So You Want To Adopt?

Please Think Before You Leap!

There are various situations to consider before adopting a lifelong friend. It can happen to the best of us. You see a cute puppy with soulful eyes just begging for attention. Or maybe it's a gorgeous Labrador mix whose tail seems to be wagging just for you. You take one look, and the next thing you know, you're walking down the pet food aisle at the supermarket.

If you're like most of us, falling in love with a pet is easy. And no wonder! Sharing your home with a four-legged friend can be one of life's greatest joys. Dogs, cats, and other pets give us unconditional loyalty and acceptance, provide constant companionship, and even help relieve stress after a hard day's work.

Adopting a pet, though, is a big decision. Dogs and cats require lots of time, money, and commitment -- over 15 years’ worth in many cases. Pet ownership can be rewarding, but only if you think through your decision before you adopt a companion.

Learn About Different Breeds and Mixes

Dogs fall into one of two categories: purebreds or mixed breeds. Most animal shelters have plenty of both. The only significant difference between the two is that purebreds, because their parents and other ancestors are all members of the same breed, generally conform to a specific "breed standard." This means that if you adopt a purebred, you have a good chance of knowing how big he'll get when he gets older and what general physical and behavioral characteristics he's likely to have. Of course, the size, appearance, and temperament of most mixed breed dogs can be predicted as well. After all, mixed breeds are simply combinations of different breeds. So, if you can recognize the ancestry of a particular mixed breed puppy, you have a good chance of knowing how he'll turn out, too.  

Mixed breeds offer several other advantages. When you adopt a mixed breed, you have the benefit of getting the combined traits of two or more different breeds in one animal. You also get a dog who's likely to be free of genetic defects common to certain purebred dogs. Mixed breeds, in fact, are often considered the more "natural" dog. When you adopt a mixed breed, you adopt a totally unique companion.

Examine Yourself

Choosing the right pet generally means identifying the type of animal who matches your lifestyle and wants. If you live alone in a small, third-floor apartment, for instance, adopting a large, active retriever mix might not be the best choice. Conversely, if you've got a family of four and are looking for a companion to match your active family lifestyle, such an animal may be the perfect choice. A dog's size, exercise requirements, friendliness, assertiveness, and compatibility with children should all figure into your decision.

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Most Of All ...

Every dog in rescue can provide you with boundless love and companionship, and every dog certainly deserves a lifelong home. But some dogs are better for you and your lifestyle than others. That's why you should take the time to make a thoughtful choice. After all, you're choosing a pal who'll be with you 10, 15, or even more years. Select the right dog, and you and your new companion will enjoy those years to the fullest.

Most of From the Heart Rescue’s dogs were obtained because people didn't think through the responsibilities of pet ownership before they got the animal -- whether it be they were unable to afford veterinary care, failing to properly train their dog, being unwilling to take their pet when they moved, or letting their dog run stray to be injured or worse. Please, don't make the same mistake. Think before you adopt. Sharing your life with a companion animal can bring incredible rewards, but only if you're willing to make the necessary commitments of time, money, responsibility, and love for the entire life of the pet.

Choose a Pal for Life

If you're ready to adopt a companion for life, please click the links top of the page to explore the many wonderful dogs available for adoption at the From The Heart Rescue and those that still are recovering, but will be available soon.