|Barked: Wed Feb 29, '12 9:20am PST |
|oh man. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Adopting a purebred from a rescue group (that specializes in that breed) can be a grueling process- they might grill you up and down, ask for vet references, inspect your house for dog safety issues, etc.
On the other hand, if you walk down to the local municipal shelter (the "pound") they may not ask any questions at all. Of course in that situation you're on your own as far as choosing a suitable dog, and it can be hard to judge a dog's real personality in the chaotic shelter environment (loud barking, people coming and going, dogs going crazy for lack of exercise, dogs depressed, etc.) They often have very little history on the dogs unless they were turned in by their owners (who often lie about behavior problems.) Of course, for all this trouble you get the cheapest adoption fees, wide selection of dogs, and that warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you may have saved a life.
What rescues often do is take dogs from the crazy shelter environment, get them in a foster home, and polish them up for potential adopters. They are less of an unknown quantity for behavior and health. So that's why adopting from a rescue usually costs more, because they've invested time and money into their dogs.
If you're not familiar with it, Petfinder.com is a great resource. You can search for individual dogs, for rescue groups, for shelters, etc.
Some advice- don't get your heart set on a particular dog until it's yours. Adoptions can fail. The dog may be gone by the time you get there. A rescue may reject your application for silly reasons. Just remember there's always more fish in the sea.
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