Looking for a purebred dog? These stories prove why adoption is still the best option!
By Alisa Mullins
Photo credit: Sarah McCluskey
When you think of a rescued dog, you probably picture a lovable mutt like Benji or Winn Dixie. But purebred dogs fall on hard times, too. In fact, approximately a quarter of all dogs entering shelters are purebreds.
Like mutts, purebred dogs usually end up homeless because of “people problems,” not “dog problems.” Their owners get divorced, get a terminal illness, get deployed overseas, lose their jobs, have a baby, or experience some other life-changing event. The dogs are just collateral damage.
Fortunately, more and more people are willing to give these “secondhand” dogs a second chance. Here are some purebred dogs who found happiness the second time around.
The Dog With No Name
Two PETA staffers were delivering straw bedding to “backyard dogs” in rural Virginia when they spotted a thin young beagle running dangerously close to the highway. As soon as they stepped out of their car, the friendly pup bounded up to them. He was wearing a collar with a phone number, which one of the staffers called while they drove him back to PETA’s headquarters, the Sam Simon Center, in Norfolk, Virginia, for a much-needed bath and meal.
The owner said that he no longer wanted the dog—whom he had never even bothered to name—because he was no good at hunting. But the man was willing to drive an hour and a half to PETA’s headquarters to retrieve the dog’s collar. Today, the anonymous beagle has a name—Augie—and a home with a former PETA staffer. Augie brightens everyone’s day with his ebullient personality.
The Dog Who Survived the Storm of the Century
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast 10 years ago, thousands of animals were left behind as their guardians evacuated. PETA and other groups spent weeks breaking down doors, crawling through filth, wading through noxious floodwaters, and coaxing terrified animals to safety. As the emergency animal shelters filled up, the animals needed somewhere safe to go, so PETA rented an RV and evacuated 30 dogs up to Virginia. One of them was a frightened little Pomeranian dubbed “Nola” by her foster mom.
Months passed and Nola’s owners, possibly among the thousands who were killed in the storm, were never found. So her foster mom became her permanent mom. At first, Nola seemed surprisingly quiet, but it turned out that her true personality had been frightened out of her—only temporarily, though. After overcoming a nasty case of kennel cough, the real Nola emerged—the one who playfully jumps up and nips the seat of her guardian’s pants when she’s ready to go for a walk.
The Ideal Dog
Ideal is proof that a fancy pedigree does not guarantee that a dog will be treasured. The beautiful purebred Doberman Pinscher was simply left behind like an old sofa when her owners moved away. Luckily, a kind neighbor stepped in to feed her, but the woman was already stretched to the limit caring for her own cats and was in no position to adopt a large dog. Nor could she afford the veterinary treatment that Ideal needed for a badly infected toe. So she called PETA, and a fieldworker drove out to pick the dog up. Ideal must have sensed right away that this person was a soft touch—she worked her magic on her during the ride back to PETA’s headquarters, and by the time they arrived, Ideal had already secured herself a “forever home.” For the PETA fieldworker and her family, this dog turned out to be just … well … ideal.
Thinking about adopting? Visit Petfinder.com to find dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds at a shelter near you.
PETA Foundation staffer Alisa Mullins regularly contributes to PETA’s blog and Animal Times magazine, and her writing has also been published in The Palm Beach Post, the Anchorage Daily News, The Charlotte Observer, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and many other publications. She is the guardian of two rescued cats and a retired racing greyhound.