Are you thinking about sharing your life and home with a canine buddy? Why not choose to adopt one instead of buying from a breeder? Adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue is a commendable undertaking and one that you should consider. There are so many dogs waiting and hoping for somebody to come along and pick them out from the rest and bring them home. All these unwanted and abandoned dogs only want one thing-- to have a home where they will be lavished with care, love, and attention from their humans.
There are various adoption options that are available so you can determine which ones can help you get the best results. Understanding each option and knowing how the process works can be valuable when it’s time to make a go for it.
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Why you should consider adopting a dog
There are several important reasons to adopt a pet dog. These include the following:
- Second chances
Every dog at a shelter or rescue deserves a second chance at life, a new beginning in a loving home. They have been through so much-- their previous owners may have given up on them, or they may have gotten lost and failed to reunite with their owners or were purposely abandoned. These unwanted and helpless creatures are always hoping that somebody would come along and bring them to their forever home.
- Addressing pet overpopulation
By adopting a dog, you are doing your share in curbing pet overpopulation. Each year, millions of dogs end up being euthanised because there are not enough resources to meet all of their basic needs, including shelter and food.
- Stop cruel practices in puppy mills
Puppy mills are mass breeding facilities. These are usually the sources of puppies that are for sale in pet stores and the ones that you find in news ads. Unfortunately, the dogs that are used in these breeding facilities are cooped up inside cages for their entire lives. These dogs are often kept in very poor environmental conditions. They lack human companionship and socialization. Female dogs are expected to get pregnant and give birth to a litter of puppies every season. And when their reproductive performance becomes more of a liability than an asset, these poor dogs are destroyed. When more people choose to adopt dogs from shelters, puppy mills would lose their market and will eventually stop the mass-production of puppies.
- You get to select from dogs of various ages, breeds, personalities, etc.
If you don’t have any idea what dog would suit you best, there is a great selection of shelter residents and dogs in foster homes that you can choose from.
- You can adopt an adult animal
Most adult animals have already been through basic training. They are already housetrained and can obey basic obedience commands, such as “sit” or “stay”. If you don’t want to deal with puppy concerns, such as biting, chewing, housetraining, obedience training, crate training, etc, you should consider bringing home an adult dog from the shelter. Also, there’s really no truth to the saying that “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks”. Adult dogs can be trained with successful results.
- You pay less
Compared to buying from a reputable certified breeder or puppy mill, shelters and rescues offer low adoption fees.
Where To Adopt A Dog -- Options for Adopting a Dog
If you want to adopt a dog, there are various adoption options to choose from. Learning more about each option can help you understand how it works and help you decide what’s best for your circumstances.
Animal shelters or humane society
These shelters accept dogs that have been surrendered by their owners as well as stray and lost dogs that fail to be reunited with their owners. There are the so-called “kill shelters” and the “no-kill shelters”. As the name implies, kill shelters euthanise dogs after a considerable length of time. On the other hand, a no-kill shelter will only euthanise a dog for medical reasons. While shelters find it hard to euthanise shelter dogs, they are left with no choice especially when the number of shelter residents is up to the eaves and they lack the space or resources to provide for these poor dogs.
Here are important benefits and reasons why you should adopt a dog from a shelter
- The adoption process is quick
- Shelter dogs undergo a temperament test.
- Dog vaccinations are usually up-to-date
- Dogs have been spayed or neutered
- There is a wide selection of dogs to choose from
- With the new change in Project ADORE rules, more dogs can now be adopted into HDBs!
Disadvantages of adopting from an animal shelter or the humane society
- The shelter website may not have a complete list of all dogs that are up for adoption.
- A dog that you may have seen online maybe not available once you visit the shelter because of the quick adoption process.
- Although most shelter residents have been through a temperament test, the shelter environment is different from a home environment, and how the dog behaves in a different surrounding can be unpredictable.
Dog Rescue Organizations
A dog rescue may be established by a single person or a non-profit organization that is managed by volunteers. Since dog rescues are not created equal, you should do some research about the organization before choosing to adopt a dog from them. It is recommended that you only deal with a non-profit rescue that has a license to operate. You can also talk to people who have adopted their dogs. Good rescues often come highly recommended. If you have a specific breed in mind, there are plenty of breed-specific rescue organizations that you can check out online. Simply type in breed + rescue + your area in the search bar.
Benefits of adopting from a dog rescue
- Most dogs in a rescue may live in a foster home before being adopted. Finding time to talk with the foster owners can help you learn more about the dog’s personality, health, temperament, and other important information that you should know before adopting.
- Dogs are up-to-date on their vaccinations and have been spayed (females) or neutered (males).
- Rescue shelters tend to be more personally involved with each dog adoption and often offer advice and services after adoption.
- Most dog rescues have a website that has a list of all dogs that are available for adoption including details about each one.
Disadvantages of adopting from a dog rescue
- The adoption process is quite long and can take several days to weeks to months as there will be home trials.
- Dog rescues often have stricter requirements than animal shelters.
Ask Your Veterinarian
Veterinarians have valuable knowledge about pet adoption opportunities and facilities in your area. There are dog patients that need rehoming when their pet owners are unable to care for them for whatever reason. The staff at vet clinics, such as veterinary nurses or technicians may also offer you valuable advice about the matter. When you adopt a dog through your veterinarian, the process could be fairly straightforward and free, if your vet knows somebody who wants to find a loving home for a pet dog they can no longer care for. But if your veterinarian recommends a shelter or breed-specific rescue group, you will likely undergo their adoption process and pay their fees.
Pet Adoption Websites
There are various pet adoption websites that you can easily have access to. If you are entertaining thoughts about dog adoption, you can start your search from these websites in the comfort of your home. These websites maintain a network with local shelters or rescue groups. You can easily navigate your way through the site, making it easier for you to search for dogs using specific parameters, like age, breed, gender, temperament, etc.
Check out our list of dog shelters in Singapore!
Pet adoption websites only act as a comprehensive source of information gathered from dog shelters, rescues, or other dog adoption organizations in a specific area. They organize the information and create an easily navigable website for anyone interested to adopt a pet.
Once you are interested in a specific dog, you simply click the picture or the name of the dog and you will be redirected to the website of the shelter or rescue. You may be asked to fill out an online form signifying your interest. After the shelter or rescue gets in touch with you, you will have to go through the regular process depending on what facility or organization you will be adopting.
Friends and Family
This is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to adopt a dog. When the word gets out that you are looking to adopt a pet, you’d surely hear from any friend or family who is hoping for somebody to adopt their beloved pets and give them love, care, and a forever home. There are several advantages to adopting from someone whom you know. First, you know the temperament and personality of the dog. You have the advantage of being able to contact them if you have questions about your new pet. They may also give you some of the supplies that the dog was already using so you won’t have to buy. Also, the owner may let you adopt a puppy for free.
Even if you are adopting from a friend or family member, you should do your assignment and exercise due diligence. Don’t forget to ask about the dog’s vaccination, health/medical, and microchip records. Also, inquire whether the dog has been spayed or neutered. Other important information that you should ask include veterinary records, if any, as well as pedigree records if it’s a purebred that is registered with official breed registries.
Pet Adoption Events
There are companies, as well as private and public institutions and organizations that sponsor adoption events, making it possible for anybody who wants to adopt a canine buddy to meet pets that are hoping for somebody to come along to bring them to their forever home. These adoption events are often held in cooperation with rescue and shelter partners. During these events, you get to meet different dogs that are available for adoption. You should be prepared to answer questions about your preferences, lifestyle, whether or not you have other pets in the household, how much time you can devote to your pet, and other important questions related to your circumstances. You may be asked to fill up a form about specific information that they may need for further assessment. They may even do a house visit which is also a part of the assessment process. Once you qualify, the process is generally carried and finalized by the rescue organization or shelter according to their standard procedures.
Whatever option you decide on when you finally choose to adopt a dog, always keep in mind that sharing your life and home with a pet entails a big responsibility. You should be ready to commit your time, effort, and resources to meet the needs of your newly adopted pet for his entire lifetime. In exchange for all these, you have a canine buddy whose love and loyalty knows no bounds.