Rescue dogs aren’t broken, they’ve simply experienced more life than other dogs. If they were human, we would call them wise. They would be the ones with tales to tell and stories to write, the ones dealt a bad hand who responded with courage. Don’t pity a rescue dog. Adopt one. And be proud to have their greatness by your side. -unknown
What breed of dog is right for you?
All breeds of dogs are not the same. Please research the breed that you are interested in and decide if that breed will fit your lifestyle. For example, Pit Bulls are generally an energetic, highly intelligent, strong bunch of pups. They require a strong and stable pack leader to help them become a well behaved Bully. This is not to say that they won’t lounge on the couch and completely laze out with you. But for the most part, Pit Bulls need something to do; a tired Pit Bull is a happy Pit Bull! So educate yourself and know your breed; it will make you a better dog parent no matter what breed you decide to adopt.
Why do you want to adopt a dog?
Adopting a dog is a huge decision and should not be taken lightly. This dog will be a part of your family for (hopefully) a very long time. While there are great reasons to adopt a rescue dog, there are also some poor reasons for adopting.
Please do not adopt a dog as a gift for someone else. The potential adopter should be involved in every aspect of the adoption process and should not be “surprised” with the long term responsibility of a dog. Even if you are sure that they want a dog, they still need to be able to choose which type of dog is right for them and to meet any potential rescue dogs before making their choice.
Please do not adopt a dog because you want your children to learn responsibility by taking care of a pet or because you want your children to grow up with a puppy. While it is wonderful to teach our children how to love and care for our dogs the ultimate responsibility lies with the parents. Do not expect your children to be the primary caregivers of this animal; this is not realistic and the animal will end up being neglected and not socialized. As far as children growing up with puppies, puppies grow up much faster than children and they require a lot of attention, training and socialization. Puppies want to play and sometimes end up playing too rough for small children.
Please do not adopt a dog as a guard dog. Dogs should be kept inside as part of the family, not chained up outside to guard the house. If you need security, get an alarm system.
Can you afford to take care of a dog?
Along with the everyday costs of food, treats, toys, basic vet care, etc., unexpected costs can arise. Too many dogs end up abandoned at shelters because someone was not willing and/or able to pay these costs. We all know that any vet care, especially emergency vet care, can be expensive. People generally don’t have hundreds of extra dollars at their disposal. However, it is a good idea to think about how you would handle the financial responsibility if your dog was in an emergency situation.
How long are you gone during the day?
Most people are generally gone for 8 to 9 hours at a time during the day. This is not to say that these people should not adopt a dog. Please do what is best for *your* dog and your situation. Puppies will not be able to go 8 hours without a potty break, and the same goes for any dog that is being house trained. There are also doggy day cares, pet sitters and dog walkers that can help. Some tough sturdy toys can help keep your dog busy as well, but remember: all of that is not a substitute for YOU. Your dog is a pack animal and ultimately needs you!
Do you want a dog that you can let run off leash or take to the dog park?
Dog parks are not for everyone. While we would love for all dogs to get along without a problem, dog fights happen. Due to the already suffering reputation of the Pit Bull, please be responsible. Your Pit Bull may be the most well behaved dog in the world, but all it takes is another dog to start a fight with your dog. The only thing that most people will see in this fight is the Pit Bull, no matter who started it or even if your Pit is just defending themselves. We realized that a lot of Pit Bull people disagree with this view. All we ask is that you KEEP YOUR DOG OUT OF TROUBLE. Do not put your dog in a bad situation. Any time there is a Pit Bull involved in a dog fight, it sets back the breed as a whole. Also, letting a dog run off leash increases the chance of it getting lost, hurt or even stolen (Pit Bulls are among some of the most commonly stolen breeds).
Do you want an inside or outside dog?
Leaving a dog in the backyard unsupervised while you are away at work increases the risk of the dog being stolen or injured. It is also possible for a dog to escape even a fenced backyard. Dogs are pack animals and require socialization and interaction. Leaving a dog on its own in the yard day in and day out is unhealthy and makes for an unhappy and unsocialized dog. Again, dogs are pack animals. They can’t be part of the pack (you) if they are forced to live outside alone. We do not adopt our dogs to “outdoor homes”.
Where will your dog stay when you are at work and where will it sleep?
We highly recommend crating your dog while at work and while sleeping. A bored dog is a destructive dog and nobody wants to come home to chewed up belongings. A crate is not hurting your dog and it is not cruel. In fact, most dogs actually enjoy staying in their crate and will go in on their own. In the case of multiple dogs, this becomes a safety issue. Two (or more) dogs should not be left at home alone together. A situation can arise that causes a dog fight and if no one is there to stop it, the results can be tragic.