right from the start and I have a wonderful place where I can just be me!  I have three FABULOUS sisters and one brother (who is a complete angel … well, bless ol’ Bubba’s heart).  Dad says that he really enjoys seeing me run (and swim) all over the place and working my way up to that coveted Matriarch position around this place.


The idea for this article came about a few months ago, we were all hanging out in the shop with some Waylon playing on the stereo and the heater on, with some food in our bellies and dad had a refreshing adult beverage with him when he looked at me, winked, and said, “Better than a shelter, ain’t it!”  (I coulda sworn that I saw a crooked smile, kinda like ol’ Waylon would’ve had, when he said it!).


Shelter or Rescue … it don’t really matter folks – just do something to save your newest bestest friend!


Well, an overstater I ain’t … I’m a “try to ‘splain it the way it is” kinda girl!  In fact, I have even been criticized of understating things in an attempt not to overstate them!


Love and Joy to ALL!





PS – If you’re not in the “market” for a newest bestest friend – maybe you can volunteer at a shelter, or rescue!  Too busy, you can always support a shelter or rescue with some dinero!  The All Border Collie Rescue website lists several ways that you can support them (mom and dad do … even dad’s work does!)

Some "stuff" to think on ...

Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.

Gertrude Stein



Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.

William James



All animals except man know that the ultimate of life is to enjoy it.

Samuel Butler



The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.

Nelson Henderson



Happiness?  I've tried the two-legged ones, and the four-legged ones win.

Lauren Bacall






[i] I wonder how long three legged dogs last in a shelter?

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