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Adopting a Puppy from an Animal Shelter
There was a time when I thought that humane societies, animal shelters,
and rescue organizations were only filled with 'bad' adult dogs - dogs
who were broken somehow, whether with physical problems or behavioral
problems. Then I started volunteering at one ... and learned that not
only are there all sorts of amazing pets there, both mixed breed and
purebred, but you could even adopt a
puppy from a shelter!
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Here are a few things to think about when adopting a puppy from a
- The shelter probably doesn't have any background information on
the puppy's parents. They can make a guess about breed(s) and may
even have information on the mother dog, if she came into the shelter
However, chances are they will have no way of knowing for sure
how big the puppy will get or what he'll look like when he grows up
(if these things are important to you, consider one of the many
lovely adult dogs waiting for a home). Likewise, the shelter likely
won't have any background health information about the puppies beyond
what they find out during the physical exam when the puppies are
- There may be a waiting list for puppies. There are many people
who prefer to adopt puppies over adult dogs. Sometimes puppies get
adopted very quickly and a waiting list develops.
Even if you have your heart set on a young puppy, how about
considering an adolescent instead? Dogs less than a year but past
that 'chubby puppy stage' are often overlooked.
- If you're a renter, you may be asked for proof that your
landlord will specifically allow a puppy. Some landlords will permit
adult dogs but will not allow puppies. Here is a list of
documents that you should be prepared to
bring to the shelter with you to assist in any type of adoption. Be
sure to check the shelter's website to see if there are any others.
If your heart is set on adopting a puppy but your landlord won't permit
it, then you'll have to find a new place to live. Here are some
tips on finding
pet-friendly housing rentals.
- Remember, puppies will be puppies! Be prepared for them to
chew inappropriate objects and have accidents ... for them to test
their limits (and yours!) and to have to learn to be well-mannered
Too many dogs are dumped at shelters after they've outgrown their
cute puppy looks, or when they become too much for the adopter to
handle. Adopting a puppy, any puppy, requires a commitment to be patient
and teach your furry little pup what is expected of them. Give them
time to understand and make learning a fun and positive game.
If you're looking to expand your family with a new four-legged
friend, adopting a puppy from a shelter is a great option. You'll
be giving a pet a home, instead of purchasing a puppy from a pet
store, who then sources new puppies to fill the demand. There are
many wonderful pets waiting at shelters all over the world, just
looking for that special family to walk in and take them home.
Adopt... don't shop!