If you’re making a decision to go out and rescue a dog and make them the newest four legged member of your family, know that you have our full appreciation. Using adoption as an option is always something we actively commend. However, there are some things we think you should know if this is your choice so that you’re a little more informed in navigating the rescue market. There are plenty of rescue groups in existence, as well as county shelters, that have dogs waiting for a forever home. Which are you going to choose?

Well, if you’re searching for a specific breed or size of dog then a breed specific rescue group might be where you want to direct your attention. Breed specific organizations will have the breed of dog you’re looking for, or that you’re familiar with, as they’re dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating that type of dog. Breed rescues and rescue groups, however, tend to have a higher rehoming fee (usually around $250 give or take) as they do have fosters and trainers that work with the dogs, improving their livelihood and adoptability. The majority of them also tend to be no-kill establishments, meaning they will care for and attend to the life of the dog until they are adopted.

Not too hung up on breeds? Go to the local county shelter! Not only will they host adoption events at reduced rates or even eliminate the rate altogether, but it’s usually the first place people go to surrender a house pet. Some of the dogs turned into animal control or a humane society are dogs that already have some home experience and may just need some training and attention. Shelter workers are extremely dedicated to getting the dogs adopted out, because if they remain there too long they face euthanasia. The inflow to the county shelter is high because they get continuous calls every day about strays, abuse cases, and intake owner surrenders. So due to space issues, they cannot keep everyone. Adopting a dog from here, helps to save a life. 

Know what you’re looking for and what you can commit to. You might see a dog that you like the look of but doesn’t suit your lifestyle. It’s wise to be just as diligent and thoughtful when choosing a shelter dog as you are when going through a breeder. The animal is still an important commitment and will require time and attention. Some require a little bit more than others. If you’re looking for a lounge buddy, it’s best not to target the dog that’s jumping off the sides of his kennel. Preventing the dogs from re-entering the shelter is also a priority when you have decided to take one out. Kennel life is stressful on them and if we can avoid returning them to that, we should. 

Adopting a dog is extremely rewarding and it’s always highly encouraged, but it’s important to keep in mind that there’s going to be work involved. Hang in there and seek some help from a professional trainer as soon as the dog gets to the house. Even though they haven’t 100% settled in, at least they can start getting into the practice of good habits right away. Also, if anything turns up as far as the dog’s behavior, you have a dedicated professional to help you out!

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