When I first started volunteering on the adoptions team at Hong Kong Dog Rescue, I remember people calling and emailing to ask if we had specific breeds, especially puppies or young dogs. I remember, Boxers, Chocolate Labs, and Westies.
Even at that time we would have young adult pure-breeds, but not so many puppies. Aside from the diversity in mixed breeds, our rescue pure-breeds were also numerous. Schnauzers, Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Huskies, Corgis, Pugs, and Pekes were common, curiously clustered in groups when they did come in.
Soon we not only started seeing “new” breeds like Boxers but also young pure-breed puppies. Some were surrendered by breeders and others by owners who have changed their minds about their new purchases. Westies. Long-haired Daschunds. Labs. Papillon. Poodles (brown, red, black, you name it). Even a mastiff puppy, twice. And it’s not just Hong Kong Dog Rescue. In fact a 1 year old chocolate lab is available at the HK SPCA at this posting.
There’s really no need to buy a pure-breed when you can easily adopt…if having a pure-breed is your priority. I’m not sure what the rise in dog ownership is due to – more affluence? greater exposure to dogs? Whatever reason, it also seems that people are looking for more “unique” breeds, uncommon (and likely unsuitable) in Asia.
In the US, the number of dogs at shelters is staggering and lots of breed-rescues exist to pull “one of their own”, some literally from the brink of death, at the 11th hour, just before euthanasia. The reasons for surrender and abandonment vary, from economic reasons to not having enough time to exercise young energetic growing puppies. Dogs found at shelters aren’t always problematic but they all pay the price. I just hope that this isn’t the path for dog rescues in Asia.
I’m a huge proponent of choosing the dog, rather than the breed. After all, I choose friends for compatibility and qualities I treasure, not for their skin colour or hairstyle. But if you really want a Labradoodle, a Great Dane, or a Border Collie, consider visiting your local rescues and rehoming centres. You just don’t know who you may find waiting for you.
What’s more is that dogs available for adoptions at reputable and bonafide rescue groups are vet-checked, vaccinated, and desexed. Because these people truly love dogs, they will do their best to find the most suitable dog for you. And if they decline your application to adopt, look at it on the bright side – they are saving you the expense, heartache, and agony of having a dog mess up your furniture and your life. Having dog fur all over, picking up poop, and walking a dog isn’t for everyone.