One of the kindest things an animal lover can do is to take in an abused animal but there are obvious challenges that arise in these situations. Neglected or physically or emotionally abused animals often have a number of social and behavioral problems that can be difficult to overcome. When you take in an abused pet, you are responsible for showing that animal enough love and support so it can live a happy and fulfilled life.
Abused animals have serious issues with trust and can be socially withdrawn, lethargic, and even aggressive. When they are exposed to new environments they are reluctant to explore and demonstrate a wide range of behavioral issues from inappropriate toileting to barking and whining. If you’ve decided to take care of an abused animal you should prepare yourself for a long road to recovery. While you may be able to instill trust in your pet within a few weeks, it could take months or even longer to put your abused pet at ease with other humans and animals.
Indeed, caring for an abused animal requires a lot of patience and you have to be ready to accept your pet as it is. Always avoid situations that would cause fear or anxiety for your animal and never use punishment as a behavioral deterrent. The fact that positive reinforcement is much more effective for behavioral modification notwithstanding, an animal that is continually punished is unlikely to rehabilitate. Always make love and support your first approach so that your new pet will bond with you more quickly.
Finally, remember to stay focused. As already mentioned, you have to have a lot of patience to rehabilitate an abused animal and they’re not going to get better on your terms. Try to put your pet at ease in stressful situations, feed them and exercise them properly, and you’ll be well on your way to a happy pet.