About Adopting

Why a Shelter Dog Should Be Your Next Best Friend

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So, you want to get a new dog for your family. If you’re like most people, you’ve thought about buying a pooch from a reputable breeder. But before you buy, why don’t you consider adopting a dog from a shelter instead?

Although getting a new puppy from a breeder may seem like a great idea, opening your home to a rescue dog has its benefits too. Adopting a shelter dog can be equally rewarding, maybe even a better addition to your household.

Plus, according to the ASPCA, roughly 25% of all shelter dogs are purebred. So, if it’s a specific breed you’re hoping to bring home, chances are you’ll find him in a shelter, too, not just from a breeder or pet store.

Why Adopting a Shelter Dog is a Good Idea:

· Buying dogs from large-scale commercial breeders or pet stores may have many drawbacks. Most people assume that buying a pooch from one of these sources is the better choice as it can provide for a healthier and emotionally sound pet. This is actually a misconception since many dogs marketed to pet stores generally come from puppy mills where they are kept in deplorable conditions until they are sold.

In puppy mills, the breeding dogs are confined in small and cramped cages, fed inadequate diets, and provided with insufficient vet care. As a result, dogs reared in these environments tend to encounter more serious health problems as well as behavioral issues than dogs raised with families.

· Rescue dogs need and deserve a second chance. Many people assume that there’s something wrong with dogs from animal shelters and rescue centers. While it’s true that a few rescue dogs have ended up in shelters because of ignorant, lazy, cruel, irresponsible, neglectful, and abusive human owners, the rescued dogs are hardly as harsh as their backgrounds. With attention, meaningful interaction, constant socialization, or productive obedience training, troubled shelter dogs are almost always capable of being terrific canine citizens.

And, in most cases, animals surrendered to shelters have been loving and loyal members of a family. Now they are not only confined in an unfamiliar place but in a kennel with other frightened, anxious dogs. Just imagine the kind of stress and terror these shelter dogs must feel right now.

· Adopting shelter dogs will bring more meaning to your life. Bringing a rescue dog into your home and treating him as one of your family members means saving a life. When you rescue a dog, you become a hero for a sentient, innocent, and vulnerable being desperate for a loving home. Giving a rescue dog the second chance can also bring you a sense of fulfillment as you save his life and then watch him flourish with love, care, and respect.

Aside from that, shelter dogs can improve the quality of your life. They are capable of lifting spirits and increasing life longevity. Several studies have already substantiated the correlation of adopting a companion pet to several health benefits.

Finally, the unconditional love that these animals can give is priceless. A rescued dog generally knows that you have saved him, and he is thankful, devoted, and unreservedly loving and loyal because of it.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Jane

    May 31, 2014 at 12:08 am

    We have 2 shelter dogs, Mitzy a Dachshund/beagle mix and Ben an Italian greyhound/rat terrier mix. Mitzy has been with us over 6yrs, she was skin and bone when we first got her, I will never understand why she was there she is the most loving dog, the only thing I can think is if she isn’t bathed on a regular bases the hound smell(lol). Ben has been with us for 4yrs, he is also very loving with us. His problem is he is very nervous and terrified of kids. Ben was 11mths when we got him he was brought to shelter at 6mths as unhandable pup, he was adopted once and returned 2wks later because bit a child. We were his last chance the only problem we have is his fear of kids(and he will nip them if given the chance). With rules and training both of which he never had(he didn’t know what toys were)Ben is a big baby and very loving. If we ever get another dog or cat, we also have 2 shelter cats, they will come from the shelter.

  2. Alex

    May 23, 2014 at 2:32 am

    I was really nervous to adopt a dog from a shelter at first. I was afraid that I’d get one with really bad behavior problems or health issues that I couldn’t afford to take care of since I was in grad school. However, I started looking on PetFinder out of curiosity and fell in love with a little dog on there whose big eyes were just begging for a loving home. I brought her home and it was one of the best decisions of my life. She’s the most well-behaved, eager to please, sweet and snuggly dog I’ve ever met. She did have a mild case of heartworms, but her most recent vet visit showed a negative test! Every dog I have from now on will be a rescue!

  3. Kathy Garrigues

    May 20, 2014 at 1:23 am

    Thre last dog I adopted from the shelter was so cute ! One brown eye one blue ! I fell in love with her instantly !! That night she got sick and had hershey squirts :'(:'(:'(:'( spent another $50 bucks and found out that she had parvo really bad she had to go to puppy heaven me I was heart broken ! My kids were also heartbroken !! When I ask if they check for parvo before adoptions she said only if they show some sign of being sick :'(:'(:'(:'( so I exposed all my other dogs to this

  4. Marti Bolding

    May 19, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Our last three dogs were either foundlings or rescues. Unfortunately, two of them have gone to play with the angels. I miss them every day and cherish the one we still have. He is nine years old now and grows more sweet and precious every day. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him. He follows me every step I make, and finds a way to be in the same room with me, wherever I am.
    I will always have at least one dog, preferably more. They will be nothing but rescues. They definitely know you have saved them, and are grateful for their whole lives to you. I’d take them all home if I could!

  5. eileen

    Dec 29, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Rescue is they only way to go. You can find great dogs at your local shelter or Petfinder .com.Two of mine I found on Petfinder one at the local shelter and one given to me.They all have been or are Therapy Dogs.Some people say they don’t want a dog from a shelter because it was somebodys problem I look at it Your loss my gain

  6. MJ

    Dec 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I saw my dog on facebook… he was shared by a friend of a friend of a friend and ended up on my news feed. He was on the euth list at the local shelter because he had been there for a very long time and was shelter depressed and had stopped eating. He had a big goofy grin on his face and big black spots on his back just like Scooby Doo. Once I met him I immmediatly put my application in and became his momma. We discovered he was terrified of the stairs at my apartment… having been most likely abused… a month later I closed on my own home. He is the best dog ever. Rarely barks, loves my kitty and snuggles with him. I encourage everyone I know to. Save a life by adopting. For the $100 adoption fee he wa s neutered, had all his shots, and a wellness check. Can’t beat that bargain… I could not have gotten him at a breeder… he is 1/2 beagle and blue tick hound… but a pure bred of either of those dogs would be much more and at least a $200 vet bill on top of it.

  7. Karen Stevenson

    Dec 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I love my shelter dog, Brandy. He’s so nice to come home to from work.

  8. Laurie Carr

    Dec 20, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Daisy our rescue lab is a true angel. We lost our other dog tragically and I thought I would never have another dog again!…there she was sad, abandoned, abused. Loving her and nursing her back to health gave us a new sense of purpose and helped both my husband and I heal our broken hearts.

    She loves the rescue cats we have also taken in and she keeps everyone in line.

    We are so thankful for her and I am reminded as she lays in her bed beside me at night waits until I shut my eyes before she lays down to sleep and in the morning, yawns wiggles upside down and waits for her morning belly rub

  9. Graciela Larzabal

    Dec 20, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Every pet we ever had was rescued…the thing is, each one of them rescuet US. Watching them adjust to their new family, sometimes, our hearts would break. But seeing how, slowly, they would stop looking out the window and started accepting that we were there for good, to see their healing…and knowing that they were in a safe place with people who loved them…magical.
    They are lost just how we are lost in someway and we need each other. They are the most loving and grateful when they see our love. And we are enriched by their little lives being a part of ours.

  10. Anne B.

    Dec 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Please do not lump reputable breeders in with pet stores and puppy mills. They are NOT the same things. Reputable breeders (and there are lots), do not sell puppies to pet stores and do not allow puppies they have bred to end up in shelters. Reputable breeders are NOT backyard breeders.

    • Kelby English

      May 19, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      As long as there are dogs in shelters, there’d no such thing as a “reputable” breeder.

  11. Brandi K.

    Dec 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    My pug Cala Lilly was rescued from a puppy mill. When we got her she had infections everywhere, she didn’t know how to walk, and was afraid of everything. We adopted her, got her medical attention, and gave her more than love than she could ever imagine. She is now healthy and not only walks, but plays and runs. She is a loving sweet cuddle bug. We love her so much and can’t imagine life without her. She is attached to my ankle wherever I go! 🙂

  12. Angie DeGennaro

    Dec 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I love articles like this! Every dog counts & if this article inspired just one person to adopt, then it is a success! My last dog, Abby was a rescue from animal control. She was a nervous bundle of energy with scars on her young body & anxiety issues. She took a little while but she came around & turned out to be the most loving dog! She lived to be 13+ years old & she even saved our lives once by preventing us from being in a deadly head-on car accident. Dogs have super-hero senses!

  13. Lon Hodge

    Dec 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Does saving my life count? 🙂

  14. Paul and Pegi Ackerman

    Dec 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Our dog, Angie, is a shelter dog, and the best dog a person could ever have. She is so loving, cuddly, alert, conscientious-especially when we are down or ill, she is right there and wants to help. She is such a sensitive dog to others, and would never harm a fly………….of course, we don’t tell people this…..for ours and others protection. When someone new or even a friend comes into the house, she smells them and then if we would allow her, she would be all over them loving them……………..she goes with us to our volunteer position at a local Nursing Facility, where there are over 250 residents, and loves it and loves to go from room to room, loving and cheering up the residents………….she has been sort of a therapy dog for our autistic grandson………….she and he are the best of pals and when we ask Angie if she wants to go see our grandson, or go to his house, she gets all excited and runs all over the house. About 98% our our animals over the years, have been rescued shelter dogs. We would not have it any different……..they show so much love to others…………..thanks for allowing us to tell you about our Angie. She is 1/2 basset and 1/2 Welsh Corgi, with the Corgi personality…………no wonder the Queen of England loves her Corgis………….they are so loving and loyal……………

  15. Maryann

    Dec 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    We’ve rescued several dogs over the years and sometimes they’re the best dogs ever! When they are finally shown some love and attention and know they’ll be fed regularly and their needs are met they recipicate 10 fold with love and affection!

  16. MSK

    Dec 20, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Thirteen years ago I adopted a dog who had been abandoned. She was so undernourished that the vet thought she wouldn’t make it. She was literally minutes away from being euthanized. We named her Lucky because she was lucky to find us and we were lucky to find her. She has been the most incredible dog you can imagine — calm even when the house was filled with kids, always ready to sit near us when we were watching TV or at my son’s many softball or soccer games, and yet eager to explore the world. She’s at the tail end of her life, and despite the poop on the floor and her bad breath, we are lucky to have had her in our lives.

  17. Jen

    Dec 20, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I cannot advocate enough for rescuing a shelter dog. My last three have been rescues. The first was a beautiful, gentle purebred Husky with a wonderful temperment. Many years later, I adopted a purebred chocolate lab. He had an extremely rough start in life and early on was near death a couple times. It has been such a blessing to watch him grow into a strong, happy adult dog. He, in turn saved my life at a time of severe illness. I took in another rescue to keep my lab company as a pup, and he has turned out to be the most affectionate dog I have ever met. Both my latter two dogs have come with pretty extensive issues due to their past but we work through them and I wouldn’t trade these boys for anything. Just know that if you adopt a shelter dog, there may be issues, health or emotional, that you need to help your new dog work through. It will be well worth it. But before you adopt, commit yourself to being what your new dog needs you to be. Your new dog will reward you with joy, laughter, playfulness, exercise, and companionship daily. If you are willing to commit to another’s needs, a dog is the best investment you will ever make, especially when you save their life.

  18. Melinda

    Dec 20, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I have 5 rescued dogs- 2 from local shelters and three found as strays on the street and 12 rescued cats- all of my furbabies are well loved and love us unconditionally- several of the cats and dogs have formed very loving bonds. Our golden retriever mothers several of the cats and our miniature cocker spaniel. They have all been fixed and are well fed and loved unconditionally by us. We would not even consider buying from a pet store when there are so many wonderful loving pets at the shelters and wandering the streets lost and unloved- they just need to know they are loved and cared for and they become wonderful family members- I could not imagine life without a single one of them.

  19. Janice K

    Dec 20, 2013 at 10:16 am

    My husband & I have always adopted from a shelter. we are on furbaby #3
    We adopted Davy this year in February 2013 a 10 year old German Shepherd
    who spent his life in multiple shelters! When he came to a NY shelter that was
    having a yard sale we went to look at all the dogs he was just sitting there quietly
    not barking or jumping around. when we left my husband and I were in tears saying
    We can’t leave him there! Went back next day and adopted him!
    He’s the best dog anyone can ask for!! Don’t shop ADOPT! that’s where we
    found our best friend!!!

  20. Meg Stutts

    Dec 20, 2013 at 10:15 am

    I adopted a shelter dog,a chihuahua from the shelter that I volunteer at and he is such a special ,sweet dog! I think everyone should adopt a shelter dog.

  21. Chandra

    Dec 20, 2013 at 9:54 am

    When I was growing up we always had dogs and cats and they were always rescue animals. Last year when my husband wanted a puppy we found a wonderful local rescue here in Denver and went to see the pups they had….and of course one of them told me he was mine…lol. We adopted brother and sister that day. Not only have we been fostering dogs for this rescue ever since but we’ve added two more awesome fur friends to our pack. Animals aren’t given up because they’re bad…it’s usually due to lazy owners. Case in point…I am currently fostering a pregnant dog that our rescue saved from “the list” in New Mexico….she’s ten months old…she was surrendered because she was “disobedient and got pregnant”!!!…

  22. AR Neal

    Dec 20, 2013 at 9:38 am

    We have adopted all our dogs from local shelters. Pi, our first, was the greatest dog to ever exist; he had a brain tumor and sadly we had to have him put to sleep last month. Sputnik and Woola are coping, but won’t be the same. Neither will we. I can’t imagine going anywhere else to find a new member of our family. Shelter dogs are the best.

  23. kim

    Oct 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    It will be 2years since we rescued my 12 yr old heidi from the NSPCA in las vegas. She had twowo previous owners and I was happy to have her as a companion for kao kao whom I had since he was a pup. Heidi is a wonderful senior dog and we had her since she wad 10. Many people like cute puppies or young dogs and its hard to find furever homes for senior dogs. I myself prefer older dogs as they aare just as wonderful to have as a young pup. People think that u cabt teach old dogs new tricks but in reality We can. I reccommend that people consider senior dogs if they are not as active in their lifestyle. They bring wisdom to yoz.

  24. Shelly PoochParkWear

    Oct 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Layla is my HaShiPoo, a rescue from the Carson Shelter, when my baby passed I immediately started looking for a new baby, I wanted a fluffy and at the time there were none in SF, so my friend was in LA on business and told me I had 5 days to go online and look for a fluffy, I saw Layla in a cage on Petharbor, emailed my friend the info, on Saturday she was pulled and on Sunday she came to San Francisco to me, I have no regrets doing it that way, I love her to bits and she has gone from pound to princess.

    That is our rescue story 🙂

  25. Barbara V. Hawkins

    Oct 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    My children and I are preparring our home for a pet(dog). He or she will be the first one I’ve had since I was a young girl still living at home with my parents. We are taking this time to educate our children on how to take care of our new family member and make sure they understand the responsibilities and joys a dog will bring to our home. We are looking into the Humane Societies in the Tri-county area and we hope to have a new addition to our family soon.

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