Most people understand the importance of adopting dogs rather than purchasing one from a breeder. Unwanted dogs are overwhelming the animal shelter system across the nation and as many as 670,000 abandoned dogs will be euthanized every year. Many of these dogs thrive when given a loving second chance home, and many people who have had positive experiences with pet adoption will adopt several pets over the course of their lives.
That being said, many people are hesitant to adopt mixed breed dogs because they have specific needs or requirements that may or may not be met by a dog with mixed heritage, often difficult to know before bringing the dog home for a trial run. In an effort to make sure that a new furry member of the family is more likely to be a good fit, many people resort to purchasing a purebred dog from a responsible breeder. However, there is another option.
What many folks are not aware of is that most breeds have specific rescue organizations dedicated to rehoming purebred dogs to appropriate homes. This article will give you a guide to exploring if breed rescue organizations may be a good choice for your next purebred dog.
How do breed specific rescue organizations work?
Most breed rescue organizations are run strictly through the efforts of volunteers who love the breed. Many of these volunteers are experts on the breed including their training, exercise, and lifestyle needs. They often participate in fostering several dogs each year and develop a very strong sense of the individual needs that each dog in their care has as well as the ideal home where they will thrive.
These organizations are often funded through adoption fees to cover the veterinary costs incurred during their foster period, averaging $100 -$300 according to the AKC. In addition, private donations from lovers of the breed, and indeed even many AKC breed clubs, helps to make up the difference and fund outreach and educational efforts.
Many purebred dogs find their way to breed rescue clubs either by being surrendered directly to them, or by being selected from animal shelters that would otherwise euthanize them. For example, many owners surrender a dog because of a move, a change in financial or health situation, or just a poor fit with their lifestyle needs.
What are some of the pros and cons of adopting through a breed rescue group?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages and potential disadvantages of looking for a purebred dog to adopt through a rescue organizations:
- Get the breed you want. Although individual dogs within any breed have their own individual personalities, there are certain traits that are more common in certain breeds, allowing adopters to have greater control over making sure they are a good fit for their lifestyle.
- Save money. Although there will be adoption fees, they are generally at or below the cost of the veterinary care such as routine vaccinations or spay/neuter costs that are incurred by responsible dog ownership under any circumstances.
- Know special needs in advance. Since most breed rescue organizations use a foster system to keep their dogs while they await forever homes, they have been observed in a household environment by people who understand the breed and common issues they may have. Thus, you can know in advance in most cases what, if any, behavioral or health issues you may be taking on before you adopt.
- Give a loving dog a second chance. One of the biggest perks of rescuing a dog is that you have the benefit of knowing that you have provided a good home to a dog that was in need of a loving family.
- Puppies are rare. If you have your heart set on a puppy, it can be hard to find a puppy up for adoption in the exact breed that you are looking for. This is because often dogs are surrendered after they are adults. However, if you don’t mind getting on a waiting list, then you may get lucky.
- They may lack papers. If you are looking to take your purebred rescue dog to the competition ring, breed rescue may not be the best option. Most dogs that are in the breed rescue system may have pure bloodlines, but they often lack the proper paperwork to establish them with confirmation organizations such as the AKC.
- You may have to travel to get your dog. If you are not lucky enough to have a breed rescue group in your area, you may have to travel further to pick up your dog than the local shelter or a nearby breeder.
How can I find a specific breed rescue organization near me?
These days there are a lot of ways to find the right breed organization for the breed or breeds you are most interested in. Here are a few of the best ways:
Try an online search for [breed] rescue [your state]. For example, if you are looking to find a greyhound rescue group near you and you live in Florida, you can search for “Greyhound rescue Florida” to find nearby results.
Most rescue organizations these days have an online presence with a page that you can find on social media sites such as Facebook.
Pet Adoption Websites
Pet adoption websites such as Petfinder allow you to search nearby dogs up for adoption by breed type. In most cases, breed rescue organizations realize the power of these types of adoption sites and work hard to make sure their available dogs are easy to find by breed type.
All breeds registered with the AKC have an online presence and contact information through the American Kennel Club website. You can reach out to breed clubs to learn more about what rescue organizations are working hard to protect the welfare dogs of that breed type.
In many cases, your local animal shelter is a wealth of information about the rescue organizations that they partner with in your immediate area. In addition, many also have a page on Facebook that includes updates on new dogs that arrive in the shelter each week. Since many purebred dogs are surrendered to such shelters, you may find that you are able to find the perfect canine companion for your needs without even having to go through a breed rescue organization.
About the Author: Sharon is a professional writer and received her M.S. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech and has worked as a professional dog trainer for over 10 years.