Adopting a pet from a local shelter is a great way to help save an animal from an uncertain future. But what if you want a purebred? Can you pick the breed you want and still save a life? With a little help from a breed rescue, the answer is yes!
Many dog owners admire the unique looks and personalities of purebreds, but also worry about the fate of millions of pets euthanized each year.
What many people don’t realize is that there are specific breed rescue organizations for almost every breed of dog, placing dogs in need to new homes.
Rescue groups are an invaluable resource in the on-going battle to keep millions of pets from being euthanized.
With armies of volunteers, these organizations not only rescue their specific breed from shelters and other situations, but provide them with medical care. In many cases, these dogs are rescued just days – even hours – before euthanasia is scheduled.
Patricia Humphries, a board member with the Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue says the success of rescue groups is due in part to their method of pairing dogs with owners.
“In a shelter situation, most people pick a dog with little or no guidance,” Humphries says. “But with a breed rescue, both dogs and applicants are carefully screened to help find the right match between an individual dog and its new family.”
This point can’t be stressed enough. Many of the millions of pets found in shelters each year are “repeat surrenders.” Behavior issues, medical problems, or lack of knowledge keeps these pets returning. In breed rescues, the overall goal is to find each and every dog its “forever” home.
Humphries says that some potential pet adopters may be hesitant of rescues because they believe most of these dogs will have “special needs.” Not true, she says.
“Breed rescues routinely receive young, healthy pets from families whose circumstances prevent them from properly caring for the animal,” Humphries explains.
Compared to shelters, breed rescues have high success rates placing dogs in lasting homes. By evaluating the dog’s personality and thoroughly screening the potential owners, rescue groups have become proficient at matching the right dog to the right person.
In addition, education about the breed before the adoption and strong follow-up support after adoption helps new owners through this transition period.
Care should be taken when looking for a breed rescue. Look for an organized rescue with a good website that is updated regularly. The rescue should have 501c3 non-profit status and a set adoption process.
Humphries stresses patience when adopting from a breed rescue. “Expect to fill out an application, provide references and have a home check done,” she says. “In most cases, a good rescue organization will probably take one to three weeks for the entire adoption process.”
New owners should expect to pay an adoption fee or donation, ranging from $100 up to $500.
Ultimately, these groups are all non-profit. Adoption donations and fees allow the rescues to provide continued care for their foster animals and reach out to more dogs in need.
You should avoid individuals without an organized structure who adopt pets without doing home checks or allowing animals to go home the same day.
Dogs aren’t the only lucky recipients of this type of attention! Purebred cat rescues exist, as well as rabbit rescues, horse groups and even organizations devoted to rescuing exotic pets such as turtles and other reptiles.
If you want to acquire a new purebred pet, consider saving a life as well! Look for a breed rescue in your area. An easy way to find rescues is to search for your breed on the Internet. Go to Google.com and type your breed into the search box along with “rescue” and your state. Check out www.petfinder.com and www.akc.org as well.