Originally Posted by nikelodeon79
My opinion is this:
If you got them from a legitimate shelter/rescue or paid nothing for them to get them out of a bad situation, they are typically "rescues."
If you paid for them (and I'm not talking adoption fees to a legitimate rescue) they are not "rescues." By paying for them, you gave the former owner/breeder the funds to go out and get another animal and put it in the same bad position.
If someone wants to "save" a horse from a kill buyer that's their decision. But... do so knowing that you just gave the kill buyer money to go and buy ANOTHER horse.
If someone wants to "save" a dog from a puppy mill, they've just given the puppy mill owner more money/incentive to breed again.
If you adopt from a rescue, you've freed up a spot for them to rescue yet another animal.
It gets MORE complicated when you consider that some "rescues" actually buy their animals from puppy mills, etc. That's why it's important to do your research on any given rescue/shelter.
I have three "rescue" dogs. I don't go around saying "I rescued them" or even call them "rescues." (I'm not a huge fan of the term, but it is what it is). One of them I got from the shelter, another came from a rescue, and the third one came from a behavioral trainer who pulled him from a shelter and placed him with me.
With my horses it's more complicated. My first Arab came from a friend who got him from a bad situation (for free). He had a good home with my friend, but wasn't much more than a pasture ornament. She gave him to me and I trained him. I don't think I actually "rescued" him because he was just fine at my friends. My friend, on the other hand, DID "rescue" him. I still consider him "a rescue" because that's what he is: regardless of whether I was the first one to get him out of the bad situation. I don't go around saying "I rescued him" but if asked, I say that he was "a bit of a rescue."
With my other Arab, I broke my own rules and paid for him. I got him from what I consider to be a "horse trader" for $250.00. A client of mine bought a horse from the trader and I told them to throw the Arab in the trailer too, because I was thinking with my heart and not my head.
Apparently now this "trader" is calling themselves a rescue and I have serious doubts about that... but oh well. :(
I think this post has sort of trailed off, but I found it while searching for the terms "rescue advice" and wanted to comment from the perspective of someone who has been around horse people enough recently to be put off by someone calling their horse a "rescue".
I think of it exactly the way Nickleodeon put it. If I decide to pay an adoption fee to a legitimate rescue versus buying one from a barn/private owner, then maybe I've not rescued the horse (as it has already been rescued) but I am helping the rescue agency provide an open spot for a new rescue. While finding a horse that is suitable for me is priority number 1, if I had to choose between two equals - one a rescue and one a private horse - then I would choose the rescue simply to open up additional capacity for more.
This discussion was interesting to me. I have two dogs that I consider to be "adopted". I got them both from rescue organizations, and I was happy to pay a fee for both of them to pay for the care they had received so far. I will never buy a dog, I will always adopt. When people ask me what kind of dogs I have I always say mutts. Then the next question is did I adopt them and I usually say yes. I can't recall anyone asking if I rescued them. If someone did, I guess I would say no as they were both with fosters at the time and unlikely to end up at a kill shelter. But I am still happier with my decision to adopt vs. buy as my assumption is a dog for sale probably has some quality (breeding, training) that will make them attractive enough to easily have a home whereas an adoptive dog might not.