This blog has gone to the dogs (and cats)

Ivy says:

Anyone who has ever read me over at Animal Shak knows I’m somewhat of an animal advocate. I love animals. LOVE! I have 3 pets- 2 cats and a dog who were all rescues or quasi-rescues. I have a hard time understanding why people are still buying dogs and (sometimes) cats from backyard breeders and pet stores.

You can save a good deal of money if you’re willing to invest the time and research involved in getting an animal from either a rescue or a shelter. makes this task a bit easier. You can simply input the type of dog or cat you are looking for and find a list of animals available in your area. Many times, there are breed specific rescues in your area that you may not know about.

Deciding between rescuing an animal from a high kill shelter or a rescue can be a tough decision. Each has its benefits. Animal shelters aren’t usually as picky about your housing conditions as rescues can be. Something that greatly frustrates me about a few local rescues is their insistence that you have a fenced yard. I don’t have a fenced yard, but my dog never goes outside off-leash, unless we’re at the dog park. I understand people may lie about this, but it limits the people who can adopt a dog from them. Most high kill shelters don’t insist on a fenced yard.

The rescues, however, are better about telling you what a pet will be like in your home, since most of the pets are in foster homes while they’re waiting for a forever home. This gives them a chance to test out whether or not a dog or cat gets along with other animals or children. In a shelter, dogs are usually scared to death and may act meek when they are actually somewhat aggressive, or vice versa.

Often the spay or neuter fee and shots are included in the rescue or shelter’s adoption fees and this can save you some money initially on the pet. If you’re looking for a new pet, check out your local animal shelters and rescues! You can find a great pet there.

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  1. Buy Bird Houses on August 26, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I didn’t know this, thanks for the advice. I had one of these in my house and I have three dogs.

  2. CoCo on May 21, 2008 at 2:25 am

    I am CoCo the dog. I was adopted from a Pomeranian breeder, but I have saved many stray cats. I have 6 cats and they were all rescued.

  3. Cindy on May 17, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I got a dog from the city pound almost two years ago now. She is a black lab mix, and now 4 years old. I wasn’t supposed to be getting a dog that day. My friends were getting a dog, but this dog picked me out of everyone there that day. She had been there for a couple of months and was listed as an “owner turn-in”. No one wanted her because she was already 3 years old. She came home with me a few days later, and loves it here! I was going to get a cat from the SPCA and decided against it because I couldn’t see what my mortgage documents had to do with me being able to adopt a cat.

    I agree that some rescue agencies go over the top. They never relinquish ownership of the pet you adopted from them. They make you agree to their terms. Too often this prevents good pet owners from adopting a pet. Some rescues want to do home visits, and they reserve the right to visit your home at any time to determine if you are caring for your pet the way they think you should. Be aware of what the rescue agency’s requirements are when you sign that contract. Keep in mind that if the unthinkable happens to your pet, and you wish to adopt again from that agency, you may have to provide vet records to show that you took proper care of that pet.

  4. Kathleen on May 15, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    I really hate pet stores (the dog and cat selling kind, not the food selling kind). I dream of a day when every puppy and kitten that’s born already has a loving home waiting for it, and wneh they’re NEVER an impulse purchase… My 2 cats both came from animal shelters, and they’re great guys. We adopted them as adults, so we knew pretty much exactly what we were getting.

  5. JayMonster on May 15, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    We are three time adopters…

    Dog one we got from a no-kill shelter

    Dog three we got (via Petfinder), through a Rescue. The dog, hadn’t even made it to a foster home, straight from original to us.

    Dog two, we found wandering the streets. Because she had some skin issues, none of the no-kill shelters would take her. We couldn’t dream of sending this sweetheart of a dog to a “regular” shelter… she has been with us 9 years now. 🙂

    My only problem with some “rescue” places is that at times some of them seem to go a bit over the top.

    If they went through as much of a process placing kids for adoption as they do with some of these dogs in rescue shelters, the world would be a better place. But at the same time, I know some very good people that were turned down by rescue shelters, without even so much as a reason other than, you don’t “seem like” the right kind of people. I understand they are trying to do the right thing here, but geez.

  6. Melinda on May 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    So question. Would you adopt a stray? We have a “neighborhood” cat who had 3 kittens this past month. I would love to adopt one. DH says we can’t afford it, but I hate the thought of them going to a shelter. I have a strict “no outside” cat policy. Thoughts?


  7. The Mrs. M on May 13, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    I’m an avid rescue promoter. I too can’t stand when people go to breeders/petstores/puppy mills/etc. for their pets when you can find nearly any kind of pure breed, mix breed, color, size, etc. that you want at rescues or shelters. Petfinder is great!!

  8. LoriW on May 12, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    If you have your heart set on a pure breed, google for a ___ rescue. We got our fur baby — the best dog in the world — at a Boxer rescue. My first dog was a cockapoo-mutt at the local shelter. He stayed by my side for 16 wonderful years. I would never ever buy from a classified ad or a pet store. Buy recycled!

  9. Angela on May 12, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Both of our pets were given to us. One was on her way to the pound because she bite a child, she was not even 4 months old. She is the best dog and could not beat the price. Also she has never bite any of my kids. My cat was also given to us when she was almost two weeks old. The farmer that had her on the farm did not know what to do after the mom abanded her. Also another great pet. We have bought from a breader because I wanted a certain type of dog, and she would not have been found at a shelter.

  10. t-hype on May 12, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Don’t forget about Craigslist!

    A lot of people post there when they need to give their dogs away. That’s where I got mine. He’s a bit of a crackhead but I had fair warning!

  11. Badbadivy on May 12, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Sarah- I hate that too. What irks me the most is the fact that SO many of those BYBs at Walmart (or Target, in my town) are selling Lab puppies. I can’t tell you how many labrador retrievers and lab mixes I see in shelters. It’s heartbreaking and I just want to throttle those people.

  12. Sarah on May 12, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks for posting this! Our dogs are both shelter babies… one came from a local Humane Society, the other from a no-kill rescue. We definitely had an easier time adopting from the Humane Society, but adopting them both was worth any amount of paperwork that we had to go through. I hate driving to Wal-Mart and seeing people sitting in the back of their pickup truck with a sign for “Puppies for Sale” when there are so many unwanted pets in shelters.