Reasons to buy a dog vs. rescue a dog

I doubt I will buy a puppy from a breeder unless the dog will be used for some specific kind of work. I am interested in buying a protection dog, for example, and it will not come from a shelter.

People will criticize this decision.

But I have made the choice never to judge anyone by how he or she wants to obtain a dog – the process is a personal choice.

“Rescuing” is not the only humane way to get a dog.

Pretty much any dog or cat can be considered a “rescue” these days. I know one man who “rescued” his purebred dog from a pet shop for $500. He sincerely believes his dog is a “rescue.”

I know more than one person who adopted a second dog just so he could call it a “rescue” and fit in better with his local dog community. People can be verbally hostile to the owners of dogs from pet shops or breeders.

This is unfortunate.

But the trendy way (and some would say the only acceptable way) to get a dog right now is to “rescue” that dog.

I used to consider my mutt Ace a rescue until I became irritated by the whole concept of rescuing.

Ace the black lab mix and Cosmo the American Eskimo (he's up for adoption)I don’t call him a rescue anymore.

I did not rescue Ace from a pound or an abusive home. I did not rescue him from the streets of Fargo-Moorhead or some rundown farm.

I just wanted a cool dog, and some lady in Ada, Minn., happened to have a free, housebroken black lab mix.

All of my animals are “hand-me-down” pets. This is a more appropriate term to describe how I acquired my mutt Ace as well as my cats – Beamer and Scout.

Beamer’s first family dropped him off at the humane society when he was a year old. They probably couldn’t handle his odd food obsessions! Scout came from an “accidental” litter. No surprise I ended up with one of the free kittens – the last one to go 🙂

I don’t consider any of my three to be rescues, really. Beamer was the only one to spend some time in a shelter, but his life was never in danger. It was a no-kill shelter, and he was never in the pound like some of my foster animals were.

This rescuing concept is out of control, and it’s not necessarily helping the animals (although it seems to be helping the humans).

There is something unexplainable about adopting a dog that someone else doesn’t want – it’s something I’m definitely drawn to. But I have to be conscious of what I’m doing. It’s too easy for me to get caught up in the emotions of animal adoption.

Reasons to buy a puppy from a breeder

I can think of plenty of good reasons to buy a puppy from a breeder. Although I’ll probably keep adopting these “hand-me-down” rejects, I can see the benefits to buying a dog from a good breeder.

The main draw to buying a puppy is to help raise that pup correctly from the beginning. Unfortunately, the opposite can also happen. I think we all know plenty of people who have helped screw that puppy up from the very beginning. But that’s for another post …

Some puppies are kept in wire cages for the first six weeks of their lives. Some are isolated in sterile environments. Some are never handled. Some are never separated from their moms. I wouldn’t want to buy any of those puppies.

On the other hand, some puppies are allowed to explore their environments naturally. They are allowed to play in the grass, wrestle, learn to be away from Mom, to interact with all kinds of beings. This is the kind of puppy I would be interested in buying.

I would like to use all my knowledge on dog training, dog behavior and dog nutrition to raise a puppy from the start in the way I perceive as correct.

I would love to begin socializing my puppy from early on, taking her everywhere and training her immediately. Imagine the possibilities!

But can’t I just adopt a puppy from a shelter and get the same benefits?

Well, no.

I would like to know that my puppy has no known health risks. I would like to meet her parents and view how well tempered, socialized, trained and groomed they are. I would like to meet my puppy’s grandparents.

I would like to know that my puppy’s parents were raised on the highest quality dog food, not over-vaccinated and never covered in toxic products like Frontline.

None of the above would guarantee a perfect dog, but I do believe it would increase my odds.

Notice I’m not advocating buying a pet shop puppy or buying from the nearest breeder just to get a purebred dog. I know plenty of people who have done this and ended up with perfectly average and acceptable dogs.

It worked for them. It would not work for me.

But seeking out the top breeder of a specific breed and waiting for a pup from a future litter, playing a role in the entire process – yes, I can see the appeal to that.

Purebred dogs for specific work

People sometimes buy purebred dogs for the sake of performing specific tasks. It’s sometimes too great of a risk for these trainers to use rescue dogs when the job at hand is some serious work like service for a handicapped person, herding, search and rescue or protection.

These dogs are sometimes selected carefully from breeders of working-line dogs. A true working dog is very different from an average companion dog. Not better. Just different.

I’m not saying a shelter dog can’t make a good working dog – he can. And I’m not saying every dog bred for work will actually be able to perform well – he won’t.

What about breed-specific rescues?

Breed-specific rescues are wonderful organizations. There is probably a rescue out there for every dog breed. This is the first place I’d look if I wanted a specific breed (I don’t).

However, if I wanted a rare breed such as a greater Swiss mountain dog, I may be put on a waiting list for several months or years before a dog comes up that needs a home. Most people aren’t going to wait around that long for an imaginary dog that may or may not be a good fit. And if they want a specific breed, the other option is to find a breeder.

Don’t get me wrong, adopting an animal is one of the greatest things a dog lover can do. It’s just not for everyone, and I’m OK with that.

Most people decide to have their own children rather than adopt or foster a homeless child. I don’t hear anyone complaining about that.

It’s socially acceptable right now to criticize each other about how we obtain our animals. I think that is too bad.

And so I’m asking you:

What do you think about this obsession with animal rescue?

Have you ever bought a companion dog or working dog from a breeder?

Pictured below is my mutt Ace and my mom’s dog, Elsie – shortly after swimming in the lake! Woo!

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106 thoughts on “Reasons to buy a dog vs. rescue a dog”

  1. I bought my little Addy from a breeder because I knew what kind of dog I wanted. I wanted a basset hound because I had one as a child and lost him tragically. I knew what color and how big I wanted. I also knew I didn’t want the basset to howl because I live in an apartment.

    I see nothing wrong with buying from a breeder. As long as they are good breeders. If you know what you want in a pet then go out and get it.

    I see nothing wrong with “hand-me-down” (as you put it which I absolutely love!) either. After I lost my dog as a kid a stray wandered up and adopted me. He was probably the best dog I ever had.

    I don’t see why some people rag on other people in how they got their animal. I’ve never encountered anything like that. If they’re happy and love their pet then why does it matter how they got their pet?

    So I guess I’m on the fence. If you find a companion with four legs, love it like there’s no tomorrow regardless where it came from.

    1. Great article! Statistically speaking, like it or not we will never adopt our way out of the mess we’ve created. Each person in the US would have to adopt something like seven dogs to get the existing dogs out of the shelters – and that doesn’t include the millions that are still coming in. The current model of shelters isn’t working. Doesn’t mean the people who do shelter work don’t have hearts of gold, don’t try their best, or have the most noble of intentions.

      Fact is that good dogs have to come from somewhere. Good breeders preserve a breed, they take every precaution to ensure that dogs from their yard don’t end up in shelters or abusive situations. If there were no good breeders producing a breed that is sound in health, conformation, and temperament then there will be no more dog breeds. If everyone rescues and no one breeds it wouldn’t be a sustainable model. I know people who think there is absolutely no excuse for breeding a dog in this day and age. I disagree. There is a need, particularly when a breed becomes a ‘fad breed’, for good breeders who can produce dogs when the fad ends and the breed is left a mess both physically and temperamentally with a surplus in the shelters from all the people backyard breeding them.

      I wish breeders and rescues could work with each other more, together they could accomplish great things. Rescue workers often don’t have deep experience or knowledge in every breed of dog they are adopting out, and often end up adopting out dogs without really knowing much about their temperament. To top it off a shelter situation is very stressful on a dog.

      It’s probably very controversial for me to say this, but my belief is that dogs have been domesticated/bred to help people in one way or another for centuries. The most important thing that a dog needs is a person to love. Taking a dog and putting it in an 8×8 kennel run for years on end in a sanctuary situation where it’ll maybe get 10-20 minutes of attention per day is not a very good quality of life, if you ask me. I’m not against rescue in the slightest. It’s important work, and it’s noble. It requires a really special person. It seems nowadays the rescue fad has produced too many dog warehouses where fat, overexcited, bored dogs live out the rest of their days in what is essentially a prison. NOTHING can replace having a human companion for a dog, it’s what they were bred to do at the most basic, primal level.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        Thanks for your comment Amity. You make some good points about breeding, and I agree with you. There is still a place for dog breeders. I also wish rescues would work with breeders more.

        I do disagree with you on the “pet overpopulation” problems, though. Shelters can definitely adopt their way out of killing because actually there are plenty of homes. Shelters just need to make it easier to adopt.

        We have to let go of the “overpopulation” myth. It’s just not true. So please don’t spread the inaccurate fact that each person would have to adopt 7 animals.

        Here’s a link that shows the simple math proving there are more than enough good homes for all the homeless pets: http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=1390

  2. My parents got their papillon at a respectable breeder (with recommendations, comparisons and much thought). After our first papillon, they completely fell in love with the breed – it’s the perfect size, temperament, etc. for them. Though they looked at rescue organizations, no particular dogs stole their heart like the papillon did, so they made the choice to buy from the breeder. I, myself, would probably rather wait for a particular dog to steal my heart at a rescue, but completely suppport their decision. I know their money will go to that family’s future papillon litters and will be well cared for and adopted out to responsible homes, so as long as they’re not supporting irresponsible puppy mill pet store dogs, to each their own.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’m guessing that papillons are difficult to find in rescues, but maybe I’m wrong. I tend to fall for big, black dogs, so there will always be plenty of those in rescues for me to adopt 🙂

  3. I really appreciate your post and want to second every thought!!!

    I adopted/rescued/purchased… whatever a little puppy. He was our first dog and we wanted to start with a pup. Looking back, we were a little dumb in our lack of research of breeders… with that said… he seemed like a happy healthy pooch so off we went with our new bundle.

    Just a bit into our new parenting process I had someone say, “I just don’t get why ANYONE would buy a puppy when there are so many dogs that need rescued!”
    Well… here are my concerns. I had done research and had figured out how I wanted to raise a dog. We were relatively new to dog ownership so didn’t feel qualified to deal with another’s mistakes but felt confident we could work with a puppy and if we feel like we’re going off course (it happens) we would notice early enough to fix the issue… habit… whatever thing we’ve trained him without realizing it.
    One of the biggest reasons though? HEALTH! I am allergic to lots of dog hair around. I can snuggle up to a dog just fine… but once the hair starts floating around, it can do me in. So I wanted a dog who didn’t shed (much, I know they all shed a bit) and I could keep trimmed short so that I wouldn’t have to worry about excessive hair issues.

    Voila. We have a schnorkie puppy who is a tad dorky looking, happy, healthy, and our little muttley.

    My parents train and compete with Schutzhund and have one German Shepherd (top of the line breeding) and their second puppy was born about a month ago. A rescue, or any dog, German Shepherd (or not) would never do for them… they train and compete and love every minute of it; breeding is crucial though.

    It is completely a personal decision. I love the idea of adopting big-black dogs because of the issues they have adopting them… however, I do not feel qualified to deal with a full on “rescue” (abandoned, abused, aggressive, etc). I could definitely adopt a good black lab that might not take the best pictures but loves to chase a ball around. 🙂

    I’ll have to find myself an Ace. 🙂

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Thanks so much for your comment. I guess the only point I want to add to your comment is that it’s often much easier to adopt an adult dog than it is to raise a puppy. I spent time finding an adult dog that was already housebroken, already kennel trained and already used to being around dogs, cats and kids. A lot of adult dogs have issues, but a lot of them do not. It’s a matter of finding the right dog. Or, if you get a puppy, being fully aware of the work and training involved, which obviously you were fully aware. I definitely did not want to deal with puppy ISSUES 🙂

      1. Totally true point… I should have mentioned that too.
        Puppies are like babies! He was very time consuming and we’ve had ups and downs as he’s gone through various growth stages. The puppy choice was great for us… though we may just get an adult with our next dog. 😉 It’s hard work!

          1. +1 on skipping the puppy stage. I adopted Buster (1.5 yr old chocolate lab…3 yrs old now) from someone in CL that didn’t have time for him. I knew I didn’t have time for a puppy who needs to be fed 3 times a day, potty trained, etc etc. Buster was already potty trained which is huge and he never did have any problems chewing.

  4. I definatly will get a dog from a breeder one day and I don’t see anything wrong with it as long as you do your research. Right now I would probably go to a breeder for a Great Dane, there are not a whole lot in rescues.
    I do really love mutts and the best place to find them is usually rescues! And watching other people’s dogs go through that puppy stage with all the chewing and potty training… I’d almost rather go out and get myself another stranger unfriendly dog like Charlie then deal with that. Though they are cute and fun to play with when you don’t have to clean up their poop off your carpet.

    1. I don’t even consider dogs you find on the side of the road and take home a rescue. I personally think that if they are in the pound and taken out by a RESCUE they are then considered a rescue dog.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        I think I’m going to stop using the phrase “rescue dog” completely since there is no clear definition on what a rescue dog is.

        1. Hi, Lindsay! I love your blog. Rescue dogs are specially trained to smell for humans that are buried under snow or under collapsed buildings and houses.
          You could call these dogs ‘abandoned doggies’.

    2. Lindsay Stordahl

      There are actually a lot of great danes in rescues. People get them because they think it would be cool, but then they realize all the lifestyle changes that go along with a great dane. My friend had to upgrade to a larger vehicle, for example, so she could fit her dog in the car with her! She did not think of that ahead of time! She still kept her dog, though. Here’s a link to a regional great dane rescue: http://thegreatdanerescue.com/our-dogs/available-dogs/

      1. I saw that rescue, my only problem would be that I would want a dane as a puppy. Most of the stories I hear about why danes are given up are because they grew too fast and people weren’t ready for it and didn’t train for things soon enough. I’ve done a lot of research on owning a Great Dane and I definatly will not get one as a first dog when i’m living on my own, but I hope to eventually have my own.

  5. Lindsay,
    I don’t think it matters which way a person goes to get their dog. We have always gone the breeder route, but that’s because we were looking for a specific breed, wanted to see the parents and also wanted a puppy. For me, the puppy stage is just too much fun to skip. Some people do like to brag about their ‘rescue’ dog because it’s like giving themselves a pat on the back for a good deed. Please… Either way you go, you need to do your homework and carefully pick the dog you envision having. The key is to not buy on impulse, no matter which route you take. If you think about it, everybody who provides any pup or dog with a good home is rescuing an animal in need. Nice post. Good looking picture of Elsie and Ace!! Miss him, by the way. He had fun in WI!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I would rather skip dealing with the puppy stage. When I got my adult dog, I knew what I was getting as far as his size and temperament.

  6. Yep, I bought my Dalmation Rusty from a breeder. I wanted a Dalmation and I was the first to get the pick of the litter. Rusty was the biggest and the most dominate of the pups. Definately the alpha. He and I went to obedience school together (sometimes I think he was smarter than me), rode motorcycle together, went the the lakes, pretty much did everything together. He was a great dog and he was in my life for 15 years.

    I would buy a dog from a breeder again if I wanted a specific breed. I have always wanted an Irish Wolfhound. I think that it would be tough to find one of them from a local rescue. So if I ever decided to get one I would definately go to a breeder.

    I actually don’t usually tell people where my dogs came from unless they ask. Then I am happy to tell them that I adopted them. Or in Brunos case gave him a new home. But you do really get the feeling at the dog park sometimes that people look at others like they committed a crime if they didn’t rescue their dog. Which is quite irritating. The dog is alive right. He or she are living in less than ideal circumstances for a dog. They are hoping for their forever home just as much as any of the other dogs out there. And they want to give their heart and soul to that special someone that wants to take them home! So yeah they are rescues too!!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Thanks for your input, Shane. It’s nice to hear from someone who has gotten dogs in several different ways. One thing that irritates me is when people assume my dog is a rescue just because he’s a big, black mutt. That’s just as dumb as assuming a golden retriever came from a breeder or that a “Chiweenie” came from a puppy mill.

      P.S. Have you seen the Irish wolfhound mix on 4 Luv of Dog’s courtesy postings? Poor old girl has been on there forever: http://www.4luvofdog.org/wp/courtesy-postings

  7. I am not opposed to people purchasing pets from breeders. I am opposed to the lie that the “shelters” tell about the irresponsible public being responsible for the “shelter’s refusal to shelter, give good care to and find homes for the pets they get paid to “shelter”. I do not think that breeders are the cause of deaths of animals in “shelters”, I believe that irresponsible “shelter” directors are.

    I have purchased two dogs, got one thru a free to a good home ad, was given 3 that were returned to a breeder, and adopted or rescued all the rest. I have pitbulls, weinerdogs, a chocolate lab, a cocker, a jack russell, a corgi, english setter, and a papillion. Every single dog of mine has issues, some of them are just seniors who are hospicing here because I could not leave them to die in the “shelter” when they still had life left to live. One of the doxies has food issues, is overweight, and kills cats. The corgi herds everyone and beats them down if they do not mind her. One doxie came here hating men and ate my husband and teen son til they retrained him and taught him trust. The two pitbulls are crazy overactive and rarely calm, but they would never harm a child or a cat like the doxies would. The cocker is vicious sometimes for no apparant reason only toward me. The two that we bought are the worst two dogs ever and the one we got from the free to a good home ad is one of the best. He was purchased from a pet store and then neglected and hit by his original family. The jack russell is extremely hard to catch when she gets out of the yard and will not come back. I have chased her for 4 hours. The papillon never leaves my yard but he has separation anxiety and will not sleep and cries all night if I am away at a dog sitting job. Sheesh! Have I talked you into just getting a cat yet?

    1. Lori,

      good for you for taking on so many animals with issues…but regarding the comments towards the shelter, you clearly haven’t spent much time IN a shelter. i agree the system is completely screwed up…..they’ll make up stuff about temperaments which in turn gets the dog put down more quickly, which is TERRIBLE, but at the same time, it is because they are overrun with animals. there simply is no room. rescue organizations work overtime with volunteers who are not paid…to constantly try and rescue dogs that are about to be put down and find good homes for them. they work with dogs that have personality issues, and work endlessly to raise money to pay for medical care for the abused and neglected ones. and every home that buys a dog from a store or a breeder means one more abandoned dog getting put to sleep. there’s no way around it….the cause of the problem is TOO MANY DOGS….and guess what, breeding adds to that. obviously you can’t cut breeding out 100% but it needs to be regulated far, far more than it is. NO ONE should be able to take home an un-nuetered or spayed dog without a license.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        Spaying and neutering is important. It’s also very important to have comprehensive adoption programs set up. We need to get these homeless dogs in front of the people likely to adopt them. That means having off-site adoptions where the public will be, convenient shelter hours and so on.

  8. Lindsay Stordahl

    This is exactly why I can’t imagine owning more than two dogs, maybe three. I like to keep my dogs under control. I have high expectations for them. I don’t know how you do it! You must have a lot of patience and patient family members.

  9. Love the post!! Both of ours are hand me downs from our local pound and I agree that going through the puppy stage is not for me, more power to whomever goes through puppy stage!!! However, Belle at almost 2 years and multiple homes when we got her has taken a lot more work to acclimate to the house then D.O.G. who at 10 weeks was in his loving home. I think I will continue to look at mutts and un wanted animals. However with allergies potentially getting worse, I am looking more towards some of the designer mutts to help with those. However time will tell and a dog lover/owner is the same no matter how they got their animal!!!

  10. I think people should “sweep their own thresholds” as they say back in my country. Some statistics are showing that buying from responsible breeders is not where the root of the problem is: “Responsible Breeding” an Oxymoron? http://www.theotherendoftheleash.com/breeders-versus-rescues

    Out of our four last dogs, two were rescues and two were from the breeder. Should we feel guilty for that?

    Plus one of the rescues probably wouldn’t count because it wasn’t from a shelter but rescued from the street?

    Our next one likely will be from the shelter … unless destiny decides otherwise.

    I think that if everybody was more concerned about their own actions than what other people are doing, world would be a better place.

  11. After many years of wanting a dog, but not being in a position to do so (too long of a commute and the dog would be alone for 10-12 hours), three years ago we were finally able to get serious about getting one (husband now works from home). We had no particular breed in mind, and found out that a new acquaintance bred German Shepherd Dogs. We asked lots of questions re: ownership and what we could expect (still not thinking GSD).

    He breeds and trains protection dogs and had a 3-month old on premises that he had wanted to keep to train and breed, but her croup was a bit too short and he no longer planned on breeding her.

    Two weeks later this little one came home to us “on trial”, and has been with us since (yes, we did pay for her once we decided.)

    We are in regular contact with hime and this past April he asked if we knew anyone who would like an 18-month old female. He bought her as a puppy and was planning to breed her to his “main male” (also our dog’s sire), but her hip X-ray showed a slight abnormality, and she WILL get arthritis when she gets older. Of course she can’t be bred and he just wanted a good home for her and peace of mind for him. Again, we took her on trial, and although there are some issues with our resident girl accepting her (it is getting better!), we are committed to her now.

    So what is she? Rescue? Not really. From a breeder? Yes, but not purchased. I don’t know how to answer that.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Thanks for sharing your take on this, Sylv. There are so many different ways for acquiring a dog. Your two sound like great pups.

  12. Huh I had not seen Gidget. I try not to look at dogs that need homes because I always want to take them all. If I didn’t have two of my own and now fostering Bert for 4 luv I may be a little more interested. I have my hands full already. Thanks for the heads up though.

  13. Lindsay Stordahl

    OK, just thought I’d try! Glad to hear you are fostering Bert! How’s it going with him?

  14. It seems this topic comes up a lot on different forums/blogs I frequent. Our two current dogs, one is a shelter puppy and the other is a rehome from his previous owner. Our first lab mix was also a shelter puppy.

    They all have some quirks, even the two we raised from puppy hood and we have to attribute that to nature coming out over nurture.

    I go back and forth on if I want to adopt again or buy from a reputable breeder. I see a huge difference in buying from a pet store (puppy mill breeders), backyard breeder and a reputable breeder especially with labradors. The reputable breeders does all the necessary health clearances and does something with their dogs in sometype of venue. If I do buy, it will be from a reputable lab breeder (though I have also lately been falling in love with aussies)

    The only reason I am considering the breeder route is because I want a dog whose background, health and temperament can be to some degree known based on its pedigree. I have my eye on a certain breeder who has fantastic labradors, on the smaller side of the AKC standard who excel in agility. She titles all her dogs in agility, rally, hunt tests and obedience.

    That all said, I am still torn on what is best for me/Sophie etc. Sophie, with no clue to her background, has excelled at sports. But will I get lucky with another shelter puppy in getting the drive/energy I want? Our first lab mix was super mellow and laid back with almost no drive. She would never have excelled at sports but was a fantastic companion.

    It is a decision I will continue to mull over for another few years.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I often wonder if I lucked out with Ace or if he and I have just molded together to be a “perfect fit.” I don’t know if I’ll ever be so lucky to find such a mellow, well-behaved and gentle dog again – whether it’s from a breeder, shelter, rescue, previous owner or whatever it might be. Or maybe every dog just sort of molds into that perfect fit for that specific time in your life.

      Labs are a good breed for me as well. I love their (generally) happy-go-lucky personalities and athleticism as well as their great ability to sit for hours doing nothing.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      The thing with Frontline is that it contains certain chemicals that could be toxic to dogs or to anyone, really. You could argue that the benefits outweigh the cons. However, I would rather not risk it. I use a natural flea prevention product called Natural Defense and it works just fine. You have to use what you think is best for your situation.

  15. Kraig and Olivia

    we are both in middle school. and we just started our own dog walking bussiness for the summer. its really exciting and fun, but we are trying to have clients from our neighborhood and our relatives neighborhoods! we charge 2.50 per walk and each walk is 1 mile. we feel like we are not getting enough bussiness. should we charge more? do you have any suggestions to help our services? we made some flyers and we hung them up today. we might put some at the local pet store. so please write back asap.

    thanks, kraig and olivia (O.K. DOG WALKING)

  16. Lindsay Stordahl

    If you haven’t read my post on how to start a dog walking business, I would start with that: http://www.thatmutt.com/2009/06/08/how-to-start-a-dog-walking-business/

    It’s hard to get clients. It took me a few months to get enough business and I was doing marketing full time. One thing you could do is offer some pet sitting services. So if people are out of town on vacation, you could go to their homes and visit the dogs three or four times per day. Or if they are just gone for the whole day, you would go over once or twice to check on the dog, walk him, feed him, etc. There is always a need for this, especially in the summer.

    Good luck! And thank you for visiting my blog!

  17. I have three dogs – two muts (german sheppard/welsh corgi and english sheep dog/ bearded collie) and a pappion and a cat. None of them were from breeders and I only claim to have saved one of them. The pappion was saved from a puppy mill. I don’t think that it’s fair to call a no-kill shelter dog “rescued”. I got George (collie/sheepdog) as a playmate for a beagle, and when the beagle passed away, Sam came along for George. There was no need for a specific breed, just a pet that would get on well with my other dogs and the shelter was a good way to introduce them and test their temperment. The cat adopted me by living under the front porch for a week. (I think he rescued me from being a strictly dog person. :))

    My brother bought his Jack Russell from a breeder because having a specific breed was important for his housing restrictions and there were none in his shelters.

    None of our dogs are better than the others, and they’re no less loveable than the others. I can’t judge my brother for giving a good dog a good home and I can’t lord my shelter dogs over him.

  18. I totally agree that if you are getting a dog for a specific purpose, a reputable breeder may be the way to go. However, I don’t buy into the health arguement, as I’ve known too many people who have ended up with dogs with terrible health problems from reputable breeders. Want a healthy dog? Adopt a mutt.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Well, mutts aren’t necessarily healthy, either. But I generally agree with you on that. I’ve seen too many purebred dogs with health issues as well.

  19. I think it is irresponsible to get a pup from a puppy mill. They shouldn’t be supported. I also refuse to use the term ‘rescue’ unless referring to a ‘rescue group’. I am also not fond of so called ‘no kill’ shelters. They just dishonestly send the problems to another place to euthanize or they put dogs up for adoption that have unacceptable temperaments.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      No one who loves dogs should get a puppy from a puppy mill.

      I just try not to use the “rescue” term at all. If someone truly rescued a dog from a bad situation, I could see how it would be appropriate to use the term, though.

      Thanks for your comment.

  20. I was just thinking about the trendiness of “rescue” pets when I found your article. It’s a pretty big pet peeve of mine and here’s why.

    I have two dogs. One I got from an animal shelter (or “rescue”) in the US. When people how I got him, I say he came from an animal shelter. I’m sorry but paying $50 to a government-sponsored shelter is not “rescuing” a dog. I picked up my second dog off the street in Korea. She was a stray that had been hit by a car and was starving to death. Had we not taken her in, she would have died and possibly been eaten. This is rescuing an animal. I would never actually say it though because I don’t want to be thrown in with all the other animal owners who dramatically retell the story of rescuing their pets from their previous owner or a shelter.

    I’m happy that so many animals are finding homes through shelters but is it really just because someone wants to feel like a hero because they “rescued” their pet?

  21. Lindsay Stordahl

    It’s definitely because people want to feel good for “rescuing” an animal. And it is annoying. I agree. Ugh.

    I’m glad you got a dog from a shelter and also saved one from dying in the streets of Korea.

    1. Hi: I have to say, I find these last two comments peculiar. There is a real crisis in American shelters, with perfectly deserving, beautiful, sentient animals being put to sleep in droves every single day, or spending their entire lives in cages on concrete floors.

      Are you really saying that the long-overdue efforts of people to solve this crisis is just a way to feel good about themselves?

      Is this so annoying to you? I don’t get it.

      I understand that people have their reasons for going where they want for their pet, and that’s still a choice in this country. But what is so annoying about the work of people who are saving the lives for animals with no voice?

  22. I was all about rescue dogs- rescued a Chihuahua from a Puppy Mill and a Pit Bull from a local shelter, my parents rescued a German Shepard from local animal control and we’ve had a so so success rate. Sure you don’t get “Papers” but you get a great dog. Right? Eh not so much…

    The Chihuahua is “damaged goods” she’s angry, mean and unsociable. She likes me and only when she wants to. We refer to her as an angry stuffed animal- she is crated when we aren’t home- gets let out as soon as we come home and immediately returns to her crate- only to come out if there is food to be had- but I love her regardless- My husband not so much, but knows I adore her through all her grumpiness. She has to be muzzled when we go to the vet, and has been blacklisted at several groomers.

    The Shepard is a little neurotic- hates most men, and thinks the doorbell (even on tv) means she has to go into a full frenzied bark-a-thon. Through training she has gotten better but still has her little fits.

    The pitbull is a dream. Got her as a puppy, the sweetest thing in the world. We love her so much that we contacted the same person we got her from and asked for a 2nd one. She put me in contact with a rescue organization based out of another state but had puppies being fostered about 2 hours from our home. This is how we got our *LAST* rescue puppy.

    We saw photos of her the day she was born- kept in contact with the “Foster Mom” and got regular updates. She was 3x the cost of the first one- no matter we were in love, and she was 8 weeks when we got her. So wonderful! Except she had to be spayed before we could take her home. They apparently take them to a specific clinic to do it- but had a parvo outbreak, so no dog could enter the facility. The next week her personal issues prevented her from taking her to this “top notch” clinic so they took her to another facility where the spay, microchip and shots cost a whopping 60$.

    This is where OUR issue came in. She was spayed far too young and it was apparently done incorrectly. She was incontinent and in the 20 weeks we had her spent more than $2000.00 trying to fix the issue, drugs, scans, tests, and diapers. Nothing worked. We spent more money to replace carpet, clean furniture, rugs, car upholstery, and dry cleaning. We would think the medicine was working- she’d cuddle and fall asleep emptying her bladder all over us, we could never walk her or take her out enough! My paralyzed mother slipped in a tiny spot of pee attempting to use our bathroom and broke her hip. Enough is enough- we contact the “Foster Mom” who when adopting her was very friendly and oh so helpful. Saying several times “if ever you have an issue- we will gladly take her back!” She was notified the day we found out about her medical condition and we were dismissed. When we contacted her suddenly, she doesn’t want the dog back, won’t work with us on getting her a new home. When we insisted that she couldn’t stay she kept yanking us around on when and where to meet to surrender the animal. When my husband finally had enough and says she has to go to the pound suddenly we’re monsters! She threatened to call the police and have all of our animals removed for animal cruelty! Keep in mind our dogs are indoor, crate trained, fur babies who we feed a high quality diet, and give multiple vitamins to every day. All are healthy, well within weight standards, and have great coats. They sleep with us, go on walks, and car rides and play on an acre of fenced in property!

    We took her to our local vet- whom the “Foster Mom” had been speaking to- WITHOUT our permission- and they were completely rude to us. Saying things like- if you don’t love her- you should give her up! The same vet that in the past few months has gotten more than $2k out of us! I’m in tears because of giving the dog up, because it’s our fault my mother is in the hospital and being treated like I am murdering puppies in my spare time! So we were without a dog we did love-but couldn’t live with her issue, a mother with a broken hip, the need for a new vet, and a new sofa.

    Here’s the thing- from this so-called “Rescue” we never received any health related paperwork- shot records, spay information or anything else. We never signed any adoption paperwork, never even received a receipt stating we’d given this person any money! We BOUGHT a dog from a “rescue”. Friends in contact with another rescue organization are now investigating this rescue!

    Time goes by- our house has stopped smelling like a urinal cake and I miss our Pit Bull baby-my husband finds a family that happened to have puppies and we bought a CKC Registered dog. She’s happy, healthy and not leaking urine all over our home. We will have her spayed but we’re waiting until she’s at least 6 months old!

    1. Wow, that is quite the story and I don’t even know what to say other than I am sorry you had to deal with all this. What this shows is that no matter where you get a dog, it’s important to do lots of research on that rescue organization, pound, breeder, shelter and so on. And it’s important to take the time to learn as much about the dog you are interested in before you take it home.

      That “rescue” where you got your last puppy from does sound very, very sketchy. That is just terrible that it treated you the way it did. And I’m not a vet, but I have never heard of a puppy being spayed at eight weeks old. What kind of “vet clinic” would do this procedure on such a young dog?

      1. We live in the south where there is an over abundance of “Aggressive Breed” dogs, and it has become common practice for rescues to spay and tattoo at a very young age. Our other girl was spayed at 10 weeks old (which I found very odd at the time) she however has had no problems.

  23. Lindsay Stordahl

    Now that I think about it, my cat was neutered at 12 weeks old. That seems young, but the vet said it would be fine and he was. I’m glad your other dog has been fine.

  24. The first dog my husband and I ever had was a “red bi” Australian Shepherd from very strong working lines, purchased from an elderly couple that had been breeding according to the NSDR standard for decades. He was a herder through and through, and the most obedient and focused dog you could ever ask for, but not exactly my first choice. We ended up getting Jack because my husband had an Aussie as a young boy, and fondly remembered their high levels of intelligence, outstanding energy, and undying desire to do a good job. After having lived with one for so long, I can absolutely agree with those three qualities. Jack was a mile a minute and impossible to wear out, but he knew his stuff and never once let me down. To be honest, he set the bar way too high for any future dogs in our house.

    After Jack passed, we found Jodi, an adoptable from our SPCA shelter. Jodi, a black lab/pit mix was about 4 months old when we got her. My husband wanted a dog for me to feel safer when he was gone on his considerably long deployments. The problem with that idea was that Jodi loved everyone. Everyone. Everyone. She loved them so hard, and so strong, that I could not keep my feet on the ground when she wanted to love someone. Anyone. Everyone. You can imagine the cause for concern, when a rather intimidating looking big black dog is frantically lunging at all of the people around her. I tried every trick I knew to get her to chill out, be polite, and for goodness sake stop yanking my arm out, but I felt myself becoming very disenchanted with this pooch. Thankfully, friends of ours had just gotten a Husky puppy! They wanted Jodi to help wear him out! They agreed to take her, and the rest was history.

    It was half a year before my husband started itching for a dog again. Side note: this is the same man that will, without a second thought, bring in any animal off the street. It’s noble and touching, but not always practical. After Jodi, I was convinced that no dog would ever be as good as Jack, and I shouldn’t get my hopes up especially with shelter dogs. I begrudgingly accompanied him to an independent shelter, primarily to keep him from bringing home the first adorable mutt he saw. As we walk down the hall, my husband veers off to the puppy room as I’m groaning with opposition. FOUR black lab puppies are all barking their dear little heads off, jumping up with intent to break their backs, as well as biting each other and bickering like mad. I immediately leave the room, my patience just about through. Across the hall, a charcoal gray Husky is plopped on his rear, calmly watching me. I approach his little cubicle to see the expected words for such a rare find in any shelter: “I’ve been adopted!” Well, bummer.

    I go up to the front desk, just about puppied out, and ask about the handsome Husky. One of the employees perks up and admits to nabbing him, but says they have an even younger female who looks similar if I’d like to see her. I already feel terrible for appearing to be so vain about the look of a dog, but I agree to see the puppy. My husband and our friend join me in the socializing room with this awkward looking 8 week old black tan and white ball of fluff. She kind of looked like a Husky? She had blue eyes and giant upright ears. I wondered about her relatively short past, why such a young and striking puppy would be in a shelter. We now believe she was the product of an unintentional Husky and GSD breeding. After debating long and hard, and demanding that my husband take equal responsibility for this living creature, we leave with Dixie, the mutt.

    To shorten this already tremendously long story, Dixie is a (barely) manageable handful. She’s got the intensity and intelligence of a GSD with the strong stubborn independence of a Husky. Learning to appeal to her Husky side while controlling her rather aggressive GSD side has been a real challenge for me, and nothing this dog ever does is anything less than full on, give it all she’s got. However, the more time I spend with dogs, the more I understand how truly different each one is. Dixie is a lot of work for me, and she pushes me hard to keep up with her, but I enjoy our successes and look forward to seeing just how far we can go together.

    Thank you for reading all that, anyone who did. It’s always nice to be able to recount our love of our dogs.

  25. Lindsay Stordahl

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and being so honest. I have to smile when you say Dixie is a (barely) manageable handful. I can just about imagine! Keep on doing what you are doing with her. She is worth it! 🙂

  26. I will probably never get a shelter dog. Why?? I’m a control freak. I don’t want open questions as to the history of the animal. I don’t feel as if it’s my responsibility to help rehabilitate a dog because of somebody else’s mistakes. People can look at that as cold, but I look at it as realistic and honest. The dog we currently have (we will never have more than 1 at a time) was from a breeder and there have been absolutely zero surprises. Of course, a shelter dog COULD turn out fine as well, but it’s a roll of the dice. I’d rather not go there.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Everyone deserves the right to obtain a dog the way the see best. Getting a dog from a breeder doesn’t guarantee anything either, as you know. It’s all about finding the right breeder and doing your research and then following through with training and so on. I’ve known a few people who have gotten perfectly good puppies from breeders only to turn them into horrendous dogs because they didn’t bother to train or exercise them. In those cases, they would’ve probably been better off finding a low-energy shelter dog that had already had some obedience training.

      But, you know, we all do what we think is best.

  27. We have had three Norwegian Elkhounds. Each has had a different personalities. Our second was the sweetest of all three. So we were expecting the same when we got our third one. Never assume they are all going to have the same personalities just because they are the same breed.

    The last one was probably the most difficult as far as orneriness. If we said yes, he said NO WAY! Elkhounds tend to be stubborn but I think this one had a little extra thrown in. We bought him from a reputable owner. I think we just picked out the one with the most spunk. If he was a child in school I think he would have been sitting in the corner most of the time OR the principal’s office 🙂

    My mom loved him because of the fiesty personality.

    Our last Elk was raised with a shepard/husky mix from a shelter. She was far better behaved then the pure bread. She was a sweetheart and she sold me on shelter dogs.

    Our last Elk and our shepard mix have both recently passed on within two months of each other. Our house seems very empty.

    I would like to go to our local shelter, which is a no-kill shelter and get two small dogs I have picked out. They are two little rat terrier/jack russell mix that I think would fit right in They are 10 months old, had some training from someone who knows what they are doing so I think they are ready for our home, AND we could take them with us when we went on vacation instead of bording them. Husband thinks we need another Elk. We are getting older and keeping up with the hair of an Elk got to be a pain in the back, literally. but I haven’t convinced my husband yet. He did admit they were cute so that is one positive.

    I tell people we are at a stand still on dogs right now OR you might say a stand off 🙂

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      No matter what you decide, the dog or dogs you take home will be so lucky! Sorry to hear you lost your elkhound and your shepherd mix.

  28. While I believe that each person has a choice in where s/he obtains a pet, those who truly care about animal welfare will never purchase a pet from a pet store, a back yard breeder or a so called “reputable” breeder. Unfortunately all of these sources of animals contribute to the same problem – the killing of healthy adoptable animals. In the US alone more than 3 million cats and dogs a year are killed.
    Unfortunately these innocent animals have no voice so I will continue to be their voice, advocating against their killing and for adoption. And if that means being known as a critic so be it. At least when I go to bed at night my conscience is clear knowing that I am trying to be part of the solution to save lives not part of the problem to end them.

  29. Lindsay Stordahl

    Animals are dying in shelters because people are killing them in shelters. They are not dying in shelters because some people choose to buy pets from breeders.

    Although 3 to 4 million pets are killed in U.S. shelters each year, 23 million people in the U.S. will obtain a new pet each year. Instead of putting the blame on the people who choose to buy dogs from breeders, those of us who volunteer at shelters should make sure we are doing are part to make it easy to adopt. So we should make sure we are doing all the marketing we can do. We should make sure the shelter environment is welcoming and open during convenient hours. We should offer adoption specials and so on.

  30. There’s another good reason: Many dog rescues discriminate against single men. I watched my son, who has nothing weird or peculiar about him, try to adopt a dog from several rescues and shelters, including the Humane Society, only to be given runarounds and once denied for a plainly specious reason.

    He really wanted to adopt an adult dog. However, to get a pet at all, he had to go to a breeder and buy a puppy, who is now a year old and thriving.

  31. I really like this debate, and there are of course pros and cons for each cause. I have personally never got a rescue dog, for quite a few reasons. My parents have always paid for our dogs through a breeder because they are meant to be better.

    However, I am a soft touch so If I were to go to a shelter, I would most likely end up wanting to adopt the dog and take it home, hence the reason why I have never been to one.

    I will not say that I will not get a dog from a rescue centre, but I do like the puppy phase of buying from a breeder, which you typically do not get from rescuing.

    Insightful post.

  32. Hi,
    I’m battling that right now,lost my golden of 16 yrs to liver cancer 6 mo ao and am ready for another golden,Have checked with rescues and local Shelters,problem is I want a male light gold puppy to 1 yr old and very hard to find.
    I work at an animal hsp and am very involved in fostering and adopting out pets from our county shelter at our hsp.I have 2 “rescue” dogs mixed breed and a room of kittens being fostered at my home.This is a hard decision because I feel so guilty considering buying from a breeder( a reputable one for sure) but at 59 years old I really want exactly what I want,a light golden male puppy good temperament,want to be able to meet the parents……Really hard…

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Well, you know what you want and you deserve the dog that is right for you. If it’s important to you to meet the parents and get a specific color, then a breeder is probably the way to go. On the other hand, if you can live without meeting the parents or getting an exact color or age, there are so many goldens out there in need of homes. Any one would be so lucky to become yours. May I ask where you live? A friend of mine volunteers with Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota, and that rescue has lots of goldens. The problem is there is usually a waiting list for puppies and young dogs, I believe.

  33. I know this is an ancient post but I’m so creeped out by it I am adding something for my own therapy. I find it a very sad world that someone is ANNOYED people assume your dog is a rescue b/c it’s a mutt. Or how it’s TRENDY to rescue a dog. This is coming from someone who took a dog from a woman for FREE and called it a rescue! How ridiculous. I also found it pretty disgusting that a dog owned by the person who wrote this was thought in no real danger b/c he was in a “no kill” shelter. If you were cooped up in a cage I think you would feel rescued. I also think that people misunderstand what a no kill shelter is – it’s just a percentage that isn’t killed. They still kill animals that they cant’ afford or can’t place. It’s just, for example, 80% that are spared. So educate yourself. I have no need to build myself up by faking whether or not I rescued by animal – just b/c a moron does that, doesn’t ruin it for the rest of the world. I did “rescue” mine – off the street. He is big and black and had a very HIGH chance of being euthanized. I am happy I am the one who found him b/c I love him, not because I want to tell everyone how great I am. I tell those that ask the truth, I found him in the street. I am sorry so many people do things to impress or annoy others. The sad thing is there are so many dogs out there that ARE pure bred dogs and are in a rescue – breed specific. Where in the world do you think they come from, fools??? They come from a KILL SHELTER but those wonderful people spared them, housed them, recouperated them, and kept them until they could find them a home. If you find that trendy, you need a lesson in morality. Everyone can do as they please. I actually love dogs and wish I could give them all good homes. I am aware that, even getting the free one they couldn’t sell, is encouraging backyard breeders – that are looking for a quick buck often breading mom and son and brother and sister – you can see the “parents”, they can lie. So, good luck with that, since you don’t want to be “trendy”. I call that compassion that comes with evolution of our minds. Open them. If you want to buy from a breeder – great. If you aren’t going to one that has made this their life, and is truly doing this for the betterment of the breed, you may very well end up with the dog you are so deperately trying to avoid – one that isn’t perfect and who lives a short life. Very sad. We live in an utterly selfish world so I don’t think you need to remind people of reasons to buy a dog – most people do. If you live in a place where that isn’t true… I would thank your lucky stars. If I get a dog who isn’t perfect or ate the wrong food for 3 years, then they are suited to be euthanized? I don’t think you have a dog for the right reasons. The way I see it, if I give a dog 6 great years and I have to endure a little grief over wishing for more time… well, I find that A-OK, b/c everything isn’t about me. Final comment – judging people for rescuing a dog is really the same thing you’re complaining about here. Grow up.

  34. This is a difficult topic.. Most people that live with dogs.. love dogs.. They do not want to think of the tragedy that thousands of beautiful, smart, healthy dogs are euthanized every day.. I love dogs and I love people that love dogs. I do not judge dog owners/lovers despite how they attained their dog. I am a believer in spaying and neutering. I am, however, fully aware that purchasing a dog from a breeder supports this business and adopting a dog on death row saves a life. It’s really as simple as that. We need to unite control the number of dogs created.

  35. I think there are reasons to get your dog from the shelter and reasons to go through a breeder. Good breeders maintain and improve the many breeds we love. I see nothing wrong or villainous with that. Rescuing dogs is wonderful too. Unfortunately many rescues have large dogs that won’t work for everyone’s living situation. When I got my first two dogs I searched local rescues for a dog that was a good fit and found nothing. I bought my two girls and am incredibly happy with them. I couldn’t imagine life without them. I’ve been looking for a third dog. I know I want an English bulldog and I don’t need a puppy so I’ve started searching the internet. So far every one I’ve found I can’t even be considered for because I’m not close enough to the rescue, one of which is only 3 hours from my home. Any other dogs I’ve found can’t go to homes with dogs, cats and/or kids. I want to rescue my next dog but this search has been very discouraging. I’m not in any hurry so I’ll keep waiting for a rescue though I’ve started seeking out good breeders around me just incase this search continues to turn up nothing.

    1. I see the benefits to both as well. Sounds like you are doing what is best for you. Enjoy your new dog when you get him or her.

  36. And that, my friends is why 3 to 4 million dogs & cats die each year in the U.S.
    Adopt, don’t shop. Many of these animals are grateful and super once everyone gets used to each other. Just do the right thing and don’t make excuses.

    1. Breeders have little or nothing to do with the equation. There are more than enough homes for all the animals, but shelters are failing to accept this. They make it impossible or too difficult for people to adopt. Pets are not dying in shelters because we have too many. They’re dying in shelters because we are killing them in shelters.

      People deserve the right to obtain a dog however they would like. If I want a dog, I should not have to get one just for the sake of rescuing something, especially if the shelter is closed on weekends when most people have the time to get there, or if they have ridiculous requirements such as background checks.

  37. I would never, never, never get a dog from a rescue. The reason is all about the adoption agreement and the fact that you never really own the dog, you just lease it.

    1) The rescue does not allow the right to transfer ownership. For example, if your daughter gets married and takes the dog with her, the rescue has a right to take your dog away (there is always language that says if the adoptor transfers ownership, the rescue can reposses the dog.) I suspect this is uncommon, but who would grant someone that power? (Check out the Elen Degeneres case.)

    2) The rescue has a right to access your home for the forseeable future. So let’s say you have gone through the application, interview, home visit, references and you have your vet, paid your fees, had your pet vaccinated and spayed, and fluffy is now yours. Not so fast….five years later, the rescue decides they want access to ‘inspect’ your house. You do NOT have the right to refuse them. In addition, many rescuses make it the ‘sole discretion of the rescue’ as to whether you ‘pass.’ Say goodbye to the dog you have cared about for five years if you get a zealot that thinks your kitchen floor is too slippery (this really happened).

    3) Additionally, most rescues have other intrusive contracts. Eg, You must always inform them of your address; you must inform them when the pet gets sick, etc. If you break this contract, bye, bye family pet.

    Now don’t get me wrong, the people who rescue dogs are often very good people, but their zealotry is beyond the pale. If you sign such a contract, you legally risk losing your pet at the rescue’s whim. Until these clauses are removed from their contracts, and full ownership is granted (including the right to transfer ownership, and live unmolested by inspectors) I would choose even a puppy mill over a rescue.

    However, check out the pound or a breeder and ALWAYS read your contract.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Fredness,

      Yes, you do make some good points. I was actually thinking about this today before I saw your comment. I would like to get a second dog in the next year, and I was thinking how I will not go to certain rescues because of their adoption contracts. It’s not that they are organized enough to actually follow up on people. And it’s not that they would actually take a dog away from me or show up to inspect my home years later. It’s just that the adoption contract says they can.

      I adopted my dog Ace through an individual who wanted to re-home him. I have to say that was such an easy and positive experience. She interviewed me. I came over and met him. I took a week to think about it and then I went and brought home the dog of my life. I might go that route again. Or, there are plenty of shelters and pounds (and some rescue groups, too) that do no have such ridiculous adoption contracts/requirements.

  38. My favorite post is from Rachel in August above. I agree with her fully…. But I still have to respond…

    The majority of the commentary on this article (as well as this article) is giving me severe heartburn just thinking how much ignorance exists on this topic. When the author has to start out with “People will critize this decision”, he/she clearly has some guilt and of course, this blog is a way to clear their mind through justifications and unsourced statistics.

    There certainly IS a pet population issue – perhaps not in some well-populated areas of the country but definitely in the majority of areas. Where do you think dog rescue groups receive their dogs from?????? They are put on death-row and at the last possible minute, rescue groups place holds on them with donated money, a large network of volunteers and vets and people willing to transport.

    I will agree that some dog owners falsely claim they have a rescue dog. I will also agree that there is some importance in preserving a breed, but HARDLY, when you look at the big picture. Every dog responds significantly to nurture – your dog is a good dog because you were a good pet owner, not because they are a good “breed”.

    Actually look at a County animal shelter online that is honest enough to post their euthanasia dates and post the numbers for those they have put down, those that have been pulled by rescue groups, and those that have been adopted from the shelter. The numbers will scare you. I recommend Gaston County, North Carolina’s website and facebook page for a dose of reality.

    And to Freddness – yes you sign a contract with a rescue group to adopt a dog saying they can schedule a visit to your home to see if you are suitable for a dog that they have pumped so much time, resources, money, etc. into and want to ensure it’s well-being… By no means is the group trying to gain forever-access to your home and I can’t think of a single group that has enough resources to “access your home through the foreseeable future”! With technology now, most groups simply look up your property using online County GIS mapping and tax assessment cards, and call your Vet (if you have one already) to see if you are telling the truth. There is always SOMEONE trying to make others perceive a GREAT thing as bad… AND shame on you for claiming you would rather purchase a puppy from a puppy mill over adopting… you either have never experienced the conditions of one or have a black heart.

    All dogs are beautiful, despite where they came from. But this blog is an unnecessary defense to buying a dog that is promoting a bunch of bologna… It’s also full of a bunch of libel against shelters and rescue groups.

  39. Where to start?
    First of all, I of course respect Freedom of Speech. You have your opinions and have posted them, and I feel that I should post how I feel.
    I volunteer with a rescue. I have three permanent canine companions, and 1-2 fosters at a time. I’m sure I’ll have more when I have a bigger home. This rescue found ME. I had been interviewing with other rescues because I wanted to foster or adopt and one night I received an email from this rescue, the woman introduced herself and asked if I could help. She specializes in older & “hard to adopt” dogs. She had heard that I mainly wanted to foster an older or special needs dog. Puppies usually find home quickly. I like the kind that need a little help. I don’t foster puppies. I have one child. I don’t want to do that again.I think that’s the only point Lindsay and I agree on. I prefer to help the ones that so many of you CLEARLY don’t want.
    ” I know one man who “rescued” his purebred dog from a pet shop for $500. He sincerely believes his dog is a “rescue.””–He opened a new spot for a dog from a puppy mill. He just made a case for puppy mills and encouraged them.
    Do you want to know what “Rescuing” is? Its getting an animal out of harm’s way before it is killed. Here’s an example: Taking an animal home from a shelter like this http://egov2.co.gaston.nc.us/AnimalWebPub/hknlinq.aspx?A or taking an animal from someone who must give it up, then finding a home for it. Even going on Craigslist and looking for animals looking for homes, then finding a home for it. People who breed are CONTRIBUTING to the growing population, not HELPING it.
    So you are saying that unless a dog is raised correctly from the time it is a baby, that it can’t be trained and flourish? Yes, its nice to know it is healthy and know its family, but how much does that matter in the long run? You don’t want an animal with problems? We ALL have problems! I own three dogs and foster one or two at at time. My Molly has an eye injury that turned into an incurable infection. She has to have it removed before it can be adopted. She pulls her lips back and “smiles” every time she has been away from me for a few mins. Rae had lost both eyes. She got around the house without eyes better than I ever would in the dark. Riley is very skittish. People will think he’s not social when they meet him at an adoption event. He loves to snuggle with me. Peewee was eight and no one wanted him because of his age. My daughter’s best friend’s mom wanted a dog that didn’t shed a lot. She saw his picture (he is a Yorkie) that I texted to her, and texted back “I want him!” and he’s in a happy home now. What is “perfect?” Are you perfect? Maybe you should not be wanted by anyone because you have flaws.
    Are you in need of a “working” dog ( I didn’t see you mention that.), which might make it easier to train from the beginning of its life?
    Do you really think fostering and adopting from shelters, driving long distances, spending time reviewing applications, doing vet records checks to be sure all of your animals are up to date on their shots (I do this and have found people lying about whether their pets are all spayed and neutered), doing home visits to make sure you don’t have too many animals, is because its the “cool” thing to do? People like Paris Hilton and her chihuahua many years ago, make the rest of us look bad. How do you lose a chihuahua?! Sure, I’ve lost mine and found him…under my daughter’s bed! She closed her door when she left for school and forgot that Buster was in there!
    CASEY- you’ve said it all. I agree.

    Amity-Just because we all can’t adopt seven dogs, does that mean we shouldn’t help one at a time? ” Rescue workers often don’t have deep experience or knowledge in every breed of dog they are adopting out, and often end up adopting out dogs without really knowing much about their temperament.” REALLY? No, we aren’t experts, but how much time do we spend with the dogs (and cats) to determine their temperament? A LOT. That’s why we carefully screen applicants and if they don’t fit one dog, we help them find a more suitable dog for their lives. ” It requires a really special person.” always means you don’t want to do it yourself. I say that to my friend who’s a nurse because although what she does is special, would I want to work in the ER with cardiac patients? No.
    Lindsay- “Shelters just need to make it easier to adopt.” I walked in, asked to see the dogs, saw Dodge, they took me to a gated area, I played with him, went inside, filled out a form, wrote a check for $40 and took my dog home. If a person can’t do that, they probably haven’t finished 10th. grade (when a lot of people get their Drivers license).
    Jessi-I’ll remember your comment the next time I pass an accident on the side of the road and choose not to call 911 because they obviously don’t need help or to be rescued. Wait, I’m a decent human being, I’ll help them.
    Jen S.- My friend who adopted my last foster who is a Yorkie, is doing just FINE with the shedding and hair because there is none floating around her house. I understand the allergy issue: I am allergic to short-haired cats. To be able to have a cat, I had a Himalayan (she had to be euthanized when she was eight months old because she had FIP), but there are plenty of ways to get a shelter dog or one from a rescue that would meet your needs.
    That said, I think Casey summed up the rest perfectly.

  40. Man oh man I wish you could read the facebook comments I’ve received after a post I made on buying a labrador from a reputable breeder. My friends flew in my face admonishing me for not adopting from a rescue. Really? Even after I spelled out my very specific reasons for choosing this particular breed and breeder, they continued to vilify me for not “saving a precious life.” I’m sure I’ve lost a few friends over my responses, but I’m just over it. They treated me like I was an ignorant jerk and knew nothing about dogs. They implied I was insensitive and selfish. It was crazy. You really hit the nail on the head when you said “rescuing” is just trendy now. I see it all the time. It’s cool to say you rescued your dog. But, in my humble opinion, what is even cooler is choosing the right pet for you and then giving it your complete care and love for a lifetime. Some of the “foster parents” I know keep 5-14 dogs—in CRATES all day. They give them 15+ mins of outside time but can’t let them all out at once or for long periods. On the other hand, some fosters are wonderful…kind of like people who want to choose a dog from a good breeder. I was so glad to read this post that I re-posted it on facebook for all of my judge-y, hipster friends to read. Maybe they’ll learn a little tolerance to go along with their infinite compassion.

  41. I personally prefer rescuing. There are many pets out there that need homes and breeders are making more. My pet rabbit is a hand me down too, but i think next time ill adopt from a shelter. I love my little bunny,but when she was given to me i wasnt told that she was pregnant. A few weeks later i had 5 bunnies. So unfortunatley i guess that adds to the problem 🙁 but they were given to my friends so i know theyre not in shelters.
    i plan to adopt a rottweiler in april ‘:) i admit i was looking at breeders at first before i decided that as my first dog, a puppy might be too much too handle. I think that if someones looking for a puppy they should get one from a breeder. Then you can raise the dog to be normal and have no behavior problems

  42. Susan Boswell

    This is a great post. I have adopted a dog from a breed-specific rescue organization. However, I feel that while these organizations try to promote a specific breed, they are not always upfront about the fact that the dogs are not purebred. The vet said the my dog had some pitbull in him, which greatly upset me, especially when I realized that he was reactive. If I had wanted a pitbull, I would have gotten one. If I had to do it again, I would obtain a dog from a breeder so that I could be assured of adopting the breed of my choice and so that I could properly raise and socialize the dog.

    1. Who cares if your dog has pitbull in him? You clearly loved him unconditionally before you knew that and all of a sudden that makes him less of a great dog? Hmmm – if you really feel that way why not relinquish him back to the group – I’m sure they will happily find a forever home for him that wants a companion dog and not someone who is looking for a rescue-priced purebred. And your vet doesn’t know exactly what he is more than what he “looks like”… My vet told me he didn’t think my dog has schnauzer in her when we knew her mother was a purebred… It’s like when a child looks nothing like his or her parents (genetics is a fascinating subject) There are plenty of rescue groups that are non-breed specific, too. Oh, and there are plenty of groups that offer rescued puppies, that way you can socialize them to your liking. You don’t have to shop to have a puppy- there are too many irresponsible dog owners who dump puppies off at high-kill shelters every day that are rescued by rescue groups (petfinder.com). Moreover, The issue of puppy mills is going grossly unnoticed on this comment thread. People feel the need to justify the most ridiculous things. I have nothing against breeders, if they are responsible, then fine. But to turn a blind eye to the millions of dogs that are killed every year because a person thinks pedigrees are the only dog for them, and then add insult to injury by saying rescues aren’t or can’t be great dogs is heartbreaking.

      1. I would never relenquish my dog back to the rescue group because we adopted with the understanding that it would be forever – and there are children involved. I also realize that identification of dog breeds is inexact, even with a DNA test, one can never be certain. It isn’t as though I think pedigrees are the only dog for me. I adopted a dog from the pound who lived to 17 years. I then became a “foster failure” and adopted another dog from a breed specific rescue group who clearly to the plain eye was a mixed breed. That dog also lived to 17 years. I wanted a particular breed of dog because at one point in my life I was going to be matched with a beautiful hearing ear dog…but ultimately declined it because I did not feel that I could meet the group’s requirements. Ever after, I had always wanted a dog like that one. All of my dogs have been rescues and we’ve had our share of dog problems and dog pleasures. I am crazy about a particular breed!

    2. Lindsay Stordahl

      I can understand why you would be upset when you found out the dog was a breed other than what the rescue said it was. Sounds like it’s working out well, though!

  43. I am 60 yrs old. I run a nonprofit cat rescue that focuses on several breeds. In the past 20 years, I have rescued 600+ cats and have found homes for 99% of them. I have volunteered as a transporter for a couple of dog breed rescues. I have a totally clean background check, own a home on over an acre of land where I have lived for 19 years. I have owned six dogs, each one living 12 to 14 years. I hsve always vaccinated my dogs, kept up with grooming and medical needs, walked them, played with them regularly, and so on. Four of my dogs came from shelters or fostered rescue organizations. One of my dogs had a mental illness, and we worked with a behaviorist, managed or resolved his problems, and loved hihihim for 12 years. In the entire time all this took place, I showed a rare breed of cat, winning titles such as Supreme Grand Champion, Regional Winner, and International Best of Breed. Think of my cats as being on the same level as a Westminster dog you enjoy watching on TV, with the difference that my cats live with me at home, not with a handler. Why am I telling you this? Because after 40 years of adopting and cherishing rescue dogs, I now suddenly find it difficult to impossible to adopt a dog from a rescue. You see, I am automatically “screened out” from adoption because I have un-altered cats to show and produce two litters per year that are sold on enforced spay/neuter contracts to screened buyers, as companions. None of the other factors matters… I am evil because I show and breed my ultra-rare cats. The work I have done in rescue, the excellent vet references, the home I offer, the care, love, and training I have given my always, spayed/neutered dog companions over the last 20 years, mean NOTHING. None o n ..of this is considered. As a result, my next dog will come from a high quality, ethical and responsible breeder. I don’t really mind, as far as my own enjoyment of the next dog, after all, I know better than most, how to find a wonderful breeder. But the world of pet ownership, and

  44. I know that I am stumbling upon this 2 years late, but I have to say I agree with you 100%. My dog is from a reputable breeder and the puppy I hope to get this summer will be from a reputable breeder. Parents have had all possible health checks to ensure the healthiest puppy possible. It is a purebred dog so I know what health issues I should look out for and what personality I should expect. The mating is planned for a specific reason, not just because the neighbor’s dog hopped a fence. I want my dogs for a specific purpose and I pay money for quality parents, quality vet care, and quality food.

    I am glad that others rescue dogs but it isn’t the only way. I personally do not want a dog whose parents were not health tested. I do not want a dog who was not bred with a purpose in mind. I do not want a dog I have not raised from a puppy so I can train it the way I want it to be handled and trained, so I know what to expect, so the puppy knows what to expect.

    Again, I am very glad people rescue, but it isn’t for me. People who rescue get very angry when I say that. They become very judgmental. Well, they are angry at the wrong person. Be angry at those who are filling the shelters. The backyard breeders, not the reputable breeders. The uncaring people who trade in dogs for puppies, who dump dogs off. Be mad at the people causing the problem. We can never completely solve the problem until everyone who is responsible for getting rid of a dog or being a backyard breeder who doesn’t have a large majority of their puppies sold before they are born is educated about what they are doing wrong and stops. Be mad at the cause of the problem.

  45. I really enjoy intelligent discussions on this topic. I’m a huge supporter of rescue/adoption and also a supporter of responsible breeders. I don’t think the two need to be mutually exclusive and I think it would go far for both groups to work together. Pet overpopulation is a real issue, and it irks me when extremists of the No-Kill movement say that it’s a myth. There simply ISN’T a home for every elderly, behaviorally-challenged, special needs dog that gets dumped at a shelter.

    I have always had shelter/rescue animals. My current dog is a true rescue case, pulled from a dingy, depressing high-kill shelter in the south and transported to Colorado where she was fostered before I saw her on Petfinder. My previous two dogs were from local humane societies which did euthanize.

    My adopted Elkhound was leash-reactive, and Ruby is fearful/anxious and leash-reactive, as are many shelter pets. They come from unknown backgrounds, they may have suffered abuse or neglect and had less than ideal puppyhoods. These are the types of dogs that get passed around or end up back in the shelter. Research has shown how imperative early development is for a dog’s sociability.

    I will always advocate for rescue, but it is not for everyone. Someone who wants an easygoing, family dog may not want to take the bigger gamble that is adoption. As much as I’ve learned from my complicated dogs, I would someday like to start from the beginning, with a well-bred puppy whose parents and history are known, who was brought up in a safe and loving environment. My idealistic hope is that someday, that will describe every dog.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. All of this is worth discussing in reasonable ways. It’s hard because these are all such emotional topics.

      I follow the no-kill movement, and I realize there are some extremists out there. I try to distance myself from them, while also writing about the myth of pet overpopulation. For me, it’s a simple numbers game and there are more than enough homes seeking pets than there are homeless pets. I believe it’s in the marketing, and the majority of shelters have some seriously lousy marketing skills. Still, I see your point that elderly and behaviorally challenged dogs are more difficult to place.

      We’re all not going to agree on everything, and the main thing is most of us love dogs and are doing all we can to promote adoption/rescue. I know I can’t wait until I’m able to adopt a second dog. It will definitely come from a shelter/rescue group or individual re-homing his or her adult dog.

  46. Let’s not forget that reputable breeders often (and should, in my opinion), have puppy purchase contracts that are just as stringent, if not more, as some rescues. I support responsible dog-guardianship, no matter if the dog was obtained through rescue or from a good breeder (I am vehemently opposed to puppy mills, pet stores selling dogs, and backyard breeders). If the “reputable breeder” from whom you purchase a puppy doesn’t require some sort of agreement, such as, spay/neuter contract, request for adult health records, a return policy, and/or a few follow-ups or check-ins, then perhaps that breeder isn’t so responsible after all. Granted, these requirements may seem like a bit much, but if a breeder really does care about the line of dogs produced, that breeder will want to know how the puppies turn out as adults.

    People complain that rescues make it too hard to adopt dogs, and I agree, some do have prohibitive fees/guidelines/requirements, while others have very reasonable adoption policies. However, it seems like some breeders don’t make it hard enough to obtain their dogs, even those who care deeply about the health and well-being of their lines. I think it’s important for both breeders and rescues to have some sort of adoption contract. If anything, breeders should be more strict about who buys their puppies, and make sure to enforce a spay/neuter agreement. This way, there won’t be any irresponsible litters from their dogs, and it can also help lower the abundance of un-adopted shelter pets from accidental litters.

    Choosing how and where to get a dog is a personal choice, which everyone has a right to make. What’s most important (and what would help decrease the numbers of unwanted pets), is that dogs are provided with the proper love, food, shelter, health care, supervision, exercise, training, companionship, and commitment. It’s also crucial that people spay/neuter their dogs (either completely altered or vasectomy/hysterectomy so the organs/hormones remain but reproductive ability is gone), or ENSURE that their unaltered dogs don’t mate with another.

    From the time I was a kid until now, I’ve always had a dog in my life, and they all came to us as adults. Our first dog was a stray, the next came from the pound, and as an adult I’ve adopted a senior dog, adopted a one-year old, and gotten a hand-me-down from a nice family on Craigslist (inspired by you, Lindsay!). I love puppies, but I leave it up to others to take them on. I can’t say that I’ll never get a purebred or designer dog from a breeder, but so far the adult rescue mutts have worked for me, and I imagine any future dogs I have will be the same. Thanks for the provocative post!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Oh, wow, I had no idea I had inspired someone to get a dog from Craigslist!

      As for the contracts between breeders and puppy buyers, I guess I just don’t know enough about how those relationships typically work. I’d love to hear from some breeders on that.

      I know I definitely will not adopt a dog from a rescue group if I have to sign a contract that allows the rescue to keep part ownership. Once I adopt a dog, I want it to be my dog. I would look at it differently if it were a breeder, however. I guess that’s just me.

  47. Well, you and another woman I know both found great young, black lab mixes on Craigslist, and when I was ready to get another dog I chose to take that route rather than go through the rescue group process. Not criticizing rescue groups here – just happened to find an awesome dog through a different channel. The dog I got was adopted from the shelter as a puppy and had a great life before coming to live with me, so I guess that makes him a rescue>hand-me-down?

    I completely agree with you about the rescue contract. Of the two dogs I’ve adopted from a rescue, neither contract required them to keep part ownership (I wouldn’t have signed it if it had). Basically, I just had to agree to provide adequate lifetime care for the dog, and if for any reason I could no longer keep the dog, I would return it to the rescue instead of surrendering to the shelter. I think these terms were reasonable, and there was no home check or exhorbitant fee.

    I have a few friends who have some great dogs from excellent breeders. They are genuinely concerned with the well-being and health of the puppies they produce, and request certain health screens at a specific age to make sure no issues arise. If I ever go the purebred route, I’d most likely do as you say in your post – find a top breeder who is ethical and responsible, and wait for a future puppy.

    Either way, my family won’t be adding another dog for a long time, and who knows how our needs/life will have changed by then?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      That’s how I view the rescue contract to. Of course I will sign something that says I will care for the dog, etc., but I won’t sign something that says the rescue can take the dog back or stop by unannounced to check up on the dog.

      I actually found Ace online, but not through Craigslist. He was listed as a courtesy posting with a rescue group, so I adopted him directly through his owner as I would’ve done had he been listed on Craigslist. It was a positive experience.

      I can’t wait until we add a second dog to our family, but we are not quite ready yet.

  48. I have two dogs (litter mates) that I purchased from a breeder. I did research on dogs and selected a breed that I thought would fit me and my lifestyle which was the Miniature Schnauzer. Many people that adopt from shelters/rescues do no research nor do they educate themselves on dog behavior and then are frustrated when things get challenging and they do not want to put the effort into working with the dog. So, they return the dog back to the shelter. This has been done so many times at the shelter where I now volunteer. When I got my dogs 6.5 years ago I was only vaguely aware of the predicament that shelter and rescue dogs are in. I definitely was not aware of the large number of dogs that need homes. However, since I got my dogs I am much more tuned in to the dog community so I started volunteering at my local shelter. I walk dogs several hours each week. I don’t think I would have gotten involved if I had not “purchased” my two dogs. When I am ready for another dog, I will probably adopt from a Miniature Schnauzer rescue because I love these little, but feisty, dogs. There is a MS rescue in North TX that I keep up with.

  49. Well, I know this is an older article, but I loved it just the same. First to start off, I’m an animal lover. Any animal, really. When I was growing up we always had at least four dogs and three cats on the farm. When I became a young adult living in a city, I adopted two cats, and they were my first children. Since then, I married a military man, and we have a beautiful sweet little boy. I donate to local shelters, and “babysit” friends pets for free when they leave on vacation or deploy. But, when I decided to BUY a AKC registered Labrador Retriever, I was judged harshly by most. I did not buy my son’s puppy brother because I’m a snob or because I needed a pretty piece of paper to wave around. I bought my new furry baby, because my toddler was diagnosed with Autism and has many social issues. I know the breed of dog and the temperament, I met the owners/breeders, I had my son interact with the puppies parents, and finally it was our puppy who chose my son. I needed a gentle, patient, active, and easy to please dog. He had to love the water and the outdoors. He needed curiosity, but also intelligence. He had to be sturdy and strong. He had to have a sense of humor and the need to play. I needed him to have a clean slate, and he needed to grow to understand my little boy. This dog wasn’t going to be a temporary choice or “when we got bored/frustrated we gave him away” choice, we needed him to be a forever choice. I get that a rescue would have been more saintly. But, I made an educated decision to fit my family. If it had been just me, sure a rescue or adopted dog would have been fine. But, we needed something special and specific. I wouldn’t change a thing. He is a miracle and they are inseparable. Yeah, he is a dog, but because of his breed, he was able to give my little boy a best friend.

  50. Shelters let me say this most of them except the city shelters questions are too personal for me. Are you planning on having kids, surprise home visits what would you do if so and so occurs. I am buying a townhouse very soon, I plan to adopt a young cat, I looked at the dogs they are so not for me. 75% pit bulls thank you but no thank you. I am over 60 I would also like a dog but I can’t walk far so I researched it a pug would be perfect for me. So when the time comes I will go to a breeder. I don’t any longer feel sorry for these shelters, some turn away good families and its a shame and then cry about pets not adopted lol

  51. Something is terribly wrong in our society when the term “Rescue” seems to be now trademarked to mean that you are saving a dog’s life only if it came from a group with the word “Rescue” in it and has an affiliation with some type of national organization.

    I read an article online (wish I could find it again) that was written by someone who had worked for several years with rescue groups and wanted to enlighten the public. I wasn’t enlightened because I had already seen first hand what she was relating.

    For many (but certainly not all), the rescue groups have specific people who visit shelters at least once a week (usually on a Monday or Tuesday) to pick up any new strays that are easily adoptable. She said they look for small dogs and family dogs and leave behind the less adoptable breeds. And, yes, I know this happens because a friend of mine who worked with one of our local groups told me up front that they go on Tuesday mornings to our local shelter and do this very thing. So what is wrong with that? Well, the group gets free or deeply discounted vet services. They pick up the dog from the shelter for about $10 (not kidding) and then turn around and slap a $300 adoption fee for the dog. Sometimes, the dogs were altered previously. Still, what is the problem with that? They are only taking the easiest dogs to adopt out leaving behind the breeds that are harder to place keeping them at risk in the shelter.

    In other areas, the rescues get alerted by control officers of any new arrivals before the general public gets a chance to see these dogs (I’m not talking about the holding period to see if the dogs’ owners show up – although I know of one particular case where the holding period was not over, but a rescue group was allowed to come in and get the dogs).

    It used to be you could just go to a shelter and look at the dogs, interact with them, fill out paperwork, and take the dog home and have it altered within 30 days. I had to return a dog I had gotten from a rescue and I will never use a rescue again. The dog was three years old and would NOT stop destroying my home and he would not stop spraying in my home even though we had had him neutered (I’m not talking about a little bit either, it was every where all of the time). We tried for eight months to get help for him, but he really needed to be an outdoor dog (he was a hunting breed anyway) and the rescue group would not allow it.

    I do not feel guilty for returning him because the rescue group did not warn me of possible destructive behavior. I know rescue dogs can have issues and was willing to work on and get training for many of them, but some things are not going to stop once they have been ingrained over a long period.

    If people want a dog, they can get a dog from wherever they want to get a dog. Period. I do not believe the only “reputable” breeders are show breeders – not by a long shot. I do not believe that “AKC” is the litmus test of “quality dog.”

    Then there are the people slapping the term “rescue” on their title when they’ve stolen or gotten dogs on the cheap and flipped them through a rescue. In my mind, anytime you’re asking over $75 for a dog, you are not a rescue….you are SELLING a dog.

    I know there are 4 million dogs in shelters and rescues across America. That sounds abysmal until you compare the stats with the 70’s where it was much, much, much higher. In some northern states, they have such little supply of shelter or adoptable dogs, they ship in dogs from the south or midwest to fill the demand. I would like to know the breeds most likely to end up in shelters or rescues. In my state, by far pit bulls would be the breed with the highest numbers in shelters.

    Are there good rescues? Absolutely! Do they want to help the dogs find homes! Definitely! But there are other rescues that are only interested in making a buck or only interested in being so elitist that the hoops you’re expected to jump through make it almost impossible to adopt a dog.

    So, back to the dog I had to return to the rescue. They were pissed. Told me if I returned the dog to them, I could never ever adopt another dog from them. But if I kept it, it would be no problem. Now, if a breeder had told that to me, they would be blacklisted. Breeders are supposed to take their puppies and dogs back at any time….why aren’t rescues when the situation is unfixable?

  52. Pingback: Advantages of Getting A Pet From A Breeder | Make The Reality

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