Animal rescue organizations are excellent sources of sterilized pets at reasonable prices ($50-$200 on average). Rescue groups relocate puppy mills and other abusive situations.
Rescue groups vary - accepting all pets, either cats or dogs, or just certain breeds. Some house fostered animals while others maintain a list of referral pets that live with foster volunteers.
Some rescues are over-anxious to place animals, while others have such strict adoption processes. Regardless of the adoption process, you will be required to fill out an application and provide references.
Be prepared to answer questions such as:
- Why are you interested in this breed?
- How much time, grooming, exercise will you provide?
- Do you live in a house or apartment?
- Do you have a fenced yard?
- Will the pet live in or outdoors?
- Do you live with kids or elderly people?
- Have you had pets before?
- Do you have other pets?
Even though rescue animals are generally of unknown parentage, you should be allowed to visit the facility and interact with the dog and see how it interacts with the staff and other animals. Good rescue groups observe fosters and are aware if each dog likes kids, is aggressive or housetrained.
The benefits of rescuing a dog that is six months or older is that many are housetrained, past the chewing stage, and just content to go home with a loving owner.
But a rescue's adjustment can be difficult as some have been abandoned, abused or neglected and need lots of patience to get past the trauma.