Perhaps you’ve decided that you want to adopt a certain kind of dog that you can’t seem to find in a shelter. Or maybe you just don’t feel quite comfortable adopting from any of the shelters around you. That’s okay; there are other ways to give a good home to a needy dog, like breed rescue societies.
It may take a little more innovation to find one of these, but they’re becoming more popular and easier to locate all the time, and they can help match you up with a great pup.
For practically every breed of dog, there is a national breed club with lots of local chapters. And in the last few years, many of those clubs have taken on the challenge of rescuing dogs of their chosen breed from shelters and pounds and placing them into secure adoptive homes.
Now there are clubs devoted entirely to breed rescue, and if you’re interested in adopting a purebred, they’re a great resource.
Breed rescue societies rely on their volunteer members to rescue dogs from adoption facilities or from people who can’t or shouldn’t keep them.
These volunteers, who are usually knowledgeable “dog people” who have experience with dog raising and training in general and the breed in particular, serve as foster parents to the dogs until permanent homes can be found. Ideally, they not only feed and groom and exercise the rescued dogs but also give them some socialization and basic education.
The foster-home system can translate into a big advantage for you when you adopt a dog through a breed rescue program, since your pup will have had at least some experience living in a household and learning rules by the time you get her.
She’ll probably have begun to get used to other dogs, too, since most breed rescue volunteers already have dogs of their own. And her “foster parents” will be able to tell you a lot about her personality and her needs, since they’ll have lived with her day and night for some time. So it’s important to adopt from a rescue society whose members you trust and whose foster parents know what they’re doing.
You won’t find a breed rescue society for every single breed of dog in your area; sometimes there’s just not enough demand for one (after all, a Karelian Bear Dog Rescue Society in central Texas probably wouldn’t be very busy), and sometimes there’s not enough interest or person-power.
But most areas will at least have rescue clubs for the breeds that appear most frequently in animal shelters – that is, the most popular breeds at any given time. (Remember, if you want a dog of a very popular breed, be very patient and judicious in your selection, since popularity usually leads to overbreeding, and overbreeding usually leads to dogs with temperamental and physical problems.)