Most often, you’ll find “Heinz 57” varieties of pets at the pound. Mix-breeds benefit from a genetic bonus called “hybrid vigor.”

This refers to a state of health that is generally superior due to a mixing of less similar gene pools, which significantly minimizes the potential for the manifestation of negative traits.

Sign up for our newsletter!

* indicates required

Such traits could include hip dysplasia, epilepsy, allergies, aggression, and so on. Basically, a mix-breed will often be healthier than a purebred counterpart.

But if you’ve got an attachment to a particular breed, there are plenty of purebred animals in the unwanted/discarded group.

My sister volunteered at the Houston SPCA and was helping find a home for a timid, but friendly “Sweet Pea,” an 8-year-old schnauzer whose family gave her up because where they wanted to live didn’t allow pets. She was obviously a wonderful little dog, and I hope some loving person took her home.

Another place to look for a purebred in need of a home is with breed rescue clubs.

These groups of people are just plain folk with a love for a particular breed who have made a mission of finding and helping any in need. They operate from donations and often their own pocketbooks to do their good work. The Dallas County Veterinary Medical Association provides a current list of these groups yearly to member veterinarians – just call your vet’s office for information.

And speaking of veterinarians, they, too, are a great source for a new pet. Most of us always have some sort of stray rescue that a kind client brought in. This week, we’ve got a wonderful shepherd mix we call “Cookie.” As soon as we treat her heartworm disease, we’re going to find her a good home (I’ve already got somebody in mind!)

This spring alone, I’ll bet we’ve moved about six to seven litters of kittens into new homes, and placed another several dogs and pups. So don’t forget to check your friendly veterinarian’s office – you can most often be assured of a healthy, well-socialized creature. And your pet will have VIP status after an adoption from us!

Don’t forget to consult your veterinarian, as well, when considering a new pet. We can help with decisions from what kind of animal is best to when is a good time to adopt or what to expect from different backgrounds. I’m always happy to help.