Tag: dog shelters

What to Know About Shelters Before Choosing a Dog

August 16, 20120 Comments

When you have made the decision to bring a dog into the family, you may be filled with questions about the dog; what breed, what size etc.  But before you do that you may want to take a step back – your first questions should be about where to get your dog.  A great place is from a shelter, as discussed in an article by Pat Miller on PetFinder.com  After speaking with a trainer, some very good points are covered regarding what to know about shelters before choosing a dog.

All shelters are not created equal but they are usually a great place to find a pet that will fit into your lifestyle and budget.  These dogs need homes and there are many pure breed as well as mixed breed varieties available.  That said, you should start by making a list of your local shelters and don’t be afraid about traveling a bit to get to one.  If it is run properly and if the staff can help you make the right choice, a bit of a drive is worth it!  Before you even set foot in a shelter, you can often look online at the shelter’s website to see the kinds of breeds they have available.  Take a good look at their listings, though, that will also tell you a lot!

What to Know About Shelters Before Choosing a Dog

Choosing a dog from a shelter - do the research on the shelter first!

Caution: If all dogs on a particular shelter’s website are described the same way (sweet, friendly, loving) then the shelter probably doesn’t know the personalities of their dogs very well, or chooses not to be forthcoming with the information. This would be a good shelter to avoid.

Contact the shelters on your list and ask about their return policy. A good shelter will always accept any dog as a return that they have adopted out at any time in his life, for whatever reason the owner may be unable to keep him. You should not expect a refund if you must return your dog, but shelters that refuse to take a dog back after 30 days (or whatever time limit) are not accepting full responsibility for the lives that pass through their hands.
Ask the shelters about their adoption procedures. You will want to be able to visit with your prospective new family member outside of the kennel. If that is not allowed by a shelter, cross that one off your list.  (Full article here)

Another good idea is to sit in on some local training classes to get an idea about the trainers available in your area.  Not only can you ask about recommendations for shelters, if you find one that you are comfortable with you can ask them to help you select a dog from the shelter as well. They will likely require a fee for this help – but again, the extra guidance could save you so much in the long run.

An additional item on your ‘what to know about shelters before choosing a dog‘ has to do with the impression you get about the building and grounds themselves.  All that sparkles doesn’t necessarily shine.  You are really mainly looking at the cleanliness of the facility and the behavior of the staff.  There are plenty of run down looking facilities that have great and caring staffs that take proper care of the animals as well as gorgeous buildings that  contain nothing but indifferent caretakers and protocol that is not followed as it should be.

Have any other tips about what to look for in shelters? Let us know on our DOGeTV Facebook page or in the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you!

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