Call me a Jewish matchmaker of the furry kind - I fix up friends and relatives with popular breeds of dogs as often as a request finds its way to me. Here's the best news: nobody has to clean out their bank account to find the wet-nosed love of their life.
That's because the extensive network of breed-specific agencies seeking homes for pre-loved pedigree dogs is huge and active and it matters not where you live. You can get the dog of your dreams for around the same amount of cash it costs to adopt a mixed breed dog from a shelter and you can even specify the breed you desire.
I began my matchmaking hobby decades ago when friends shared their experiences adopting Italian Greyhounds and Whippets. I had no idea there was any way to get a pure bred dog other than by plunking down thousands of dollars and counting on a breeder to deliver a healthy puppy in return for a sum that equaled a nice down payment on a car.
That's how I learned that for the same fee one pays to adopt a shelter dog - from $100 to $300 - one can get a rescued pedigree-bearing canine from both for-profit and non-profit breed-specific agencies, clubs and shelters situated around the nation.
If you're searching for a dog, I don't have to tell you how much a pure breed dog costs. Forbes' magazine contributor Allen St. John crunched the numbers while searching for his Golden Retriever and encountered price tags ranging from $500 to $3,000.
Everything depends upon bloodlines, so dogs with the steepest price tags tend to have award-winning ancestors. Think the British royal family on four legs.
According to the website Pet Yak.com, the formula for pricing a pure bred dog is complex and may even be determined by the number of pups in a litter! Breeders feeding and caring for big litters until they can be sold spend a fortune and that can passed along. It's a business, after all. And it's not uncommon for designer dog breeders in high-income areas to charge more, too.
So, where do you go to find hundreds of pure-breed dog rescue agencies, clubs and societies across the U.S.? Start by researching rescue societies in your state. A search, for example, of Chicago-area pure bred rescue resources turned up adoptable Australian Shepherds, Bassets, Border Collies, Boston Terriers, Cocker Spaniels -- six adorable Cockers the day we searched -- Dalmatians, Dobermans -- and that only covers alphabet letters A to D. Include the rest of Illinois in the search and options increase.
Need a starting place? Check out listings posted by the American Kennel Club's Breed Rescue site (www.akc.org/breeds/rescue.cfm), but expect to spend lots of time browsing; you might not believe your eyes when you see how many breeds are represented.
Whether you're looking for an Airedale in Arizona, Missouri, Kentucky, Minnesota or Mississippi, want to check out all 23 branches of the American English Coonhound rescue network stretching from California to New York or you plan to winnow down your search to the 80 Basset Hound rescue groups blanketing America, if you can't find what you're looking for at a price you can afford on the AKC rescue site, maybe you should think about a cat.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
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