Once I decided to go the route of rescue, I checked out countless rescue groups. If you go with a rescue group, you often get a little more information about the dog you’re considering. Many rescue groups trial the dogs in homes and many dogs are fostered in homes the entire time they are with them. This was important to me. I in no way want to diminish the beauty of your local shelter, your canine soul-mate might be at one this very minute. Some of the sweetest dogs I’ve met had stays in local shelters. For me, since I was bringing a dog into a house with an aging resident dog, it was important to do some extra investigative work on dogs that would do well with other dogs. It was also imperative to find a dog that didn’t require a yard. Some dogs really need that run free time on a daily basis and while I was committed to daily walks, off-leash outside playtime was going to be very limited.
I started with a few non-specific breed rescue groups. These are rescue groups that take in any and all dogs (and puppies). No breed is too big or small. They can often give you specific information about the dog like whether it is house-broken, good with dogs/cats or small children. Regardless of what they know and tell you about the dog, be realistic. If you take a house trained dog home, it might still have an accident. You should always introduce two dogs carefully (more on that later) and even if a dog is child friendly, you need to test that on your own with your little one. These rescue groups do the best they can to assess the dogs but you need to do your own assessment. The goal should be (for both rescue group and you) that the rescue of the animal is forever.
If you’re in the Washington DC metro area, a few of these all breed friendly rescue groups include: Friends of Homeless Animals (they are updating their website so be patient); Lost Dog Rescue ; A Forever Home Rescue; PAWS Rescue of NOVA.
Although I considered many dogs from these rescue organizations, I ultimately went with breed specific rescue group. More on that in the coming week.