BEFORE YOU ADOPT
Sharing your life with a companion animal can bring incredible rewards, but only if you're able and willing to make the necessary commitments of time, money, responsibility, and love for the life of the pet.
Top 10 important considerations before adopting a pet
Here are some important questions for you to think about before adopting a pet: or try Just Dog Breeds for additional tips on choosing the right dog.
Why do you want a pet?
It's amazing how many people fail to ask themselves this simple question before they get a pet. Adopting a pet just because it's "the thing to do" or because the kids have been asking for a puppy, usually ends up being a big mistake! Don't forget that pets may be with you 10, 15, even 20 years.
Do you have time for a pet?
Dogs, cats, and other animal companions cannot be ignored just because you're tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of every year. Many animals in the shelter are there because their owners didn't realize how much time it took to care for them.
Can you afford a pet?
The costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, training classes, regular veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, kitty litter, and other expenses add up quickly. Plan to spend $1000 - $2000 per year for standard care of a dog, considerably more if there are medical emergencies.
Are you prepared to deal with special problems that a pet can cause?
Flea infestations, scratched-up furniture, accidents from animals who aren't yet housetrained, and unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership.
Can you have a pet where you live?
Many rental communities don't allow pets, and most of the rest have restrictions. Make sure you know what they are before you bring a companion animal home. Consider what happens when you move.
Is it a good time for you to adopt a pet?
If you have kids under six years old, for instance, you might consider waiting a few years before you adopt a companion. Pet ownership requires children who are mature enough to be responsible. If you're a student, in the military, or travel frequently as part of your work, waiting until you settle down is wise.
Are your living arrangements suitable for the animal you have in mind?
Animal size is not the only variable to think about here. For example, some small dogs such as terriers are very active, require a great deal of exercise to be calm, and they often bark at any noise. On the other hand, some big dogs are laid back and quite content to lie on a couch all day. Before adopting a pet, do some research. That way, you'll ensure you choose an animal who will fit into your lifestyle and your living arrangements.
Do you know who will care for your pet while you're away on vacation?
You'll need either reliable friends and neighbors or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.
Will you be a responsible pet owner?
Giving your pet love, companionship, exercise, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary care are essentials. But also keep in mind the other must-dos: obeying local leash and licensing laws and keeping current identification tags on your pet.
Finally, are you prepared to keep and care for the pet for his or her entire lifetime?
When you adopt a pet, you are making a commitment to care for the animal for his or her lifetime. If you aren’t prepared for a potential 15+ year commitment, you may not be ready for a pet.
If you have decided that you’re ready for a pet, here are the next steps!
Step 1: View Adoptable Pets Online or At the Shelter
Step 2: Complete an Adoption Application Online or At the Shelter
- Online adoption application
- Printable adoption application
- Adoption applications can be submitted in person at the shelter during business hours.
Please note: Completion of an adoption application does not guarantee adoption of a pet.
Step 3: Adoption Application Will Be Processed
- Within 24 hours, an adoption specialist will contact you regarding your adoption application and provide you with the next steps of adoption.
- If you already own pets – we will require proof of current vaccinations administered by a veterinarian. We can verify with your veterinarian directly but providing your pets’ records can be much quicker. A meet and greet with current pets in the home is highly recommended and may be required for some adoptable pets.
- If you rent/lease your home – we are happy to help find the perfect fit for you! Property owners generally have restrictions on the size, age, breed, and number of pets allowed on their properties. We will need to contact your landlord prior to adoption to ensure the pet you choose will be welcome.
- You must be 21 years or older to apply for a pet.