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Best site for finding a dog?

10513 Views 86 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Shandula
Okay, I have been looking on through all the animal shelters for several counties around me. I looking at every dog they have. I would say roughly, 60% of what they have is some kind of Pit mix, 30% is Chihuahua mix, 8% Random Large breed dogs, 2% very old small dogs. I have no interest at all owning anything with pit in it, not really fond of Chihuahuas, I don't want any large breed dog, and I don't want to make an emotional investment in a dog that might die in the next couple of years.

I have tried using to locate a dog to go check out, and it keeps saying no dogs match. It also does not work very well. If I choose, "YOUNG" it comes up with 10 year old dogs.

I also went down to the local SPCA and looked through their dogs and found nothing.

I want to go dog hunting today, but I can't even find a place to start. Can anyone recommend a good site for searching?
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I used Petfinder in the past. It will list shelters within 500 miles of your zip code.
With Petfinder I saw photos and descriptions of animals that I ended up adopting.
Information about the shelter is usually listed so I would just call and talk to them about the pet I was interested in

With many of my pets I adopted them based off their photo and the conversations I had with the shelter workers, I never saw the actual animal until I went to pick them up, and the trips were a good ways from my home town. But I knew what I wanted in a pet as far as personality and even as far as what they looked like.

I love grey tuxedo cats, but around my hometown they are few and far between. I also love dogs with some longer fur on them...but my shelter has mostly slick coat dogs...pitbull mixes, hounds, blue heelers, rottweilers..etc.

Also, there were a lot of animals I called about that I thought about adopting, but in talking with the shelter workers, I found that the pet I was inquiring about wasn't going to work for me due to it being high energy, or a determined resource guarder...etc.

I've adopted:

1 cat, Shayle, from my home town shelter
1 cat, Kayla, from Haley Idaho
1 cat, Song, from Butte Montana

1 dog, Harper, from Dillon Montana
1 dog, Jaya, from Boise, Idaho
1 dog, Lacey, from my hometown shelter
1 dog, HaHa, from my hometown shelter.

Over the years, I have had to put some of them down due to old age, or illness, but I still have Jaya, HaHa and Song. Every pet I got from out of town ended up being wonderful pets, those I adopted from my hometown shelter ended up being great pets too, it's just that with them, I got to run up to the shelter a few times to observe the animal before making a decision.

Maybe I just got lucky in getting such great pets just based upon looking at a photo and relying on the honesty and forthright opinion of the shelter workers about the pet's personality and issues... I don't know, but I'll probably do it again given it's worked for me so nicely so many times.

Best of luck in finding your next pet...hope you end up with exactly what you are looking for.... don't get discouraged either if it takes Time! Some of my hunts lasts several months before I found a pet that looked the way I wanted one to look like and I got back reports from the shelter people about it's personality. Like I said, I skipped past a lot of beautiful animals I would have loved to adopt but felt they had issues I didn't want to deal with.

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I would like to add that the the pets I listed were just the ones I did find using Petfinder - even the ones I got locally, I first spotted their photos on Petfinder.

Before the age of home computers, I had adopted just one pet from our local shelter. There were two pups (born there) and I really wanted the female white one, but the shelter decided to give it to someone else, and gave me the chance to take the black and brown one...which I did...and ended up loving her for 16 years...her name was Shilo...a very small poodle x terrier mix.

The internet sure made pet searches much easier...and faster when it did come to finding the right kind of pet that one would like to adopt, as least for me, where I live in a very small town and the shelter is very limited in the variety of dogs that show up I said, most are slick haired dogs...forgot to say that many are border collies too, and those are just too high energy for me.

And, as some said about Petfinder, you can put in the distance parameters to broaden searches. But in my case, 100 miles would land me out in the middle of no where - or I should say - would land me 100 miles from the center of no it would take another 60 miles just to get to an interstate...and probably 20 to 30 miles on it to get into a city.

So, for pet searching, the internet has been a huge help. Petfinder has been a great tool for me, I usually just stuck the parameter at 500 miles and it would usually list sights those in Montana, or Southern Idaho...the Utah and after that Nevada and California.

I was willing to drive 300 miles or so to get a pet, but I did a lot of calling and emails with the shelter before committing.

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Please don't be discouraged by that note. In a way, it's doing exactly what I went through in calling and talking first with a shelter person...only to find a dog that I saw on their site and loved the looks and initial description of...wasn't the dog that I would want to adopt. They are just pre-screening - probably to save time. All the shelters I was in contact with were fairly I was lucky enough to talk to someone, usually upon the first call, or I left a message and they called back the next day. They emailed me back fairly quick too when I left emails.

Being a rescue group, rather than a shelter...the place that sent you that note, probably has already invested some time with each dog and they know the dogs' yeah, that could be great help in you getting paired up with a dog that will suit your life style.

It does sound like a lot of hooey to deal with...but you must remember that some of these dogs might have come from not so good situations and it's the responsibility of the rescue to make sure they are not put back into similar situations. Thus the caution on the rescue part in wanting to vet all new potential owners.

I do agree however, that some rescue orgs might as well be called hoarders, because their policies are sooo out there that I wonder how anyone but a multi-millionaire saint could do right by their adoption policies.

Adoption, should be a process...not just go in grab any animal and take it home. I think jumping through a few hoops and asking or getting the right questions in and narrowing down a dog with the right personality type for your home will save you a lot of grief and irritation in the long run.

It would be terrible in owning a pet that you fall in love with, but one who is a constant cause of stress, or a money drain due to having to get it special training help, or vet services because no one at the shelter took time a assess all the personality and health faults of the dog and pass that information on to potential owners.

Hang in there, and don't get in a hurry and I know you will find the right dog. It's worked for me on numerous occasions!

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Wow... Just Wow. : (

It made me almost sick to my stomach, John, reading about your attitude towards getting a pet. You are not interested in adopting a just wanted to buy one - with Zero hassle...just like going into a grocery store to buy an apple. Adoption means, understanding that you are dealing with a living creature that has a personality and energy level that needed to fit with it's new home/owner(s).

You claim to be smart...4 languages... phf.. I speak 4 languages too (English, Spanish, Korean and a little Amerian Sign Language) and I passed a Mensa test, so technically, I'm a genius.

Yeah, I can figure out all their little spacial/pattern tests, and such - I also know how to structure a proper sentence but rarely do so, but at least when I don't use my smarts to do things right, I'm not putting anyone in harms what you did in ignoring the smart thing to do by working with the adoption process.

You also have it in your head that age and having certain mental abilities, automatically means people should respect you.

I'm 53 - but learned a long time ago that respect comes from behaving in a way that makes people respect's not just set on your plate just because you got old or can do math quicker than someone else, or have the ability to pick up foreign languages.

There's book smarts and then there's common sense, and you very much lack the latter, from what I've read here. How anyone can ever feel insulted because an adoption agency wants to know about the person and place they will be delivering an living breathing animal beyond me...but you managed to feel that way.

Everyone I've ever talked to when faced with the adoption process (even those who don't speak several languages and who have average IQs) understood the agencies are actually helping you weed out dogs not suited for you. You, though, got your hackles up and just wanted to grab the first dog that caught your fancy, pay for it and take it home and you found a place that let you do that.

It sounds like you checked out some rescues, and a few 'real shelters'...then ended up at a city owned "animal control" facility (also known as dog pounds) that is probably kill shelter, and who will 'adopt' out animals because they are not interested in matching up dogs to the right owners, they are just trying to get cage space for the next stray dog or surrendered dog that comes through the door.

Most of the 'animal control' places, don't have dog trainers, or even enough staff to let you know about a dog's personality...sometimes they barely have the staff to keep the cages clean...much less analysis a dog and do some basic work with it....especially since in those kinds of places, the dogs are there for 3 days before being put to sleep and in some of the 'better' ones...the place will keep a dog as long as there is cage maybe a dog can be there a for some time.

I think in the back of your head, you knew the difference...that the right way would have been jump through some hoops, fill out some forms, have some interviews with a real shelter/rescue interested in you and the dog that might end up with you, almost everyone here advised you do do so. But you felt you were above all that...and found a place to basically 'buy' a questions really asked, nor living conditions looked into ...they took your word for it all.

This is what I mentioned to you before you got the dog you did...and I still can't believe how prophetic it sounds now:

..........Adoption, should be a process...not just go in grab any animal and take it home. I think jumping through a few hoops and asking or getting the right questions in and narrowing down a dog with the right personality type for your home will save you a lot of grief and irritation in the long run.

It would be terrible in owning a pet that you fall in love with, but one who is a constant cause of stress, or a money drain due to having to get it special training help, or vet services because no one at the shelter took time a assess all the personality and health faults of the dog and pass that information on to potential owners...............Stormy
Then...the absolute gall, to come in and blame people here for your ego trip that made you skip filling out a few forms or bypassing on a dog that you didn't have enough information on...and getting what you got.

In my first response you....go back and look at the animals I have adopted from both shelters and rescue groups. And I clearly in my response advised that skipping a dog you might like due to the shelter not having enough information on it...was better than taking the chance on getting a problem dog.

You blame the dog because it came from a shelter. I and others here, have had many well mannered 'shelter dogs'. It's not because it's a shelter dog that this all happened. It's because you ignored Great advice, then didn't want to give any rescue group any information that would help them weed out dogs not fitted for your life.

Unfortunately, your arrogance has a dog in your home that will now have to be sent back, or put to sleep. You (not the dog) put at risk other pets and family members...just because you didn't want to do a little paperwork and weed out dogs with issues.

After reading what you wrote, all I can say now, is that I needed Mensa to tell me I was a genius, but made me feel like one.

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I think this world would be even more sad and miserable than it is at times, if the majority of people in our society still thought about companion animals like you do, John.

I adopted 2 dogs in the past 3 years. One, Jaya, was severely abused, kept isolated for the first 5 years of her life. She was almost completely feral when I got her. The other, is a full bred Golden Retriever, HaHa, who was born slightly retarded.

Neither of these two dogs should be allowed to live if 'culling to keep the best' and throwing away (like trash) the badly injured or not so trainable animals, was a popular idea.

One of my favorite quotes came from the book/movie Seabiscuit who was a real life thoroughbred. Tom Smith, the trainer, stops an injured race horse from being shot. The horse was too injured to race anymore but if given a little time and care, he still thought the horse could heal up ok. Asked why he would want to waste time and effort on a horse that would never run again, Tom said:

"You don't throw a whole life away just 'cause he's banged up a little."

Thankfully, someone saw the value in the two broken animals that eventually became my dogs. They were kept alive until the right person could be found to give them a home. My home.

I had to answer a whole lot of questions to get the agency who had her wasn't going to turn her over to anyone given her feral ways. Same with HaHa, he needed a home where he could be watched over, because he'll always be a doggy version of a little kid...he won't ever mentally grow up.

According to the culling ideal - only perfect animals should be allowed to live. Well, what's perfect for some, isn't perfect for someone else. Very very few people would want a dog like Jaya or HaHa, but for me, at this point in my life, they are the perfect dogs. I wanted a project dog, but if I didn't have the knowledge on how to handle such a dog, then the questions the agency asked me would have reveled that fact and they would have told me 'no'.

In fact, passing their scrutiny made me feel good...that others felt confidence in me, in my knowledge about dogs...because I let them know how this dog was going to be managed once in my care.

My life has been wonderfully enhanced by my broken dogs. I get a lot of satisfaction in knowing I'm helping Jaya mend. I can't do much with HaHa, as far as training, since he has major issues with forgetting things, but he's just as friendly as a normal dog and I don't really need a dog I can teach tricks to, so his mental short comings are hardly noticed by me.

I'm glad that what is being culled from our society is archaic ideals...such as yours...that animals are 'things' to be tossed away if they are not perfect.

I think you've missed out on 90 percent of what owning a pet can be about. I've learned a lot about my own self due to my interactions with my pets. They've taught me patients, and how to think outside the box when it comes to training, and the wonders of how love and kindness/compassion can change both humans and animals for the better.

All you got from pet ownership it seems is that they should entertain you.
I find that to be very very sad.

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