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Puppy adoption is the way to get yourself a dog that you’ve been dreaming about for long. You may have already learned that, pet stores dealing in majority with puppy mills are not an option at all. Breeders with proven record of successful breeding and operating in general are the best choice of getting a pure bred puppy. Breeders that really care about their “production” and ensure puppies’ safety as well as overall well-being before the sale can charge you up to several grands for the best puppy that may ever come across. Adoption is another approach that deals more with morale part of the question. Adoption is not just getting a dog for free or for a token payment; it is a question of your own humaneness and understanding that, genuinely good deeds are rare but still do happen in daily life.
Reasons for Adoption
If you want to adopt a puppy, you may have gone through several reasons to justify such choice, right? Let me guess… “Adoption is free”, “adoption is an easy thing to do”, “adoption is the chance to save a living being” were among the reasons why you choose to adopt a puppy. But have you ever thought of a long time perspective of having a puppy? If you approach the adoption thinking as of some sort of investment, you may find surprisingly more benefits than used to think! Let me state five reasons for adoption and you’ll find out what I’m talking about:
- Saving a life.
Each year almost 3 million of pets are euthanized in the US only because too many pets come into shelters. Can you believe it? – dogs and cats are killed only because…there are too many of them! If every household across the nation adopted a puppy, a kitten, an abandoned horse, a pig, a goat or some birdie, there would be no one left in a shelter, not a single soul! Unfortunately this is not likely to happen ever and by adopting a puppy, you are just making this list of pets prepared for euthanasia one pet short. One creature out of several million statistically but hey – it’s still a life saved!
That’s as simple as it sounds… Finally, you get yourself a dog! Most shelter puppies ended up there because of human problems and not because the animal did anything wrong. They are still and will always be lovely beings that depend more on us than we do on them.
- Bargain moment.
When adopting a puppy, you’ll have to pay an adoption fee. It’s a certain amount charged for compulsory vaccination, spaying/neutering and microchipping. People running and working in shelters don’t have any income at all – they do if because animal lives matter. Don’t forget that running a shelter requires much money for feeding, veterinary assistance and constant care. So adopting a puppy and paying an adoption fee you help the establishment make both ends meet.
- Fight against puppy mills.
I guess there is not a single pet fancier who has never heard of puppy mills. By adopting a puppy from a shelter, you make a small step against the notorious underground breeding industry. Breeders aiming at making money only, lose their part of market gradually leaving the business at all. Though small but still a victory!
- Proper training.
The majorities of all puppies found in shelters have already been living with humans and may surprise you with good manners after adoption. Unfortunately, many of them are afraid of humans as the biggest threat but, you have all the time you need to prove it wrong.
Animals help us in various ways.
I could and would name dozens of reasons for adopting a puppy according to this point, but guess you already know that puppies (dogs, in general) improve your mood, teach you to assume responsibility, influence your health (also the mental one), help to build relations if you are alone (take a walk in the park with a puppy). These several reasons are already enough for making a decision.
Where to Find a Puppy?
I hope you have made up your mind after learning my five reasons, and now you are firm in your decision of adopting a puppy. But how exactly are you going to do it? Please, don’t crack your head thinking – I did it for you. Here’s the list of best sites that will help you with adoption:
- PetFinder.com – one of the biggest sites in the whole Net dedicated to adoption. You can find a puppy anywhere in the US, in every state.
- AdoptaPet.com – North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website.
- aspca.org/adopt-pet/find-shelter – The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
- HumaneSociety.org – one of the most influential organizations fighting for animals rights and against any cruelty.
- AnimalLeague.org – World’s Largest NO-KILL Animal Rescue and Adoption Organization.
- BestFriends.org – another strong organization specializing in saving all kinds of pets, they are going further nowadays – have not only hundreds of puppies for adoption, but big plans and animal right initiatives.
These sites will help you a lot with searches for a puppy. But there are other options as well…
Option 1: watch usual ads on the Net. You may stumble upon an ad citing that owners can no longer keep a dog or their dog delivered a litter that they would like to give away for free. Call them and ask about the puppies. But be careful, if you find several ads from the same user – it may be a breeder. Don’t forget that great breeders need no advertising – their customers and positive reviews speak for them.
Option 2: visit local pet store/dog club/animal exhibition – visit any facility or an event that is going to gather pet fanciers around. When visiting the event/facility, ask about shelters nearby or someone who is willing to give away a puppy.
Adoption done in Cesar’s way
Cesar Milan is the force and authority to reckon with in this industry. This is why I could not omit his immense work on dog behavior and decided to give him credit he deserves by mentioning his adoption hints. Here’s what Mr. Milan says you should do:
- Before adopting a puppy, learn everything about the breed before bringing it to its new home. Some breeds have such particularities that may outpower your love and devotion to them. So, before anything bad happens, spend some time learning more about the breed.
- Black dogs are black in their appearance only but have light souls. It means that you should not choose based on the color of dog but on the dog’s attitude towards you.
- Always consult with staff working directly with the process of adoption to find the puppy that fits you the most.
When choosing a puppy, narrow your list of favorites down to three puppies that you like equally. Ask the staff to allow you to handle or even go for a walk with each puppy separately to understand how it behaves when it’s with you.
- Try visiting the shelter on weekdays when shelters are not so crowded. Thus, the puppy you like the most will be calm in “natural state of mood”.
- Cesar has a particular thought about the kill shelters. I guess he doesn’t approve of their existence and of their policy, this is why he suggests you to visit such shelters first of all. It’s the matter of life and death literally.
- Compatibility of energy levels really does matter! You should be looking for a puppy with the same level of activity or a bit lower than that of your family’s.
- Mutts and mixed-breed dogs are not defect. Having traits of two breeds, they are healthier that purebreds and theoretically smarter.
- Pit bulls are as great as any other breed. Be open to pit possibility – they deserve to have devoted owners. And leave all that controversy drawn by the media behind – if you raise a pit bull properly, it becomes an exemplary dog. It’s that simple.
- Do not judge the puppy by its behavior in the shelter – it is kept in conditions that differ from those where it was raised. All this barking and bustling may be the result of your presence and communication going between other dogs. They see you – they discuss you.
- If you know exactly what breed you want to find, type the breed name plus “rescue” in search engine and you may come across a group rescuing dogs right in your area.
- The puppy that you adopt may not show its true nature immediately. The stress of cage life in a shelter will take some time to erase.
Cesar is a great guy and all dog fanciers respect him for his dedication to the work he does. And he is a great practitioner as well. This is why the hints mentioned above are truthful, as it’s the way the Dog Whisperer would do himself, if he were you.
In order to make this article the best, I searched the web for some time for approaches that people use when trying to adopt a puppy and obstacles they face. Surprisingly, the biggest problem appeared to be this “interrogation” thing linked with the process of adoption. What I mean by saying interrogation is not some FBI interviewing a person of interest; it’s the way shelter staff screens you in order to understand whether you correspond to the necessities of the puppy in terms of care, solvency and conditions. I scrolled down dozens of comments on several sites and it turned out to be that people still have problems when adopting a puppy. You may think like “Dude, I’m trying to save the dog here, what’s the problem with me?” But the staff knows best. You act well-intentioned but, the truth can say much against your desire to adopt a pet. Here’s the list of cons that staff at shelter can come up with when reviewing your candidacy for adoption:
- You live alone.
- You and your spouse spend 8 hours at work daily – dog is left alone completely all this time.
- You have a criminal record. Here people say “you may be turned in again for long time” and dog will return to the shelter.
- You have many loans to give back. Loans?! Exactly. They’ll question your solvency.
- Your lifestyle doesn’t correspond to the necessities of the particular breed.
Those are the top 5 reasons list that I composed based on comments in the web. If you find that any of the points mentioned is applicable to your situation, please reconsider getting a puppy or strive to improve your situation.
It is worth mentioning, that the shelters across the nation have various requirements for adopters. I’m not making it up; it’s something that I read: a guy from Texas wrote like “all you need is 20 bucks and be sober at least” and another from L.A. said, he had to undergone an interrogation as if he was Eddie Snowden himself. He was made to bring a receipt of his bank account and to write a letter with the title “Why do I want to adopt a dog”. That’s preposterous! Maybe, but people know better.
All I want to say in conclusion is that,
you should be frank with yourself on why you need a puppy.
Remember, that it’s a living being with special needs and must be treated sometimes like an own child with much time spent for care and training. Otherwise, adoption turns into temporary residence with expected return to shelter. You don’t want to make the same mistakes that previous owners did, do you?
I hope this article and my message stated in last few sentences will help you make a firm decision about adopting a puppy and moreover – about becoming the best loving and caring owner. Good luck, my dear reader!