One of the kindest and most caring things a person can do for a homeless dog is to adopt them. Life has thrown them a curve ball and you can be there to straighten it out. Before you take that step you need to make sure you are ready with the preparation and commitment necessary so the dog does not have to relive this nightmare.
There are many different rescue organizations in every state. Many times each organization is focused on one breed although this is not always true. Most are well run and provide a valuable service to the misplaced canine as well as community in general. In terms of picking an organization, it is important that you pick one you can trust as there are some scam artists out there that will try to take advantage of the situation.
Sometimes there are even unscrupulous breeders that may portray themselves as rescue groups because they can not legitimately comply with the law as a breeder. When you find a legitimate rescue group it is usually built around the dedication and dream of an individual that wanted to make a difference and gathered others to make it a reality.
Talk to the leader of the group and get a feel for the person. Make sure it is not a scam to gather donations or for other benefit. Look at the conditions where the dogs are housed and get referrals if possible. Maybe even talk to local vets or dog clubs; sometimes they can have some very enlightening information.
A legitimate rescue organization will have standards for adoption and will screen the person or family interested in adopting. Do not take offense to this as you should expect to have some probing questions ask of you. Their desire is to make sure you and your life fit the dog you want to adopt. Even before the dog is put up for adoption most will have the dog examined for any health issues. Be leery of any group that tries to place a dog without following these and more standard practices.
You should be prepared to ask questions of the rescue group. You need to know where the dog came from and is it possible that the previous owner is still looking for their companion. Was the dog lost or was he surrendered? Has the dog been checked for tattoos or microchips? What about health history as far as they know. Is the dog spayed or neutered? Will they allow you to have your vet examine the dog? Maybe most important of all, do they have a list of satisfied placements and can you contact them?
The wrong answer to any of these questions should throw up red flags and you should consider seriously your decision. Do not let that cute face and your impatience lead you into a long term problem. These warnings and cautions are not to in any way insinuate that rescue organizations are not usually legitimately run and that the operators are not skilled and well meaning. What you want to do is protect yourself from the ones that are not.
Once you are satisfied you are making the right decision and if that decision is to bring the dog home, do some research as to what your particular dog may need in light of his age, breed and any health issues present. Prepare the home and the family. Make sure he has proper food supply, dishes, toys, bedding and a plan for exercise.
There is a lot to consider whenever you adopt a dog but with proper planning and care, the decision can lead to a happy and fulfilling relationship that is mutually beneficial for everyone. A dog can be a welcome addition to any home that is knowledgeable and ready for the responsibility.