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Animal shelter adoption myths: Purebred pets can't be found

Bo-Bo the Shih Tzu, who we adopted from a shelter
Lyn Lomasi

There are many untruths out there regarding adopting pets from animal shelters. One of such pet adoption myths is that you can't adopt purebreds. Being a frequent visitor of animal shelters and rescues and being involved in the pet rescue community, I can assure you this is far from the truth. You can indeed adopt purebred cats, dogs, and other pets from shelters.

All one has to do is peruse websites and Facebook pages to see the countless number of purebred animals at the shelters, including rarer breeds. Try this test to see what you come up with. Type in your favorite breed, your city, and rescue. Your search might look something like this: “miniature poodle rescue Denver”. See what comes up. More than likely, you'll come up with a rescue or shelter that focuses on that breed or with results of them currently available.

Search is just one way to find these animals in your area. You can also try sites like, that has a dropdown menu to help you choose breed type, location, age, and more. Another way is to look up multiple shelters and rescues in your area and call or visit to see if they have specific purebreds available. We adopted our Shih Tzu from a shelter, though we weren't purposefully looking for his breed. We simply stumbled upon him and the connection went both ways. He was ready to come home with us the moment he saw us.

A few benefits to adopting a purebred animal from a shelter include lower adoption fees, the spay or neuter is often included, and other routine medical care and/or vaccinations are generally given while the animal is in the shelter and sometimes for a limited time after adoption. Some shelters also include microchipping. Most, possibly all, shelters evaluate the animals, giving them a behavior and medical analysis before they are made available for adoption.

More pet adoption and pet parenting tips from me:

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