Where Should You Go to Adopt a Dog?

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There are many sources to turn to when you have made the decision to adopt a dog. Through adoption, you are not only giving a dog a much-needed home, but you’re also saving some money as well. Purchasing a dog from a pet store or a breeder can cost thousands of dollars; adopting a dog costs significantly less.

Adopting a dog also means bringing a canine into your home who has already been vetted, is up-to-date on shots, is microchipped, and is spayed or neutered.

Now that you are ready to adopt, where should you begin? Here are some places to consider searching for your new canine companion.

Private Shelters

Private shelters are often formed and funded by grants and tax-deductible donations. Some members of the shelter will be paid employees, but the majority of people are volunteers who are working outside of their regular hours to help animals in need find a forever home. Often, private shelters will partner with veterinary hospitals to provide health care for the dogs who will be eligible for adoption. Some private shelters have facilities with specific visiting hours so you can view the animals available for adoption. Other shelters are so full that they foster some adoptable animals out to private foster homes.

Municipal Shelters

Local county, city, and town shelters are operations funded by taxpayer dollars. Often, these shelters perform both adoption and animal control responsibilities. Paid employees are staffed at these shelters, and veterinarians are employed by the local governing body. These facilities have areas where you can meet the various dogs available for adoption.

Online Sources

In the digital age, many pet parents find the dog they end up adopting through online sources. There are a variety of digital spots where you can view adoptable dogs. Here are some top ones to visit:

  • Petfinder.com. This website provides constant exposure to all sorts of adoptable animals looking for a new home. Petfinder.com provides a searchable list of pets, complete with specifics such as location, breed, and age, from thousands of shelters all over North America. This method allows you to carefully consider what type of dog would best fit with your current lifestyle without feeling overwhelmed emotionally.

  • Adoptapet.com. This pet adoption site is the largest one in existence. It originated as a way to end pet overpopulation in Los Angeles shelters. Now, over 12,000 shelters, rescue groups, humane societies, and SPCAs use this website to advertise their adoptable pets.

  • Local SPCA websites. Most local SPCA organizations have websites and Facebook pages that feature pictures and descriptions of all dogs available for adoption. This process allows the potential adopter to carefully evaluate both the dog’s needs and their own to find a perfect match.

Pet Store Chains

Unlike some other pet stores, PetSmart and Petco refuse to sell dogs that have been bred in puppy mills. Instead, both of these chain stores team up with local SPCAs and rescue groups within their localities to provide care and viewing opportunities for people interested in adopting a pet. PetSmart has its own PetSmart Charities, a separate non-profit organization that operates adoption centers with the help of over 2,000 animal rescues all over North America.

American Kennel Club

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has a Rescue Network dedicated to rehoming purebred dogs. Many people think that purebred dogs are never available for adoption, but sadly, that is far from the truth. The AKC provides information on their website for hundreds of rescue contacts who work with the AKC to find a home for adoptable purebred dogs.

Best Friends Animal Society

Located in Utah, the Best Friends Animal Society is the largest no-kill rescue facility in America. You can visit the sanctuary itself, and even get a guided tour. Best Friends offers pictures and information on all their adoptable animals on their website, and even transports animals to approved adopters all over the United States and Canada. So even if you can’t get out to the rescue facility, you can still adopt an animal from it.

Hearts United for Animals

Located in Nebraska, Hearts United for Animals is an animal welfare organization, sanctuary, and no-kill shelter situated on a 65-acre farm. All adoptable animals are profiled on the organization’s website. If appropriate, the rescue is willing to transport dogs to their new homes even via airplane if possible. Hearts United for Animals focuses mostly on rehoming dogs who were rescued from puppy mills and natural disasters.

There are a variety of options to turn to when looking to adopt the right dog for you and your family. These places are excellent starting points on your journey to finding your perfect puppy-mate. Remember, by adopting a dog you are saving a life, saving yourself some money, and making your daily life a whole lot brighter.