When you’re thinking of welcoming a dog to your home, you can find your new pet at a local animal shelter or rescue group. There are many shelter and rescue dogs in need of a good home throughout the country. In fact, roughly 3.9 million dogs end up in shelters each year, according to the ASPCA. Unfortunately, there are certain misconceptions and myths about shelter and rescue dogs that make some people hesitant about adopting them. These are some of the most common myths and the truth behind them.
Myth 1: Something must be wrong with a dog if he / she is in a shelter
Some people assume that rescue and shelter dogs have a flaw or problem that caused their previous owners to give them up, such as behavioral issues, health problems or personality problems. However, many shelter and rescue dogs either don’t have any of these problems. Most end up making great pets. It’s also important to note that there are a number of reasons that dogs end up in shelters, such as when an owner moves away and can’t keep them or when an irresponsible owner abandons them.
Myth 2: You can only get a purebred dog from a breeder or pet store
Shelter and rescue dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and many purebred dogs do end up in these situations. While you can find a specific pure bred at your local shelter, keep in mind that many rescue groups specialize in re-homing dogs of a particular breed, such as golden retrievers or Yorkshire terriers. If you have a certain breed in mind, check with local rescue groups that focus on that particular breed. Breed specific rescue organizations are also knowledgeable about the breed and can help determine if the breed you have in mind is the right fit for you and your family.
Myth 3: You don’t know what you’re getting in terms of health issues.
Some people think that adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group means that you’re taking a big risk as far as their health, since their background isn’t always known. However, most animal shelters and rescue groups do have dogs checked by a veterinarian and will share medical records and information.
Myth 4: Puppies aren’t available from rescue groups or shelters.
If you have your heart set on getting a puppy, keep in mind that you can find dogs of all ages in animal shelters. Even young puppies end up with rescue groups or in animal shelters for a variety of reasons. Instead of contacting dog breeders about available puppies, please visit your local animal shelter or get in touch with local rescue groups to ask about puppies that are in need of good homes.
Before adding any pet to your family, please do your research and make sure that the pet you have in mind is a good fit for you and your family. Also, please be certain that you are prepared for the commitment of being a pet parent.