Dogs come into rescue organizations or shelter situations for a variety of reasons. For a Brittany this could include:
We are not claiming that all of our dogs will come perfectly housebroken, well trained, or fully socialized. Dogs who have been neglected, abandoned, or relinquished need training and gentle discipline to become a great addition to a family - just like a brand new puppy.
NEBR has a network of carefully chosen & experienced foster families where our Brittanys live before being placed in an adoptive home. During that time we will evaluate their personalities (how well they deal with other dogs, children, etc) and their training (housebroken, socialized, behavior) if necessary.
There may in fact be more information available about an adoptable pet than one from a breeder or pet store. All of our dogs at NEBR are in foster care. Foster parents live with their charges 24-7 and can often tell you, in detail, about the pet's personality and habits.
At the very least, you can ask the staff if the pet was an owner surrender (rather than a stray) and, if so, what the former owner said about him or her. Quite often pets are given up because the owner faced financial or housing issues. You can also ask about the health and behavioral evaluations the pet has undergone since arriving at the shelter. In contrast, pet store owners rarely have an idea of what a pet will be like in a home.
While it's true that adopting a purebred or a young puppy can require more patience than going to a pet store or breeder, it can also lead to a better match for you and your family. If you can't find exactly what you're looking for, don't give up. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 6-8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year. Some shelters even maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don't be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed.
According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (via the ASPCA), approximately 65% of pet parents in the U.S. get their pets for free or at low cost, and most pets are obtained from acquaintances or family members. The NCPPSP also reports that pets acquired from friends make up more than 30% of pets surrendered to shelters. While getting a "free" pet may seem like a bargain at first, you're then responsible for veterinary costs that shelters and rescue groups usually cover, including:
Pet stores play on our sympathies by keeping pets in small enclosures and in storefronts. But paying the pet store to let you "save" the puppy or kitten gives those stores exactly what they want -- income -- and perpetuates a cruel industry.
In fact, the main reasons pets are given up include:
As you can see, many of the reasons have nothing to do with the pets themselves. Working with NEBR staff and volunteers can be a great way to figure out the best match for you and your home.
Rescued pets have full histories ... something that can actually be great for adopters. Remember, all pets-- even eight-week old puppies and kittens -- have distinct personalities. Those personalities will either jive with your home and lifestyle or not. Work with us to find the right fit for you.
Adopting a dog can be a wonderful experience. Adopting a dog will change your life. While it is generally agreed upon that living with animals improves the quality of life and has many health & mental benefits, there are a number of serious considerations one needs to take into account before deciding to adopt.
This is just a very partial list of considerations. Be sure to visit the following links to read more on pet adoption, and making sure that it is right for you and your family.NEBR Adoption Application