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Why Choose a Rescue Dog

 by jaime on 08 Jun 2014 |
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With some 83 million dogs and cats in American households as of 2012, it is clear that pet ownership has never been quite as popular as it is today. According to the Humane Society of the United States, the number of households with pets living in them has tripled since the 1970s. Among dog owners alone, 47% of American homes have at least one dog living in them.


When it comes to welcoming a four-legged friend into the home, individuals and families are faced with the choice of adopting a dog or buying a puppy. So how is one to decide between adopting a dog and buying one? The following information is designed to help remove some of the stigma surrounding rescue dogs, and in the process help lower the number of animals in shelters across the country.


Less expensive now and later

Buying a purebred or specialty mixed-breed from a breeder or pet store can cost anywhere between $500 and $1000. All that money will go toward lining the pockets of the breeder or pet store owner, encouraging them to continue breeding practices regardless of the need for more puppies of a given breed. Shelters, on the other hand, charge anywhere from $50 to $200 in adoption fees and those costs usually cover initial booster shots and exams to ensure the dog is healthy before joining a family.


Additionally, in the long run, it has been shown that mixed-breed dogs (in particular) live longer and have fewer vet bills on average. Given mixed-breed dogs make up roughly 80% of the shelter population in this country, individuals are far more likely to bring home a healthy mixed-breed dog that will require less costs upfront and throughout their life than a purebred.



Pet with a history rather than an unknown

When a dog is purchased from a breeder or pet store, the only facts that are known about that particular dog are those characteristics which are generally associated with the breed as a whole. While most dogs stick pretty close to the characteristics and traits of the greater breed, there is no assurance that any given puppy will grow up and conform to those traits.


Rescue dogs, by contrast, have been evaluated and assessed by shelter staff to determine temperament, behavior, and social skills. When adopting a dog from a shelter, individuals and families get a better idea what type of animal they are adopting compared to bringing home an unknown.


Lives are saved

Before going any further, this doesn't mean that the lives of puppies at breeders and pet stores are any less valuable, but they don't face certain death if left in a kill-shelter. By rescuing a dog from a shelter or rescue group, individuals and families are giving that animal a second chance at a loving home environment. More importantly, they no longer have to face the "what if" scenario should they remain in the shelter for too long.


Pet stores, on the other hand, often source their dogs from puppy mills. The only concern of puppy mills is to produce as many pets for pet stores as possible to turn a buck. Purchasing a puppy from one of these stores continues to validate puppy mills and can contribute to larger shelter populations in the future.

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