Purebred Pets in Shelters


You can find any type of cat or dog at a shelter

Laura Ingalls
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Woman hugging adopted pugIf you’re thinking about making a pet part of the family, you might already have an idea about the type of cat or dog you want.

Maybe you grew up with a particular kind of cat. Perhaps you think a specific dog breed is the best fit for your family. On the other hand, you might just want to let your heart be your guide. In all of these situations, adoption organizations in your community can help.

Try creative ways to find a particular type of pet

Most shelters count all kinds of cats and dogs among their residents. You can almost always find purebred cats and dogs alongside mixed-breed pets. And the pets ready to be adopted change regularly, so if you don’t meet your match one day, you might get lucky the next time.

If you like a particular shelter, try asking if they keep a waiting list for specific breeds or types of pets. Not all shelters have the manpower to maintain such a list, but it’s worth asking.

Another idea: If you have your heart set on a particular breed, investigate breed-specific rescue groups in your area. Most breeds have regional organizations, many of which are linked to breed-specific rescue groups. Cats and dogs at these organizations are often cared for in private homes, so you may be able to talk with the pets’ foster parents.

Woman holding adoptable yorkieShelters are full of healthy, well-behaved pets

Most shelters ensure that the first stop for a new arrival is the facility’s veterinarian. This helps keep a sick pet away from the shelter’s adoptable cats and dogs until he can make a full recovery.

Many organizations spay or neuter their pets before they are offered for adoption. This is one advantage that adoption has over getting a pet from a breeder. Your new pet is already altered, so you don’t have to deal with the surgery expense, scheduling or recovery time.

Adoptable pets are often fully vaccinated, too. Before you adopt, make sure you’re clear on what exams and shots your new pet has had at the shelter. You should receive copies of your pet’s medical records as part of your adoption paperwork.

Most shelters also conduct a behavioural assessment. This means an expert evaluates the pet’s personality and interactions with people before he goes home with you. You may even get the inside scoop on your new pet’s habits and training needs.

Lovable, adoptable pets await their new homes

Cats and dogs arrive in shelters for a variety of reasons. People affected by the economy might not be able to afford to keep their pets. For others, relocating or downsizing could mean moving into a housing complex that doesn’t allow cats or dogs.

Many shelter cats and dogs are already used to being family pets. With a warm welcome and a bit of encouragement, most will fit right into an adoptive home.

Did you look for a specific type of pet at a shelter? How did your search turn out? Share your story.


PetSmart Charities of Canada finds homes for nearly 20,000 cats and dogs each year. The newest member of your family could be just a click away.