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Why Adopt A Shelter Dog?

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When I first decided to get a dog I didn’t know much about dog breeders, pet stores, rescue dogs, or why adopting a shelter dog might be a better alternative.

After you’ve made the decision to bring a dog into your life you have many options as to where you will get a dog.  Here are a few of the choices I thought about before making my final decision:

  1. Adopt A Dog From The Animal Shelter
  2. Adopt A Dog From A Rescue
  3. Buy A Dog From A Breeder
  4. Buy A Dog From The Pet Store

I’m going to go in depth on my reasoning for getting Linus from the animal shelter.  However, I don’t plan on going into detail on why you should or should not go with any of the other three options on this list.  If you are looking for a dog I’d recommend either getting a dog from the animal shelter or from an animal rescue.  If you’re looking for a specific breed you can find dog rescues dedicated to just about any breed.  I’ve also read that 25% of the animals at the shelter are purebred dogs.  Try looking for rescue and shelter dogs at Petfinder.com.

image by bcgrote

We think you should highly consider adopting from a shelter or rescue and if you’re looking for a specific breed as I said try looking for a breed specific rescue.  However, we do know that some might choose to purchase a dog from a breeder.  If you decide to get your dog from a breeder make sure you do your due diligence.  Do some research on how to find a good breeder.   After you know how to find a good breeder make sure you apply that information when looking for your next dog.

I’d highly recommend not purchasing a dog from the pet store as many of their dogs come from puppy mills.  Read more about puppy mills at Stop Puppy Mills if you’ve been considering purchasing a dog from the pet store.

Why Adopt A Shelter Dog?

If you’ve been following this blog for a while then you probably know all about my story and how I adopted Linus from the local animal shelter.  Now the question is why did I decide to go with a shelter dog and not any of the other three methods of obtaining a dog.

I had heard for years never to get a puppy from the pet store because they came from puppy mills.  Puppy Mills are horrible places where breeding dogs are kept in cages (usually their entire lives) and churn out puppies like factories with no regards to the health of the puppies or breeding dogs.

We considered a breeder and actually visited several backyard breeders.  The breeders we visited were found via the local newspaper classified ads.  Each breeder had varying levels of professionalism.  Some had both parents on the premises, AKC paperwork, hip and elbow certification.  Some of the breeders had none of this information.  If your considering a breeder I’d recommend you read the chapter on Where Can I Find My Puppy? in  Puppies For Dummies.  This section not only tells you about breeders, but rescues, pet stores, and other ways of getting a dog.  Ultimately, we decided getting a dog from a breeder was not for us.  I was more interested in saving a dog from a shelter.

We didn’t not consider getting a dog from a local rescue.  After we decided not to go with a breeder I kept my eye on Petfinder.com checking out lists of adoptable dogs and puppies from both local rescues and shelters.  One day I saw Linus and his siblings at the Carson Shelter.  I immediately thought he might be the one.  Petfinder.com showed three dogs and if you’re interested in finding out how I chose Linus then check out the article on How To Choose A Puppy.  Later that day I brought home my new puppy.

So why exactly did I adopt a shelter dog?

  1. I definitely did not want a puppy from the pet store after reading about pet stores and puppy mills.
  2. Because there are so many dogs euthanized in shelters I chose not to get a dog from the breeder and rather rescue from a shelter.
  3. If I found the perfect puppy at a rescue than I would have had no problem getting a rescue dog.
  4. I found my perfect puppy via Petfinder.com and rescued him from the Carson Shelter in Los Angeles.

Ultimately, I weighed my four options for getting a dog and decided that dog rescue was the best way for me to get a dog.

I’m so happy I chose to rescue Linus from the shelter.  He brings me tons of joy.  Every day I return from work I’m excited to see him and he’s excited to see me.  He’s my companion when I’m home alone.  He impresses my friends with his tricks.  He encourages me to exercise every day.  He comforts me when I’m sad.  He cuddles up next to me when I’m cold.  Rescuing Linus was one of the best decisions I made in my life.  Those are the answers to the question: Why Adopt A Shelter Dog?

Have you rescued a dog from the shelter?  What has your experience been like?

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  1. I also adopted my dog from my area shelter in Washington, DC. I previously adopted my cat from the same shelter and have loved the care and attention they give to each animal and to each prospective adopter. The Washington Animal Rescue League is a no kill shelter, so anytime I want to adopt I always choose them first so that it clears the space for more animals to be brought to a no kill shelter. I’ve read that the euthanization rates are very high at shelters. If everyone would please consider adopting from shelters maybe that rate could eventually go to zero. Both my dog and my cat have wonderful personalities and I know are grateful for the lives that they have. I only wish I could adopt more, but I unfortunately don’t have that option.

  2. We just came across an article at the Dog Files website stating that City Council Members in West Hollywood are taking steps to vote on a proposal to only allow pet stores to sell rescue or shelter pets.

    I also saw this same story on the news a couple nights ago. Here’s the link to the Dog Files article: Banning Pet Shops On Sale Of Puppy Mill Dogs

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