Coco, a senior rescue dog, sitting on the floor looking up at her foster mom.

Adopting a Rescue Dog

There are many ways people choose a new family dog.

Some may search the local newspaper for breeder advertisements selling new puppies. Others find breeders via listings on the internet. And still more may buy a puppy from a local pet store.

The best method, being helpful to society in general, is to adopt a dog from a local animal rescue group.

When I refer to a shelter dog, I am referring to dogs in public shelters and private rescue groups.

We adopted Coco, a 7-year old mixed breed, from a local senior dog rescue group.

Adopting a dog brings a new friend into your family.

Small dog in cage Photo by Patrick Carr on Unsplash

All kinds of dogs are available at local shelters.

But it gets better:

Adopting reduces the number of unwanted and homeless dogs in your area. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reported a significant decrease in homeless dogs and cats.

Unless the shelter is a “no kill” facility (and these are few and far between), it will also save a dog’s life.

Dog lovers champion the adoption of dogs from shelters.

But there are other reasons to adopt a dog.

  • Shelter dogs have current immunizations
  • Shelters often have information or have assessed a dog’s temperament
  • Adopting a pet frees up more space in the shelter

Local government-run public shelter policy and practices vary state by state.

For example,

Our county police enforce animal welfare laws and operate the animal shelter. Adopting a dog through our public shelter requires a signed adoption contract. The contract includes a provision requiring animal sterilization.

Our county Animal Control Bureau mission statement is:

Through collaboration with community partners, the Animal Control Bureau prevents animal cruelty, protects public health and safety from dangerous animals, provides humane care to abused and neglected animals, educates the public about responsible pet ownership, and gives adoptable animals a second chance at a forever home.

Local public shelters may provide veterinarian services on site. This is for the animals in the shelter.

When you adopt a dog you can not be sure the dog examined by a vet for diseases and parasites. Or the dog is current with its shots.

This is true of dogs acquired by other means. People giving away "free" pets or “free puppies” from a box in front of the local grocery store or PetsMart.

Non-profit organizations such as the Humane Society offer more services.

It gets better:

All pets available for adoption at our local Humane Society have been:

  • Examined by a Veterinarian
  • Treated for fleas and ticks 
  • Given a behavioral assessment
  • Micro-chipped
  • Spayed or Neutered
  • De-wormed
Dog in cage Photo by Fredrik Öhlander on Unsplash

Consider a senior dog for adoption. Avoid the hassles of the puppy stage.

You might be wondering:

Why do people turn in their dogs to a shelter?

Or if all dogs in a shelter are strays.

People assume shelter dogs have behavioral problems. While some do, the number one reason is housing issues.

Regardless of reasons, the shelter or rescue group collects as much information possible. Information may include:

  • Behavior towards children, other people, and animals
  • How much barking
  • Obedience levels
  • paw
    Activity levels - playful or couch potato
  • paw
    Whether it is housebroken

But, accuracy is dependent on the honesty of former owners.

In summary,

Dog rescue groups, non-profit organizations, and public animal shelters provide valuable service.

They work to reduce the unwanted pet population. They also provide humane treatment and disposition for all animals in their care. Also, they support responsible adoption and ownership mindful of the animal’s welfare.

Adopting a Rescue dog is the right thing to do.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: