Dog Adoption from a Rescue or Shelter: What is the Difference?

Dog Adoption from a Rescue or Shelter: What is the Difference?

Thousands of animal lovers in New Braunfels and the San Antonio area make the decision to adopt their pets instead of buying them from unsavory puppy mills. Adopting means that you can give an animal a chance at a better life after they have been removed from a bad situation. The question is, should you adopt from a shelter or from a rescue? In some areas, these terms may be interchangeable, but in fact, they are not necessarily the same thing. Here is a quick guide to dog adoption from rescues and shelters.


In general terms, an animal shelter is where animals are brought when they are found after they have been abandoned or where pet owners take them when they can no longer properly care for them. Shelters are often very crowded and take in almost any type of small animal. Unfortunately, in some cases, they get so full that they end up having to euthanize some animals to make space for others. There are some shelters that have no-kill policies, but not all of them. It sadly means that animals who are in a shelter for a long time may not live much longer.

Shelters will treat the animals for any health conditions. The dog adoption process is generally faster, as they have fewer requirements than a dog rescue. Many shelters have a place for prospective pet owners to play and spend time with the animal before they decide whether or not to adopt.

One issue with shelters is that many are overcrowded, and it is a stressful environment. You may get the feeling that the staff is more concerned with getting an animal out the door rather than finding them a great match. The staff may also not have a history of the dog or have a proper idea of what the dog is like. Animals, especially dogs, tend to turnaround quickly in shelters without the time for a proper assessment.

Dog Adoption with a Dog Rescue

In most cases, a New Braunfels dog rescue is a private organization that cares for dogs that have been rescued from bad situations, such as abuse and homelessness. Most often the rescue has a network of foster dog parents who can care for the dogs until they are adopted. These foster parents can help with behavioral rehabilitation and help to nurse animals back to health after medical treatments. They mainly function on donations from the public.

Dogs who are rescued will be in a home environment, which can better prepare them for an eventual dog adoption. The foster parents also get to know the dogs very well and can provide advice for caring and even for what type of home the dog should be placed in. Dog adoption through a dog rescue is a bit more involved than through a shelter. They are focused on finding a good fit for the dogs and for potential adopters, so they will ask for a lot of information.

However, this can also mean longer waiting times until bringing a new pet home, and many people do not like to wait. There are fees as well that may be higher than a shelter, which is often run by a municipality or other government entity. Some rescues will even have mandatory home visits in the months after adoption to make sure that the situation is good for the dog and the new family.

Dog rescues and animal shelters are different and have different needs and priorities. Make the right choice for your dog adoption.

For more information about dog adoption in the San Antonio, San Marcos, Austin, or New Braunfels area visit our website at