Rescues and shelters are a great way to get a dog, even pure breeds. Many rescues are breed specific, Like the Kentucky Dachshund rescue located in Georgetown, Kentucky. Shelters have a mix of everything. That being said, you must be very specific when adopting a dog.
There are several places that claim to be rescues or work through a shelter, but its really a money collecting scam. These are people that will cruise sites like Craiglist through the free pet ads, take someone’s dog promising it will have a good forever home then a few days later basically sell the dog, claiming it’s an adoption fee. This dogs are usually not neutered, up-to-date on shots or have had a vet check. Which you get through a actual shelter or rescue.
Even though most shelters and rescues have a health guarantee there are a few things you want to look for when adopting. If you are adopting from a rescue that works with specific breeds, you will want to do research on that specific breed of dog. Certain breeds can develop what is called breed specific health issues. Australian Shepherds can develop seizures, Labradors and German shepherd are prone to hip dysplacia, certain breeds like “dapple” dachshunds, boxers and Australian shepherds can be deaf or blind when mostly white. Research is always important.
If you don’t care about the breed and are just fine with a mixed pup, then shelters are the way to go. With mixed breeds you usually get to avoid the breed specific health issues, but there are still things you should watch for when choosing a pet. Be wary of dogs that are lethargic, there is a difference between shy and lethargic. Make sure the dogs nose is wet, but not runny, also look out for pussy, runny eyes.
Some dogs naturally have runny eyes, because of the tear ducts, poodles, shih Tzu’s, Maltese’s and their mixes are a few. But green or yellow runny eyes and noses are not normal! These are signs of an infection. Also, be weary of dogs that are scratching or chewing a lot. This could be a sign of fleas or something more serious, such as mange.
Once you choose your dog make sure it’s had a complete vet check , including being tested for parasites like heart worm and that the dog is up-to-date on all vaccines. Also, your new pet should be spayed or neutered. Leave dog breeding to professionals, backyard breeding can cause serious health problems and only adds to a pet overpopulation problem.
Petfinder is an excellent source for finding adoptable dogs in your area. You can search by zip code and breed. Also, adopting from your local shelters, here in Louisville we have several great facilities providing pet adoption. There is an Animal Care Society, located on Westport Road. There is also the Metro Animal Shelter and Kentucky Humane Society. You can adopt from KHS at many of the Feeders Supplies and PetSmart does adoptions on the weekends.
There are an endless number of dogs waiting for their forever home. Go to your local shelter today and look for your new forever friend.