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person in had reading in grass next to napping terrier mix

Let’s celebrate our favorite fuzzy friends! Have you thought about adding a dog to your family? Here’s some things to consider: 

Adoption vs. Fostering

Adoption saves the lives of many dogs that would otherwise be put to sleep in shelters due to space issues. Instead of buying a dog from a pet shop or a breeder, adopting them from a shelter or rescue is much more beneficial for the dogs and the owners. It ensures a second chance for the animal, and it is more affordable for a person or family. However, if permanently adding another member to the family is not what a family needs, another option is fostering. 

Fostering saves even more lives. When people and families take in foster dogs they are giving them a chance to find forever-homes while staying in a safe and nurturing environment. This is especially important for dogs who have been abused, neglected, and/or abandoned. Foster families provide the social and mental support these dogs need to become used to normal interactions and environments. Because fostering is temporary, one family can help many dogs find good homes, instead of just one or two. 

Babysitter Breeds Photo of puppy next to children's blocks spelling out "FOSTER."

Some families decide to focus on helping discriminated breeds, also called “babysitter” breeds, which include: 

  • Pit Bulls/Bull Terriers

  • Dobermans 

  • Rottweilers 

  • Boxers 

  • German Shepherds 

  • Mastiffs 

There's evidence that “babysitter” or “nanny” breeds were kept to babysit and protect young children in the 18th and 19th centuries. Unfortunately, due to incidents of children being hurt or bitten (little children should never be left alone with any animal), some nanny breeds were later targeted, exploited, and trained for use in illegal fighting for profit. Therefore, these breeds are now unkindly labeled as aggressive and dangerous as a whole. Several states and many municipalities in the U.S. have laws that regulate or even ban the above and similar breeds based on biting/attack reports. But these laws can actually create more problems than provide solutions. It’s more effective (and less discriminatory) to track and regulate reported dogs individually, while also cracking down on dog fight rings and breeding mills. 

Just as with people, individual dogs can be aggressive or irritable, but it’s unfair to generalize and label entire breeds as such. Overall, dog breeds are not susceptible to any specific behaviors, some are just better at hunting/retrieving (hounds), or swimming (water dogs), or guarding/alerting (terriers), etc.

Consider giving these wonderful dogs a second chance by adopting and fostering them, and possibly entrusting your family and kids with them like they used to be! 

Learn More: 

Kids' books

Kids's ebooks


Adoption: ASCPA ; BARC - City of Houston

Breed specific legislation: AVMAASPCA ; Humane Society

Fostering: ASCPA ; BARC - City of Houston ; Houston Humane

Nanny dogs/Best dogs for kids: Chasing Tails ; Pet Helpful ; HGTVRomper 



Don't forget to look at the adoptable animals from the Harris County Animal Shelter at I've fostered 6 dogs and adopted 2 from there. Shelter dogs are the best!

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