3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
If you’ve decided that you’d like to adopt a dog, then you need to think about where to look. It is easy to search for adoptable dogs online, but of course, you will want to meet your new family member in person before bringing them home. So, when adopting, should you look at rescues or shelters?
What is a Shelter?
A shelter is a place where a lot of dogs are kept while they wait for adoption. These dogs are usually all in the same place, so you can see all the adoptable dogs at once.
If you see a dog you are interested in, they usually have private rooms where you can meet the dogs. That way, you can interact one-on-one right away. However, many shelter dogs act differently at the shelter than they would at home since the shelter can be a scary and unfamiliar place for them.
Since shelters only have so much space on-site, they can only take so many dogs at a time. Sadly, some shelters will euthanize dogs if they need to make room for incoming animals.
At shelters, all dogs are usually up to date on vaccinations and they have already been spayed or neutered. The application process at a shelter is typically quicker and easier than at a rescue, however, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s better.
What is a Rescue?
Rescues are similar to shelters, but instead of being on-site, most of the dogs will be found at a foster home. This is so the dogs can get used to a home environment, and so the rescue will be able to learn more about each dog.
Dogs at rescues will also be up to date on vaccinations and spayed or neutered just like a shelter dog would. However, the adoption process at a rescue is typically longer since not all the dogs are in one place.
If you see a dog that you are interested in on their website, you will need to find a time to meet that dog at their foster home. This can be a great opportunity to meet the dog in an area that they are comfortable in.
If you decide that you want to adopt that dog, then there are some additional steps that you need to take. Some rescues will require a home visit or a family interview to make sure your home is suitable for the dog. This process will likely take longer than at a shelter, but the perfect dog is well worth the wait.
Which One is Better?
Obviously, I am a bit bias since I was from a rescue, but overall, one is not better than the other. It’s all a matter of opinion. I would suggest looking at both though because you never know where the perfect dog for you will be.
If you’re looking to bring home a dog as soon as possible, a shelter is likely better. However, if you are okay taking the extra time to get a rescue dog, then that’s okay too!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when looking for your perfect family member. Nothing is guaranteed with a dog, but both rescues and shelters can give you specific information about how the dog has behaved so far.
So, are you ready to bring home a new dog? Please give both shelters and rescues a chance, and remember: always adopt, don’t shop!
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