Think Before You Adopt
- Dogs, cats and rabbits can live 10–20 years. Some birds can live up to 100 years! Are you willing to care for your pet throughout his or her lifetime?
- Do you know how to housetrain a dog or what to do if your cat or rabbit stops using the litter box?
- Have you considered the cost of food, grooming and regular veterinary care, including yearly vaccinations and check-ups?
- Will you ensure that your pet receives daily exercise?
- Are you prepared to attend training classes to teach your dog basic obedience?
- Will you consult a trainer if your pet exhibits behavior issues?
- Will you license your pet and obey the leash law?
- Have you considered who will care for your pet during vacations or an emergency?
- Will you give your pet love and attention when he or she needs you and not just at your convenience?
Finding Your Friend for Life
If the time is right for you and you are ready for the responsibility of owning an animal, keep these helpful hints in mind:
- Evaluate your needs. Find out what type of dog or cat best suits your lifestyle. Are you active? Do you spend a lot of time at home? Do you have children? Considering these things will help you pick the pet that is best suited for you.
- Visit our pet adoption centers. Don’t shop when you can adopt! Shelters have many dogs and cats to choose from in all shapes and sizes. Did you know 25% of shelter pets are pure breds? Adoption saves lives!
- Questions? Ask the staff! The shelter staff can often tell you the animal’s personality traits, likes, dislikes, temperament, breed and activity level. Keep your options open. A pet doesn’t have to be a puppy or kitten to be a loyal companion. Older animals have a lot to offer. Often times older dogs are already house-broken and leash-trained, and older cats may be litter box trained.
- Patience. It may take awhile to find that perfect pet, so be patient. You may need to visit the pet adoption centers a few times before you find the pet that’s right for you. Remember, it’s a commitment for the lifetime of the pet.
- Decide as a family. You are choosing a new member of the family, so it’s best to decide as a family. Does the pet get along with everyone and how does everyone get along with the pet? Your pet may live as long as 16 or 18 years, so make sure you and your family are prepared for such an important commitment.
We are here to help!
Visit our Pet Library for information on topics like welcoming your new pet home, pet safety, behavior issues, and more! Our pet adoption counselors can also help with any questions you may have or call our call our FREE Animal Behavior Helpline at (888) 772-2521, ext 260.
Adding a new member to your family is a lifetime commitment. Please be sure this is the right decision for you.
Shelter pets' breeds and ages are characterizations based on appearance, and are not meant to indicate or guarantee lifespan, temperament, disposition, lineage or actual breed.