We are so excited to be dedicating multiple articles this month to raising awareness of adoptable dogs, brands that give back to homeless dogs and many different adoption experiences. Adoption is something that is close to our heart as Norah (pictured), Jones and Khoena are all rescues. We certainly have had our challenges and complications with each: chronic health issues with Norah, separation anxiety due to Jones’ previous homes (we were his fourth by the time he was only three months old) and working with Khoena, a large-breed puppy whose father was predisposed to aggression, in an effort to help her become a well-rounded family dog. Despite the challenges, we wouldn’t trade them for the world. They each have brought so much love and joy into our lives and our home, something we are eternally grateful for.
While we are advocates for adoption, we want to make it clear that we are also advocates for ethical breeding. Life is all about balance and for the sake of variety and the preservation of the breeds we love most, we need both. Just as puppies are not the best option for each family, adoption may also prove to be too challenging for certain situations. It’s important in either case to do diligent research and seriously consider each individual dog–their breed, their age, their activity level, and their demeanor towards adults, children and other pets. Adoption can be a huge blessing, so we want to encourage all to consider #adoptbeforeyoushop. In this article, we’re sharing a few different ways you can adopt.
If you want to make the greatest difference in a dog’s life, adopting straight from a shelter often saves a dog from euthanasia. In the times we live in now, shelters are over-capacity and it’s nearly impossible for them to house every animal that comes to them. While it’s extremely noble to adopt a dog from the shelter, it’s imperative that you consider the challenges and risks that may arise. Depending on the shelter, the workers may not know too much about the individual dog and their demeanor. Be sure to ask all important questions as well as arranging a meet-and-greet with your entire family (especially if your extended family has children) and your other pets. Each dog deserves to be set up for success, so make an effort to do right by the dog that’s caught your eye so that you each can live happily ever after.
For first-time adopters, rescues are a fantastic place to start your search. Rescues invest a lot of time and effort into screening their dogs. They get to know them on a personal level and often begin rehabilitating them if they need extra help in a certain area (such as fear or aggression). Rescues usually place dogs in foster homes, which also allows the dog to already acclimate to the life of an indoor dog, which is extremely important for potty training and obedience. If you’re not sure you’re ready to adopt, perhaps consider fostering for your favorite rescue. It will not only help you to decide what sort of dog you’re truly looking for, but you will also be helping your foster to find it’s home. Perhaps your little foster will win over your heart and you’ll realize they’ve been home all along.
This is one avenue that we hardly hear about, often times because these dogs are not in immediate danger. Ethical, respectable and loving breeders often include a clause in their puppy contracts to have the puppy returned to them, should the family find themselves in a situation where they are no longer able to care for their dog. We have the utmost respect for these breeders because it not only shows how much they care about the puppies (and dogs) they’re bringing into this world, but they’re also keeping them out of the shelters and out of rescues. Plus, when you adopt an older puppy or dog from a breeder, you’re getting an incredibly important contact that has specific insight into your new dog and who will likely be there to help you through any challenges that may arise. If you have a specific breed in mind, reach out to a few breeders and let them know you would be happy to open your home to any dogs that may be returned to them. I’m sure they would greatly appreciate knowing there are families that are available ahead of time!