You are hereAdopting a Pet from an Animal Shelter or Humane Society / Reply to comment
Reply to comment
Animal shelters are filled to overflowing with adoptable pets that would make excellent companions. It's a myth that only "problem pets" end up at shelters; pets are turned in for many reasons including lack of pet-friendly housing, owners with health issues that prevent them from properly caring for their pets, and people who adopted an animal without fully realizing what was involved in its care.
If you are thinking of adding a pet to your household, visit your local shelter or humane society to visit with the pets currently available for adoption. Not only will you gain a great friend, you'll also save a life!
- Ask questions. Successful adoptions start with understanding the responsibilities of caring for a pet. This includes, among other things:
> Financial commitments, especially if the pet has a medical condition that needs extra care;
> Time commitments. For instance, living with a Jack Russell Terrier puppy is much different than living with an elderly cat. Puppies (and even adult dogs) also need training and socialization.
> Breed education. Persons with limited mobility, for example, may find it difficult to provide sufficient exercise for a border collie or other active breed.
- Get the pet's history. If the animal came in as a stray, the shelter probably won't have much information on it other than any behaviour assessments that may have been done. Owner-surrendered pets, however, may have a more comprehensive history provided by the previous owner.
- Consider an older pet. There are few things cuter than a wriggling, kissing puppy or a tiny little fluffball of kitten... but they all grow up! With older pets, you can see their adult personality, size, and appearance. Older pets also tend to be calmer, some have already had training, and they bond well with a new family.
- If adopting a dog, ask the shelter staff if they will allow your existing dogs to meet the new dog prior to finalizing the adoption. This will help you to assess whether they can succesfully live together.
- Do not give a pet as a gift, regardless of how much you know the intended recipient loves animals. Lifestyle choices, personal circumstances, and financial matters can all play into whether or not an animal lover wants a pet of their own. Remember, it's the animal who pays the ultimate price if he becomes an "unwanted pet".
- All the members of your household should meet the new pet prior to deciding on adoption.
- Ask what is included with the adoption. Most shelters will vaccinate pets when they arrive, and spay or neuter them prior to releasing them to their new homes.
- Take some time to think it over. A pet is a lifelong commitment!
© Copyright 2006, Pet Friendly Canada. All Rights Reserved.
Hotels, motels, resorts, and cottages for the whole family - pets included!
To request reprint permission please contact us.