Selecting and Rescuing Dogs—
Making the Important Choices

Some of the 16 quotes here are about rescuing dogs, from the people who rescued them. The others are about selecting dogs, or how dogs select us.

She had no particular breed in mind, no unusual requirements. Except the special sense of mutual recognition that tells dog and human they have both come to the right place.

Lloyd Alexander


Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. 

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them. 

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life. 

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well. 

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. 

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. 

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one. 

I rescued a human today.

Janine Allen


My Shelter Days are numbered ten.
Ten more days until my end.

My Shelter Days are numbered eight.
Please adopt me. Change my fate.

My Shelter Days are numbered six.
Adopt a pet week, still no one's pick.

My Shelter Days are numbered four.
Four more days and then no more.

My Shelter Days are numbered two.
Someone will take me, I just don't know who.

My Shelter Days are numbered none.
I know I'm finished, then you come.

My Shelter Days are over, done,
Because you, my master, took me home.

Courtney Bailey,
The Final Countdown


I very much believe in rescuing animals, not buying them.

Candice Bergen, on finding her dog, Lois, a terrier/basset hound mix


Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail.

Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw)


"Hi," I said. She came over, licked my hand discreetly, allowed herself to be scratched for a time, chased her tail in a dignified circle, lay down again. I remember thinking: "There are times God puts a choice in front of you." I often had such thoughts back then. We took the dog.

Stanley Bing


I am joy in a wooly coat, come to dance into your life, to make you laugh!

Julie Church


I love to rescue animals.... The pounds were so crowded they were putting animals down almost immediately. Seven thousand dogs were put to sleep.

Laura Dern, on the impact the 1994 Northridge earthquake in LA had on dogs, and how she saved one of them.


From behind a wooden crate we saw a long black-muzzled nose poking round at us. We took him out—soft, wobbly, tearful; set him down on his four, as yet not quite simultaneous legs, and regarded him. He wandered a little round our legs, neither wagging his tail nor licking at our hands; then he looked up, and my companion said: "He's an angel!"

John Galsworthy


You paused outside to look into my cage. I tried to play it right, wanting to catch your eye with a shy glint in my own, a soft bark, that said, "Choose me," in a canine grammar I hoped you'd understand.

R.S. Jones, his account of his dog Scout's adoption from a shelter


Thank God I got the rejects. These animals are very, very affectionate.

Eartha Kitt, about her two poodles, who weren't up to the breeder's "standards"


I was in New York and I walked into this pet store and came out with a dog.

Beverly Mitchell

Although it's humorous, Ms. Mitchell's quote can be misunderstood as an endorsement for spur-of-the-moment dog selection. Most such selections rarely work out. Thanks to Janet, a Basset Hound Rescue Volunteer and Foster Mom, for bringing this to my attention.


A dog is for life, and not just for Christmas.

National Canine Defense League slogan


Any man with money to make the purchase can become dog's owner. But no man—spend he ever so much coin and food and tact in the effort—may become a dog's Master without the consent of the dog. Do you get the difference? And he whom a dog once unreservedly accepts as Master is forever that dog's God.

Albert Payson Terhune


There are all sorts of cute puppy dogs, but it doesn't stop people from going out and buying Dobermans.

Angus Young


Don't litter. Spay & neuter your pets.

Unknown Author

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