The term “designer dog” seemed to gain momentum about the time Paris Hilton was so frequently photographed with her Chihuahua in her hand bag. She didn’t invent the dog as accessory phenomenon, but her visibility may have planted a seed in some admirer’s minds. The idea of dressing up tiny dogs- or placing them in in hand bags is not new, and as long as the dog’s safety and overall health are considered first, it is left to opinion as to whether this is right or wrong. (It has been reported that prolonged practice of carrying a dog in a hand bag can lead to insufficient bone development, hair loss and anti-social behavior.) But, here’s the thing. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to have a pint-sized companion or other pure bred dog! Is it hip, or cool, or chic to buy an expensive pure-bred dog from a breeder? I’d argue it is far more impressive, impactful and interesting to adopt a pure-bred dog through a rescue.

A rescue exists for pretty much every breed of dog imaginable. The long-held, commonly embraced notion that only mixed breeds, strays, or dogs with problems populate shelters and rescues is just incorrect. Those who know better need to continue to enlighten others about the truth. These kinds of dogs can be found in shelters, it is true, but the great news is rescue groups nationwide are also breed-specific. It is so common for people to be resolute and fiercely devoted to a particular breed of dog. Many of the pure bred dogs end up homeless for the same reason their mixed canine counter parts do- they become inconvenient, too old, or require some patience or training to name just a few reasons. In addition to these kinds of excuses, pure-breds often end up in shelters and rescues as collateral of backyard breeding and casual breeding. This motivation to make money, by breeding dogs people feel they can sell, often ends up with boxes of puppies being dropped off at shelters because no homes can be found. Some are dumped simply because the coat color hoped for wasn’t right or they were slightly bigger or smaller than anticipated. The right dog already exists for you in a rescue or shelter, despite its pedigree.

Here are a few breed specific rescues from around the country. Some arrange cross-country adoptions and some work locally, however, the internet can be a good tool to at least begin the search for the adoption of a deserving dog. It is always best to be able to meet a dog before committing to a lifetime of care for a new canine family member.

www.RAGMOM: Retrieve a Golden of MN. So. Cal Dachshund Relief Inc. National Maltese and Small Dog Rescue Alliance German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County Bichons and Buddies