According to estimates provided by the ASPCA, approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, roughly 3.1 million are dogs. The animals come in all shapes, sizes, breeds, and age ranges. And as many as 390,000 are needlessly euthanized each year, predominantly due to humans. We are not getting them fixed in sufficient numbers, and we frequently neglect, ignore, or turn them out on the streets to whatever fate awaits them. Those lucky enough to be rescued by an animal welfare organization can often wait months or even years to find forever homes.
The other issue contributing to the problem is America’s penchant for pedigreed pooches. If we’d stop buying dogs, then we might be able to put a dent in the homeless numbers. It’s perfectly understandable to be attracted to a certain look and character traits, but perpetuating the puppy mill industry is reckless. If you simply must have a designer pup, rescue one from a shelter dedicated to the breed.
Rescues for Specific Breeds
That’s right, for every breed out there, there are multiple rescues in each state caring for these rejected animals just like their mixed-breed cousins. Unlike shelters, these rescues are specifically for papered breeds. Whether it’s a golden retriever, a husky, a poodle, a Shar Pei, a schnauzer, or what have you, dogs of all ages are waiting in them, just hoping for a second shot at happiness and the sense of security that comes with finding a forever home.
All you have to do is perform an internet search that includes the name of the state you’re looking in, the breed you’re interested in, and the word rescue, and you will likely be blown away at how many hits you get. Even if there are only one or two groups in your state, there are multiple rescues in other states. The dogs they foster span from young puppies to seniors, and the adoption fees are a fraction of what a breeder will charge. Unless you’re determined to hit the dog show circuit, why would you care if your next BBF still has its papers or not?
Adopt, Don’t Shop
Another idea is to make the acquaintance of your local shelter and tell them what you’re looking for. Many of them will put your name on a list for the specific animal you’re searching for and notify you if one is picked up or surrendered. They get purebreds, too. You’re likely asking yourself why a several-thousand-dollar animal would end up being surrendered to a rescue or shelter. One of the main reasons is people do not do their homework on the animals and their needs or requirements before rushing out and purchasing one in an impulse buy.
Responsible Pet Ownership
Purebreds are frequently high maintenance time- and money-wise to care for. This is why it’s vital that you do your due diligence as well before adopting any pet. Read up on them. Ask professionals in the pet industry. Consult a veterinarian first. Do whatever it takes to avoid surrendering one yourself, because the confusion, fear, and sadness they endure each time they’re rejected is something no living creature should ever have to experience.
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