Adopting a dog should be the first option if you’re looking for a new furry family member. But, how do you find the pup for you? With multiple pet-themed holidays coming up including International Homeless Animals Day (August 17), Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week (September 16-22), National Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month in October, and National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week during November’s first week, now may be the time to consider finding a faithful companion.¹
Adopting in general should be the preferred way to find a dog. With the continuous issues surrounding ill-prepared and unscrupulous breeders and puppy mills, there is a multitude of loving and sweet dogs left in shelters. However, there are often particular canine breeds that are left behind in favor for others.
Breed shelters and rescues are a great way for finding a specific kind of pooch.
What Are Breed Rescues?
We all know of animal rescues and shelters. Maybe your local shelter only takes in dogs or cats, or maybe they carry everything from rabbits to birds to chinchillas.
Breed shelters are organizations that are dedicated to rescuing and re-homing one specific breed of animal, typically a particular type of dog. These sites may also be spread information about and educate potential pet owners and the general populace on the breed they represent.
Many rescues have been established to help specific breeds from Poodles to Akitas to French Bulldogs and many others.
Sometimes, breed shelters are set up in response to an overwhelming number of surrenders of a particular breed to adoption centers. For example, with Florida’s recent ban on greyhound racing starting January 2021, it is anticipated that many of the soon-to-be former racing dogs will find themselves in one of the numerous rescues across the state.³
Breed shelters cover a wide variety of dogs. Many will focus on particularly less adoptable breeds. What defines a less adoptable dog depends on a variety of factors including age, illness, color as in Black Dog Syndrome,² or the breed’s reputation. Because of this, there are rescues established to help certain “at-risk” dogs.
Some of these breeds include:
- American Pit Bull Terriers
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Doberman Pinschers
- German Shepherds
Why Are These Breeds Less Adoptable?
At this point, the main reason can be attributed to their reputation. Many less adoptable dogs have had some history of societal ostracism. Dobermans, Rottweilers, and the various Pit Bull breeds are just a few that have faced and, in some cases, continue to face negative public opinion.
While many less adoptable dog breeds have been shone in a bad light, some are simply passed over because of their breed’s purpose. Certain breeds, such as German Shepherds, are often overlooked for adoption because they are generally working dogs. Breeds of this type typically need something to focus on or be a part of which makes them ideal for their jobs, but the resulting reputation works against them when they’re up for adoption.
Breed rescues temporarily care for these dogs by giving them specialized attention and by finding a good forever home. They may aid in awareness campaigns or make strides in diminishing the negative reputation by educating their community.
You may be wondering why you should support breed specific rescues or why they matter.
Why You Should Support Breed Rescues
Many of these breeds are adopted less often than others and general shelters don’t have the time or resources to educate the populace on specific breeds. Because of this, these dogs can be left in shelters for the rest of their lives either due to the way they look or because of negative stereotypes.
By supporting breed rescues, you can help these dogs find loving homes and prevent unnecessary euthanasia. Approximately 670, 000 dogs are euthanized each year.4 This is due mostly to over-crowding and the limitations of rescue facilities.
The fact of the matter is, more dogs enter animal shelters than are adopted. According to the ASPCA, roughly 3.3 million dogs enter the shelter system while only 1.6 million of those are adopted.4
With so many dogs being placed in shelters across the country, what can be done to help?
How to Support Breed Shelters
Supporting animal shelters aids in keeping these animals off the streets and makes an immense difference in your new furry friend’s life. However, because of the social stigma surrounding many less adoptable breeds, these rescues sometimes struggle to stay afloat. So, how can you help your local breed rescues and animal shelters?
The most straightforward and beneficial way to support a breed shelter is to adopt. Visit your local breed rescue’s website or in-person to see if you can meet some of the dogs. If you are able and willing to care for an animal, then adopting a rescue dog is a wonderful way to grow your family.
If you’re not looking for or unable to properly care for one of these dogs, you can donate to a local breed rescue. Donations can include sending in your own money or setting up a charity (if the shelter allows it). Mail in your donation, if the shelter accepts physical compensation, with a properly addressed envelope featuring the rescue’s breed.
Volunteer to work at the shelter a few days or evenings every week. Many rescues are woefully understaffed and most will gladly welcome extra capable hands to help care for the dogs. See what your local shelter or shelters are looking for in terms of hands-on assistance.
Spread awareness for your local shelters and educate yourself and others on the types of breeds available. This will help other people who are looking for a new canine companion or encourage them to also help support the shelter in their own way. Tell friends, family, neighbors, community members, anyone looking for a specific breed or just considering adding a dog to their family.
Breed rescues are a fantastic way to find your next faithful, furry friend. Many of the types of dogs that these shelters represent are sweet and misunderstood. That is not to say they won’t require work when integrating them into your family, but supporting these rescues can be a rewarding experience for you, the organization, the community, and the animals.
Simply Stamps has a variety of dog-themed address stamps to then show off your support of these breeds.
What is your favorite breed? Is there a shelter for them in your area? Let us know in the comments below.