Some people stay away from shelters or rescues because they believe the dogs there are not good dogs. Nothing could be further from the truth. While many dogs are surrendered for behavior problems, the vast majority of those problems could have been prevented, and can be treated, with training, attention, and exercise. Many dogs are surrendered because of a family’s change in circumstances — a move, financial loss, illness, blending of families — and not because of the dog. Some people don’t realize how much time and work puppies, and even adult dogs, require and become fed up with the responsibility.
Shelters have animals available for adoption as well as strays. The quality of shelters varies dramatically, depending on where it’s located. Some shelters provide basic medical care, training, and spay/neutering. Others are more like holding pens than shelters they don’t bother with the care experts believe is vital to a dog’s well-being, like a daily walk. At the best shelters, the staff takes notes, and sometimes posts them on how the dog is doing. Some shelters do wide tests to gauge a dog’s personality and what sort of home would be the best fit. Others do not, and you’re on your own.
Rescue groups are establishments that take dogs out of shelters and keep them in foster homes, and sometimes private kennels, until homes can be found. Some are breed-specific, while others take all types of dogs. Overall, they tend to give the dogs more medical and behavioral care than many shelters. Dog are happier in foster homes than in shelters so it’s easier to evaluate his personality. You can get a good idea of the dog’s temperament and habits from the foster family. The dog is not likely to be euthanized, unless he displays a serious hostility or health issue.