Today I want to talk to you about choosing a rescue or shelter dog. The question I get asked all the time is, “Should I go buy a dog or should I go to a shelter or rescue to get one”? In a way, this is a loaded question because it depends on what you are looking for. Generally, which I define in this case to be about 98% of the time, I would suggest you go to a shelter or rescue first. Why? Because first of all, there is a lot of back yard breeding taking place in America today. Now I recognize that there are some good breeders but the reality is there are a lot more bad ones.
When you go to a shelter or rescue to look for a dog there are a couple of things you should consider … the common sense side of it and second is it the right thing to do.
Let’s talk about common sense. First of all, getting a dog from a rescue or shelter is a lot less expensive than buying one from a breeder. Second, you get to choose from so much variety. When you walk into a shelter or rescue you’ll see small, medium and large size dogs. You get to choose what kind of energy level you want your dog to have – low, medium or high. In other words, you can go to a shelter or rescue and find a dog that is going to fit you and your family’s lifestyle. Another plus is that when you choose an adult dog, you know what you are getting compared to getting a puppy where it’s an unknown.
Now let’s talk about the emotional side of it. Think of this … there are now between six and eight million dogs in rescues and shelters today in the United States. While many are adopted, the reality is a high percentage of these dogs get euthanized. I’m not saying that shelters or rescues are bad, it’s just a fact that way too many of these dogs are being put down. When we adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue we are saving a dog that probably would not be around except for your decision to take him. Think of it as doggy pay it forward.
When you rescue a dog, you open up room and space for another dog to go in its place and have a chance to get rescued. And let’s face it…. it’s not the dog’s fault that he is in a shelter or rescue. They end up there because of a number of reasons but none of them are the dog’s fault. I guarantee that when that dog was a puppy he didn’t think, “Boy, someday I want to end up in a shelter or rescue”! So here’s the deal. Rather than let a dog get euthanized, why not adopt him and get a great lifelong companion and a loyal family member. It makes sense and it’s definitely the right thing to do.