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A look at local rescue groups dedicated to finding purebreds their forever homes |

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A look at local rescue groups dedicated to finding purebreds their forever homes

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- In recent years, there's been an emphasis on rescuing a dog rather than buying one from a backyard or unlicensed breeder.

But what if you have your heart set on a certain one? Can you find a purebred in a rescue group?

With a little research and some patience, the answer is: yes.

One playful pup ended up in a rescue just a few days after she was born. Owners surrender dogs of all ages for all different reasons.

"They no longer live in the house, going into a hospital, an elderly person who might be going into a nursing home and really can't take the dog," said Lora Van Epp of Las Vegas Doberman and Dachshund Rescue.

She used to show and breed Dobermans. Now, she helps them find homes through the rescue.

"Most of them are very attractive," Van Epp told 8 News Now. "Unless you were an expert dog show person and going to Westminster, you wouldn't know the difference between them and any other dog."

That's the case with most breed-specific rescues. They're beautiful dogs who just need another chance.

Local shelters seem to have the same type of dogs over and over. Chances are, that Golden or Yorkie you're looking for has already been claimed by their breed rescue group -- and you may never even see them.

"So, if somebody comes in with a Cocker, it's full Cocker," shared Michelle Leoni of the Cocker Spaniel Recovery Foundation. "I usually get the call, 'We have a dog here, owner surrender. Can I give them your number?' Absolutely. And that's how it's been going on."

Like most rescues, the foundation has more time to evaluate a dog and vet an adopter. You'll need to apply, pay an adoption fee and be willing to have a home check.

"I personally do a lot of the home visits myself," Leoni said. "I sit down, talk to the client. I ask them questions."

Van Epp explained, "We try to figure out what their lifestyle is. Who lives in their house? What kind of temperament and size and energy level would be good?"

With these groups, you'll have someone experienced with that breed helping you succeed at becoming a forever family.

"It gives you the benefit of the new forever home," Van Epp said. "People, they get a nice dog who just needs a little tune-up."

There are dozens upon dozens of rescue groups in Southern Nevada. Most don't have puppies, but sometimes, you get lucky.