So you've decided to adopt a pet -- congratulations! Once you have done your research and decided which type of pet is best for your lifestyle, now it’s time to officially begin your search! Remember, while puppies and kittens are adorable, adult cats and dogs are most likely already potty trained. In addition, many adoptable adult pets know (or can quickly learn) basic training commands. Adult cats are still playful, but also enjoy cuddle time and relaxation. Now the really fun part -- finding and adopting your next pet!
A good place to start your pet search is right in your home, on the Internet. Visit sites such as rescue sites, type in your zip code and kaboom! You will be able to view hundreds of local adoptable rescue pet photos, descriptions and videos right at your fingertips. This is a great place to start your search. You can also check out the days/hours of operation of your local humane societies and county pounds with a quick online Google Search. The Greene County Animal Shelter, for example, is open for adoptions Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and weekends from Noon to 4 p.m. Many local pet supply stores such as PetSmart feature numerous adoptable rescue and shelter pets that you can visit and consider adopting each weekend too.
Be prepared find out the following basic information before adopting a pet:
- Is the pet spayed/neutered?
- Has the pet had any vaccinations?
- Is the pet good with kids? Cats? Dogs?
- Is the pet housetrained?
Understand that there will be an adoption application and an adoption fee. Adoption fees help to cover some of the vetting costs, such as spay/neuter. If you decide to adopt a “free” pet from a website such as Craigslist, beware that they may not be spayed/neutered or vaccinated, which can add up quickly in vet costs to you. “Free” does not usually mean free. Most importantly, understand that when you adopt a pet, you need to promise to make a lifelong commitment to your new pet, for the duration of their life. Pets are not disposable items, they are living beings. They will give you their love and loyalty when you provide them with a loving, forever home.
Many people have the misconception that rescue/shelter pets or adult rescue pets are “damaged goods." This is not true! Pets do not end up in shelters or with rescues by choice -- they are there due to bad luck, most often because of prior human guardians who failed to keep their commitments for one reason or another. On average, United States animal shelters are killing upwards of 50% of healthy, adoptable animals who enter their doors each year. Shelter reform is needed, however, you can help reduce or eliminate that number by choosing to adopt a pet from a rescue organization or shelter, having your pet(s) spayed/neutered, and by making a lifelong commitment to your pets.