Catherine went to PetSmart Charities’ National Adoption Weekend in September to add a third rescue dog to her household. And not just any rescue dog—an Australian cattle dog. At the event, she found one-year-old Celene.
“It’s easy to love a rescue dog. And Australian cattle dogs make great pets,” she said.
The group that united Catherine and Celene, Australian Cattle Dog Rescue of Illinois, is a living contradiction to one of the most common misperceptions about pet adoption: that specific breeds are not available for adoption.
The group specializes in helping one breed—you guessed it: Australian cattle dogs. Sue Christianson started the group in 2009 to follow in her mother’s example of caring for strays.
For the love of the breed
Fans express their love for the herding dogs from Down Under on the group’s Facebook page: they’re smart, active, great companions, loyal, intelligent and hard working.
In addition to cattle dogs, the group rescues other herding dogs when it’s able to, including Australian shepherds, border collies, German shepherds and kelpies.
“We will not discriminate because an owner previously docked the tail used for balance, and not a part of the breed standard,” Christianson said.
It can be tough to place Australian cattle dogs because many people are unfamiliar with the breed. Adopters need to learn about the dogs, provide them with proper medical attention if needed, take them to obedience training and provide these active dogs with lots of exercise.
Hard times for pets and people
Australian Cattle Dog Rescue of Illinois finds most of its dogs in economically distressed areas, where people facing hard times sometimes abandon their pets.
“We are seeing more and more cattle dogs coming into the shelters due to the economy. When people cannot afford to feed their family, they surely cannot take proper care of a pet. It seems that the dog is the first thing to go,” Sue said.
The group has gotten shelter cattle dogs from Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Georgia, Nebraska, Tennessee, Louisiana, West Virginia and Wisconsin. They’ll help any cattle dog in need if they can arrange transportation through their extensive network of dedicated volunteers.
The group finds more opportunities to place the dogs in the Chicago area, which has a healthier economy.
New home with PetSmart® Charities
Sue says that Australian Cattle Dog Rescue of Illinois has found a good match with PetSmart Charities. “Our vision and missions are identical, with the exception that Australian Cattle Dogs of Illinois are a breed-specific rescue. Finding good homes for cattle dogs is difficult, and PetSmart Charities and PetSmart® provide the perfect arena for showcasing this magnificent breed,” she said.
Case in point: during September’s National Adoption Weekend, 9 cattle dogs found forever homes, including one very popular pup (according to our Facebook fans): Salty Crackers.