NORMAN — Dear Dr. Fox: I find myself in search of a 1- or 2-year-old dog to adopt and bring into my heart. I have always had purebreds, so I thought this would be the time to help. Well, so far it’s for naught. I found a dog on a rescue website and he was a thousand miles away, so I had him driven up, only to find out he had been misrepresented. He had severe separation anxiety and acted like he had never been in a house. He kept trying to get out a window, so I made the decision to send him back and lose the transport fee.
That is my problem: All the dogs advertised locally seem to be in Texas or elsewhere. Is that what it’s come to — having to choose a companion from a photo and phone call? Then the rescue groups expect you to deal with all the animal’s issues, and it’s your fault if it fails. Dogs in local pounds have not been tested like those in foster homes, so I don’t really want to bring in a dog I cannot trust.
Please help. Is there a better solution to my wanting a mutt? This cannot be good for the poor dogs.
— L.W., Pawcatuck, Conn.
Dear L.W: First of all, I appreciate your dedication to rescuing a dog. It sounds like your first experience was with a puppy-mill breeder’s dog who spent all his or her life in a cage or pen and was never properly socialized. As I document in my book “Inhumane Society: The American Way of Exploiting Animals,” these commercial puppy breeding operations are an abomination and should be outlawed. But money rules in this culture of mammon, so I advise all prospective dog owners to adopt from the shelter or visit a local, in-home breeder to see the facilities and the pups’ parents. Never buy online or from a pet store.