Wanna Adopt a Dog? Here's Some Advice

Looking for a a new addition to the family? PSP members have advice on adopting (or fostering) a dog.
 

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- Remember that YOU will be spending a lot of your time with your dog. Make sure you feel confident your family will be able to provide your pet a good and loving home in 5, 10, or 15 years.

- If you are not ready to commit to adoption, try fostering a dog. This is a great way to see if a dog might be right for your family or not.

- Find a dog that is a great match for your family, living situation, schedule, etc. Do research online and determine what kind of dog will best fit your lifestyle (What breed? Big or small? Young or mature? Etc.). Be patient and willing to go back to shelters—they get new dogs all the time.

- Know that dogs can be expensive, and their care takes time, but the love they give makes it all worth it!

- Check out our list of PSP member–recommended shelters here!

 

Dog Adoption Advice Compilation 1.23.21

I'm looking for advice on getting a dog.

we are a family with 2 kids - 6yo and 3yo. We live in apt in Central Slope (close to JJ Byrne dog park) with outdoor terrace but on 4th fl.
none of us have ever had a dog and we have some mild allergies. We are considering getting a dog now/soon. This is not Covid-related but rather we wanted to get through baby years in one piece and now that youngest is 3, we feel we have time and energy to share with another living being.
we are in need of advice what would be best for our situation. We are very concerned that a dog have a good home and a little worried that apt living is not ideal for a dog but also I don’t want a tiny purse-dog. We need a dog that would be good with kids and is low-shedding/hypoallergenic.

We are considering getting a labradoodle or similar mix. Those that have them in similar circumstances, are these good dogs for Brooklyn living? While currently all of us are working/studying from home, at some point it’s likely we will go back to the office although I think there’s decent chances someone will be working from home at least couple days per week. But leaving dog at home for such a long stretch is also a concern for me (we will hire dog walkers for days we are in the office all day).
What advice can you share? If the answer is don’t get a dog, then maybe it’s the right answer. On the other hand, I’ve wanted a dog my whole life and feel like now may be a good time finally. Any other breeds that would be a good fit for us? Is it better to wait till kids are older? Or the opposite- get dog now so they grow up with it?

And finally, any advice on how to get the dog you would suggest- breeder, rescue, etc? As we are first-time owners, I don’t think we can take on a dog with serious trauma or health issues but we are prepared to spend time and energy needed to give a dog a good and loving home.

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Definitely get a rescue. I’d recommend a dog a year or two old so you have a sense of their personality. We’ve always had medium to large dogs in Brooklyn- lab, hound and other mixes. Our large dogs don’t have to go out that often - they go for 8 hour stretches quite easily during the day. Of course this is different when they are young. You might need a mid day dog walker. My husband is a runner so combines dog exercise with his own.

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I second getting a rescue!  I would suggest either fostering a puppy (that way you can see how doable it is) or adopting an adult dog (3+).  We fostered tons of puppies before finally adopting our dog.  It was great to try out different breeds and feel out personalities, though honestly we usually loved every one after a week.  We have a super high energy dog (a mutt) and i will say she was a handful between the ages of 1-3.  She finally mellowed out (a ton!) at 3, so it might just be a lot easier to get a slightly older dog.  I would be sure to get a dog that's already been fostered so you know a lot about it's personality and any potential issues.  The city isn't ideal for dogs, but all of us manage to keep our high energy dogs happy one way or another (running with them, hiring  walkers, getting up early, finding an apt w/ a yard, etc).  We just moved to Vermont, and you can really see our dog is in HEAVEN every day.  It makes me feel slightly guilty about having her in the city all those years, but.... that's where we lived!

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Trash or treasure, but here is some advice from someone who has lived most of their childhood and all of their adult life with a dog. Well, a few different dogs, actually. I’ll just stick to the questions you asked to be more helpful.


1. Can dogs live comfortably in an apartment or in nyc?

Sure! But this also depends on the breed of dog. Dog breeds that need a ton of exercise such as sporting breeds or herding breeds are not great in the city. Chances are you won’t be able to exercise them enough and then they’ll be a menace at home. So you’d need to pick either a small dog, or a dog that requires little action, like a bulldog for example.

2. Would a dog be well suited for your young kids?
Again, depends on the dog. Your kids are young and puppies are a handful, and can nip and bite and just cause trouble their first year. You also mentioned allergies in the home - this again limits your options. With small kids, nyc apartment living, and allergies - you need a lower energy, low shed, family friendly dog. This puts you in the Havanese or Shitzu range (though I know you said you’d prefer it wasn’t a small dog), which are good with families and easy to train. A Labradoodle would be more hyper, need more space, and likely to react to small humans as it’s just a more active dog. If you were set on that breed, I would suggest you wait until the kids are at least 6+ and can learn how to manage around a dog of that size and temperament.

3. Where do you get a dog?
I prefer rescues. And many people will tell you this too, it’s a more moral choice honestly, and we all know this. But! Rescue dogs come with unknown histories and uncertain breed roots. And with young kids, very specific breeds that suit your life, and lack of dog ownership experience - uncertainty is not what you need. I would personally advise you against a rescue and suggest you get a pup from a reputable breeder. My previous dog, whom I had for 12 years, was a rescue and she was a handful even for me - and I’ve had dogs all my life! She had aggressive tendencies that would have been dangerous around kids, and I had to do a ton of work to give her and me a manageable co-existence. But it was never perfect. Now, I have a golden retriever, and I don’t feel bad that he’s a purebred dog. His temperament is aligned with his breed - loyal, goofy, fun - which is what I need as we’re starting a family.

Now, many folks will chastise you for not rescuing a dog. But you have to remember you’ll live with this creature for ten plus years, and that it’s important for both you and the dog to suit each other. You are not an experienced dog owner with very specific needs, and due to that, I suggest a breeder vs a pound pup. As much as a pound pup doesn’t sound right for you, no offense, you actually don’t sound right for a pound pup! So consider the choice mutual.

4. Is it too early to get a dog? Should you wait?
Only you know this. Dogs are a lot of responsibility and work, more than most folks think. But they also bring so much joy. Since you’ve never had a dog before, I suggest you either sign up to foster a puppy (never an adult dog as you have small kids and rescues are uncertain) or you sign up to homesit a dog as a walker on Wag. Wag is probably a simpler route. These experiences should help you get a sense for what it’s like to have a dog in your house, and you’ll feel less like a novice once you’ve done them, making you more confident in the final choice you make!

PS. Get dog health insurance. And, with weekday dog walks + decent dog food, expect a monthly bill increase of at least $350-$550. They aren’t cheap.

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Congratulations on your decision to get a fur baby! Dogs are love on legs. I highly recommend West Highland Terriers. They are big for purses but small enough for apartments, good with children, smart, and hardy. Plus they have hair, not fur, so are hypoallergenic. Below are links for more info.

https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/west-highland-white-terrier/

http://nawestierescue.org/

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There's nothing wrong with a big dog in a NYC apartment. We're in a 1.5 BR with my wife, a baby, and an 80 lb dog. Large dogs are often easier in apartments — they're mellow inside — in my experience mellower and more chill than a lot of smaller breeds! Our dog is extremely happy and loves our apartment and its life in the city. When we leave the city for an extended period of time and are driving back, she'll be passed out in the back and as soon as we get to the Bronx she'll pop up and want to stick her nose out and breathe the city air. Home! I'd argue a city is ideal for dogs — dogs are social and they meet so many other dogs and people and there are such great dog walking services here. Nothing is sadder than a dog in the suburbs IMO — home alone all day, isolated, one medium sized yard.

With all dogs, it's important they get enough exercise. That means multiple long walks, but ideally off-leash time in the mornings at one of the larger parks. We try and do it every day. I think at least on the weekends it is important. The dog runs are nice too, but nothing really beats Prospect and Fort Greene parks before 9am or after 9pm.

Don't feel pressure to get a rescue — get the dog you want. We have a rescue mutt, but I don't think it's some moral imperative people should have to hold themselves to. We all live such morally compromised lives as Americans, it is weird that getting a pure-bred over a rescue is this thing people get so serious and judgemental about; it's a little much for me personally. And honestly if you're not adopting an 8-year-old pitbull or something...a lot of the younger rescues find homes. Also pure-bred dogs do have certain personality traits and behaviors that are somewhat predictable, of course with individual variation. A rescue you really don't know what you're getting — it's not always ideal for every household.

My breed advice is look outside the doodles — I get that there are 'mild allergies,' but it feels like everyone has mild dog allergies these days and I feel it's uncommon for a normal dog to really be a problem for people with mild, not serious allergies. My family all has different doodles and I had a labradoodle growing up and while I loved that dog I'm just not a fan. Plus you have to groom doodles! It's insanely expensive and annoying over time. That being said, go with the breed you love! It'll be great — I just had to stick in my curmudgeonly opinion about the doodles. There are so many fun breeds and types of dogs out there, it's worth exploring.

Last thing — the best dog book in my opinion is the classic How to be a Dog's Best Friend by the Monks of New Skete. I don't agree with every sentence or method in the book, but it is very thorough and their philosophy about the dog/human relationship is excellent. Their 'Art of Raising a Puppy' is good too.

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We have a large dog (a 75/80 lb. mix) and would just like to weigh in to say that large dogs are often great apartment dogs. We do take her on a lot of walks and go to off-leash hours almost every day in Fort Greene or Prospect Parks to make sure she gets a lot of physical and mental stimulation, but other than her large dog beds, she is very easy to keep in an apartment. She spends most of her time at home sleeping and has been very mellow around the house since she grew out of puppyhood. She can also hold her pee for long stretches — we walk her 3 times a day, but on the occasional times we've run into traffic jams coming back from the beach and don't get home until way later than intended, there have never been any accidents.

Some large dog breeds are high energy, but many are not, and will be very happy in the city if they're getting enough exercise. We also consider long walks and off leash hours to be wonderful parts of dog ownership that help us get fresh air and exercise, too. The only real issue we've encountered have been apartment bans on larger dogs (for no good reason). We are also somewhat concerned that our dog may trouble going up the stairs of our walk-up when she gets to be a senior and she's too large to carry up multiple flights, so there is a chance we may need to relocate to an elevator building.

I'd also caution that not all smaller dogs are low energy and can often develop behavioral problems if they don't get enough exercise and stimulation. All of which is to say, I wouldn't worry about size in your considerations. Also, having a dog is wonderful, you should definitely go for it!

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We have a cavapoo, who we are constantly asked if she is a labradoodle puppy as they are small (she’s under 20 lbs) but doesn’t look like a 'purse dog' so to speak (she’s quite long and tall in her proportions she’s just lightweight and not getting any bigger). We got her through a breeder as we hadn’t had a baby yet and were in the process of buying an apartment with very strict dog rules (keep in mind if you’re not permanent in your apartment). We happen to have the perfect dog for us, loves kids (so gentle with our baby from the beginning), doesn’t make a peep and doesn’t need a ton of exercise. Plus, she’s small enough to play fetch in the house for some additional energy. That said- that’s not entirely breed specific. I know cavapoos that do bark. No matter what breed, part of the situation will be personality you can’t predict.
If you’re looking for something a bit bigger cockapoos are 20-30 lbs and similar in their demeanor. I never thought I’d love a “doodle” as I grew up with labs. However, I can’t imagine having a high energy lab in an apt without a lot of exercise a day.

As others mentioned I don’t think the size of the dog is necessarily going to dictate if they are well suited for an apt, it’s more the breeds. I would think the breed and dog being good with kids would be the highest priority- sure you can train that but it’s stressful to not fully trust a dog with kids. Both my labs and current dog were exceptional with children- to the point where a child put their hand into our dogs mouth and took her food bowl and she didn’t react at all.

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My 8 year old shih tzu was adopted 7 years ago at the ACC in Manhattan. I walked in and got her one day after seeing her for 5 minutes. The process cost $70 and she’s been the best dog ever, so fun to see her with my son.

All that to say go with your gut with getting a dog from a rescue/breeder/etc and it will work out! Dogs are a lovely addition to a family, you will love your dog.

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In terms of leaving the dog alone during the day, we used dog day care pre-COVID and it worked really well for us--our dog loves Lickers n Sniffers on 5th Ave. If you're working from home a couple days a week, do day care once or twice a week, and have a walker on other days, your dog will probably be totally fine!

Our dog was a rescue with separation anxiety, and it took him about eight months to be able to be left alone, so we were relying heavily on day care for that period. It was an extra expense we weren't anticipating, but day care pricing is pretty reasonable.

 

Dog Adoption Advice Compilation 11.15.20

Hi people!  Do you have any advice on where to adopt a dog (not a puppy) for a family with 3 kids (ages 7, 13, 15). We are open to a rescue dog if we find the right fit.  Let us know.

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Badass Brooklyn has lots of dogs that are living in foster homes.

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There are lots of dogs at Sean Casey in Windsor Terrace, and i would recommend getting on to the Instagram accounts of Rescue City, Muddy Paws, In our Hands, Heart and Bones, Social Tees, Animal Haven and Best Friends Animal Society, Bideawee, North Shore Animal League, The Sato Project. There are also the City shelters, i believe there's one in every borough. Sean Casey, Animal Haven and Best Friends have actual centers where you can visit the dogs (not sure what their COVID hours/rules are). They all have Instagram accounts.

There are also beautiful dogs on Dove Project IG -- a rescue for dogs coming from the Korean dog markets. I just saw a gorgeous Jindo mix on their IG, 2 years old.

If you're interested in adopting a dog, it's best to go to a bunch of their websites and apply, get approved, and then you'll have a better chance of getting the dog you want when he/she becomes available.

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I'll add a personal plug for PupStarz Rescue as another Insta/facebook place to look for dogs. While they have all kinds of dogs, I have the impression that their dogs are often on the smaller size. They are foster based so the foster can tell you a bit more about temperament which I found helpful. We have a dachshund mix from them who is just so freaking adorable. Adopted Jan 19, he's made life so much more bearable for me and my teen during 2020.

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I agree on following all of the accounts mentioned above.  I HIGHLY rec'd getting a dog that's been fostered as you will know so much more about the animal before he comes to you.  That said, my sister twice adopted AMAZING dogs straight out of the shelters.  I fostered many dogs and have worked with a lot of rescues - rescue is so important - please be patient and wait for the right pup.  It's AWESOME you're willing to adopt an adult dog.  And, having adopted (foster failed) a puppy myself, who is now 5 years old, I can say for sure that adopting a dog over 3 is A MILLION TIMES EASIER (as long as no major issues from it's previous life).  Our dog was so difficult and crazy in her teenage years (6 months-3 years old) and after her 3rd birthday she was suddenly, amazingly, perfect.  Good luck!

 


Dog Adoption Advice Compilation 5.1.18

I grew up with a dog as did my husband and both by girls (5 and 3) want a dog and we are almost ready to take the plunge. While we are not getting a puppy, I wanted to get some advice from you. For those of you who have a dog and children, can you tell me what it's been like? What is the hardest part of having a dog in the city especially when you don't have a back yard. And how expensive is it to have a dog?

Thanks for any feedback!

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One thing I've noticed about having dogs now vs. back when I was a kid and dinosaurs roamed the earth is that people spend more on their dogs (cats too). It was extremely unusual when I was a kid to see a dog with a coat, even though I grew up on L.I. where the weather was the same as here and now. Also my parents thought they were indulgent to use Alpo/Purina/whatever basic food rather than the store brand. But almost everyone I know with a dog or cat uses much more expensive food as recommended by their vet. And maybe I'm just lucky but my cat, now 7, hasn't been to the vet since he finished his shots and had his operation. Since he's an indoor cat, there's no need for protection from illnesses he could get outside. He's happy with his Purina cat chow, indoor formula--he didn't like the store brands so I feel indulgent giving him a brand name. But no Iams or Purina 1 or higher-end stuff for us.

But that's just me.

When we got the cat after much begging by my daughter, who was 9 at the time, I agreed with the personal understanding that I had to be ok with taking care of this animal for his natural life. And that's what happened. I won't go for a dog, much as she'd like one (she's 16 now) because I don't want to get stuck taking it out 365 days a year, rain or shine, morning and night.”

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After 2 months of consistently training him, he finally started seeing progress on all fronts! The key is to "be consistent" and avoid punishing the dog. Fast forward several years, and he had become the king of the couch (and the bed).

...and then, our daughter came along. He started to show jealousy by pooping in the apartment. That was frustrating and I admit to yelling at him from time to time. But with extra love and attention, he was able to get over it and started to love the new addition in the family. And despite all of the abuse he gets from my daughter (the pulling of his hair and tail), not once has he ever bit or ever growled at her.

As for expense, I spend $75 in grooming every 6-8 weeks. His food probably costs us $100 a month (including treats), and annual vet check-ups and medication cost another $400 or so a year. Of course, there are always unexpected expenses that pop up. He ingested ice-melting salt last year (which is toxic), resulting in a $500 vet bill. And last month, we spent close to $2500 to treat glaucoma, ultimately removing the eye (he is now a one eyed dog and much more happier than he had been with the glaucoma).
Dog can be expensive, and their care takes time, but no more so than any other family member, and the love they give makes it all worth it.

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I’m all for having a pet with kids. Yes, there's some work involved, but
teaching and modeling caring for a creature is priceless in the raising of
kids, IMO.

We have two rescued pit bulls. One is 14, and I had before kids, and one we
just rescued last year. The rescue process has been super fascinating for
my 7 year old, who is now passionate about rescuing dogs and wants to give
saved allowance to dog rescues. She also participates in helping me keep
the occasional foster puppy, work at adoption events, etc.

I don't think owning a dog has to be as expensive as some make it-- other
than vet, food, and some toys, everything else is optional.

My two cents. FYI- there are some AMAZING BK rescues that are overwhelmed
with unwanted animals, especially after the holidays, sadly. Try BARC or
Sean Casey Animal Rescue to start.

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1. Pets are a family responsibility: everyone has to be on-board
with the idea of bringing them into the family, living with them, and
caring for them.
2. Many people don't consider how long a newly-adopted pet will live,
and whether they will be able to give their mature pet a good and
loving home after 5, 10 or 15 years.

Yes! Adopt a pet for your kids, but get it for yourself, as well.
Remember that YOU will be spending a lot of your time with
it for many years.

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If there's a specific kind of dog you and your family are waiting out for, you can search online at petfinder.org and use any number of filters (age, breed, size, "good w/ kids", etc). The website consolidates a number of rescue organizations, shelters, etc. to show almost any and every dog (or cat) available for adoption. Sean Casey and others post as well, and that way you can search for the dog you want, and then work w/ whatever agency that's caring for the dog to ask about health, vet history, whatever.

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We don’t have a dog because not allowed in our apt but I know Korean K9 Rescue is an all volunteer, non-profit dog rescue group in NY and they seem so passionate. Dogs come from the brutal dog meat trade farms in Korea and are also puppy mill survivors. You can check their Instagram account

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You might also consider fostering a dog. This is a great way to see if a dog might be right for your family or not.

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We got our fantastic mutt Leo from Badass Rescue. Here's what we really like about them: they take dogs from kill shelters in the South and foster them up here in peoples' homes. That means there are real people who get to know these dogs; when you go to a Badass adoption event, you can say "I need a kid-friendly pup," and people will actually know which dogs to introduce you to.

Badass has a wonderful Facebook community too, where you can go for excellent advice and gratuitous pictures of cute dogs.

Badass is a little more expensive than some other options, but we think it was worth it.

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Adopting a dog has so many rewards - I highly recommend it. BUT don't go into it thinking it will be easy. There will be adjustments for everyone and you should plan on potentially budgeting for a dog trainer that has knowledge about animal behavior because there may be particular issues that need addressing (compared to a trainer who helps you teach your dog to sit and stay). A good dog behaviorist can identify what your particular dog needs.

I would say it was a very challenging first couple of weeks and then a challenging 4 months. But you would have challenges with a puppy too.

Also, don't let anyone push you into a dog. Find a dog that is right for your family -- do some research about breeds so you have a general sense of what kind of dog fits your family (ie. a Jack Russell mix is small and might seem good for an apartment but they are VERY energetic so maybe not so good for your family). Be patient and willing to go back to shelters (they get new dogs all the time).

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I want to second Brooklyn Badass. As someone who spent years volunteering in shelters and as a foster and adopter it is very very hard to appreciate how a dog will be at home when you see him at the shelter. They can be in small cages and are extra energetic and anxious from the noise and lack of exercise .... they are not the dog you will be bringing home. It is a very overwhelming experience for you and for the dog you meet. As the previous poster mentioned, because Badass rescue dogs who then go straight into a foster situation you can get a much better idea of how that dog is in his day to day life. You can ask lots of questions that tbe overwrked staff and volunteers at shelters cannot answer in a way the foster parent can.

Good luck in finding your perfect match! It’s an incredible, beautiful thing.

 

 

Dog Adoption Advice Compilation 4.25.18

Dear All,

we are considering adopting a dog, and would like to hear some feedback on rescue places, such as Sean Casey and Bark, that are the ones coming up in searches for Brooklyn.

If anyone has a place to recommend, where they had a positive experience, we would like to have their info - we can go to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens.

We really would like to find the right pet for our family: healthy, compatible with kids (one is 9 year old, one is 17 and almost out of the door), not too big, etc.

Some of the reviews for popular adoption places are scaring me, I do not know how to go about this.

Thank you.

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If there's a specific kind of dog you and your family are waiting out for, you can search online at petfinder.org and use any number of filters (age, breed, size, "good w/ kids", etc). The website consolidates a number of rescue organizations, shelters, etc. to show almost any and every dog (or cat) available for adoption. Sean Casey and others post as well, and that way you can search for the dog you want, and then work w/ whatever agency that's caring for the dog to ask about health, vet history, whatever.
However, if you still wanted to pick an organization first, the ones I know are:
- I've volunteered with Animal Haven in soho, and would recommend going them as a reliable organization that rescues dogs;
- I volunteered for one day w/ Sean Casey as well, and I didn't see anything that would concern me about adopting a dog from that organization.
- Years ago, I adopted a dog from Stray from the Heart -- I loved the dog, but I did feel like the organization (not the volunteer who fostered the dog) purposely waited to tell me the dog was older, and not as healthy as they led me to believe.

It would depend on what you’re looking for in an organization that would give you trust, but I recommend using petfinder to find the right dog, regardless of the organization.

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Hi,
In terms of personal experience with shelters, I used to volunteer at the ACC
(Animal Care Centers). They are contracted by the city so they must take in all stray animals. It is also unfortunately a kill shelter because they are so overcrowded. They have a list every night of the animals on the at risk list, you can check the list and place a hold on an animal you’re interested in. https://m.facebook.com/ACC.OfficialAtRiskAnimals/
They have adoption centers in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island. They also list on their website all of their New Hope partners - these are other rescue groups in the region that take in ACC animals when they can - super helpful to have a list in one place of all of the rescue groups in the city!
https://www.nycacc.org/get-involved/new-hope/nhpartners
I’ve also previously adopted cats from the ASPCA and never had a problem.

You might also consider fostering a dog. This is a great way to see if a dog might be right for your family or not.

Good luck!

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I would highly recommend Animal Care and Control (ACC), the city shelter system. These dogs need homes desperately. While there is a stereotype of the aggressive dog, most of these animals are gentle and relinquished because of the circumstances of their owners.

We adopted a beautiful, gentle Shih-tzu and couldn’t be happier.

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We had a good experience with Sean Casey. We got a dog that was the right size for us (35-30lbs) and low shedding (his fur needs to be groomed/cut rather than a short hair kind of dog). He was traumatized by being in the shelter but Sean Casey did help me a bit with how to handle him. The one critique of I have is that we had a cat and I asked if this dog would be ok with a cat. The way they tested it was to put the dog and a cat in the same room. Neither animal reacted but that was because they were freaked out being in the shelter. Once our adopted dog got comfortable, he went after the cat. In all fairness, you probably can't get a real answer that question unless the dog is being fostered in a private home.

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Hi there!

Just want to say THANK YOU for adopting (oh man I feel like my 15 month old who condescendingly has started patting me on the back .... but I mean it!).

Ps. Statistically larger, black dogs are the most vulnerable (ie least likely to be adopted).

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A lot of the rescue organizations, including the ASPCA (also in upper Manhattan) will do a screening process and take dogs directly from ACC. I got my lovely long unidentifiable mutt sweetheart from Animal Haven in Soho - they were really easy to work with and had a wonderful bunch of sweet pups. It is tempting to recommend going straight to ACC since those dogs are closest to being put down, but I think that going to another no-kill adoption agency will likely be a better experience for your family and will open up a spot for that organization to take another dog out of a kill shelter. I've also heard great things about Sean Casey animal rescue.

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An enthusiastic vote for Brooklyn Badass Animal Rescue!! Everything about the organization is thorough and thoughtful and designed for finding the right match, which is so important for both your family and the dog. Their community of adopters is so helpful when managing day-to-day needs (finding a vet, surprise behaviors or conditions, etc). It’s a rewarding experience overall.

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I want to point out that shelter adoption isn't about the experience provided by the shelter. They aren't there to make sure you have a good or bad one; they are there to rescue dogs. It's up to you to be ready for whatever emotional/logistical challenges this presents. I've adopted from both ACC and a small suburban rescue group and gotten equally amazing dogs from both. (I'm also a Sean Casey neighbor and can't say enough good things about them.)
Good luck! An amazing dog is out there for you somewhere.

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Not sure if anyone mentioned yet Animal Haven in lower Manhattan, but they are a well-regarded no-kill animal shelter bringing in unwanted and abandoned pets from the area, and all over the world. I have seen their facility which is top notch and they have an Instagram feed of their animals, and on there they share success stories (as well as some heartbreaking ones of how specific animals came to them.) I know the Director personally so, happy to make a connection if you like. She can give you excellent advice and even provide a tour of the facility to view the pets up for adoption. It's really a special place!
Good luck!