Rylie the Rescue Dog

Here are five (of many) reasons we think shelter dogs are the best dogs.

1. You can fall in love with them at first sight.

We’ve heard the tale many a time: You know you’re ready to adopt a dog. You’ve reconciled your work schedule to be able to come home at lunch and let him out for a quick play session. You’ve crunched the numbers and know you can pay for food, vet care and probably more tennis balls than a shelter dog ever chased in his life. And yet, you spend night after night browsing Petfinder, clicking through adorable photos and reading profiles. None of the matches feels perfect — until you see that one photo and you fall in love instantly. Like, Yep, that’s my dog.

2. You can get full details about their personalities.

Rescue Dog Trio

Adopting a shelter dog is like meeting your significant other through the world’s most reliable dating service: Shelter workers, volunteers and foster families have already checked out your potential puppy soul mate for you. No more blind date jitters. Gosh, I hope he gets along with children. Does she like outdoor activities? Will he judge me for the inexplicable amount of trashy reality television on my DVR? With a shelter dog, you can know ahead of time that he’s great with kids, loves hiking and prefers Real Housewives of Atlanta (but he’ll watch New Jersey if you really want to).

3. Many of them are already house-trained.

Some of us really dread the messy, stressful, wake-up-every-three-hours phase of potty training a puppy. Buying pet stain cleaner in bulk? No, thank you. Many adult and senior dogs are already housebroken — and some are even trained in useful commands and tricks. We can’t possibly oversell how valuable this is for a new pet owner.

Buddy the Rescue Beagle

4. Every new friend your new friend makes is a chance to advocate.

Whether you’re taking your rescue dog into the office for the first time or introducing her to a longtime neighbor in your apartment building, everyone will want to know your dog’s story. It’s an instant opportunity to sing the praises of pet adoption and advocate on behalf of all shelter animals. And it feels great to be able to tell the story of how you saved a life — or even a few lives. By adopting a dog from the shelter, not only do you give your dog a permanent home, you create a space at the shelter for another dog who gets his chance at a forever home, too. And that’s a thought that will brighten everyone’s day.

5. Somehow, shelter dogs always know they’ve been given a second chance.

Can we scientifically prove that dogs rescued from shelters know they’ve been given something special? Of course not. But we’ll be darned if the owner of every rescue dog doesn’t tell you that somehow, some way, their dogs just know

Do you have a reason to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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