How To Adopt a Pet
Adopting a pet, whether its a dog, cat, or something small and furry, can be a wonderful thing to do. You are providing for an animal in need, and in return you can be rewarded with a faithful companion. While adopting a pet is a noble pursuit, it is more complex then just plunking down your credit card at a local pet store. Prospective pet owners generally will need to be approved by the shelter. Here are some tips that can help you through the process.
Find a shelter in your area and call them at least a few days before you want to adopt your pet. Find out what their hours are, and plan to get there at least an hour before they close. How much time you will need to select and get comfortable with your adoptee will depend on what kind of pet you are adopting. Obviously a horse will require more time then a hamster.
If you are looking for a spefic breed you may need to call around to multiple shelters. Its also best to ask the shelter if there is a best day to come. Sometimes shelters will have more animals available at certain times.
Make sure to ask the shelter what you will need to provide at the time of adoption. Almost all shelters will want valid photo id, and some sort of verification that you can provide a proper home for your new pet.
Shelters will generally require a fee or donation when you pick up your pet. When pets are brought into a shelter they must be checked for any health conditions and vaccinations. Your fee/donation goes to pay for this and the boarding of the animals. If you can it is nice to donate above the minimum fee. Most shelters are non-profit and work on a shoe-string budget.
What else you need to bring to the shelter depends on what type of pet your are looking to adopt. If its small, bring some sort of carrier or cage. If its a larger dog, bring a collar and leash.
When you arrive at the shelter, the staff will help you find pets that fit what you are looking for. When you find a candidate for adoption, ask the staff to let you take it out of its cage and if appropriate take it for a walk. If you already have pets at home, its a good idea to bring your pet with you to see how they react to you potential new family member.
When you have decided on your pet, the staff will guide you through the paperwork and process. If you have not brought the proper stuff to take your pet home, or have not yet prepared your home, ask the shelter to hold the pet for a day while you properly ready yourself for your new pet.
If you are having trouble finding a spefic breed or type, ask the shelter if they have a call list they could put you on.
Congratulations and thank your for saving an animal.