How To Adopt A Dog From A Rescue, More Important Why Adopt From A Rescue

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Roughly 5500 dogs are put down each day in shelters across the U.S. which means around 2 million innocent lives taken each year because of lack of space.

The above statement is a very sad fact and if you only remember one thing from this article I hope that is what you remember.

Adopting a dog from a pet rescue or shelter could save a life or lives even. Most rescue pets are in need of a forever home through no fault of their own and deserve a second chance at a loving home.

Those aren’t the only reasons why adopting a dog from a rescue is a good idea. We are going to talk about how to adopt a dog from a rescue before we do we have a list of reasons why you should adopt a dog from a rescue.

Why Adopt A Dog From A Rescue:

There are many very good reasons to consider adopting a dog from a rescue below is a list of just a few of those reasons

  • Save A Life: When you adopt a dog from a rescue or a shelter you are saving not one but two lives. The first being the dog you adopt and take home in return leaving room in the rescue or shelter for another homeless dog saving their lives as well. Most animals in a rescue or shelter are there because of being abandoned, neglected. and or abused most of us forget that most dogs or animals are there through no fault of their own and deserve a chance to be loved and have a forever home.
  •  Break The Cycle Of Pet Overpopulation:  There aren’t nearly enough good homes for all of the animals born every year, adopting a dog from a rescue or shelter can help weaken the pet overpopulation cycle. 2 million dogs being euthanized every year because there aren’t nearly enough homes for them all.
  • Stop Cruelty In Puppy Mills: Thousands of commercial pet breeding facilities and backyard breeders also known as puppy or kitty mills produce millions of animals for sale in pet stores every year. In order to produce enough inventory, they have females dogs locked in cages for their whole lives in unsanitary and intolerable surroundings, forced to produce litter after litter and tossed aside when no longer able to reproduce. Restraining from using pet stores and adopting from a dog rescue or shelter shows you do not support these cruel facilities.
  • Already Trained:  As mentioned before most dogs are in a rescue or shelter because the human couldn’t hold up their end of the commitment not through any wrongdoing of the homeless animal. Most dogs in rescue have had at least basic training including being house trained saving you and your home the headache of having to train a puppy.
  • Saves Money:  When you adopt a dog from a rescue or shelter you can be sure the dog is up to date on all vaccinations, the cost of spay or neutering is included and if you are really lucky they may already be microchipped.

Above are just five very good reasons to adopt a dog from a rescue please try to keep them in mind and pass them on to anyone you know that is considering getting a puppy.

If your heart is set on getting a puppy try to remember rescues have dogs of all ages including puppies.


What’s The Difference In An Animal Rescue And A Shelter:

You have made the commendable decision to adopt a dog from a rescue or a shelter but not sure what the difference is from a rescue and a shelter?

A lot of shelters work closely with rescue groups in an effort to save as many pets from being euthanized as possible.

Rescue Group or Rescue Organization:

A rescue group or rescue organization is dedicated to pet adoption. Most rescues are created and run by volunteers that foster unwanted,  abandoned, stray, and abused pets until they find suitable forever homes for them.

The foster homes take care of all the dog’s needs whatever they may be including solving behavior problems, any medical problems they may have, and the training they need.

Rescue groups or organizations exist for most pet types but are most common for dogs and cats. Most rescue groups are breed or group-specific although there are some general dog rescue groups too.

Animal Shelter:  

Shelters sometimes also known as dog pounds are usually run and funded by local governments although there are around 5,000 independently run animal shelters nationwide.

A lot of Shelters today have a huge roll in controlling the pet population, promoting pet adoption, and rehabilitating both health and behavior problems they may have and spying and neutering to help prevent pet overpopulation.

Many of the government ran shelters that are unable to raise enough funds or don’t have adequate space to care for all of the incoming animals are left having to euthanize them within days in some cases.

Most of the privately-owned shelters have a no-kill policy in which no pet-worthy,  healthy animal will be euthanized.

The U.S. has three classifications for pet rescue:

  1. Not For Profit Rescue Organizations: Operate and run through a system of volunteers and foster homes. They are committed to the no-kill policy.
  2. No-Kill Shelters: Normally privately-owned organizations that also have the no-kill policy, no pet-worthy healthy animal will be euthanized.
  3. Municipal Shelters: Funded by local governments to take in stray and abandoned animals along with animals that people can no longer take care of. These facilities usually have to euthanize because of a lack of space or funds.

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How To Adopt A Dog From A Rescue:

It is true that adopting from a rescue requires following stricter guidelines than adopting from a shelter but if you know what to expect and are prepared for the process it can make it much easier.

One of the reasons or main reasons for the strict guidelines is really quite simple because rescue groups are trying to give their dogs the best chance at having a loving forever home that is capable and dedicated to giving their dogs the best life possible.

1: Research:
The very first thing you will want to do is research your local rescue organizations. Once you have found the groups or organizations you are interested in dig a little deeper to ensure they are legitimate.

If the groups you find have a website with pictures of dogs up for adoption scan through the pictures for dogs you are interested in checking out.

Most rescue groups and organizations are completely committed to saving pets and finding them loving forever homes, there are also those few that use the rescue group reputation as a front for selling stolen pets for a profit.

Not sure where to start, a good place to start if you are looking to adopt a rescue dog or even a cat online is click here for

2: Make First Phone Call:
After you have found the rescues you are interested in, the next step is to call the rescues and find out what information they will require when filling out the application, you will also want to ask how they evaluate and place dogs.

Find out specific requirements that you, your family, yard, and the house will need to meet.

You will want to ask about adoption fees they charge and set a time to have your first meeting, some groups will have you fill out an application over the phone before your first meeting.


3: Prepare For Thorough Questioning:

The rescue group WILL ask a series of questions about almost all aspects of your life, some of the questioning may seem unnecessary keep in mind everything they are asking potential pet parents is just to ensure each and every dog goes to a good home and never has to be rescued again.


1: Do you own or rent your home?

2: Is your yard fenced in, if not, how will you provide the necessary exercise?

3: Are there currently pets in your home? How do your current pets interact with other animals?

4: Do you have children? Are they good with dogs?

5: Has everyone in the home agreed to a new dog?

6: Have you owned the breed before?

7: Why did you choose this breed of dog?

8: Where will you keep the dog when left alone?

9: Where will the dog spend most of the time?

10: Where will the dog be kept at night?

11: How will you care for the dog if you go out of town?

Answer the questions as honestly as possible, they just want to be confident that they are sending their dogs to deserving homes where they will be taken care of and have a happy life.

Rescuers have met a lot of ugly pet owners that may seem decent in appearance but are dead beat pet owners and most rescuers feel it is their job to protect each and every dog they rescue and make sure they are given a better life.



All Rescues will ask for references and your references have a lot of influence on your application being excepted.

Your references will be asked at least two basic questions. how long you have known each other and if they would have you pet-sit for their dog.

Choose your references wisely make sure they will answer the phone first and second that they show interest in answering the rescuer’s questions and don’t give a generic answer.

Pick references you have known the longest and have seen you interact with dogs someone that will give an honest detailed answer to any questions the application screeners may have about you.



Rescues want to know that you will do what you should to keep your dog healthy and will call your family Vet to confirm that all of your current and past were seen yearly for a regular check-up, kept up to date on vaccines, and were seen and treated for any injuries your pets may have had.

If your vet records or lack of vet records aren’t sufficient they will likely pass your application up from fear that you may neglect the dog’s health.

At the very least your pets should be going at least once a year for their yearly wellness check, it’s like our yearly physical and teeth cleaning.

Your pet deserves their physical and dental health to be checked and maintained as well so please be sure to get them checked with their favorite vet once a year.

4: Meet The Dog You Want To Adopt:

Most pets live in foster homes with foster families who are usually volunteers who work with or run the rescue groups. You will likely have an introduction to your future fur baby at the foster home with the foster family.

Any questions you have about the dog’s personality, health, temperament, and behavior should be easily answered by the foster family.

I made a list of questions as I thought of them at home before meeting with the foster family, only because I knew I would forget half of the questions I had in the excitement of meeting my future furbaby.

5:Prepare Home And Yard: 

You should have an idea of what the rescue group’s expectations are for a suitable home and yard. Each group will have different guidelines for these things as different breeds require different accommodations.

One thing almost all rescuers expect is a fenced in yard for your potential fur baby another must is a dog house or at least a well-shaded area.

If you are adopting a puppy, make sure you puppy proof your home for the inspection, display everything you have for the puppy or dog exactly how you will have it for your new dog so the rescue can see that you are prepared to care for a dog.

This is also a very important part of the process as it is a chance to see how well your future fur baby interacts with other family members and pets in your home.

Know that at some point there will be a home visit so if during your initial phone call you ask what is expected you can have your home and yard ready for that home visit and pass with flying colors.

6: Finalize Adoption:

After your application is approved, there have been successful home visits and the rescue group excepts you for adoption all that is left is signing the contract, paying the adoption fee, and taking your new fur baby home with you.

Rescue groups are usually funded if at all by donations, the adoption fee is to help cover some of the expenses of caring for foster pets.

Make sure you have a crate or pet seat belts to safely transport your new fur baby home.


Application Denied:

It’s no secret that it can be difficult to get your application approved with a dog rescue, that’s why we are going through how to adopt a dog from a rescue.

If at any time throughout the application process you get denied, try not to get terribly upset the rescue is only trying to make sure the dog is placed in a forever home that is perfect for the dog.

Instead of getting angry and eliminating any chance, you may have in the future, simply take a deep breath and enquire as to what it was that got your application denied.

It may be you will be perfect for another dog or could be something you can adjust or fix to make your application acceptable.

Ask the rescue what if anything you could do to be able to adopt a dog from them.


So now you know how to adopt a dog from a rescue. It does take some effort and dedication on your part, knowing what to expect, being prepared, willing to work with and cooperate with the rescue will go a long way.

Any time you add a dog to your family it is an exciting time it is true. If you have had a dog before then you know its also a lot of work if you haven’t had a dog before you should do some research and know that dogs deserve dedication and love and along with the joy they bring they also are a lot of work.

If you don’t have much experience with dogs you may want to volunteer some of your time to a group or your local shelter to get some experience and help you better understand the dedication it takes to care for a dog.

So yes going through a rescue is a bit more complicated but saving a dog and giving them a second chance at a full happy life with a loving family is priceless.

Have you ever known the joy of having a dog from a rescue? Please share you and your rescue pooch’s story, you could inspire someone to give a deserving dog a second chance at a life they deserve.

If you do have a story please share it with us in the comments section below.

I hope you have a wonderful summer and remember to make sure your fur baby has plenty of shade and water to stay cool.






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