With the proliferation of #AdoptDontShop on social media, people have started realizing the need for adopting pets instead of purchasing them from pet stores.
These pets that are up for adoption need a loving and caring home, especially those that underwent traumatic experiences like abandonment and dog-fighting. Although it’s good that people are taking notice of the problem, there are a few things that you should consider before you go to your local shelter and adopt an animal.
The process of adopting an animal may vary from shelter to shelter. There may be times when you get the animal you want the same day that you go to the shelter and other times when you would have to wait several days or longer. It’s best to ask someone in the shelter how long the adoption process will take. You will also be asked to fill out paperwork; this is to ensure that you will be a good pet owner to the animal you’re planning on adopting. This paperwork may also help the shelter assist you in finding the right pet.
There may be contracts that you will need to sign, some of these contracts have clauses about declawing a cat or spaying or neutering the animal that you plan to adopt. Although these contracts aim to help you and the pet that you plan to take, certain wordings can become problematic. Some of these contracts state that the shelter will essentially retain the ownership of the animal, which could send the wrong message to potential adopters. Because the shelter still owns the animal, the person adopting the animal is provided with an easy way out by returning the pet if they feel like it’s not a good fit for them. Retaining the ownership of the animal also opens up the shelter to liability.
Some of these contracts also mandate the pet owner to have their pets vaccinated with specific vaccines. Although having your pet vaccinated is good, a shelter should not be able to dictate which vaccine your pet needs, especially if you plan on taking them to a different veterinarian. Other shelters also require visitations with the pet you’ve adopted, and although the intention is right, it opens up the visiting personnel to liability whenever they visit a home to check on the animal. When a shelter requires you to sign a contract before adoption, it’s best to read through all of it to make sure that you’re ready to comply with the requirements.
There are also fees involved when adopting a pet in some shelters. This fee is used by the shelter to help cover the cost of caring for the animal that you’re about to choose. A portion of the fee is usually used to add funding and enable shelters to care for more animals. Depending on the shelter, you may need to pay somewhere from $50 to $200. Although it is not exactly cheap, buying a new dog could easily cost you $500 or more.
Some shelters also require that you and your family interact with the animal you plan on adopting before letting you take them home. This process ensures that the animal’s personality fits with the home that you are going to provide them.
Adopting an animal can be very rewarding, but you should always remember that you are responsible for the actions of your pet. Make sure that you’re ready for the responsibility before adopting.
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Words: Hogan Injury
Images: Dharamsala Animal Rescue