I know dogs and cats deserve a second chance and should always be rescued and re-homed with responsible owners when circumstances call for this. I would ask however, that if you take on a rescue pet, be aware that it may have lingering issues.

My husband was wearing hi-vis work clothes when out walking and a dog ran out at him and bit him. The owners were devastated as the dog had been rescued from an abusive home – my husbands hi-vis clothing must have resembled the attackers clothing.

We discussed things with the owners (who were lovely people and unbelievable apologetic). We had a trip to the hospital for tetanus injections and minor wound treatment. The dog is still with them and still being retrained.

Know your rescue animals history and be aware of lingering issues, so that you can be the forever home these animals need.

Posted anonymously, 23rd November 2015

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  • Unfortunately this is not always possible – the dogs do not always come with lots of information. Besides, how was the RSPCA to know that hi vis was a trigger?


  • The RSPCA and Animal Welfare League in Adelaide try to assess a dog’s behaviour towards all their staff, they are microchipped and desexed before a new person is allowed to have them. However the dog of a neighbour of mine must have been attacked by somebody with a toolbox, handbag, or satchel.
    Even people he got to know he would bark at. I was wagging his tail at me one day so I put my handbag down before he got close to me to pat him. Little ratbag bit me. His owner was very upset because the dog had never bitten anybody previously. I had visited their place on several occasions. The lady took him home, after she had growled at him and came back with some bandages etc. and fixed my hand for me. I had not long before had a tetanus shot so that wasn’t an issue. One thing with any dog is never put your face too close to a dog, especially close enough to breathe in their face. They feel threatened and will bite. Some growl a few times as a warning.
    You need to know a cat’s history too. If they turn out to be feral ones they will grow really big and really attack you and injure you somewhat worse than some dogs will. White cats are very tempramental too. They will scratch or bite without much warning.


  • good on you and hubby for having some compassion but those owners should have had the dog restrained especially if there were tendencies for this behaviour (coming from that background). Imagine that this had been a little kid instead of your hubby. (The fashions are going back to the 90’s trends so bright coloured, patterned and fluro is slowly coming back). That dog would have been put down at best. I think that if this dog attacks again, that the outcome for the dog won’t be as lenient. I hope to god that it doesn’t happen again!


  • Sounds like these people are fully aware of their dogs problems. Sounds like all it needs is some more intense retraining to gain some trust back. It’s not these dogs faults they’ve been abused, we need to understand it takes quite a bit of time to get over their trauma and damage. Good on these people for taking their dog in and giving him a second chance, we need more people like them. When animals are re homed, most adoption places let you know if it’s a problem dog or not, most places temperament test their animals and only re home the suitable ones. The naughty ones are fostered and re trained. Once you have their trust again, you have a loving and loyal best friend til the end!


  • A very interesting topic! I agree completely with what you say.


  • Dogs can display these characteristics when they feel threatened or are being protective. It is important for owners to keep their dogs on a lead when out, unless in a designated dog walking area or secured in their backyard. Rescue dogs may have issues, but with lots of love and care they can become wonderful pets. Good to read that your husband’s injuries were minor.


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