How to Find a Dog to Adopt

Thinking about getting a dog? Why not adopt a senior dog — say, over the age of five years?  Or even a senior dog of unlimited age?  We’d like to guide you toward successfully providing a new home and a new life for a senior dog.  Even though many people gravitate toward puppies, senior dogs offer a host of benefits that compare well to younger dogs.  We refer you to our list of the Top Ten Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog.  If you’re concerned about health care for a senior dog, you’ll find help beginning with our list of the Ten Tips for Keeping Your Older Dog Healthy.  You’ll discover a lot about yourself when you adopt a senior dog — especially about your capacity for compassion and for making the world a better place — and not only for the senior dog you adopt.  As Ghandi once said, you can tell a lot about a society by the way its animals are treated. Treat them with compassion and kindness, and you’ll enlarge your own heart and, through your example, expand the hearts and minds of those around you.

Since you’re already online, a good place to begin looking for a dog to adopt is right here.  You’re likely to find a senior dog to adopt by visiting the websites linked through these pages: 

State-by-state Listings of Shelters and Rescue Groups

There’s a shelter or rescue group near you — with dogs of all ages.  They’ll be happy to know that you’re interested in an older dog.  Clicking on the title link above will take you to a geographical listing.  Also be sure to do a Google search — enter your city, state, and “dog adoption” —  as groups are regularly created that might not appear in these listings.

Breed Rescue Groups

If you have your heart set on a particular breed, the breed rescue listings are the place to start.  It will be a bit harder to find a dog who belongs to a very popular breed than if you’re willing to adopt a mixed breed.

Seniors-Only Rescue Groups and Sanctuaries

Seniors-only rescues and sanctuaries specialize in dogs that shelters turn to when an older dog in their care is unlikely to be adopted at their shelter, giving the dog a better chance of adoption.  These groups also usually have “fospice” dogs available — these are dogs who need foster/hospice care because they have a condition or ailment from which they will not recover.  Foster/hospice care means that the rescue group will cover the cost of veterinary care, unlike adoption, in which you would assume responsibility for the cost of such care.  Sanctuaries are usually meant as places for really old dogs to live out their final years without worrying about finding a foster or adoptive home; however, in some special cases, they are put up for adoption.