Animal Rescue of New Orleans: Find the perfect pet at the shelter

Photo provided by ARNO -- Trouble is a sweet fawn and white pit bull mix who was rescued recently by ARNO after his owner decided she was tired of having a dog and gave him to a parish shelter. He is good with infants, children and other dogs and seems to like rides in the car. The adoption fee is $150 and includes neuter, shots, a chip and heartworm treatment, if needed. He is crate-trained. For more info contact adoptfromarno@yahoo.com.
Photo provided by ARNO -- Trouble is a sweet fawn and white pit bull mix who was rescued recently by ARNO after his owner decided she was tired of having a dog and gave him to a parish shelter. He is good with infants, children and other dogs and seems to like rides in the car. The adoption fee is $150 and includes neuter, shots, a chip and heartworm treatment, if needed. He is crate-trained. For more info contact adoptfromarno@yahoo.com.

I often hear people say they want a specific breed of dog or a puppy and that is why they must buy a dog from a breeder or a pet store. I will never understand the misconception that you cannot get a great pet and even exactly what you are looking for at a shelter.

The fact is, shelters have dogs of all ages, shapes, sizes and breeds — yes, even purebred dogs. What’s more, there are even breed-specific rescues that only work with a certain breed, such as the Louisiana Boxer Rescue or It’s a Grey Area Greyhound Adoption, just to name a couple.

I am a Shih Tzu lover. Over the past few years, I have seen more purebred Shih Tzus, even small puppies, come through Animal Rescue of New Orleans in Elmwood than I thought possible. If I did not have a husband, I would have at least 10 dogs!

At ARNO, we have all types of dogs, from puppies to seniors. And while we have a good share of the classic, good ole mutt, we also have lots of popular breeds.

These include cocker spaniels, poodles, Maltese, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, boxers, huskies, pit bulls, shepherds, chows, Jack Russell terriers, Labrador retrievers and many, many more!

If you’re more of a cat person, we have a large selection of gorgeous cats, again from kitten to senior.

All of our animals are given love and affection while at our shelter, in addition to personal attention so that we can learn their personalities in order to make a great match with an adopter.

We evaluate to see if they are kid/dog/cat friendly, can tell you if they are crate trained, walk well on a leash and try to get them into foster homes to get used to living in a home setting before being adopted. A number of our large dogs have gone through obedience training.

Municipal shelters also take in wonderful dogs on a daily basis that are looking for forever homes. Shelter dogs are not rejects — in fact, they usually turn out to be the best pets you’ll ever own.

Most animals show up in a shelter through no fault of their own and are waiting for someone to give them the loving home they deserve.

Another bonus of adopting a pet from a shelter is that they come spayed or neutered, with their shots and microchips.

So the next time you are in the market for a new pet, make a visit to your local shelter. I promise you will fall in love and the rewards of saving a life are ample! If you are looking for a specific bred, check out http://www.petfinder.com/ and type in your ZIP code and the breed you are interested in and you can see a sample of what is available for adoption in your area.

SPCA SPECIAL: The LA/SPCA kicks off the celebration of its 125th anniversary by reducing adoption fees for cats/kittens or large dogs (more than 40 pounds) to $25. The promotion will run through Aug. 29 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week at the LA/SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., Algiers.

Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a 501c3 nonprofit. ARNO operates a volunteer-based, no-kill shelter in the Elmwood Industrial section of Jefferson Parish and depends upon the generosity of people from all over the country who have followed them since Katrina. Contact ARNO at arno.advocate@gmail.com, http://www.animalrescueneworleans.org, or leave a message at (504) 571-1900.