breeder-vs-rescueHere at we receive all types of email from potential adopters. Below is one email we received recently that struck a chord with us. Nothing saddens us more than a wonderful potential home who gets frustrated trying to adopt a pet, to the point where they are considering turning to a breeder or pet store. That means instead of a homeless pet being saved, that home might be funding one of the causes of pet overpopulation — and as a result, pets being killed in shelters. That’s tragic! Especially because we KNOW that no matter what the type of pet a home wants to adopt, that pet can almost always be found in a shelter or rescue, hoping to be one of the lucky ones that gets adopted. It is true that if the potential adopter is very specific and set in what they want (say, a rare breed purebred puppy) it may take more time or driving farther. But isn’t a little patience and extra effort worth saving a pet’s life? Here’s our recent email exchange… and find out which puppy in the photo is from a breeder and which is from a rescue!


Dear Jennifer,

I’m hoping you can provide me with some guidance in my search for a Golden Retriever.  I am almost at a point were I am going to just buy one.  However, I want to try one more time to try to adopt.  I do want a purebred.  My pets have always been well kept. They sleep in my home and have a big yard with an invisible fence.  They always see a vet for check ups or health issues. I have a mixed breed that I adopted a long time ago.  I want him to have a friend, but it seems I never qualify.  Are there shelters or pet adoption agencies that do not put so many restrictions on potential adopters?



Dear Tom,

We so appreciate you emailing us and asking for guidance!

Yes, there are thousands of shelters in the US and Canada that do not have any restrictions on potential adopters. Many city and county shelters only require you show up, show an ID, and pay the fee to walk out with your new dog.

However, because there are other people like yourself who are big fans of Golden Retrievers and other pets, many of those people volunteer to help those dogs so they aren’t killed in the shelters. That’s why you see so many of them in rescue organizations. Each rescue is different.  While some may have restrictions say against an invisible fence, others may not. I see today you’ve signed up for Search Saver for within 100 miles of your zip — that’s great! For each dog you see that interests you, I encourage you to email each rescue as you did me today.

I know with patience and perseverance, you can find the dog you want to adopt.

Good luck and thank you again for looking to adopt a pet!


Did you guess which puppy in the photo is from a rescue and which is from a breeder? Answer: As of the writing of this article, BOTH puppies are for adoption from the same rescue organization! 

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