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Breed-Specific Rescues

If you are considering adopting a rescue dog but also have love for a specific breed, finding a breed-specific rescue is a great option. There are many advantages to looking into this option when looking for your next furry family member.

Advantages of Using a Breed-Specific Rescue

Knowledge of the Breed.

Specific breed rescues are familiar with the breed and understand patterns often seen in a particular breed. These patterns can be seen in both physical and behavioral characteristics. Having said that, each dog is its own individual. You may be surprised to know when I was the foster coordinator for a golden retriever rescue, while most of the dogs were the typically friendly Golden, we also had the occasional Golden that exhibited aggressive behavior. In these cases, the behavior was addressed by a professional such as a trainer or veterinary behaviorist. So, a specific breed rescue not only understands patterns of the breed but will also give you information on each specific dog that they rescue.

Love of the Breed.

Volunteers who dedicate themselves to a breed rescue not only love dogs but also love the specific breed they help rescue. This devotion supports a commitment to caring for those animals while with the rescue and to helping them find a loving home.

Foster Homes.

Breed-specific rescues are typically made up of mostly (or all) foster homes. These homes are provided by volunteers until such time that a good match is found for the dog. The dog is part of the foster’s regular household and everyday life. Depending on the length of the stay, the foster provides a wealth of information to the rescue and potential adopters about the dog’s behavior. This can include information such as the appropriate age of children the dog can be placed with, whether he or she can be placed with other dogs or cats, favorite activities, etc.

Network of Volunteers and Vet Partners.

Breed-specific rescues are made up of a large system that includes volunteers who utilize their skills in a variety of areas. These include not only caring for the dogs, but other important areas such as processing foster/adoption applications, doing home visits, planning/attending events, marketing, fundraising, and more. There are also vet partners who provide much-needed medical care and who are often the first place the animal lands when first acquired by the rescue. The vet will diagnose and treat any medical conditions the dog may have developed. This is particularly important in the case of a stray when the history is not clear. In the case of a chronic condition, the rescue will also be able to give the potential adopter specific information on any treatment needed, as well as any associated costs, so this can be factored into making a final decision.

Typical Process of Breed-Specific Rescues

Specific-breed rescues will have an organized process that supports caring for the animal while with the rescue. The process also supports finding the best foster home for the dog, as well as the best match for the dog and final adopter.


This is the phase during which a rescue decides whether to take in a particular animal that has been found as a stray, available through another rescue/shelter, or needs a home due to owner relinquishment. In the latter scenarios, as much information as possible will be gathered on the circumstances involved, as well as the dog’s history. Once the rescue agrees to take the dog, the dog will typically stay with the vet partner. This part of the process ensures the dog gets any needed medical treatment and has a place to stay while waiting for a foster home.


This is the time when the dog goes to a temporary home. Rescue groups are always looking for more foster homes and provide support to the foster such as training, supplies, etc. Being a foster to a dog is a crucial part of the process. Aside from providing a temporary haven, fosters also learn about and share information with the rescue about the dog. This information is a huge part of finding the right match for dogs and people. Warning: Foster Failures do occur at times. This is when a foster decides they can’t part with the dog and become the adopter.

Most rescues also have a foster-to-adopt option. This is similar to a temporary-to-hire employment situation. You would be mostly certain this is the dog for you but would take a test run first. If it turns out to not be a good match, that is OK. You will still be able to provide a temporary home and share what you learn about the dog for when the right match does come along. And it won’t be long before the rescue group has another dog in mind for you!


Potential adopters will fill out an application which will be reviewed by the adoption team. They will also be interviewed and provide a home visit. This part of the process helps provide a safe and loving environment for the dog and a good match for everyone involved. There will also be a meet and greet for everyone in the home, including other pets. The foster home will also be a part of this process. When an adoption is finalized, the adopter will pay a fee. The fee you pay will go toward supporting the rescue. The medical costs alone are a commitment for a rescue. When you pay the adoption fee, you are not only making an investment in your new companion, you are also saving the lives of other dogs as well.

There are many people who have an affinity for one or more specific breeds, and supporting a breed-specific rescue is a great way to show your love for the breed. There are countless ways to support these rescues by volunteering, fostering, or adopting your new best friend.