I was having a discussion the other day about what I’ve been doing since moving to Wisconsin. After she got over the shock of me having and actually loving my dog, she really could not believe that I work with a rescue center helping others to learn about the joys of adopting versus shopping.

She gave me a long list of why rescuing wasn’t for her. And that’s fine. We are all different. We all have reasons for getting or not getting a dog. Here are a few of her reasons and my rebuttal.

“I have a certain breed that I want and I can’t get that at a shelter.”

Why that breed? Maybe there are memories attached to that breed because your grandparents had one. But sometimes it’s because there’s an assumption that a specific breed is “better.” I used to be a concierge in Hawaii and people would ask me all the time what was the best luau or the best island or the best tour. My answer never varied. There’s no better, just different. And that’s the same with dogs. There really is not one superior breed, just different. You can’t usually walk in one day and choose your dream purebred dog. We do have a huge variety of dogs and most of them are mixed. NEW PAWSibilities does get full breed dogs but that’s not the norm. The best dog is the one who chooses you, who makes you smile, who makes your heart swell with love. Any dog has that power if you open yourself up to rescuing you will not love them any less than a purebred dog.

“There’s something wrong with those animals, that’s why they are up for adoption.”

Really? Is there something wrong with the baby of a sixteen-year-old who made the decision to not abort and give her child a family, a better life? Trust me, the vast majority of rescue dogs are here because many people can’t afford or do not choose to spay or neuter their dogs. While that might be irresponsible it doesn’t mean something is “wrong” with the dogs we have. Frightened? Lonely? Anxious? Yes, they might be all those things. Loving, friendly, loyal? They are those things too. Rescues are also incredibly grateful because they remember their old life and never want to go back.

“Buying from a breeder is a guarantee I’ll get exactly what I want.”

Will it? First, you’ll need to find a reputable breeder. You will be responsible for vetting both the breeder and the dog. That is time-consuming and expensive. I have friends who tried for years to have children and it just didn’t happen for them. Kind of looking for that elusive purebred. When they finally adopted they fell in love and it didn’t matter if the child looked like them or not. Their preconceived ideas of what a family looks like flew out the window when they held that white or black or brown baby. I gave birth to two boys who look nothing like me. I got very tired of hearing, “Oh my gosh your boys are just gorgeous. Are they adopted?” But that didn’t make me love them any less. And so it will be with your rescue dog.

“I can’t afford adoption fees so I’ll wait till my neighbor’s dog has another litter of puppies and I’ll get one for free.”

There is no such thing as free when it comes to a dog. Being a responsible dog owner means taking your new puppy to the vet and getting a full slate of shots along with spay or neuter surgery. The average cost in this area for what it takes to give a dog the best start in life is about $700 and, depending upon the vet, could go much higher. The non-negotiable and non-refundable adoption fee for our dogs is $300.00. Because we want to make sure every dog adopted is healthy and ready to live a wonderful new life, all dogs are appropriately vaccinated, dewormed, heartworm tested, and given flea and tick preventatives. The adoption fee also helps cover any additional medical treatments that may be needed such as respiratory infections, skin conditions, orthopedic consultations, and surgery. The fee also includes spay/neuter of all dogs over six months or a certificate for the surgery at our vet once your dog is six months. All dogs are microchipped. When you compare costs and convenience it sounds like a dog from NEW PAWSibilities is a much better value.

“I only want a puppy because I don’t want to take on an older dog who might not be trained.”

We’ve got you covered. We routinely get puppies of all breeds. If you are ready for the challenges of training a puppy, cleaning up accidents, barking and whining, and chewing among other behaviors, puppies are fantastic! Puppies are also a lot of work. An untrained puppy quickly grows into an out-of-control adult dog. An older dog with good habits can be more easily trained to your household rules but it’s up to you.

Whether you buy a dog from a breeder, get one from the neighbor’s litter, or adopt one from a shelter you are rescuing a dog. And rescue is more than a verb. It’s a promise. When you are ready to promise to love and care for a dog in a responsible way come and see us. We’ll have your perfect dog whenever you come in. Because the perfect dog will make you smile and make your heart swell with love no matter their pedigree or life experience. Funny how that works.