Why should I pay an adoption fee?
Every dog or cat available for adoption has received shots appropriate for its age and has been spayed or neutered. Some pets have had extensive medical treatments or surgery. The cost of these treatments ranges upward from $200, to many hundreds of dollars per animal. The adoption fee covers only a small portion of this cost.
What questions should I ask myself before adopting a pet?
Please review our Adoption Guidelines in addition to the information below.
1. Do I have time for a pet?
Dogs and cats require time and patience to get the training and attention they need to become well-adjusted family
pets. They need exercise, companionship, food and water daily. Many animals end up back in shelters because their owners realize they do not have the time to take care of them.
2. Can I afford a pet?
The cost of pet ownership continues well after the adoption fee is paid, and includes more than just food and litter.
Veterinary costs for pets, including yearly shots, heartworm preventative, spaying or neutering and unforeseen
medical emergencies can add up quickly. Pets also need toys, special travel accommodations or boarding during
vacations, licenses and occasionally training classes. Make sure you are able to afford a pet before bringing one home.
3. Is now a good time to bring a pet into my life?
If you are in a living situation that might require you to move in the next few years, you might want to reconsider
getting a pet. One of the most common reasons pets end up in shelters is that their owner is forced to move to a place where they cannot bring their pet. Also, if you have young children who are not yet mature enough for the
responsibility of pet ownership, you might want to wait a few years. Adopting a pet can be a commitment that last
anywhere from 10 to 15 years, and pets need constant attention throughout that period.
4. Is my home appropriate for a pet?
There are many factors to consider before deciding if a pet is right for you, and which pet is right for you. For
instance, if you want to adopt a large dog, do you have a big enough yard with a fence so your dog will not have to be tethered? If you live in a dense apartment complex, a small dog may be best, but small dogs often bark at noises and need a lot of exercise to stay calm. Do you have furniture that you wouldn’t want to get scratched by a cat?
5. Do I know who will take care of my pet when I am away?
Pets cannot be left alone for long periods of time without attention. Simply having a neighbor feed your pet once a day is not enough. Pets can be cared for by friends of family, a boarding service, or a pet sitting service, but plans should be made to care for your pet when you are away.
6. Am I prepared to deal with common problems that pets can cause?
Animals that have not yet been housetrained can cause quite a mess the first few months they are home. Puppies will chew anything they can find if not redirected to appropriate toys, and cats will scratch walls and furniture if their
claws are not trimmed or they do not have suitable scratching alternatives. Patience, consistence and forgiveness are required to get these behaviors under control.
7. Am I prepared to keep this pet for the remainder of his or her life?
Many residents of animal shelters are victims of the lack of commitment of their former owners. When you adopt a
pet, make sure you can commit to caring for him or her for the rest of their life, which can be up to 20 years in some
special cases. Remember, a pet is not something you get on a whim or for entertainment, it is a living, loving
companion that will provide joy for the duration of its life it the right care is provided to make it part of a happy
8. Are all the members of my family ready to accept a pet?
If your spouse or partner is not ready to accept a pet - don’t bring a new dog or cat into your home. Don’t surprise your family with a new pet. The most common reason for returning a pet is that other members of the family were not consulted before making the decision to adopt.
Where can I get help coping with the loss of my pet?
The ASPCA Pet Loss Hotline is free and available round-the-clock. Call 1-800-946-4646, enter pin number 1407211, then your own phone number, or call 1-217-337-9773. Dr. Stephanie LaFarge, Ph.D, will return your call. You may also visit http://www.aspca.org/behavior. http://www.aspca.org/behavior for expert advice on these and other behavioral problems.
My pet has become a canine/feline delinquent. What can I do?
That once lovable and fluffy puppy or kitten is now terrorizing your household. Kitty won’t use the litter box and is
displaying other bad behavior. Rover is aggressive to friends, family and other animals and is urinating or defecating in the house. There is help available. Visit
Are most pets in shelters because there is something wrong with them?
No. Animals end up in shelters for a number of reasons.
Some arrive in shelters after an elderly owner has died, and some come from families or individuals who have been forced to move to a home where they cannot keep pets. Some come from families that can no longer afford to care for them. Far too many puppies and kittens in shelters come from pet owners who do not spay or neuter their pets and end up with unwanted litters they cannot find homes for. Many animals in shelters come from abusive situations and were removed by law enforcement for the safety of the animal. While some animals arrive in shelters because of behavioral problems, the majority are good pets who are down on their luck, abandoned by their families and in need of a new family to give their love to.