Pets as Family: Exploring the Emotional Bonds with Rescued Animals


“A dog is a man’s best friend.”

This is something we have heard over and over again. It’s true. Pets are undeniably loyal and become a member of our families. Something that is even more incredible is the emotional bond we develop with rescued animals. Some bonds may be more obvious than others. 

But when we take a deeper dive into this topic of pets as family, it’s truly incredible the impact we make on an animal by rescuing them. The reverse, the impact they leave on us, is just as beneficial. 

Where To Start With The Rescue Process?

If you are considering the benefits for both an animal and humans when it comes to adopting an animal, here are some pointers on getting the process going. 

  1. Check out local organizations that have a proven track history of providing rescued animals a safe and healthy home. This includes both larger and smaller organizations that are found locally and nationally. 
  1. Speak to those organizations about the process they use and live by to make sure the animal has the safest and healthiest transition from their home to yours. Different animals have different rescue stories. Being hands-on with the right process from the very beginning is important. 
  1. Once you find your furry friend, it’s always a good idea to get in touch with an accredited animal hospital. Bond Vet Animal Hospital is a great example because they allow for virtual appointments until you and your furry friend are ready to come in. 

During these appointments, you can communicate with a veterinarian about the best practices for bringing a new rescue animal into your home. 

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This is the best place to start. By taking advice from both your local organization and a licensed veterinarian, you are giving your new adopted rescue the best shot at healing. 

Why Rescue?

Why rescue? Well, the obvious answer is that you are saving the animals who are already out in the world that need help. Sadly, the ASPCA reports that each year there are roughly 920,000 animals euthanized each year. By choosing to adopt an animal, it’s one more life that you can save. 

But rescue animals offer something different to the human connection. Exploring these benefits may just sway your opinion. 

Inspires Compassion

If there is something we need more of in this world, it certainly is compassion. While bringing any furry friend home is exciting, there is a different storyline when you save a life. The level of compassion that a human takes on is a positive effect. 

It becomes apparent to the animal that is rescued from often unideal circumstances that its owner has this compassion. The immediate connection and bond that develops from this realization creates something much stronger to turn rescued pets as family.

Igniting Empathy 

Compassion and empathy are two different things. Empathy for the animal’s condition is having the ability to feel sorrow and understanding for the animal’s pain. Compassion is the ability to do something about it and take action. Empathy is another emotion that is crucial for human-to-human connection that can be ignited through adopting and rescuing an animal. 

Healing Together

After this initial bond and connection from the moment, the animal realizes they are rescued, something else happens. The healing process for the animal begins. As the animal continues to establish trust in its owner, it can continue to heal and retrain its own trust and belief system.

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This is also healing for humans. The connection and healing process goes both ways. After a world pandemic, it’s no surprise that many of us have trouble fostering a connection and need to heal from the effects of this pandemic. Connecting with an animal is a non-judgmental and easy way to establish connection and feelings of compassion. 

Supporting Your Shelters

When you adopt through a shelter or organization, something that is often forgotten is the support that gives to such shelter. This helps in a multitude of ways. Not only does it help take one more rescue off their hands, but it helps build their community for future connection and support. 

If you have a positive experience with a shelter the first time, chances are you will go back. Or better, recommend your friends and families to go there. Just remember, if you aren’t able to adopt an animal quite yet, you can always donate time, money, or resources. 

A Rewarding Process

Rescuing an animal is good for everyone involved. It’s great for the organization that invested its time and resources into the animal. It’s also great for the person who brought the new rescue aboard. Arguably most important, it’s an amazing fresh start for the animal who is welcomed into a new home. 

There is no doubt that both the animal and person benefit from the mutual love and compassion they have for eachother.  Once you are a rescue mom and dad, you will always be a rescue mom or dad! 


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