To the Rescue!
According to the ASPCA, an estimated 8 to 12 million pets are admitted into U.S. animal shelters during the course of each year—some are given up by their owners and others are picked up on the streets as strays.

Sadly, many of these animals never make it back out of the shelter’s doors. It is estimated that 60% of all shelter dogs are euthanized for no other reason than the lack of a home.

See also:

Benefits of Dog Rescue
Is Dog Rescue Right for Me?
Top 10 Reasons Dogs are Surrendered to Shelters
Adoption Fees

Give a Dog a Second Chance

Dog rescues are a great resource for people who want to adopt a purebred, and who at the same time would like to be a part of a solution to the problem of unwanted or abandonded dogs. There is a dog out there for every kind of person and rescue groups exist for most breeds. Also, retired working dogs, such as German Shepherds or Greyhounds, can make great pets and are worth considering for adoption. (See breed-specific rescue information under each breed page.)

Rescue dogs may have been surrendered for a number of reasons that are completely unrelated to the dog's disposition or temperament. These reasons can be as simple as a change in the previous owner's living circumstances, including the development of child or adult allergies, a bankruptcy that triggers loss of a home, an owner who has moved into assisted living or a nursing home. Such animals tend to be fully housebroken and most have had some degree of obedience training.

Senior Dogs
Several rescue organizations and an increasing number of animal shelters have begun to offer refuge to senior dogs abandoned at this stage of their lives. Oftentimes, these dogs still have a reasonable life-expectancy and are excellent pets, especially for older people who prefer to adopt a mellow dog. In some cases, older dogs are rejected by their owners, or left behind when an elderly owner must give up their beloved pet and no family members want the dog. Some of these dogs are in poor physical condition as well, and adopting them can be challenging and expensive. (Visit the Senior Dogs site for more information.)

Some advantages of a adopting a senior dog:

Older dogs are generally calmer than young dogs.
Older dogs require less exercise.
Older dogs tend to be well-socialized and better-behaved than young dogs.
Older dogs of even temperament can be great dogs for households with young children or less-active senior citizens.

It can also be extremely rewarding to adopt an older animal and ensure that its last years are happy and full of love. If you are looking for an older pet, you can search for such animals on the internet, or inquire at your local shelter to see if such dogs are available. Some shelters even offer a “senior discount” for older dogs adopted by senior citizens.

Foster First?
Another option is to "foster" a dog, which is an arrangement to temporarily house a rescue dog until a permanent home is found. In most cases, if you decide to keep the dog before another party decides to adopt it, you would be able to make the relationship permanent. Find out if you have what it takes to provide a good foster home for a dog.

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