Why Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog

Two Mixed Breed Siblings Recently Adopted on the sofa in their new Home

Mixed-breed dogs can be some of the most adorable dogs you will meet! They are eager to come home with you and the shelters are full of them.

You should consider adopting a mixed-breed dog as you may literally be saving their life! Many shelters have “kill” policies if a dog has been there too long or the shelter is full. Additionally, mutts who have been placed in a shelter are eager to find a loving home and are very loyal, loving dogs when placed in a caring home.

Why Mixed-Breed Dogs Make Great Pets

Everyone loves puppies and some people want to buy a specific breed with specific traits. However, mutts can be full of delightful surprises due to their endearing qualities. Their engaging and delightful personalities may really surprise you. These dogs have been around the block a few times and can be incredibly grateful when adopted. Be sure to see my post for more on this — “Are Rescue Dogs Grateful?”

Perhaps most importantly, you will be saving a life! Over 1.5 million dogs are euthanized every year in shelters. Shelters get full and often only allow 30 days for a dog to be adopted. Additionally, puppy mills pump out thousands of dogs every year to the detriment of the dogs they breed and treat poorly.

Here are other reasons to adopt a mixed breed from a shelter or rescue group:

  • You may be saving a dog’s life
  • You won’t be supporting puppy mills
  • Mixed breeds may be healthier
  • Mixed breeds live longer
  • Have endearing, unique personalities
  • They may be overlooked for adoption
  • Mutts are loyal, loving, and grateful
  • Less likely to be high strung
  • May have some training and be housebroken
  • You see what you get
  • They will cost less to adopt

Be sure to see my post about why adopting mutts can be better than purebreds for more information as well as Dog Mixed Breed Dogs Live Longer for more information.

Where to Adopt

I have listed some reputable rescue groups that I have researched or become familiar with. But I also urge you to check with your local shelter, as they may have the type of dog you are looking for. And, you may save a dog’s life. Some shelters have a “kill” policy after long stays or when their facility reaches capacity.

You may also be surprised who you fall in love with or feel drawn toward the most when you visit a shelter. Be sure to see my post Everything You Need to Know About Adopting a Rescue Dog for a comprehensive guide.

My links below to organizations are just a sampling. There are many additional organizations that you may also want to work with. Make sure they are a reputable organization registered as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. You can check their status on Guidestar.org which often includes 3 years of tax returns.

One additional note, you should steer away from private groups, especially those online, since they may be puppy mills in disguise. Also, buying a dog from a pet store probably saves that dog’s life. But just know that pet stores usually get their dogs from puppy mills. So, in the long run, don’t support retailers who sell dogs by buying their products.

Two very reputable online services include Petfinders.com and AKC Rescue Network. They can help you find breed-specific dogs of various ages, including puppies and seniors.

Best Friends — Save Them All!

Best Friends is a huge nonprofit that has a platinum rating with GuideStar as well as many other credentials which are listed on their website. They have an extensive network throughout the United States with shelter and foster parent partners to save a variety of animals — primarily cats and dogs. Best Friends invests significant resources into education and advocacy in hopes to have “no kill” policies and legislation by 2025.

They have a huge sanctuary for pets at their southern Utah main site and invite people to visit and bring their dogs.


Every day, more than 950 dogs and cats are killed in America’s animal shelters, just because they don’t have safe places to call home. But every day, there’s something each of us can do to help save those lives. The mission of Best Friends Animal Society is to bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets®. We do this by helping end the killing in America’s animal shelters through building community programs and partnerships all across the nation.

Website: https://bestfriends.org/adopt-and-foster

Best Friends Animal Society
5001 Angel Canyon Road
Kanab, Utah 84741-5000
Phone: 435-644-2001
Alt Phone: 435-688-2327
Email: info@bestfriends.org

Dog adoptions: dogadoptions@bestfriends.org

Animal Rescue League of Iowa

This large $8.5 million nonprofit works to promote the well-being and safety of all animals in need and place pets into forever homes. In 2021, they placed 7,500 pets were adopted and they conducted 805 investigative interventions for pets needing rescue. Their primary service area is Iowa, however, potential out-of-state parents can travel to Iowa to adopt.

They commit significant resources to education and advocacy for the humane treatment of animals and pets. They have a platinum rating from Guidestar; have a 4-star rating with Charity Navigator, and are a BBB Accredited Charity.

Be the Miracle.

Since 1926, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa has helped more than one million pets — every day, every hour, every second, the ARL has been there. Sometimes all they need is a warm bed, a full bowl or a kind touch. Other times they need protection from their abuser, emergency surgery, or reassurance that they are finally safe.

Website: https://www.arl-iowa.org/

Main Phone # (515) 262-9503

Dog Behavior Helpline
(515) 262-9503, ext. 310

Wonder Dog Rescue

Wonder Dog Rescue is listed on Guidestar and has a Gold rating. Formed in 1990, they specialize in rescuing small, older, and special needs dogs and placing them in foster homes to prepare them for adoption. They provide initial medical care and vaccinations and help rehabilitate dogs who were injured or abused.

About Wonder Dog Rescue

Wonder Dog’s current lifesaving mission is a synthesis of 30 years of rescue work. Our founder began in dog rescue in 1990 and started a Boston Terrier rescue in San Francisco. As the organization grew, so also did our ability to help other dogs in need. Today, we rescue all types of small dogs, from 6 weeks to 16 years! All of our dogs live in foster homes while awaiting adoption. There they are given the love and support they need to transition into their forever homes.

We also rescue dogs who are at the greatest risk of euthanasia in the shelters due to medical issues, both physical and emotional. While some of these dogs continue on to being adopted, many remain with us as foster/hospice, or fospice dogs… beloved dogs who need care and compassion at the end of their lives.

Wonder Dog Rescue
PO Box 17
Penngrove, CA

Phone: (415) 621-3647

Dogwood Animal Rescue

Dogwood Animal Rescue has been saving dogs since 2015. Dogs are rescued from all kinds of situations and take them in no matter how sick or injured they may be. They are listed on Guidestar but are not rated. They were voted the best nonprofit in 2022 by the Sonoma Press Democrat.

Dogwood’s Mission:  To support animals and the people who love them through rescue, rehoming, spay/neuter, and education.

Dogwood Animal Rescue Project is a foster-based, mostly volunteer non-profit rescue organization focused on the rescue and placement of animals into safe, nurturing homes. Our goals include providing necessary medical care, ongoing spay/neuter clinics, hands-on nurturing, and placement of the homeless animals of Sonoma County and beyond. Dogwood is continually striving to successfully fulfill our vision to establish programs tailored to assist animals in need by ensuring they find safe, loving homes and receive the medical care necessary to live long and healthy lives.

Website: https://dogwoodanimalrescue.org/

Mailing Address
1415 Fulton Rd Suite 205,Box 432
Santa Rosa, California 95403

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