A good reputable dog shelter will not let just anyone adopt a dog – however overrun with abandoned pets they may be. You will need to provide information on where you will house your new family member, who lives in your home and how you plan to look after the dog. A rescue dog may be seen as a ‘cheaper’ alternative to buying a purebred puppy but there will still be payments that are required and rescuing a dog from a shelter is very different in a number of ways to bringing home a puppy.
Firstly the age of a rescue dog is likely to be a lot older than a puppy. Few shelters will have an abundance of puppies in their care. Most will be a good few years old and with this comes a history. The dogs may have been abused or neglected or feel grief having been abandoned by their former owners. Rescue dogs may require your patience as they take time to adapt to your new home, learn to socialise again or to have an interest in their food or playing. However, the shelter should be able to give you a good indication of a dog’s personality as they will have seen how the dog behaved in their care – which can mean that you may get a better idea of the type of animal it is rather than when you get a puppy, you will never really know what you are getting!
You also need to ask yourself if you are the right kind of person to take in a rescue dog. If you looking to find a particular breed then you may be out of luck with rescue shelters and as for this being a ‘cheaper’ alternative to buying a puppy, sometimes a rescue dog may come with some health problems that may require vet attention as they grow older and you should consider this when thinking about the cost.