Should you support dog rescue efforts? Of course! But if you have your own pug (and aren’t looking to adopt another right now) it can be tough to know how to support dog rescue and specifically pug rescue organizations.
With happy-go-lucky little pugs, it’s hard to believe that they could ever be mistreated, abandoned or in danger. Yet, there are many, many pugs that get stuck in tough situations. Pug rescuers work tirelessly to save these little guys. This often means putting in long hours, housing multiple pugs, searching for safe homes, and trying to fund veterinary care for the rescued pugs. Many dog rescues also do advocacy work, fighting against animal abuse, backyard breeding, and even the dog meat trade.
If you love pugs and want to help, here are some great ways to support dog rescue.
1. Donate Funds
Of course, the most practical way to support dog rescue efforts is to donate. Often, we feel like we don’t have much money to donate, or that a few dollars won’t make a difference. It’s important to keep in mind that most rescues are nonprofits and consequently run on a shoestring budget, where every little bit counts.
Micro donations through Patreon and other monthly giving platforms can be a powerful way to help animal rescue. Imagine if 1,000 people gave just $5/month. In a year, that adds up to $60,000! That’s a big deal for animal rescues, who often rely completely on the generosity of donors to support their efforts.
Pugs who come into rescue organizations are often arriving from shelters or pulled from situations where they may have experienced neglect and abuse. This means many have conditions like heartworm, mange, allergies, eye injuries, tooth decay, and worse. These little pugs require veterinary care to get them into tip-top shape for their new forever families and unfortunately veterinary care can get very expensive.
Often the adoption fee (typically between $100-$500) is barely enough to offset the cost of their initial veterinary exam and spay or neuter. This doesn’t include the cost of food, supplies, grooming, and running a dog rescue, or covering additional health issues. Pug rescue is definitely a labor of love and dog rescuers desperately need your support.
2. Support Dog Rescue By Shopping
Did you know you can support pug rescue by shopping?! There are many great artists, crafters, and companies who sell pug items and donate a portion (sometimes the full price) to pug rescue.
Instagram’s @blindbutnot creates beautiful hand-crocheted scarves for dogs of all types. Pugs Bodie & Spanky’s mom creates each of the adorable scarves and takes custom orders. She donates 100% of the profits to pug rescue and has raised an amazing $19,000 to date!
Portia the Pug Paw Pal Auction was founded by pug lover, Cynthia, mom to sweet liver-shunt survivor, Portia who passed away last year. Cynthia started the auction service to raise money for pugs in need including the High Rollers Club, which helps pugs get wheelchairs. Auction items include everything from treats to outfits (for pugs and people) to pug jewelry and more. To date, Cynthia has raised an incredible $180,000 to support pug rescue and pug causes!
Many pug rescues run auctions or sales to support their efforts. Follow your favorite pug rescues on social media (check out our comprehensive list of great pug rescues) so you can keep tabs on their events and promotions.
3. Volunteer Your Time
You can support dog rescue efforts without spending money. If you’re not able to donate funds, there are plenty of opportunities to support rescue by volunteering your time. Many rescues need help with basic tasks like walking, feeding, grooming, and playing with pugs.
When pugs come into rescue they often don’t have experiences with humans. If they’ve come from a breeding farm or bad situation, they may not be familiar with playing, living in a house, or walking on a leash. Offering your time to socialize pugs can be a great help to your local pug rescue. Many pug rescuers run their organization out of their homes and are trying to balance dog care with their day-to-day lives. A helping hand is always appreciated.
If you don’t have time to volunteer regularly, look for opportunities to run errands for the pug rescue, drive to pick up, and transport pugs to their vet appointments and foster homes. Inquire with your favorite local pug rescue, about ways you can help.
4. Share Via Social Media
A simple way you can support dog rescue is by following and sharing the rescue online. Some people feel that pug rescue makes them sad and they don’t want to see pugs in bad conditions. It’s important to remember that the work of rescues is vitally important. Instead of looking at images of abused or abandoned pugs as sad, see them as inspiration to get involved and help even further.
By following pug rescues on social media, you’ll see firsthand the needs of rescue organizations and you’ll be alerted to the times when they need extra help. If they need assistance with pug transport or if they’re promoting a GoFundMe campaign for a specific situation you can help them get the word out to your friends.
As pug lovers many of us want to believe that every pug is happy and loved (as they should be), but the reality is that there are many pugs that are abandoned and mistreated. It’s up to us to advocate for the breed we love so much and to raise awareness for the cause. Until every single pug has a happy home, there will still be a need to support pug rescues.
5. Offer Your Expertise
Are you a professional? Do you have business skills? Are you an artist? A web designer? A photographer? A writer? A crafter? Put your skills to use by offering your expertise to your local pug rescue.
Many times rescues are very short-staffed. They may be run by just one person with a few volunteers. They often don’t have time to update their website, take cute photos of adoptable pugs, write grant applications, or create crafts to sell. If you have a talent, there are plenty of outside-the-box ways you can use your talent to support dog rescue efforts.
Chefs and gourmet cooks could host a dinner to raise funds for the rescue. Oenophiles could host a wine tasting. If you have event planning experience, volunteer to help the pug rescue with their get-together or next pug festival. If you’ve got a talent for sales, consider using your deal-making abilities to procure donations for a silent auction.
There is literally no shortage of ways you can use your talents to support pug rescue. Graphic designers can help create posters for pug events, design shirts, print signs, and more. If you’re great at knitting or sewing, you could make belly bands for house training pugs, quilts, or cute hats for the rescue to sell at their auction. Renown artist Gemma Correll sells custom sketches at pug festivals to support rescues.
It’s all about looking at your abilities and thinking of how they could be used to promote rescue work!
6. Add to Your Amazon Order
Looking for a super-simple way to support pug rescue? Try using Amazon Smile! Inquire with your favorite 501(c)3 rescue to see if they have a Smile account. Whenever you visit Amazon to place an order, simply go to smile.amazon.com instead. You’ll access the same selection at the same prices, but .5% of your purchase is sent to the rescue (at no cost to you). Amazon Smile works for Prime as well and it’s hands down, one of the easiest ways to support a great cause.
The other option with Amazon is to check with your favorite pug rescue to see if they have a wish list. From their wish list you can order supplies and other items they may need. Each time you shop, simply choose an item from their wish list and Amazon will send it directly to the rescue. If you don’t mind buying an item for a good cause, it’s a great and simple way to support your favorite rescue.
If you’ve signed up for services like eBates, if your insurance company or employer offers Amazon gift cards as part of an incentive program, consider offering those cards to your favorite rescue as well. Dog rescues have so many needs and that extra money can mean so much to helping them buy supplies for the pugs in their care.
Ready to level-up on your pug rescue support? Consider becoming a foster parent! When you foster a pug, you’re giving a dog in need a chance to adjust to life in a happy home. You’re helping them socialize and learn the ropes so they’re ready for life with their forever family. Fosters are the backbone of dog rescue, because they enable the rescue to continue their efforts and take on more and more dogs.
Typically to become a foster family, all you need to do is apply with your favorite rescue organization. If you’ve adopted through the organization before, you may be fast-tracked for foster approval. If you’re new to the rescue, or to pug-ownership in general, you may need to provide references and go through a home inspection to make sure you’re ready to take on the responsibilities of pug care.
As a pug foster, you may be responsible to take the pug to his or her veterinary appointments (vet care costs are usually completely covered by the rescue). You may also need to meetup with potential adopters and help your foster pug put their best foot forward when they meet their new potential mom or dad.
Foster care is a wonderful way you can be part of a pug’s journey to a happy life. Some people worry that they’ll get too attached to their foster and have a foster fail. While this does happen (and fostering-to-adopt can be a great way to see if you’re a good fit for your potential pug), it’s important to remember that “goodbye is the goal” as foster advocate and kitten rescuer, Hannah Shaw (@thekittenlady) says. Helping animals on their journey by fostering is one of the most selfless, kind acts you can do. When you say goodbye to a foster, it means you’ve succeed in setting that pug up for their best life, and you’re opening your home and heart to the next pug in need.
8. Adopt Don’t Shop
It goes without saying, but all pug rescues are advocates of the “adopt don’t shop” philosophy. It’s not that purchasing a pug from a REPUTABLE breeder is bad, per se. There are many excellent certified breeders who focus on breeding healthy pugs (and are AKC certified and registered with the Pug Dog Club of America). Reputable breeders will offer many references, guarantee the health of their pugs, and allow you to visit their breeding facility. Expect to pay $2000-$3000 for a well-bred pug.
The problem is that the demand for pugs has led to many backyard breeders and puppy mills, who supply pet stores, online sales and “Craigslist” puppy sales. These breeders don’t care about the health of the pugs they're breeding and are simply breeding dogs over and over to supply pet stores with cute pug puppies. They may also breed for qualities like petite or “teacup” pugs, while turning a blind eye to many of the terrible health problems these pugs can experience. Note: teacup pugs aren’t bred for health and can end up having many problems down the road. Don’t support this type of irresponsible, cruel breeding.
Many people long for a puppy. Especially a cute, roly-poly pug puppy. Fortunately, pug rescuers save pugs of all ages, including puppies. So if you’re looking for a pug puppy, inquire with your local rescue. That said, puppyhood is short (and often filled with lots of potty training and sleepless nights). Why not give a second chance to a pug who’s just a little older?
Adopters of rescue pugs often report that their pug seems to somehow understand they were rescued, and consequently they have an even deeper bond and love for their owner. Rescue pugs are often perfectly healthy and can live long happy lives. Pugs are such lovers. They want to be around their humans and long for your attention. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than an abandoned or mistreated pug. They deserve your love and care.
If you want to bring a pug into your life, please consider rescue and adoption first. You will be giving a forever home to a deserving animal who wants a second chance for love.
9. Always Spay & Neuter Your Pet
Lastly, if you want to support pug rescue, become part of the solution, not the problem. It’s tempting to allow your pug to have puppies. Again, pug puppies are delightful, chubby little balls of pure joy. If you love your pug and think he or she is wonderful, it’s very tempting to long for a tiny clone of your bff.
Because of the health issues that pugs can experience due to their flat faces (breathing issues, eye issues) and short bodies, they can have a very difficult time giving birth. The more pugs are bred for looks rather than health, the larger their heads get in proportion to their bodies. This can be very difficult on pug mothers and it’s not uncommon for pugs to have high risk pregnancies. This is only compounded by the weight-related concerns pugs can experience, including diabetes and high blood-pressure. Just like human moms, pug moms can have these issues exacerbated by pregnancy. Many require ultrasounds to ensure the health of their puppies and cesareans are often required for delivery. As you can imagine, this is very dangerous for the pug mother.
If you want your child to witness the “miracle of birth” don’t do it at the expense of the safety and health of your dog. Pugs aren’t meant to be bred by inexperienced dog breeders and the cost and toll on your pug’s health isn’t worth it.
Spaying or neutering your dog is the responsible choice for pet owners. If you love pugs, take the steps necessary to ensure they live a long, healthy (puppy-free) life. Having your dog “fixed” also prevents common issues like marking and humping. Your pug will smell better (unneutered animals often give off a strong scent). Spaying your female pug prevents mammary and uterine tumors, bladder issues, and other concerns down the road.
Like Bob Barker always told us--spay and neuter your pets. The goal of pug rescue is to ensure that every single pug has a happy and loving home. This means not contributing to the number of abandoned animals that end up in shelters.
If you want to support dog rescue and make the world a better place for pugs, the responsibility starts at home. Each of us can make a difference in the lives of pugs everywhere. Support pug rescue organizations and advocate for responsible pug ownership. Show the world some pug love!