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Making a dog’s life a loving experience

By Rebecca Stanley | Talking Point | Published:

There’s nothing I love more than coming home to the boisterous and slobber-filled embrace of my dogs.

One example of a designer dog, a pug

I share my home with two pooches – a highly-intelligent and cheeky collie, and a dopey yet lovable cocker spaniel, Barney and Homer

I’ve always grown up around dogs, and having my own was brought up to my partner when we moved in together before we started assembling flat-pack furniture.

We welcomed both of our four-legged friends within a year of having our own home, and we owe all of our happiness with them to Birmingham Dogs Home. After adopting our pets, I’d recommend considering adoption to everyone.

According to the RSPCA website, their inspectors now investigate more than 149,000 complaints of cruelty and neglect every year, and last year the charity rescued and collected 114,584 animals. Shockingly, Dogs Trust discovered that 5,142 stray dogs were put to sleep by UK local authorities between 2014 and 2015 – that’s one dog every two hours.

Staff with dogs at Birmingham Dogs Home

When you adopt a pet, you give them a second chance at life. Whether they’ve been treated badly or have never known a home after being born on the streets, you can give them a fresh start and a loving family.

Adopting a pet can also end the cruel practices of pet farming and unethical breeding. While there are many ethical pet breeders available, the demand for fashionable furry friends has driven many rogue breeders to pump out pets solely for profit.

Designer animals such as pugs, dachshunds and the Scottish fold cat are more popular than ever, however many of these breeds suffer from painful genetic defects as a result of unregulated breeding.

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They may look cute, but breeding the animals smaller than is healthy or with popular ‘cute traits’ – such as extra folds in their skin or big, bulging eyes – can cause chronic pain, breathing difficulties, arthritis, brain damage and weak bones.

These pets are bred and sold purely based on demand, and not whether buyers would be suitable pet owners. Though people may approach a breeder with the best of intentions, lack of knowledge and preparation leads to many pets being abandoned when buyers cannot meet their needs, or grow tired of them.

Barney and Homer - my two rescue dogs from Birmingham Dogs Home's Sunnyside Kennels in Coven

Adopting an animal comes with the benefit of having helpful staff members arm you with knowledge to help care for your new friend.

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Having hands-on advice from a professional goes a long way.

They can offer advice on what breed of pet will suit you, and the pets individual personality best complements yours. Many people worry that all rescue animals are difficult and untrained, and some are, but all animals are different and there’s bound to be the perfect match for you.

I was desperate to have a cocker spaniel after growing up with them, and we found ours in the first kennel at our local rescue. If you want to add a new furry, scaly or feathery friend to your family, consider taking a trip to your local pet shelter – you never know who you’ll end up falling in love with.

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley
@becci_star

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.stanley@expressandstar.co.uk

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