General Information
Dogs enjoy living in a group which helps them fit right into a human household. If you are considering adopting a dog, think about how your family or living situation may change over time. Big family changes are one of the most common causes for dogs losing their homes. 

Ask about training and behavior
If you picture yourself hiking and camping with a new canine companion you'll be looking for a completely different dog than if you plan to sit by the fire and read books while your dog rests beside you. Consider the energy level and interests of dogs you consider adopting and make sure they are a match for you. Some dog trainers assist adopters in choosing the right pet. Mixed breed dogs may resemble 1 breed, but have behavior of another. Selecting a dog based on his appearance can be a sound idea, as long as you aren't attracted to a tall, dark, handsome type that's wrong for you. Always consider the dog's temperament and skills as well as his appearance.

Common Reasons Dogs Lose Their Homes
Animal shelters* and rescue** groups understand that dogs lose their homes when families undergo big changes; moving, loss of income, and new babies. But dogs also loose their homes when they don't get the training they need. Be prepared for the dog you adopt.

Do you have more questions? Please view the ASPCA's links to experts in your area.  

Animal Shelters
*Some governments contract with local charities or humane groups to run their animal care programs such as Washington and Carroll Counties do. Frederick County runs its own shelter in conjunction with 24 hour emergency response for animals in distress or threatening the well being of a citizen.

Rescue Groups
**Rescue Groups are private charities that house homeless animals in individual homes while they await adoption.Rescue groups may specialize in 1 or 2 types of pets. If you have a favorite breed of dog, your local shelter can refer you to a rescue group or contact the American Kennel Club for the Breed Club or Rescue Group nearest you.