Guest Blogger: Siri Espy, Animal Friends' Communications Team
If you want a good old all-American mutt, go to an animal shelter. That’s the word on the street, and it’s certainly true. Shelters are overflowing with mixed-breed animals who will give a lifetime of love. What’s less well known, and equally true, is that shelters are also great places to meet purebreds.
Potential adopters who grew up with, fell in love with, or have their hearts set on a specific breed may automatically head for the breeder or the pet store. While some may be reputable and offer adorable animals, producing any animal for sale adds to overpopulation when so many homeless animals wait in shelters.
At Animal Friends, our numbers may surprise you. In 2010, 395 purebred animals were available for adoption. Some of these animals were surrendered to us when their owners were no longer able to care for them; sometimes, purebreds are picked up as strays or confiscated from situations of cruelty or neglect. They are all ages, from youngsters to seniors, and all need homes.
During 2010, 386 purebred dogs passed through the shelter, along with nine cats, eight Siamese and one Himalayan. Beagles and Labs topped the list, but Animal Friends also housed 31 Chihuahuas (both long and short-haired), 21 Bichon Frises, 16 Dachshunds, 13 Yorkshire Terriers and nine Shih Tzus. Big dog, too! Last year, Animal Friends was home to 28 German Shepherds, 12 Siberian Huskies, five Saint Bernards, three Rottweilers and a couple Mastiffs and Newfoundlands.
Purebred animals are typically placed quickly, so potential adopters need to act fast when an animal hits the adoption floor. There are several ways Animal Friends can help with the search. Visit the dog, cat and rabbit pages of www.ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org to follow a link to register your breed interest, from Affenpinscher to Yorkshire Terrier and everything in between. An e-mail will be automatically generated when a dog of that breed becomes available.
Check our website regularly, too, as the animal pages are updated every hour. Finally, visitors are always welcome to meet our adoptable animals, who come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. Often, a visit to the shelter to meet a specific dog results in an instant connection with another one altogether – one that just happens to result in pure love.