Ever had a hankering for a certain breed of dog? Not an obsession, mind you not sort of longing that would send you rushing to a breeder, thousand-dollar-bill in your sweaty palm but just a gentle appreciation for virtues of Poodle, Pug or Pyrenean Mastiff?
Let's say you have -- but you thought buying a purebred pup was a less-than-ideal use of your family's resources. If that's case, it might be time to look up your local Dog Rescue organization! Dog Rescues are organized by breed, so prospective parents can sign up to be notified when new poodles or pugs come in.
What's advantage of adopting a rescue dog, instead of a breeder pup? A rescue dog isn't always cheaper than breeder's (though it usually is). The main difference is this: your money equals a new life for a dog that completely lost out on his first roll of dice.
*How do I adopt a Rescue Dog?
Dog rescue organizations are volunteer-driven, and loosely organized. Your best bet is to 'Google' for one nearest you, using breed name. So poodle lovers can search for 'Poodle Rescue' or 'Poodle Rescue Florida,' if they live down south.
Once you find an organization, you'll want to apply as an adoptive parent. This may involve a down payment. It also usually involves a form in which you describe your history of animal ownership, and supply references. You'll provide some information on your beliefs about dog discipline, your house and yard, and where you plan to keep your newest family member.
The dog rescue foster moms and will want to talk to you in person, too, to get a feel for your compatibility with their particular pup.
*What will I pay for a Rescue Dog?
On average, you'll pay between $200 and $300. If you thought "rescue" adoption was cheap, this might seem like a lot, but fact is it simply covers basic procedures to bring animal back to health. Most dogs arrive at Rescue with skin problems, tartar-coated teeth, out-of-date vaccinations, possible parasites and other issues.
*How will a Rescue Dog differ from a breeder or pet store dog?
In a number of ways. Your new adoptee is likely to be:
Older. Few dogs are rescued as puppies. A few are 'adolescent.' The vast majority are middle-aged.
Cautious. Your adoptee may have a lot of fear and yes, grief, to process. If he felt like a part of his former family, he may be grieving his sudden "ejection." He may need time and patience to take an interest in food, play, or his general surroundings. If he was starved or kept isolated, he'll need time and patience to learn to socialize.
"Readable." Buying a puppy means taking a wild guess at eventual adult. When you rescue a grown dog, you get a much better idea of his personality. It's easier to make perfect match.
*Am I right type of owner for a Rescue Dog?
An important question! You, owner, are last and most crucial link in a chain. The chain's only purpose is provide a "happily-ever-after" for a dog that desperately deserves one. Can you be that happily-ever-after, even for a dog that may have some rough edges?