5 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Just over nine months ago, Molly and I began welcoming foster dogs into our home. Molly has been very dedicated to fostering as many dogs as she can, and she has done some other volunteering on top of that. During those nine months, we’ve encountered a wide variety of dogs. And the longer we do it, the more we realize that everyone can find their perfect dog at a shelter or rescue.
The Biggest Excuse
“I can’t find a specific breed at a rescue” is the most common excuse we’ve heard from people who shop instead of adopt. If you’ve said this excuse before, I don’t want you to feel bad about it, but I want you to understand that it’s not always true. More than ever, we’ve learned that any dog can be a rescue.
The rescue we foster for, JRs Pups-N-Stuff, gets dogs of all sizes, ages, and breeds. Some are even desirable breeds that I wouldn’t have expected to be at a rescue. And JRs is just one rescue, so imagine the wide variety of adoptable dogs in all the shelters and rescues out there.
We want to debunk this excuse even further by explaining our experiences with rescue dogs so far. Just because a breed is commonly bought from breeders doesn’t mean they can’t be rescues too.
Rescue Dogs Can Be…
Yes, lots of purebreds end up at rescues and shelters. In a lot of cases, we can’t confirm if they’re purebreds or not, but we’ve noticed that sometimes there’s proof. A lot of breeders surrender dogs when they don’t have a use for them anymore. Sometimes people also surrender the dogs they bought from breeders when they didn’t fit their expectations. Both of these are sad scenarios, but they help us learn where the dogs came from to help us determine their breed.
Tuck the Maltese, Hazel the Beagle, and Winston the Great Pyrenees were just a few of our foster dogs that came from breeders. As far as we can tell, they are all purebreds. Sadly, humans weren’t very kind to them, but they’ve all turned out to be amazing dogs for their adopters.
You might be unconvinced because rescues don’t have fancy paperwork to prove if a dog is a purebred or not. And what if the breeder or family that surrendered the dog lied about their breed? Well, those are good points, but the same is true if you get your dog from a breeder. It’s not hard to fake paperwork, and many breeders will lie to make some extra cash. Plus, once you fall in love with your dog, you won’t really care what their exact breed is.
A lot of humans turn to breeders because they have dog allergies. This makes more sense to me than just wanting a purebred because you like the breed. A lot of people assume “hypoallergenic dogs” never show up at rescues, but that’s not the case. Although all dogs can cause some allergies, even if they don’t shed.
Dogs that don’t shed tend to get adopted the fastest, but they do exist in the rescue world. In fact, we had one adopter who was allergic to dogs, so she was waiting to find a rescue dog that she wasn’t allergic to. She ended up adopting Lennard, who was definitely a mutt. Molly wasn’t even sure if he shed or not, but when the lady met him, she had no allergic reactions! Now, the two of them are so happy together. We’ve also fostered at least three other non-shedding dogs.
Like with purebreds, we can’t provide paperwork to guarantee that a dog won’t shed. But you can always meet with the dog first to guarantee that they won’t trigger your allergies. Rescues are less likely to lie about a dog’s shedding than a breeder will because, from our experience, rescues want to find the best home for each dog while some breeders care more about money. Of course, not all breeders are like that, but the bad breeders definitely seem to overshadow the good ones.
I’m not sure what’s up with the “designer dog” craze, but everyone seems to want one. A designer dog is a mix between two popular purebreds, usually involving poodles or other low-shedding breeds. The prices for these dogs at breeders are insane, sometimes reaching thousands of dollars. But since we’ve started fostering, we’ve seen several designer dogs come into the rescue, including some Aussiedoodles, a Cavachon puppy, and some Shih Tzu mixes.
It seems like these “fancy” mixed breeds are surrendered to rescues more than people realize. For the Cavachon, the family got rid of him because they just bought him, but he barked too much so their landlord told them to get rid of him. And it seems this happens a lot. Many families buy cute puppies without doing their research, but then surrender them when they are too much work.
So, it’s better to adopt designer dogs after they’re surrendered than to buy one from a breeder. That way, you’re supporting a charity rather than encouraging someone to bring more dogs into this world.
There are so many puppies at rescues! Everyone seems to want a puppy. Our rescue gets in lots of litters of puppies and sometimes even pregnant dogs. So, if you’re a part of the puppy craze, there are puppies of all ages looking for forever homes.
In a lot of instances, the puppies at rescues are mixed breeds, but that doesn’t stop them from being adorable. Plus, designer dogs are mixed breeds, so what’s the difference? Too many humans assume that rescues only take in the older dogs with behavioral problems, but we have plenty of friendly puppies too.
What You’re Looking for Might Not Be Right For You
Yes, rescues and shelters can have the dogs you’re looking for, especially if you’re patient. But in most cases, the dog that’s perfect for you might not be the dog you expect. I’m sure all humans have an image in their mind of what their dream dog will be, but dogs can surprise you. If you’re too focused on finding one specific dog breed, you might overlook a dog with the perfect personality for you.
Take your time when choosing a new family member. It can’t hurt to meet a wide variety of dogs while you’re looking. You never know when you’ll meet your new best friend.
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