Damn. I just went to the city pound, paid $65, and a got a neutered, chipped, and vaccinated dog to take home that day.
That’s become nearly a thing of the past–unless what you’re looking for is some variety of bully breed mix, which I firmly am NOT. The “rescues” will do shelter pulls of any purebred or good mix to “rehome” themselves and they leave nothing but the old dogs, the ones with physical and behavioral problems, and a bunch of bully breeds and chihuahua mixes behind.
I like herding dogs, and specifically Australian Cattle Dogs but if you go to Petfinder, tell them you’re in Portland OR, set it to “within 100 miles” and search for an ACD or border collie you will get a shit ton of hits, but they are all actually in Houston because apparently ACDs are very popular in Texas but nobody spays or neuters them. And they expect you to pay upwards of $600 JUST in transport fees–so what, you go to the airport and take possession of your new scared, traumatized unknown quantity of a dog? With no recourse if they have health issues or fight with your current dogs or try to eat your cats–at that point you’re just supposed to tough it out or give up the large money you spent to surrender that dog to the pound? Yeah, not great options.
And I have to say, after spending 37 years exclusively having rescue animals it was such a relief to have a cute little blank slate of a puppy all ready to learn how to be a perfect part of my family without having to spend months or years correcting the behavioral problems instilled by former owners. He’s become an incredible companion who handles every new situation with equanimity and poise because he’s never been terrified or hurt or abused in his life. I paid my dues, I get to have my fancy AKC registered doggo!
So maybe the fact that we were willing to drive an hour and a half to meet the doggo may have worked against us. Our last dog was and ACD/beagle mix from the NC/SC border. She was brought to the DC area and we adopted her (she needed some work, but she was a fine dog. She did look like she was trying to eat our cats, but when we called the organization and they said they’d try and get her back to foster she changed her tune immediately and ended up forming a close bond with one of the cats.) This was over a decade ago. I’ve noticed there are now dogs that are far away, not just the one we were looking at; do you think that’s just a money-making scam?
I honestly don’t know but the fact that bringing in shitloads of dogs from Central and South America has become A Thing is a bit suspicious. I don’t know enough about the shipping costs for animals to judge whether or not the fees they’re asking for are exorbitant or not. All I know is that my patience with this stupidy game has firmly ended and from now on unless I rescue by taking on a dog someone I know needs to find a home for I’ll be getting puppies.
My middle dog, Shoga, was a rescue of that kind–she was raised for almost her first year by a family that included a six year old girl, and Shoga loves kids to a slavish degree. The woman got pregnant and decided that sweet, biddable Shoga was “too much trouble” and rehomed her with my former sister in law, who does tend to take in strays. The family then promptly acquired a pit bull pup so from my POV they’re obviously stupid to the point of insanity if they think a pit bull is less trouble than a cattle dog cross who’s one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever met and is so sweet and biddable she apologizes if one of the other dogs does something naughty. They also hadn’t bothered to get her all her shots or have her spayed so yeah, stupid or asshole, you make the call. My sister in law and I got into a conversation and the upshot was we ended up meeting near the Oregon border, me with both my dogs along for the ride, to see if she’d make a good fit with my mob. The rest, as they say, is history. I doubt this situation will ever recur though, Shoga was definitely a one-off. She did a fine job of raising my puppy though, I could NOT have done it without her teaching him everything he needs to know about being a dog. She’s such a nannydog.