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Myths and Misconceptions of Shelter Dogs

Myths and Misconceptions of Shelter Dogs

When it comes to animal shelters and dogs in particular there are many myths and misconceptions that are prevalent in our communities. Read on for more about what some of these common myths are.

Shelters only have mixed breeds- There is a misconception that shelters only have mixed breed dogs available for adoption, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, Found Animals estimates that about 25% of all dogs in the shelter are pure breed. Recently at the shelter I works for we’ve seen a lot of purebred huskies and shepherds come through our doors.

There are no young dogs or puppies in shelters- This myth couldn’t be further from the truth since shelters are often responsible for taking in litters of abandoned puppies when they are found as strays or brought in by a family who’s unspayed dog had an accidental litter. Puppies are usually sent to foster homes and oftentimes adoption staff already have a waiting list of families eager to adopt a puppy, so if you are interested contact your local shelter and let them know what you are looking for.


If the dog ended up in the shelter they must have behavioral issues- Dogs end up in shelters for a number of reasons that range from their guardians passing away unexpectedly to being seized from a guardian who wasn’t taking good care of them.. the reasons are endless. Most of the time bad behavior or issues with personality have nothing to do with why a dog ends up in a shelter. All responsible humane societies, SPCAs, and rescue groups give their dogs a temperament test and those with serious behavior problems such as aggression are not made available for adoption.


Shelter dogs are untrainable- All dogs are trainable. Yes, sometimes older dogs can take longer to train than a younger dog, but they are trainable. Just think of it like a young child learning a foreign language versus an adult. It is typically much easier for a young child with a more elastic brain to learn and retain a foreign language than it is for an adult with a more rigid brain.
Shelter dogs have health issues- Although shelters take in dogs with health issues the vet staff treats each and every animal that comes through its doors, plus they spay/ neuter, microchip, and vaccinate every dog.

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    • I’ve adopted 3 dogs since 2010. A 10 year old Min Pin who lived until age 18. A 1 1/2 Chiweenie who I still have, last one was 5 1/2 month old Chihuahua who I still have. All from our local shelters.

      Judy Robbins

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