“Don’t Adopt That Dog!” And Some of the WORST Advice You’ll Get Concerning Rescue Dogs

October 20, 2022

There’s a lot of common myths, misconceptions and plenty of terrible advice going around about rescue dogs, so we want to give it to you straight. Here is some of the WORST advice you may have heard about shelter dogs—and our reasons why you should TOTALLY bring a lovable rescue dog into your life. 

1.    “There’s something wrong with them.”

Woman scratching dogs chin

Just like you’ve had a life before meeting them, they’ve had a life before meeting you. But your shelter dog won’t judge you for crying into a tub of ice cream while watching The Notebook, so why should you judge them for their past? Every dog is different and deserving of a second chance as a lovable pet. 

2.    “They’re unpredictable, you never know what you’re going to get once you bring them home!”


That’s true—you may end up with a total goofball! While we can’t completely know how an animal will adjust, shelter staff takes time to get to know rescue dogs and cats, to help match them with the best fit. And while some animals don’t do well in a shelter environment and may be scared or timid when you first meet them, give them some time to warm up in a comfortable home and you could very well have a complete lovebug on your hands! 

3.    “They don’t do well with other animals.”

Dog cuddling kitten

Many shelter dogs do really well with other animals, including cats and other small animals, it all depends on who you find! 

4.    “They’re hard to train.” 

Dog shaking womans hand

Lots of dogs are foodies just like us and would do anything for a tasty treat. Training takes a lot of time and patience from both of you—don’t give up!  

5.    “They’re all old!”


Many shelters have rescued puppies and younger dogs available for adoption! It’s all about finding who is right for you!

6.    “They can’t be around children.”

Family with dogs and cats

Just like many shelter dogs do well around other animals, many do well with children too—in fact they love having someone with lots of energy to run around with.

7.    “They won’t bond with you.”

dog licking womans face

When you adopt a dog, you are quite literally saving a life. No one is more grateful for your love and care than a shelter dog! And they’ll give you plenty of kisses to prove it.

8.    “You’ll have to make a new Instagram account for them!” 

Dog smiling

With this smile, think of all the likes you’ll get! 

9.    “They’re not nice.” 

Dog sticking tongue out

They definitely know how to throw some shade, but rescue dogs are looking for love and a place to call home—they’ll be happy to see you, and most will want to be your new BFF!

10.    “You can’t do anything fun with them.”

dog hiking glacier

This dog is hiking on a glacier—what more could you want? It all depends on the dog’s personality, but so many rescue dogs go on to become full-time adventure buddies, or even full-time couch cuddling buddies!

When it comes to adopting a dog, we always encourage you listen to the experts rather than those trying to dissuade you from giving a dog in need a well-deserved second chance. In honor of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month this October, we hope you’ll seriously consider opening your heart to a rescue dog.

If you’re ready to change a life, check out our available dogs in NYC, Asheville, North Carolina or at your local shelter!

Not ready to take on the commitment of adoption? Try fostering! You can foster an ASPCA dog in NYC, Asheville, North Carolina or Columbus, Ohio or foster a dog at your local shelter!