Mutts have long been slighted by the pet industry in favor of glitzier, pricier purebred pooches. For some of these pups, not having purebred cachet can hold life-threatening consequences. Indeed, about 75 percent of dogs in the approximately 5,000 dog shelters nationwide are mixed-breed dogs, according to the ASPCA. An average of sixty percent of those dogs will be euthanized.
If those statistics alone don't make all you prospective dog owners want to rescue a mutt from your local shelter today, maybe economic sense will melt your icy heart. Consider this: mixed-breed dogs are generally less expensive to bring into your homes than their purebred peers. Adopting a mutt also means befriending a one-of-a-kind dog, and often saving a beautiful, spunky pup's life. And what could be sweeter than that? If you still need convincing that mutts are awesome, try arguing that to these 26 lovable canines:
1. Meet Sergeant Pepper.
These freckles give this adopted cattle dog mix a near-lethal dose of adorability.
2. This is Smokey Franco the "pithound."
4. He's a "Newfweiler."
5. Say "awww" to Bandit.
We could make a few guesses about his lineage (we suspect he's got some greater Swiss mountain dog in him.) But we know one thing for sure: He'll steal your heart...
6. This scruffy gent is Dusty.
Dusty's a mystery mutt with tiny, cute little snowflake spots on his snout.
7. Give it up for Browni!
8. Meet Crowder.
Crowder's a mutt with a muttstache.
9. This guy's name is Dallas.
Dallas is an albino mutt, shown here shortly after being rescued.
10. There's something special about this handsome polka-dotted mutt.
The owner notes that one of the pup's parents is a mix between a Catahoula leopard dog and a pit bull. The rest of the dog's genetic makeup is unclear, but the resulting cow patch design is the cutest thing we've ever seen.
11. This is Ash.
12. What's up, Finn?
With puppy-dog eyes like that, who cares what breed he is?
13. This is Padme.
Don't look too long, these eyes are hypnotizing.
14. Give Rupert a virtual high five.
This young Chihuahua mix is lookin' pretty fly at the MaxFund No-Kill Animal Shelter and Adoption Center in Denver.
15. Meet the happiest mutt in the whole entire world.
Has a canine ever before known such pure glee?
16. Hellooooooo Truman.
Truman, meet a million swooning humans...
17. This is Spice.
He's a million different shades of canine royalty.
18. Say "Howdy!" to Major.
19. Here's Buddy, sporting his beard.
A picture-perfect mutt with a name like Buddy is every reason anybody should ever own a dog.
20. Pilot knows how to get his way.
He also looks good in any pattern.
21. Meet Pigeon.
Pigeon's owner discovered this dog in a dumpster. Pigeon went on to win hundreds of hearts, we presume.
22. This is Vince.
We suspect Vince has some Labrador ancestry. The dog was adopted seven years ago after his previous owner abandoned him on the side of the road. When it comes to mutts, sometimes the best things in life are free.
23. Say "Aloha!" to Jessie!
24..... & 25. Meet the cutest, snuggliest mutts you've ever seen.
Puppy love at its finest.
26. Meet Gus.
Bonus! These 19 adorably awkward mixed breed dogs will make you love mutts even more.