7 min read

Can I Find A Puppy At A Rescue?

Tips from an insider on how to find your perfect rescued puppy 🥰🐶

rescue puppy

You love puppies so much that you decided you can’t wait any longer, and you’re going to take the plunge and adopt one! Yay!

But now that you’ve decided you’re actually doing this, the next step is to figure out where you can adopt that puppy you’ve been dying to shower with love and affection.

If you think you won’t be able to find your new BFF at a rescue, think again!

The Dodo spoke with Mikayla Park, director of adoptions and education at Wags & Walks in Los Angeles, who explained how to spot the reputable rescues, and how to find those puppies.

Is it possible to find a puppy at a rescue?

“It is a huge misnomer that you can't find puppies in rescue,” Park told The Dodo. “It is an unfortunate reality that there is still a massive need out there to spay and neuter our domestic animals, and consequently there are always puppies out there to adopt.”

But even though they’re out there, and so ready for you to adopt them, there are a ton of other prospective pet parents with puppy fever.

“Puppies are, of course, a bit higher in demand than older dogs, so be prepared to wait a bit longer, and work a bit harder, to find one,” Park said.

If the puppies you’re applying for keep getting adopted, that can definitely get frustrating — but it’s actually a good thing!

Whether it’s with you or someone else, that puppy has found his forever home.

Your little ball of love and fluff is still out there! You just have to be patient.

How to find rescues that have puppies you can adopt

Since you have your heart set on trying to find a puppy, you might feel inclined to only look for rescues that currently have them available.

But according to Park, you want to cast a wide net.

“I would go the opposite way, to be honest,” she said. “I would do the work to find reputable rescues in your area, and get an application on file with all of them.”

You should even put in applications with reputable rescues that don’t have any puppies at that moment, because you want to be ready for when they do.

“Remember, in rescue things can change on a dime,” Park explained. “One minute we could have no puppies, the next we could get news that a litter of 12 is coming in! The best thing you can do for yourself is to stay ready!”

Getting all those applications in means you won’t miss out on any current — or future — opportunities to find your perfect puppy.

How to tell if a rescue is reputable

With so many rescues out there, you may be wondering how you can narrow down which ones are reputable (and which ones aren’t).

Enter: the internet.

“Fortunately, it's not terribly hard to ascertain whether or not a rescue is reputable. All you need to do is a little bit of homework,” Park said. “Look them up, read what they are saying on their website, read Yelp reviews [and] ask around.”

Testimonials from pet parents are a great way to indicate whether or not a rescue is reputable.

“The best way to tell how well a rescue is run is by asking their adopters,” Park explained. “People are not quiet when it comes to rescue.”

Also, make sure the rescues you’re interested in are checking all the basic boxes, by asking them things like:

  • How do they medically vet their dogs?
  • Are the dogs microchipped?
  • Are the dogs up-to-date on their vaccinations?
  • Are the dogs treated for fleas or dewormed?
  • What kind of behavioral support or enrichment does the rescue provide its dogs?
“These are basic needs that a rescue should be meeting, and if they are not, it should give you pause before proceeding with them,” Park said.

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