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Adopting From the Shelter: Bring a Dog Home for the Holidays

Posted by Awesome Doggies

Adopt-a-San-Diego-DogOne of my favorite childhood memories is waking up one Christmas morning and discovering a brand new puppy romping in my bed. Getting a new pet for Christmas is a wonderful and memorable gift to give your loved ones, but make sure your family is prepared (ours wasn't.)  And please consider adopting from one of the San Diego animal shelters, or a local rescue group. 

Because of the high degree of stress and upheaval in the house at this time of year, the holidays aren't necessarily the ideal time to bring home a new a pet. But if you are determined to do so, there are some great reasons why your next pet should be an adopted one. First of all, by adopting an animal, you may very well end up saving its life. Shelters often have more pets than they can accommodate, and not all shelters in San Diego are no-kill. Pets in shelters were relinquished by their owners, not necessarily because they are problem animals, but often because their people are no longer willing or able to provide care.

Dog-Adoption-StoryYou can be confident that any pet you adopt from a shelter will have a clean bill of health, or that any known medical issues will be full disclosed. Most shelters give their animal all of their shots and check to make sure that they are not sick before they putting up for adoption. Many shelters make sure that strays are spayed or neutered, and microchipped as well. Well run shelters also screen their pets to identify any behavior issues, and will try to avoid placing an animal in an environment where they are likely to get in trouble. Don't be surprised if you have to answer a few personal questions in order to be "considered" for adoption. Good shelters can be surprisingly choosy about who they allow to adopt their pets, but it's all in the best interest of the animal -- they just want to find a home environment in which both dogs and humans will be happy together. There aren't necessarily any right or wrong answers to the questions you'll be asked (Do you have small children in the home? Do you have a yard?) The goal is to help you find a pet that is well suited to your situation and abilities.  

Adoption fees vary by shelter, but you will certainly save substantial money when adopting instead of going to breeders. However, you will find that shelters "have what they have," and it may not be what you are looking for. You may visit the shelter and not find a furry face that pulls at your heartstrings right away. If you have a particular type of dog in mind, you may have to make several visits, or try different shelters, or contact rescues to be on the look out for the type of dog you're searching for. It's helpful to keep an open mind and an open heart. Please consider not just puppies, but adult pets, and especially senior pets as well.

Here is a list of the major privately funded shelters in San Diego County:

And click on these links to find a list of municipal shelters in San Diego as well as local San Diego dog rescue organizations.

One of the top reasons to adopt a dog from a rescue or shelter is the great feeling you have knowing that you are giving your pet a second chance. It's pretty much a sure bet that your new dog is going to shower you with unconditional love for the rest of his days -- you just have to find them. We wish you great success in your hunt for a new furry family member! 


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