National Rescue Dog Day: What to Consider Before You Rescue a Dog

close up photo of a jack rusell terrier

National Rescue Dog Day was founded by Lisa Wiehebrink of Tails That Teach, to bring awareness to the countless number of amazing dogs in shelters waiting to be adopted, to promote humane education for young children, and to encourage spay/neuter.

According to the ASPCA, 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. And while 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized every year, approximately 3.2 million are adopted.

If you and your family are considering adopting a dog, here are some questions to consider:

Questions to Ask:

  1. What is the dog’s history?
  2. Why was he or she surrendered?
  3. How long has the dog been at the shelter or in rescue/foster?
  4. Is the dog kid friendly, dog friendly, or cat friendly?
  5. Is the dog housebroken?
  6. Does the dog have any allergies?
  7. Does the dog allow you to bathe it, trim nails, and/or any other grooming?
  8. Does she/he have any bad habits? (Any behavioral issues)
  9. What activities does the dog enjoy?
  10. What is their energy level?
  11. Can the dog be left alone? If so, is the dog crate trained?
  12. What commands does the dog know?
  13. Has the dog ever bitten or nipped anyone? What were the circumstances?
  14. Does the dog resource guard anything?
  15. What motivates the dog? (Treats, toys, balls, etc.)

Questions You May Be Asked:

  1. Have you ever owned a pet before? If so, how many and for how long?
  2. Who is in your household? (Pets, people, and regular visitors)
  3. How long will the dog or cat be at home alone per day?
  4. Do you have a fenced in yard or a backyard?
  5. What type of home do you have? (Condo, townhome, or house)
  6. Do you rent or own? (Proof of ownership, written consent from landlord if renting)
  7. Plans for feeding, grooming, and daily care?
  8. Where will the pet be kept during the day? While you sleep?
  9. Do you have established vet care?
  10. Any breed, age, color, etc. you may be interested in and why?
  11. Do you have references? (Vet, friends, family, etc.)
  12. How did you hear about that rescue or organization?

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