I Want A Purebred Dog.

Did you know that in Florida alone, almost every breed of dog has a rescue group? Volunteers donate their time and money to pull dogs from shelters, vet and foster them with the ultimate goal being to find someone that will want to adopt them. The volunteers also help with fundraising – soliciting for supplies, food and money. They attend community events with the adoptables to help socialize the dogs, give them exposure to the public and potential adopters.

Over the next couple of weekends, several Florida rescue groups are hosting their biggest fundraising events of the year. The money raised for each of these groups will help them care for the dogs currently in their care and to help save more dogs. If you’re thinking of adopting soon, consider visiting one of these events. Talk to some of the volunteers about the work they’re doing. You may find an opportunity to become a foster yourself – kind of a way to “test drive” a dog before actually adopting.

For the Seniors: Friday, November 13 – Wild West Casino Night. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater will be the site of this fun-filled benefit for Canine Estates. Live entertainment, gambling, silent auction, cash bar and hors d’oeuvres. This is a group that pulls smaller senior dogs from high kill shelters and nurses them back to health. To read more about what they do, visit www.CanineEstates.com

For the Corgis: Saturday, November 14 – Florida Corgi Picnic. Paradise Luxury Pet Resort in Palm Bay. Proceeds will benefit Corgi Aid. Visit http://www.CorgiAid.org for more information.

For the Dalmatians: Saturday, November 14 – Fall FestiDAL (formerly known as Dal-loween). Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill, 1320 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg hosts the rescue group, Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay. Silent auctions, drawings, games and doggie costume contest. Classic firetrucks. Live music. Nail clipping booth for the dogs. Oh, and Dal-licious treats. For more information, email DalDogEvents@msn.com or visit http://daretorescue.com

For the Boxers: Saturday, November 14 – Chili Cook-off. Second Chance Boxer Rescue Ranch, 6106 W. Knight’s Griffin Rd., Plant City. www.SaveABoxer.org

For the Poodles: Wednesday, November 18 – 2nd Annual Puttin’ On The Poodle. Michael’s On East, 1212 S. East Avenue in Sarasota will host Florida Poodle Rescue during this luncheon benefit. There will be an auction, shopping and lots of fun. Visit www.FloridaPoodleRescue.org

For the Dachshunds: Saturday, November 21 – 10th Annual Dox-A-Palooza. Sun-N-Fun Event Pavilion, 4175 Medulla Road, Lakeland. Billed as a “wienerful opportunity” to make a difference in the lives of fostered, adoptable Dachshunds. This festival-like event gets bigger every year and includes the ever-fantastic Wiener Races. Put on by the volunteers of D.A.R.E. – Dachshund Adoption Rescue And Education. Visit their website at www.DareToRescue.com

For the Boxers: Sunday, December 13 – 15th Annual Boxer Bash, hosted by Florida Boxer Rescue. The theme is Winter Wonderland and it all takes place at Wishing Well Barn, 4302 Pippin Road, Plant City. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, call 888.612.5782. This group has rescued and re-homed more than 4500 Boxers. For more information visit www.FLBR.org

The reasons people want to bring a dog into their homes are plentiful and varied – from teaching our children responsibility to wanting a companion. As the holidays approach, our wishes sometimes overtake common sense. The thought of watching a loved one unwrap a puppy or kitten might seem romantic or adorable. Sometimes, we succumb to the pressure of wanting to make someone so happy that we’ll seek out a solution that is not always the best choice. Please, don’t be tempted to buy a puppy from a store, when there are so many good dogs, puppies, cats and kittens available for adoption at shelters and rescue groups. Just visit the RESCUE page at The New Barker website to see a list of some of the shelters and rescue groups in Florida.