What you need to know before adopting a dog or puppy


It is that time of the Year, again,  The Rescues are all hoping for  “Fur-Ever” homes for their homeless puppies and dogs …


Buddyand will pretty much do what ever it takes to get them out of the shelter. One cannot really blame them, the more dogs that are placed, then the more room they have to save some more lives. Some Rescues and Shelters will sometimes go to the extreme to get sponsors to foot the bill for the adoption fee, making it easy for people to adopt a new dog, and although these dogs have had the best in veterinary care, have been neutered, vaccinated and vetted, there are no guarantees that this new dog is going to be the fit that your family was hoping for, and more often then not, the rescue will not take this dog back, and it ends up back in the pound.

So How does one go about finding that perfect rescue for their family?  Here are some guidelines that will make your search a little easier.

There are a lot of dogs out there looking for homes, and a lot of rescue groups. Do not get discouraged if someone at a rescue is not nice to you. Volunteers at rescues work hard, and want the best for the dogs they take care of. That being said, rescues often are run with insane levels of expectations, and are often judgmental and quick to jump to assumptions.  Owning a dog is a big responsibility, and if you are at the point where you have decided to adopt, and are ready to contact rescues, there is a rescue that will be happy to help you.

The very first thing you need to do is some research. You can find any kind of dog you would like in a rescue  situation. Do some homework and try to narrow down what type of dog would work best in your situation.. Do you want a lap dog? Research toy breeds…. A running partner? How about a hound or a working dog. Each type of dog has been bred for generations to serve mankind, and although our needs have changed, most breeds of dogs still have that drive  for which they were bred for.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds,   has a official list of all the recognized breeds, including their history, training, temperament and other information. The AKC site can also connect you with quality  breeders that may be able to help you in your search if you are looking for a purebred or registered dog. Often times breeders hold on to a pup or two from a litter  in the hopes that they may have a top show dog. The dog may get too large, or to small, or for what ever reason, the breeder may decide that this pup needs to go to a home. This may be a good opportunity to get a nice dog at a reasonable price.

Owner: Gail Warnick

A Bit About Breeders.. Before we go on, I must say a little about breeders. Having been on both sides of this fence,  I have seen that most breeders of registered dogs, that show and promote their breed, live with their dogs in the house, sleep with them in their bed and are responsible almost to a fault. Most respectable breeders of purebred dogs will include a clause in the sale contract,  that any puppy that they sell shall be returned to them if for any reason that the purchaser can no longer keep the dog. There are however, some breeders that will exploit their dogs as a money making business and it is a  fine line at what point these kennels turn into puppy mills, that should not be supported at any means. If you deal with a breeder, you should be welcome to go to the facility and see the condition of the kennels and dogs.  Never buy a dog or puppy from a puppy mill, yes you could save one life, but you will be committing the producer of that puppy ie; the mother dog to a continued life of living in a cage and producing puppies.. Bottom line here.. Do your homework and talk to a lot of breeders. Breeders of any one breed, generally know who else has puppies and who is respectable and who is not…

Pure Breed Rescues.. Okay, so you’ve done some homework and researched some breeds, and you still want to rescue, You understand that rescued dogs may, and probably do have some baggage that you may or may not be able to deal with. Some rescue organizations  are breed specific, and some  are not. Breed Rescues are generally a group of volunteers that either breed or have lived with a certain breed and have committed their time to helping save those lives.  I would imagine that a breed specific rescue can be found for just about every breed that may turn up in pounds. Many of the  breed rescues have established them selves with the pounds and when a dog of their breed comes into a pound and is unclaimed the rescuers are contacted. These Breed specific rescues generally know their breed and understand both the health needs and the physical needs,   and are often helpful and a great resource.

 A GoldenDoodle is not a breed,  nor is a multi-poo….  Many designer dogs come from puppy mill type breeders  trying to make a buck, 2015 11532and no matter how  nice the dog may be, you should not be buying a mutt for thousands of dollars!  Sometimes rescue groups will appear that will specialize in mixed breed dogs, like the GoldenDoodle, only to be charging the general public crazy adoption fees. Any dog that you adopt, assuming that it has been neutered (castrated or spayed), is current on vaccinations, negative  for worms and heart-worms, and has had a clean physical with a licensed  veterinarian, should not cost you more than 150-300 dollars depending on what part of the country you live in. If a rescue wants to charge you $600.00 or more for a dog, I’d suggest you continue to look elsewhere.. There STILL are a lot of great adoptable dogs out there…

What you really need to do… Okay, I haven’t really talked much about the best dogs out there yet, your run of the mill mutts. Most rescues can and will make an educated guess about what breeds each of their rescues  may contain. Most rescues will also make you jump through hoops to be able to adopt one of their dogs, and most will absolutely go by the book when it comes to qualifications. They certainly want to discourage any abusers of any sort from adopting any of their dogs, and you can’t fault them for that. Some rescue groups frown on invisible fences, and I know one group who will not adopt to anyone who never had a dog before. I understand the need  and the desire to find the best home possible, but often the common sense is missing. Go forward with patience. Fill out the paperwork to the best of your ability, hopefully, a volunteer will take the time to have a conversation with you..  Here is the magic word: FOSTER  !

BANDITFostering a dog is absolutely a win win for all.  What ever your reason is for wanting a dog, maybe you want to finally get your children a dog after years of asking Santa for one, or maybe you want to get your old dog a buddy, Fostering is a Great opportunity. Fostering allows the rescue to make room to save another life. Fostering allows you to get to know the dog, see how he works in with the family, learn what kind of baggage he has and whether or not you can deal with it. But most importantly, whether or not you keep the dog for the long term, you are giving this dog a chance to begin his new life, have new experiences,  and to be loved in a home, possibly for the first time in his life. As a foster parent, you should be given the opportunity to adopt this dog if it is a good fit for your family, resulting in, as they call it in the rescue world, a foster failure, and this is the best way you can fail at something and be the ultimate winner. As a foster parent, If after a couple of weeks, and a couple of weeks is  the absolutely shortest amount of time you should give any dog to get acclimated, you find the dog is not a good fit, the rescue can post the dog on line and begin to market him to help  find his Fur-ever home. Most Foster families are given the opportunity to participate in this and often encouraged to speak with potential adopters about their foster dog, his habits, likes and dislikes. Rescue groups are very supportive of foster families and some rescue groups that do not
have a physical facility depend on foster homes to save as many lives as they can. Many of these rescue groups usually supply food and other necessities for their foster dogs while they are in foster homes.

Don’t forget about the Elderly ..! 
Old dogs are amazing.! They get it! They have been there, done that. They learn quickly and are ever so appreciative. Usually happy as can be to hold the fort down and wait their turn. Please don’t forget to include this amazing group of dogs in your search for a new family member.. I leave you with a quote from a fellow rescuer..

2015 2373“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”

Karen Davison

Good luck in your search..!


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I love this post. I have two dogs; a Mini Dachshund named Holly and one rescued from Argentina, named Gabriel. Holly is three years old, and Gabriel is 11. We adopted Gabriel at age 3, and he is a great dog. I would like to adopt another dog, but I certainly do not know how these two are going to react. At least with your tips, I can find a solution for this situation. I never thought to be a Mom Foster ( I don’t know if you say it like that) but it is not a bad idea 🙂