Shelters around the U.S. are overflowing with animals that need a home. Though many shelters try every option before euthanizing for space, it does happen. For that reason, animals everywhere need more people willing to adopt instead of shop.
However, many people still prefer to shop for dogs for a variety of reasons. Whether they are looking for a certain breed, would like a dog from a line of trained animals, or are looking to show their animal, it seems as though a breeder is the better option. However, there are ways to adopt a purebred dog instead of shopping for one. Knowing the facts about purebred dog adoption, doing your research, using the tools available to you, and following the same adoption rules are all important aspects of purebred dog adoption.
Know the Facts
For some prospective dog owners, breed is important. For instance, some military service members, who have a higher chance of being diagnosed with PTSD, feel more comfort with a German Shepherd as their therapy animal as the breed is commonly used for military work. Others prefer a certain breed known for their working abilities, like a specific hunting dog or herding dog. Some look for certain breeds that have hypoallergenic coats. These are all fine reasons for preferring a certain breed. However, what some people don’t know is that an estimated 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred. Just because you’re adopting doesn’t mean you can’t find the breed you prefer, it just means that finding them might take time.
The reason a purebred dog may be surrendered to a shelter can vary. Perhaps the dog was meant to be shown and didn’t turn out, perhaps the breed was too much for an owner, or the dog had unforeseen health problems — a common issue with purebred dogs.
There are a couple of reasons why people warn against shopping. One is that there are so many dogs that need a home, the other is that there are so many irresponsible breeders. Also, it’s important to look at your reasons for wanting a purebred dog. Perhaps you’re unaware that your dream dog can also exist in a mix breed. Pointers aren’t the only dogs that can be trained to be hunting dogs, cattle dogs aren’t the only dogs that can be trained to herd, and some mix breeds can have hypoallergenic qualities.
Do Your Research
Fortunately, a little research can take you a long way. Just be aware of the legwork it may take to find your purebred dog in an adoption setting. The plus side to the work is that you’re saving a life. There are many organizations that specialize in breed specific rescues. In fact, the AKC has a list of breed rescue groups that you can go through to find and adopt the breed you’d like. There are rescues that specialize in every breed you can imagine, so before shopping, look into the dogs of your chosen breed that badly need a home.
In addition to finding rescues in the U.S. that specialize in saving a specific breed, you can also get in contact with shelters in your area. Put yourself on a waiting list for a specific type of dog, look at shelters in a nearby state, and continue to search until you find the dog you want. It’s a little more difficult than finding a breeder near you, but the payoff is adopting a dog that needs a home.
Understanding the Tools Available
You can look at your local shelters, animal rescues surrounding your town, or take time searching for your pet via the list of breed rescues in the United States. However, you can also use a variety of different websites to help your search. Sites like Petfinder, Petango, and Adopt a Pet all specialize in pet adoption. You can search by location, breed, gender, age, color, size, or temperament in some cases. For those looking for a specific breed, chances are they wouldn’t mind taking a day trip to go pick up the dog of their dreams, and these websites make those dogs visible to us when we might not be able to see them otherwise.
The Same Rules Apply
Whether your dog is purebred or not, no matter where you get them, you’ll have to go through a pet adoption process. If you don’t, it’s really not the best adoption scenario. Before you search for your perfect pup, you may consider the changes you’ll need to make to your home. During a home inspection (if the organization you go through requires one) they will be looking at potential safety hazards, and they will tell you how to remedy any concerning areas. Even if the organization you go through doesn’t require a home inspection, it’s still a good idea to make your home into the best environment for your pup regardless of its breed.
The same rules apply to a purebred dog that they do for any dog. Some things vary, but really you just want to be sure you’re adopting a dog that’s right for you, and that you’re right for your dog. Dogs are hard work, and they are a commitment for the entirety of the dog’s life. If more people kept their animals forever, our shelters wouldn’t be as overflowing as they are. No matter which type of dog you adopt, be sure you’re committed to giving them a home forever.
Some pet owners are stuck in a place where they want a certain breed of dog, but aren’t sure about using a breeder. Fortunately, there are ways to have both – if you’re willing to wait and search for them. Wanting a purebred dog isn’t bad, and some breeders are responsible about the health of all of their dogs, the number of puppies they produce, and the regulations created for responsible breeding. However, far too many breeders have created problems and the numbers of dogs are now overwhelming the resources they need. What more people should know is that so many bad breeders are creating dogs that even those are ending up in shelters – not just mixed breed dogs. Millions of dogs need homes – both purebred and mixed breed. If you’re looking for a purebred fuzzy companion, remember that your perfect dog may be in a shelter looking for their forever home.
Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in beautiful Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree in 2012 from the University of Montana. She is passionate about animal rights, bad television, and white wine. She is a volunteer at Simply Cats in Boise.