I’ve been a big proponent of animal rescue organizations for more years than I can remember. Like many, my involvement started off with my financial assistance and donating items that were on the rescue organizations’ wish list. Then, my wife and I decided to get more involved by volunteering our time. This included spending time at the shelter socializing the cats and dogs, becoming active members of the feral cat program, writing requests for grants, posting the information about the adoptable pets on Petfinder, fostering a stray kitten, and, eventually, becoming the president of the Humane Society of Forsyth County (GA) – a no-kill shelter.
Since forming my own animal-focused business, I routinely provide my lost animal consultation services on a pro-bono basis to rescue organizations that have missing animals. During my national book tour, I partnered with rescue organizations in every city I visited. I invited them to my book signing events and to appear on local and national television with me to promote their organizations. I wanted to help raise awareness about the local rescue organizations and, in doing so, get more animals adopted.
After many years of supporting animal rescue organizations, I still know people who have never considered visiting a rescue or county shelter when looking for a new dog. The most common reason I hear is that the person or family is looking for a purebred dog to adopt. They have the misconception that these types of facilities only have mixed-breed dogs to adopt. After all this time, this incorrect belief still amazes me.
My first response is always, “Why do you want a purebred dog?” Often, they tell me that they believe purebreds are healthier and have a known lineage. Though it’s true that purebred dogs may have a known lineage, it’s not always true that they are healthier. I then educate them on the benefits of adopting a mixed-breed dog. In many cases I’ve come across, the mixed-breed dogs can live longer lives and have less health problems. My first dog, a collie-shepherd mix named Bandit, lived to be 16 years of age. Outside of his annual exam and routine vaccines, he never needed to visit a veterinarian. Meanwhile, we adopted two purebred schnauzers, Buzz and Woody (brothers from the same litter), and they had just about every health problem imaginable.
If they still insist on adopting a purebred dog, then I let them know that purebred dogs are available at your local county shelters, through animal rescue organizations and through breed-specific organizations. In major cities, you can find a breed-specific rescue organization for just about every breed of dog out there. For example, we adopted or most recent schnauzer boy, Kramer, from Schnauzer Love Rescue (SLR) . SLR focuses on rescuing and adopting schnauzers throughout the southeast. There are also wonderful organizations like Friends to the Forlorn, who focus on Pit Bull rescue and Arizona Golden Rescue who focus on Golden Retrievers. You can also search Petfinder to locate specific breeds of dogs as well as breed-specific organizations nationally or in your area.
I always suggest that you do your research first to determine the best breed for you and your family. The right and perfect dog is out there waiting for you and can end up being purebred or a little mix of all the good stuff.
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