Facts and myths about adopting a rescue dog

Caitlin Lewis, Community Outreach Manager for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, explains why rescue dogs and puppies make great pets. She addresses common misconceptions about rescue pets. Plus, she explains how the shelter will help you find the right match for your family.


Hi. I'm Caitlin Lewis, community outreach manager for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton on behalf of IAMS. Adopting a new dog or puppy is an exciting and sometimes scary endeavor. But we're going to take some of the scary out of the equation by walking through some of the biggest barriers to adoption. Then, we'll get you and your family to find just the right dog for your home. Shelter pets can seem like a gamble, but they're actually a great way to add a new member to your family. The problem is that there's a lot of misinformation circulating around pet adoption. A common assumption is that all pets that are brought into a shelter must have something wrong with them. This is simply not true. In fact, the main reasons pets are given up include: owners are moving to housing that doesn't allow pets, owner having personal problems, too many or no room for litter mates, owner can no longer afford the pet, owner no longer has time for the pet. Many of these reasons have nothing to do with the pets themselves. Working with the shelter staff and volunteers can be a great way to figure out the best match for you and your home. If you've already decided adoption is the right route for you, let's talk about what to expect when you arrive at the shelter. To help ensure that their pets are matched with responsible, appropriate owners, shelters often have a screening process in place. You may be ask to attend an interview, fill out an application, and/or sign a contract. They may also require a home visit, references from your vet, and possibly other requirements. The screening process benefits both the pet and the potential adopter. It helps to increase the likelihood that you will go home with a pet that's right for your family, one that fits your lifestyle. At the shelter, you will have the opportunity to walk through the dog kennel area to see if you're interested in meeting any of the dogs. If one of the dogs catches your attention, a staff member or volunteer will bring the dog in to you in a separate visitors room so that you can have some private time with him. Here, you can have your family meet and interact with the dog to see if he is a good fit for your family. Shelters also highly encourage you to bring any other family pets, if appropriate, so you can ensure that they get along well with your new potential pet. In addition to selecting and bringing home your new dog, you're going to need a number of new items in order to feed and care for your new pet. It may be a good idea to wait until you select your new pet before you begin shopping for supplies. For example, some items such as food and water bowls, or collars and harnesses, depend upon the size of the pet you'll be adopting. Also, be sure to find out which food your pet was eating in the shelter or foster home so that you can provide the same in the beginning to ease the transition. After the pet has settled in, talk with your veterinarian about switching to a high nutrition dog food that's right for his age and size. Well, I hope we've been able to convince you that a shelter dog can make a wonderful companion for you and a welcome addition to your home. By taking the time to do your research and with a little patience, you'll find just the right dog for you. Now, let's recap. Shelters are a great option if you're considering adopting a dog. Work with your local shelter to find a dog that's a good fit for you. And lastly, make sure to find out what shelters adoption process entails, as this can vary from shelter to shelter. I'm Caitlin Lewis on behalf of IAMS. To join the IAMS community for more information and offers, check out the website.