Animal Shelters and Humane Societies

Believe it or not, you can find a pug in an animal shelter or humane society. Sometimes puppies are turned in to shelters when the family that bred them hasn't been able to sell them. Other times, adolescent or older pugs are given up because their people decided they didn't have time for them. If you are considering acquiring an older pug or you like the idea of giving a home to a dog that really needs one, but there's not a pug rescue group in your area, the shelter can be a great place to look.

Shelter Advantages

The greatest advantage of adopting a pug from a shelter is that warm, fuzzy feeling you get from giving a needy dog a good home. Another advantage is the variety of services provided by some shelters. You may go home with a pug that has been health-checked, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated. He may even be housetrained or know basic obedience skills. Some shelters offer training classes and behavioral counseling so the two of you can get off to a good start.

If your local shelter doesn't have any pugs available and there's no pug rescue group in your area, consider looking online. An organization called Petfinder has a Web site (www.petfinder.com) where rescue groups and animal shelters can post descriptions and photos of animals that need homes. You can search the site by breed, area, and other parameters.

Shelter Disadvantages

The disadvantages of adopting from a shelter are similar to the those than come with adopting from a pug rescue group. The main disadvantage — if you can call it that — is that most shelters don't provide instant gratification. Like breeders and pug rescue groups, many shelters nowadays have a rigorous screening process. They want to make sure that the dogs they place go to forever homes, not temporary housing. While it might seem onerous, think of it as a benefit to the dog rather than as a hoop you must jump through.

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