I’ve supported animal rescue organizations for many years. I’ve participated in adoption events, community awareness presentations, and animal socialization sessions. I’ve cleaned my fair share of dog runs. I even spent time as the president of the Humane Society of Forsyth County (Georgia), a no-kill shelter. Anything I could do to help a dog or cat get adopted, I have done, and I expect to continue doing so for many years ahead.
Often people approach me looking for a specific type of dog. They’ve either had a dog of that breed in the past or know someone who has one now. Sometimes, though not as often as I would like, they’ve put a lot of time into researching various breeds to determine the ones that might be the right fit for their family or individual lifestyle.
I try to persuade them that all dogs have their own personalities, regardless of breed specifics. Many non-purebred dogs are wonderful, healthy, and very smart. These dogs can make wonderful companions for their families.
If they still insist on adopting a purebred, I let them know that they are indeed available at local animal shelters and through animal rescues and breed-specific organizations. You can find a rescue organization for just about every breed of dog out there.
For example, we adopted our most recent Schnauzer, Kramer, from Schnauzer Love Rescue, which focuses on rescuing and adopting Schnauzers throughout the southeastern United States. There are also wonderful organizations like Arizona Golden Rescue, who find homes for Golden Retrievers, and Friends to the Forlorn, who rescue and rehome Pit Bulls.
I asked Nancy Delf at Schnauzer Love Rescue how her group finds dogs. “I think few people know to look for a rescue organization if they need to relinquish their dogs,” she says. “I’ve answered several Craigslist ads for rehoming Schnauzers.” Instead of their owners trying to find their dogs new homes online, she offers to take the Schnauzers into her rescue group. “People just don’t know about, or don’t think about, turning their dog in to a breed-specific rescue. I think more people would turn their dogs in to us instead of taking them to county shelters, too, if they were just aware that this was an option.”
I asked Nancy what she believes to be the biggest misconception people have regarding rescue organizations. “People need to understand that many rescues are run entirely by volunteers,” she says. Her group is completely reliant on donations and adoption fees — and those fees are still probably less than SLR’s veterinarian costs, should a particular dog be kept for any length of time.
Nancy stressed that you’ll need to remain patient with any dog you bring into your home. But she says the upside of going to a group like hers is that you know what you’re getting, since they know the breed and are very familiar with the dogs in their care.
Some breed-specific organizations have operations in several states. “If there is a dog in Florida and someone in Tennessee wants to adopt the dog, we try to arrange transportation to get the dog to Tennessee or at least a little closer to the adopter’s location,” Nancy says. “We have a vast transport network. Ultimately, it would be better for the family to go to where the dog is to meet them initially because the dog would be in a comfortable setting for the first meeting. However, realistically, that can’t always happen.”
Here are five ways to learn more about breed-specific rescue groups and adoption.
Search Petfinder to locate specific breeds of dogs as well as breed-specific organizations nationally or in your area.
Visit Dogster, especially our Dogster Heroes articles, which often deal with breed-specific rescue groups.
Use an Internet search engine to search for specific breeds. Use key words with the breed name, like “adoptable Schnauzers,” “Schnauzer rescues,” or “Schnauzers available for adoption.”
Visit larger pet supply stores during posted dog adoption events. There’s an adoption event virtually every weekend in my area, and you may find the breed of dog you’re looking for. Be sure to talk with the adoption event coordinator if you don’t see a dog you’re interested in. Often, they’ll have more dogs available for adoption or currently at foster homes.
Nancy also recommends fostering dogs for a local rescue organization. In doing so, you can meet several dogs and eventually you will find one that you cannot live without.
Have you adopted a dog from a breed-specific rescue? Do you have favorite rescues to recommend, or tips to share? Share your stories on Dogster.
Read more about breed-specific rescues and shelters:
Check out these other great Dogster articles by Tim Link:
About Tim Link: All-American guy who loves to rock out to Queen while consuming pizza and Pinot Noir and prefers to associate with open-minded people who love all critters. Considers himself to be the literal voice for all animals. Author, writer, radio host, Reiki Master, Animal Communicator and consultant at Wagging Tales.