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Are you remembering that spotted dog named Ralphie who you had when you were a kid? What was he? A Dalmatian/Poodle mix? Who knew? All you remember is what a great dog he was, and how sad you were when he went to the Rainbow Bridge. Now you are grown, have a place of your own, and feel like you are ready for new companion. Wouldn't it be great to find another "Ralphie?"
Though there may never be another Ralphie, many people look for animals who they feel most familiar with. This is not always a bad choice. It is always good to research a breed's characteristics via a reputable website like the American Kennel Club, www.akc.org. If you are an active person looking for a dog, you might consider a hunting or herding breed. If you are more of a 9-5 person, then you might consider a more independent breed like one of the non-sporting or toy dogs. Cats have a variety of personalities as well, and some are more vocal than others. The Cat Fancier's Association can provide breed profiles as well, http://www.cfainc.org/breeds.html. It may also be helpful to do an internet keyword search on your chosen breed and the word "Rescue." Even if a particular rescue might be too far away or not have what you are looking for, most Breed Specific Rescues can give an adopter PLENTY of information about that breed's characteristics, why it often ends up in rescues, and what sort of environment it may require.
Consider mixes of purebreds as well. Just bear in mind those breeds characteristics. A German Shepherd/Labrador Mix may have protective instincts, but also might be quite gregarious. He'll be smart like a Shepherd, but may also have a higher prey drive for birds and small animals like a Lab. Though we'd all love to find that perfect purebred or mix, the less criteria an adopter will set for themselves, the quicker he may find his companion. A person open to a Black Lab mix of any age, will have an easier time finding that particular dog (and with MANY personality options) than that person looking for a Dalmatian/Poodle mix under 3 months old.
It is up to YOU, the inquirer, to do your research. Contacting rescues and shelters with your requests and then waiting for them to call you is not enough. Most rescues, including ARF are facilitated by volunteers. Most time is spent on caring for animals, not pouring though wish lists. However, it doesn't hurt to get the word out in hopes for a match. It is most beneficial to bookmark your favorite Rescue websites (we hope this one is one of them!) and consult them on a daily basis. ARF has set up a "PET WANTED" form under the Forms/Applications link. We'll do our best to consult these forms and keep them in mind when new animals come into our rescue. If you are looking for a specific pet, please complete a Pet Wanted form. You will not need to complete an application at this time. If we happen to find an animal that might match what you are looking for, we'll be happy to contact you and ask you to begin the Adoption Process.
Most COMMON Breeds/Mixes found in Rescues:
Black Labrador Retriever - these dogs have huge litters... sometimes 13 pups! There are many to start with, and not all find permanent homes.
German Shepherd - most are mixes. Again, these dogs have large litters, and are often used as yard dogs. They are smart, agile, and often escape easily, thus finding a mate to breed with.
Beagles - these dogs always have their nose to the ground. Though they are wonderful family pets, they can't be trusted off lead. Their nose will get them lost or in trouble before "come" has a chance to take effect.
Bully Breeds - these most often include Pit Bulls, but also we see many Pit Bull mixes and American Bulldogs. These are wonderful companions, but many are not adequately trained, and their brains get them into trouble if not appropriately directed. They are also often purchased or obtained by inexperienced dog owners who get them for "protection" rather than for "companionship." This makes them inconvenient and "disposable" in transient homes.
Domestic Shorthaired Cats - these cats are just as beautiful as any other, but they are simply the most common due to their abundance. Black is the most common color seen. Grey or Tiger Tabbies are also frequent.
Frequently SOUGHT Animals in Rescues
SMALL DOGS - though rescues DO get their fair share of small dogs, they are not as common as larger dogs. The reasons are obvious. Small dogs do well in more environments. Apartments will often set weight limits on pets and seldom go above 30lbs. People feel that a small home requires a small dog. That is seldom the case, but it is a common myth. Also, financially, caring for a smaller dog is less expensive as far as food or vet bills may be considered. On the contrary, many small dogs require more grooming, and may be more prone to household accidental injuries. Many small toy breeds have been genetically altered with a great deal of breeding. With a small gene pool, genetic health hurdles become more prolific. Eye, breathing, and skin problems may be more prevalent.
PUREBRED DOGS - Ironically, purebred dogs can often be found in rescues, and there is an official Rescue for just about any breed recognized. It just requires a little more patience, probably a more detailed adoption application, and a lot more internet searching. Though Pure Bred dogs are not as prevalent in standard All-Breed Rescues and shelters, they do show up occasionally. The only problem is that when they do... the waiting list and adoption requirements may both be long.
LONGHAIRED or WHITE CATS - For some reason, as least as far as ARF has noticed, Long-haired and/or White cats are few and far between. It may seem like there are less, but in reality, it may simply be because there are SO MANY more DSH cats available.