Rescue Dogs

One of the question people often ask when I suggest that they look first at dog rescues and animal shelters is- Can I really find a "good" dog there? The answer is YES, You bet, Without a doubt and I personally wouldn't look anywhere else.

rescue dogs


Pepino was found, starving and bleeding from fleas by a police office in the inner city. A few weeks after being adopted at L.I.F.E. Animal Rescue, Pepino is a "new man" !


There are as many reasons that dog may be at a rescue as there are reasons for wanting a dog.

Here's a few:

  • Death in the family- Sad as it may seem, some people do not value their canine family member as a true family member. I recall a recent incident where an elderly lady passed away and the first act her family took to prepare for the sale of her home was to drop her beloved dog and companion off the pound...unwanted. This dog had been the mother's only true companion for years and should have been accorded a welcome home and safe harbor for the rest of her canine life. Instead, she was thrown out with all the rest of the trash that had accumulated during mom's last illness. A loving and happy dog, this fully house trained and not very needy companion would be a perfect addition to many a home and almost any heart. Take a look at some of the dogs available at dog rescues, ASPCA and Humane Society locations around the United States by clicking here
  • Loss of job- While dogs are relatively low maintenance companions, there is a certain amount of investment required for food, regular and emergency veterinary care, licenses, and a few toys and treats. Folks on a very low income that find themselves out of work and higher paid employees that suddenly find themselves unemployed may decide that having a dog is too much of a financial burden. ( Frequently, this is an excuse but is the reason given by some who just don't want the commitment of a companion any longer) Like the family who dumped mom's dog after her demise, a wonderful and loving dog of any breed  may find temporary home at a dog rescue....and could be just the perfect dog for a single or family ready to make a place in their heart and home for a new companion for life.
  • Loss of Home- Foreclosure, eviction, moving due to employment, relationships, you name it. When the home goes, the most disposable member of the family often goes first...the family dog. I'll make no excuse for these folks....with a little effort a new home or apartment can be found in any town or city in the nation that is pet friendly. But, that's not our concern in this article ( although we'll discuss it later). The fact remains that a great dog can be the misfortune victim of such a loss...first the home and suddenly the person he or she loves the most
  • Illness in family- Grave illnesses can cause an incredible amount of stress on a family. I have experienced terminal illness in my own family and the time and emotional stress that ensues can prove too much for some people and they willingly abandon the companion that could help brighten their spirits as they traverse this sad and difficult path
  • Moving to a new home- Like those that have lost a home, some will find a new home in a community that does not permit dogs. The new home, being more important to them than their canine family member, they dump the dog and plan a housewarming.
  • Marriage or divorce- Getting married can be a celebration for the whole family. And if your new spouse doesn't like dogs...well off the dog may go ( I would suggest finding this out before getting too serious and not marrying someone like this)  And divorce can be the worst experience many will ever encounter. Looking to start anew, the best option would be to keep your pal and build a new life together. But we have seen many dogs who get discarded as soon as the ink on the divorce papers is dry.
  • Birth of  litter- So Molly has a new litter of cute little cocker spaniels? Gosh, they're cute. What are you going to do with them? Unfortunately, the answer for many is a trip to the shelter. The lucky ones may get taken in by a rescue that has the room and can properly take care of them until a good home is found.

Special Need Dogs- 

  • Example 1- Willy is a 14 mos old Chihuahua and is wandering the mean streets of south Los Angeles. Flea ridden, bleeding, his fur is eaten away and he is starving...unwanted and scared to death. A wonderful police office rescues him off the street and we participate in his rescue to our home.  His new name is Pepino and just look at him now at the top of this page !
  • Example 2-Fido is suddenly 12 years old and has arthritis and sees out of only one eye. Full of love and a sweet companion he is no longer the physical specimen he once was. But, for a special person, a senior or any true dog lover, Fido will make a wonderful companion for the rest of his life.
  • Finally, buying a dog is NO GUARANTEE that you are getting a perfect dog. In fact many puppies sold at pet stores are bred in horrible conditions in puppy mills. Learn more about why this is WORST way to get a dog and help STOP PUPPY MILLS HERE
  • If you know someone who could use some help KEEPING a dog so that crowded shelters and rescues will have one less adoptee, send them to Pets911
  • Shelter Rescues- Due to the overcrowding in shelters, many fine rescues will save wonderful dogs from euthanasia on the their last day and make them available for adoption and a second lease on life
  • Breeders- The color of the pups is not just right or they don't have show quality. Off they go to a  rescue where these loveable pups will find a home. But for the fact that they wouldn't demand top dollar from a sale, these pups can become a wonderful addition to your home and family. Purebred Rescues are also a great source for wonderful pets. Check out a revealing article here

Whether you are looking to adopt a specific breed or just a great companion dog check first  rescues such as L.I.F.E, Petfinder and your local animal shelter

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