The ASPCA estimates that three to four million companion animals are euthanized in shelters every year. If you're thinking about getting a dog, Luciano Aguilar says you should consider adopting a rescue. Here he is with what you need to know about the adoption process.
Southern California Labrador Rescue volunteer Lori Miller says: "We have thousands of dogs being put down every day in our local shelters. It would be a nice thing to open your home to a dog that otherwise may not make it."
These are dogs that were picked up as strays, given up by their owners or removed from abusive or neglectful homes.
One of the benefits of rescue dogs is that they've been evaluated for temperament, so you're more likely to find a dog that fits your personality.
"We can tell you everything about them, what their special needs are, what they like, what they don't like. Do the dogs like cats? Do the dogs like other dogs?"explains Miller.
If you decide to adopt a dog, the rescue organization is going to evaluate you, too. Don't be surprised if you're interviewed about your home and lifestyle. The rescue will also ask you questions to make sure the dog matches you as well as you match the dog.
If you're an active person, you might be able to handle a young and energetic dog that requires a lot of exercise. If you're less active, an older dog that's happy to hang out on the couch with you might be a better option. Finding the right dog for you is important, but you should also make sure you are a suitable owner for the dog.
"We do a home check, we make sure the yard is safe for your dog and that your home is prepared," adds Miller.
You should do some interviewing of your own, too, like asking if the dog has been treated by a veterinarian.
"We make sure that every single dog gets a vet check, they have their vaccinations updated, if they are not spayed or neutered they will be," says Miller.
Adopting a rescue dog is a great way to save a dog's life while adding a new member to your family. But like any big decision, you want to make it an educated one. Be selective and ask the right questions to find the dog that's meant for you.
Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.
635 W. 7th Street