Rescue organizations offer a great option to pug lovers who are looking to adopt a puppy, adult or an older dog.

Pugs are a lively, affectionate breed of dog. They’re often described with the Latin phrase multo in parvo,” which literally means “a lot of dog in a little space” – an accurate description for most pugs, which tend to have really big personalities. The breed is also known as a “Carlin” or “Mop.”

“Pugs are a unique breed. They don’t realize they’re a toy breed – they have the personality of a large dog. I always say they’re big dogs in spirit and personality. Most are very outgoing, and friendly and independent, unlike the stereotypical toy dog that’s curled up in a purse, shivering and nervous,” explained Geno Storey, a longtime pug owner.

Benefits of Adopting From a Pug Rescue Group

A pug puppy can literally go for hundreds of dollars when purchased from a breeder. And while purchasing a puppy from a breeder does have its advantages — AKC papers, the experience of raising a little one, and selectivity concerning the animal’s lineage – there are many advantages to adopting from a rescue.

“Rescue pugs, like many other rescued pets, seem to know that you’ve saved them. There’s this gratitude that you feel from the rescued dog that you don’t usually experience with a puppy from a breeder,” Storey added. This is a sentiment that many pet owners share.

There are literally dozens of pug rescue organizations that exist solely to find loving homes for this breed. And contrary to popular belief, these dogs are in no way “defective” or “damaged goods” In fact, most pets land at an animal shelter or with a rescue group due to unfortunate circumstances, like the death of an owner, financial problems or a family’s move to a home that does not permit pets.

Consider Adopting From a Breed-Specific Rescue

Consider Adopting From a Breed-Specific Rescue

Many purebred dogs who are brought to animal shelters are often transferred to breed-specific rescue groups – a common maneuver to make for a less stressful adoption process (since rescues typically utilize foster homes instead of a traditional shelter facility.) What’s more, these placements are more apt to be permanent since there is often a comprehensive application and interview process. Many pets act very differently in a stressful shelter environment. You’re more apt to see the animal’s real personality in a less-stressful foster home setting.

There are cases when a rescue pug has special physical needs or behavioral problems, but organizations are virtually always up-front about the animal’s needs, disabilities or “problem areas.” After all, the rescue’s goal is to place the pet in the best-possible “forever home,” and saddling an unwitting owner with a “problem child” is not in line with that goal.

Many of the pugs available for adoption via rescues are adults, but there are also puppies and adolescents available as well. Potential pug owners are cautioned that this breed — like virtually all toy dogs — can be difficult to train, and therefore, adopting an already-trained adult has its distinct benefits!

“Pug dogs have many wonderful qualities, but they are a stubborn lot. And like many toy breeds, they can be difficult to housebreak,” Storey explained, adding, “Another big benefit to adopting an adult — something that many people don’t realize — is that you know exactly what you’re getting into. With a pug puppy — or any other puppy for that matter — you don’t know what that animal will be like as an adult and there’s a lot of responsibility associated with this because his experiences as a youngster will determine the type of dog he becomes as an adult. With an adult, his personality and temperament are already formed and most rescue pugs who are available for adoption are already trained to some degree. It’s a win-win situation for both pet and owner.”

Many homeless pugs are elderly, but fortunately, this is one breed that tends to age well. They’re prone to arthritis, as is the case for all older animals, but as a breed, they are not predisposed to any serious conditions in their golden years. What’s more, as a toy breed, pugs have a lifespan expectancy of 12 to 16 years. So even if you adopt a so-called “senior” (this breed is considered a senior citizen at age nine), there’s a good possibility that you will have five, seven or more years with your four-legged friend.

Benefits of Adopting From a Pug Rescue Group

Benefits of Adopting From a Pug Rescue Group

Requirements to Adopt a Dog From a Rescue Group

Since rescue organizations are seeking “forever homes” for their homeless animals, the screening process tends to be fairly comprehensive. The requirements often include:

  • Proof of home ownership or written permission from a landlord;
  • Phone interviews with references;
  • Information on all other animals in the home;
  • Proof of income;
  • Written proof of vaccination for your other pets;
  • A home visit to verify that you have a fenced yard and to ensure the home is a safe environment for the animal; and
  • A meeting between the pug and the other pets in your home to ensure compatibility.

Many organizations will also conduct a phone interview with your veterinarian to ensure your other pets are up-to-date on vaccinations and to get an idea of your tendencies as a pet owner. Do you bring your pets to the veterinary clinic for yearly wellness checks? If your pet gets sick or injured, are you apt to bring him to the clinic in a timely manner?

Also, it’s not uncommon for an organization to establish special criteria for a specific animal. For instance, many dogs are not good with men or children, so the rescue may opt to place that pet in a home with a single childless woman. The group may seek an owner who is retired or works at home in the case of a dog who experiences separation anxiety or a physical disability like paralysis. Some dogs don’t get along with other canines, so a rescue may only consider homes where the pug would be an only pet in the household. In short, rescues will seek a home that’s most suitable for a particular animal’s needs and personality.

There is usually an adoption fee, though it’s usually just a fraction of what you would pay for a pug puppy. A $100 to $300 fee is typical. Expect to pay more for a younger dog.

Requirements to Adopt a Dog From a Rescue Group

Requirements to Adopt a Dog From a Rescue Group

Finding a Pug Rescue Organization

There are many pug rescue groups in existence in the United States, Canada and beyond.

One way to locate a local pug rescue organization is to visit one of the many websites dedicated to listing breed-specific rescue group information by state and region. Consider visiting one of these sites:

  • — This site features links by state and by country for the United States, Canada and Australia.
  • — This site lists pug rescue groups by state and region for the United States, Canada and the U.K.

Pugs are also often available for adoption in animal shelters across the country.

Pug | Dogs 101