Search Menu

New York, NY Spring has arrived, and the warmer months often prove an ideal time for families to add a pet to their homes.  The season can also generate an influx of dogs to shelters as a result of owners who brought home holiday puppies before fully considering the responsibility.  Potential owners should always do their research in advance to see what breed best fits their lifestyle, and when acquiring a dog from a shelter, there are very important questions to ask.

“Adding a dog to your home is a major life decision,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson.  “It’s important to be armed with a checklist of questions so you can be educated on whether a particular dog will be the right pet for you, for the life of the dog.”


The American Kennel Club (AKC®) reveals the responsible and necessary questions to ask a shelter before bringing a new dog into your home.


  • Why is this dog in a shelter?  Was he surrendered by the previous owner, is it a stray, or a rescue?  Why did the owner surrender him?  If he was a stray, where was he found and in what condition?  Is the dog from the local area?  Is the dog here because of an animal cruelty charge against its previous owner?
  • What was the health condition of the dog when he was brought to the shelter?
  • Has this dog been adopted out before?  How long has the dog been in the shelter?
  • What veterinary care has the dog received since arriving at the shelter and can you provide copies of the records?
  • Is the dog housebroken?
  • Does the dog get along well with kids or other pets and how does he act around strangers?
  • Does the dog have suitable good manners that I could take away his food bowl while eating or remove his toy while playing?  What training and socialization has the dog received since entering the shelter?
  • Can he walk calmly on a leash in public or does he need more training?
  • Does this dog require any special medical care, ongoing treatment, dietary restrictions, or additional socialization?
  • Will the shelter take this dog back if it doesn’t work out with my family?


No matter where you decide to get your new pup, potential owners should always ask questions and do their research.  Click HERE to learn how to find a responsible breeder and what you should look for.  If you’re looking to add an adult purebred dog to your home, visit the AKC Rescue Network to find a breed rescue group in your area.

New York, NY – Spring has arrived, and the warmer months often prove an ideal time for families…