Pet ownership can be the most rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning, daily effort, and supportive care maintained over a lengthy period of time. Often adopting a shelter pet has the most potential for delivering a far-reaching and positive impact.

What It Means For You

Adopting a shelter pet has pretty straightforward implications on the animal. They get a warm bed, security, tasty meals, and loads of attention and snuggles. Additionally, when they get adopted they free up a bed and a cage, meaning another animal has the chance to find their forever home, too. In other words, the benefits associated with adopting a shelter pet are exponential. Since the shelter system is commonly overburdened, your adoption has increased value to your local community.

Adopting a shelter pet can also bring you the following advantages:

  • Shelter pets are thoroughly evaluated and assessed for behavioral and personality traits before they become available for adoption.
  • Shelter pets are up to date on all their age-appropriate vaccinations, screened for parasites, current with the parasite prevention medication, spayed/neutered, and microchipped.
  • Most shelter pets are potty trained and ready to show you some of their obedience skills.
  • Some shelter pets will come with a written history regarding previous home life, close companions, and known activities.

Know What You Want

Adopting a shelter pet can be done spontaneously with positive results. That said, we recommend taking time to carefully consider the needs of a shelter pet and how you can best provide for them. To influence the best possible outcome, please evaluate the following characteristics of the pet you hope to adopt:

  • Age (remember that senior pets are incredible additions to family dynamics!)
  • Breed
  • Size
  • Overall health
  • Gender
  • Coat
  • Lifestyle
  • Energy levels/social disposition
  • Personality type

Your responsibilities begin long before your shelter pet arrives at home and continue on for as long as they live. Since some pets live for 15-20 years, it is critical imagine your future life and what that might mean for your pet. Knowing exactly what your pet needs is just one way to stop the terribly unfortunate cycle of surrendering animals when they don’t work out in new homes.

Adopting a Shelter Pet

You can approach adoption in several ways. Start by asking the shelter staff questions about the animal’s life and background. Observe the pet in their enclosure with other pets and people, and request special time to introduce yourself to them. Depending on the animal and the shelter, you may be able to take them for a walk or sit in a private room together.

Fostering a shelter pet is a great way to see how you do with an animal in your home. This gives shelter pets a break from the stressful shelter environment, and allows for other pets to reach the shelter floor for potential owners to see them.

If you have questions about fostering or adopting a shelter pet, please give us a call at (724) 444-6600. Our staff is always happy to help you at All Pet Animal Hospital.