The Golden Retriever Club
of San Diego County, Inc.

Questions and Answers on Purebred Rescue

Many of you are unfamiliar with purebred Rescue Organizations.  We hope this will answer some of your questions.

Q.  What is a purebred Rescue?


A.  Volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to saving their breed from shelters or helping dogs when their family can no longer keep them.  The dogs are spayed/neutered, evaluated for temperament and any special placement needs.  The animals are housed in kennels or foster homes then carefully matched to the proper adopting family.


Q.  Why are so many purebred dogs in shelters and who bred them?


A.  More than 30% of dogs entering shelters are purebred.  Many of them are turned in to shelters by their owners, most of them are strays roaming the streets.  Purebred dogs are not immune to overpopulation.  What a "breeder" with a pair of dogs produces litters simply for money or because they believe ALL dogs should be bred, the resultant puppies are often sold or given away to the wrong homes.  Not all breeds of dog are suitable for all homes.  Careful interviewing and screening of homes, breed information and education are the hallmark of a Professional Breeder and rarely do the puppies of Professional Breeders end up in shelters.  Professional Breeders are constantly striving to produce better quality, healthy dogs for Show.  Some of their puppies are pet quality, but these pets are carefully placed in loving homes on spay/neuter contract.  The Professional Breeder will remain in touch with the family, guiding and assisting the dog owner through all phase of the dog's life.  It is the backyard, irresponsible breeder whose dogs end up in shelters.


Q.  What is wrong with the dogs, why were they abandoned?


A.  There are many reasons why people abandon their dogs but generally, it is NOT the dog's fault.  We live in a society where everything is disposable, including pets.  Frequently, puppies are bought on impulse.  The puppy buyer is not aware that a Sporting dog needs exercise, a guarding breed may not tolerate all children--this is breed ignorance that leads to abandonment.  Owning a dog is a responsibility for 10-15 years.  It should be a well thought out, family decision and never should be motivated by impulse.  Most of the dogs available from purebred Rescues are housebroken, have some basic obedience, are well behaved, affectionate dogs.  Some are the victims of a divorce and broken family.  Some come from homes where the owner died but left no provisions for their pets.  Many are from families whose financial circumstances have changed and it is no longer possible to keep a pet.  Because purebred Rescue volunteers spend a great deal of time with their orphans, the dog you adopt from a Rescue has been carefully evaluated for temperament and behavior problems.


Q.  Why adopt a dog from a Rescue when I can get a puppy?


A.  If you plan to show your purebred dog in AKC Shows, you should buy a puppy from a reputable Professional Breeder.  If you are looking for a pet/companion, the benefits of adopting an adult dog are many.  As mentions, these dogs are already housebroken, have some obedience training and make wonderful companions.  They have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated and are healthy.  The work has already been done for you!  You and your family can be matched to just the right dog for your life style.  By adopting a purebred from a Rescue, you are literally saving a life.  Each Rescue has limited funds and limited space.  For each dog adopted, another dog can be saved from death in a shelter.


Q.  What is involved in adopting a dog from a Rescue?


A.  Some Rescues will ask you to fill out an application and provide veterinary references.   This is a formality aimed at guaranteeing the dog a good, permanent home and allowing the volunteer to select a dog compatible to your family.  All Rescues will spend time with you and your family, discussing the breed in depth to make certain it is the right breed for you.  You may be asked to submit to a house check.  Again, this is for the dog's safety.  The experience Rescue volunteer may see weak spots in your fencing that you are unaware of and will want to make sure the dog will receive proper care.  All Rescues will have their volunteers do follow-up calls to be sure you and the dog are both working out well.  You will be asked to make a donation.  These donations help fund the work don by purebred Rescues--the cost of spays/neuters, veterinary care.  The cost is always less than the cost of a purebred puppy.


Q.  What else does a purebred Rescue do?


A.  Most purebred Rescues provide important and truthful breed information.  The volunteers are very experienced and knowledgeable about their breed because they have hands-on experience with a large number of dogs from a variety of sources.  Volunteers have the opportunity to observe their breed in many different circumstances and environments; therefore, they are also the perfect source for important breed information on behavior, nutrition and health.  Many of these organizations can send you to a reputable breeder if you are interested in a Show puppy.  If you enjoy the challenges of an obedience ring, any suitable rescued purebred can be shown in AKC Obedience Trials under an AKC ILP Registration Number.  Rescues can also act as a clearing house for lost and found purebreds, so if you have lost a purebred dog, do contact the Rescue, as well as the shelters.


Q.  Where do I find a purebred Rescue?


A.  The animal shelters and/or humane societies in your area keep lists of active rescues.  Currently, they might not be a breed Rescue organization for the breed that interests you, but there should be.  Maybe you can start a Rescue for your favorite breed.


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