Chapter 5
How To Know The Best Source For Your Dog
Regional Rescue Groups. Regional rescue groups typically aren't focused on a specific breed, but instead, want to rescue dogs from kill- shelters before they're euthanized. This type of rescue group generally serves a specific geographic area and may have relationships with a number of kill shelters in their area to be called before a dog is euthanized. Regional rescue groups that focus on re-homing dogs from kill shelters have limited resources. They simply cannot rescue all of the dogs that are euthanized annually in kill shelters. As a result, regional rescue groups generally focus on the dogs most likely to be adopted. This makes regional rescue groups a great alternative to shelters for finding good dogs. They typically perform an evaluation before taking a dog from a kill-shelter to ensure it has a desirable disposition and stable temperament. They look for friendly, outgoing animals with few behavioral and health problems in order to ensure the best opportunity for these dogs to find an adoptive home. Dogs from regional rescue groups might be described as 'diamonds in the rough' that may have been overlooked in shelters, but are typically desirable pets for many households. Advantages of Adopting a Rescue Dog. While you may need to complete more paperwork and pass more qualifying criteria to adopt from a rescue group than an animal shelter or humane society, rescue groups offer several significant advantages. For regional groups that focus on re-homing adoptable dogs from kill-shelters, you can have a reasonably well-founded belief you're getting one of the most desirable dogs from those shelters. Rescue groups typically don't focus their energies on dogs that don't stand a good chance of finding a home. Alternately, if you want to adopt a purebred dog but don't want to pay purebred dog prices, breed-specific rescue groups may provide a great opportunity to do so. Purebred dogs rarely stay long in animal shelters, so breed rescues are the most reliable way to find adult purebred dogs that are in need of being re-homed. Rescue group dogs live with individual members of the group during the re-homing process, where the dogs are observed to see if they are house trained, whether they know basic obedience commands and if there are any behavior or temperament issues. When you look at dogs in shelters, you're seeing stressed, over-stimulated dogs; the way a dog behaves in a shelter may not be the same as his behavior will be in your home. But with a rescue dog, you can form a more realistic idea of how he'll behave in your home. As a result of caring for the dogs in the rescue group members' own home, each individual rescue group member becomes quite familiar with the dog they are fostering. You may be able to find out if the dog is housebroken, good with cats, children or has other behavior, tendencies or abilities discovered while in his foster home - information that would be difficult to get from an animal shelter or any other way. By adopting from a rescue group you have the benefit of knowledgeable feedback on your choice of a dog. Like a reputable breeder, rescue groups typically do everything reasonably possible to make sure a dog is a good match for you. If the dog turns out not to be a good match, you have the right, and perhaps the requirement, to return the dog to the rescue group anytime you no longer want it.