Are you looking to adopt a new best friend and not sure where to find your new fur baby?

There are advantages to adopting a purebred dog. Things like finding the perfect breed specific car decal or clothing attire (guilty), or having some familiarity with breed specific traits are all logical reasons to go with the option of finding a breeder for your perfect dog. However, there is a whole world full of dogs that are not so “perfect” that desperately need the love that you have to offer.

You can find an animal shelter in practically any town in America. Many of those dogs are facing their last days on Earth unless someone saves them. It is estimated that between 6 and 8 million domestic animals are taken to shelters each year; of those, 3-4 million will be euthanized.

These animals are victims of abuse, neglect, and sometimes just unfortunate circumstances which render them desperate for affection and safety. You might even find that the pure breed you are looking for is being housed at a shelter. If your heart is still set on a specific breed, another option is an animal rescue group geared towards that breed.

You can google practically any breed and find rescue groups around the country that have a passion for those animals. Much like a shelter, these groups foster the animals until a suitable match can be found.

By adopting from a shelter or rescue group you are becoming part of a solution to the ongoing issue of domestic animal overpopulation. Before your pet is deemed adoptable, they will have seen a vet in order to be sure they are healthy and usually they will have been spayed or neutered prior to adoption.

If there are any health issues, you will have been informed so that you can make a decision about whether or not you are willing and able to care for that animal’s needs. Please be sure that you are willing to make the lifetime commitment to care for that animal before you take them home with you.

Avoid puppy mills. Even if you must find that specific type of dog and can’t find a rescue group, don’t buy from pet stores or breeders that you haven’t researched and received some background about. There are many puppy mills who mass breed animals, often without regard to their health and safety.

Their goal is profit, not quality of life.

Many of these animals are not properly cared for and thus get sick, develop congenital diseases, or they lack socialization. Puppy mill parents often spend their entire lives in cages without human interaction, and are forced to have litters of puppies over and over until they are no longer physically able to do so, and then they are destroyed. They are not worthy of your support.

Every pet deserves to have a forever home filled with love and free from abuse. Whether you’re looking for a puppy/kitten or an older animal, please begin your search at your local animal shelter. You will be supporting a great cause as well as finding your new best friend.