Rescue dogs are a special bunch - most of them end up in shelters or pounds because of owner neglect, or misunderstanding the poor things.
Have a hyperactive puppy that accidentally hurt their kid? the poor dog gets shipped off to the shelter.
A puppy that outgrew its 'cute' size? suddenly the owners can't 'take care of it'.
The good news for any adopter is that the dogs for adoption in these places just want to be loved, and would make for extremely loyal companions for life.
Whatever you are considering becoming a first time dog owner or adding a new canine member to your household, consider a rescue organization that allows for shelter adoption as a great source for your new pet.
The advantage of selecting a pet from a dog rescue organization is the foreknowledge you have about your pet's personality. Although your dog may not be AKC registered for that breed, he or she will be primarily characterized by it.
You should begin your search for a dog by doing some basic research on individual breeds.
In addition to considering size, you should think about exercise requirements, guard or watch dog behaviors, and hereditary diseases that may be associated with that breed.
You should be honest with yourself about your willingness to housebreak a puppy or provide an environment that includes daily walks or outdoor play time. Not all pet rescues are the same, so do your research first!
Once you establish your basic requirements, select a breed that typically exhibits the desired characteristics.
The breed-based rescue organizations, such as The Golden Retriever Rescue, have potential pets available including puppies, mature, and senior dogs.
More often than not, these rescue organizations encourage people to adopt a pet, for the good of both dog and future owner.
The rescue organizations usually provide medical and foster care and can tell you about individual habits and personality from direct experience.
In many cases, they will know how the dog responds to other dogs in the home, young children, and cats. Rescue association will check their dogs for illnesses and heartworm.
They provide treatment when necessary and neutering before a dog is placed on the eligible list. On organization websites, you will be able to see pictures of the available dogs and get information about their behavior in their foster home and any special needs or considerations.
Dogs come to rescue organization because their owners can no longer care for them. They are not bad, sick, or misbehaving dogs.
There are many reasons why someone must give up a pet such as: illness, moving to a new location that does not allow pets, a new baby in the house, or a change in financial circumstances.
While these owners are being responsible and trying to ensure that their pet has a good home, majority of pet owners offer terrible reasons to give up their dogs (see link above).
Fortunately most rescue organizations also maintain contact with local Shelters and will save breed dogs from euthanasia when it is believed that the dog is a viable candidate for adoption.
Rescue organizations go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that your family and your new pet are well matched. There are rescue organizations for most AKC recognized breeds.
You can find one close to your home through your vet, the yellow pages and on the internet. The American Kennel Club maintains lists of breed specific rescue organizations organized by state.
Failing which, you could also do a google search on 'pet adoption centers near me' or 'dog adoption near me'. Your IP location should give you a good estimate on the nearest organization near you.
Although adoption procedures vary among organizations, the following activities are fairly standard. In your initial contact with the organization, you will register and provide basic information about your expectations and the environment you will provide.
A preliminary phone interview or home visit may be communicated to allow the caring folks from the organization to ensure that you are worthy of being a caregiver to one of their special dogs.
The organization really wants you and your dog to be happy together rather than just placing a dog to decrease inventory.
When you have selected a dog that you want to become a member of your family, the rescue organization may schedule a visit between you.
They want to know about the environment you will provide. If you have other pets in your home, there may be a supervised meeting to determine if there are potential compatibility problems.
Rescue organizations are usually non-profit and staffed with volunteers who are also pet owners. There is a fee for adoption that typically ranges from $ 200 to $ 300, which is far cheaper than buying a 'designer' dog.
The process to adopt from a rescue organization may seem lengthy and involved, but, the organization exists to protect their dogs and ensure that new homes and families work out well for both the dogs and the new owners.
You benefit greatly from their stewardship because you get a pet that is matched to your needs and is ready to share his or her unconditional love with you.
Remember that you're not just adopting a pet - you're saving a life.
Remember, adopt - don't shop!