MuttDecember 2nd was National Mutt Day. Three out of four of the million plus dogs who pass through shelters each year are considered mixed breed dogs. Almost 30% of pet owners acquire their pets from shelters and can attest to the fact that second hand dogs are some of the best. But how can you tell which one is right for you?

If you know your dog must have a knack for scoring over 175 at AKC Obedience Trials or absolutely needs to track a dead duck through a frozen pond, then you may want to get on the waiting list with a breeder of fine Labrador Retrievers. But if you can accept fair marks and a tennis ball from the yard, a mixed breed dog will provide you with a range of dog behaviors you are looking for. Don’t let the lack of family documents get between you and your canine soul mate. Do you really know who your great-great-grandmother’s cousins were? Right, it doesn’t matter.

That’s where generalists come in. It’s possible to find a beautiful golden dog with a white blaze who actually enjoys sitting by the fireside while you read a good book. The key to your quest is working with experienced shelter and rescue professionals. These people have a knack for seeing what a particular dog really needs and finding people who need that, too. You may marvel at the long questionnaires called adoption applications but this is one of the tools used to make the matches that last a lifetime. If you are looking for a rescue or shelter near you, check out our listing by zip code. None of these groups pays us to be on the list and we don’t ask you to support us financially. We just want to help more people find the pet of their dreams or a rescue group they can support in any way they see fit, including adopting, volunteering or donating to their cause.