Shelters and Rescue Groups | Bryant Dog Photography

Continuing on last week’s post about getting a new dog, here are more  comments about rescue groups and shelters. Either is a great place to get a new dog. 

There are rescue groups for most of the more common and some not so common breeds. These groups are in contact with all of the local animal shelters and pull dogs from the shelters that are the breed they dedicate themselves to rescuing. 

Most rescue groups keep their dogs in foster homes. This is a great place for dogs to recover from any health issues and to get socialized if they need it. The rescue groups never have enough foster homes. Space is always a problem. If you like a particular breed and want to help, contact your local rescue group and offer to foster a dog or two.

There are a couple of different types of shelters. Some are no kill shelters and some shelters euthanize dogs if they are running out of space. No responsible shelter takes in a healthy, non-aggressive dog with the idea that they are going to euthanize it as soon as they can. The unfortunate fact is that all shelters have limited space. Some shelters turn dogs away if there is no room. Other shelters will take them in, but if they can’t find a home in a relatively short time, or find a rescue group to take them, the dog might be euthanzied.

There is not an endless supply of space in any shelter. I know that some people are strongly against shelters that euthanize animals. But if a shelter turns away an animal because there is no room and that animal is abandoned on an isolated country road to starve to death or be eaten by coyotes, I don’t know that that is any better than being humanely euthanized. Notice I said “humanely” euthanized. We all know there are some shelters that still gas their animals. That practice is simply barbaric.

What it comes down to is that there is no perfect shelter. Neither the most compassionate shelter who euthanizes humanely, or the no kill shelter who might turn away animals, can take in all of the animals that are brought to them. They both do the best job they can with the resources they have.

Adopt your next dog or cat from a shelter, any shelter, and you are truly saving a life. If you are not ready to adopt, volunteer to help out at a shelter or rescue group, foster an animal or donate money to help with their expenses. Even if you are not ready to adopt, you can really make a difference in the lives of some animals.

Comment below and tell me about how you have helped a shelter or rescue group.


  • Allene - August 17, 2012 - 10:21 am

    Well said !