Finding the perfect pet for you family can happen in many different ways, some people will search for a great breeder with a specific breed of dog in mind, while others prefer to visit a shelter and see which pet will “speak” to them. The more people adopt from shelters the more we see these shelters popping up. Shelters and rescues, like the dogs and cats that live in them, come in many different shapes and sizes. Some rescues are breed specific which means you can get that breed of dog you have been dreaming about, while others house every type of pet from pure breeds to mixes. Picking the right pet shelter is important and here are a few things to look out for.
Make sure it is a non-profit organization. This shows they really care about the dogs and cats that are living with them, they are not in it for the money. This doesn’t mean that they won’t charge an adoption fee. These fees are important. They cover feeding, immunization, spay or neutering and in some cases medication for the pets. Many rescues are no kill organizations which means some of the pets there might have been living there for years. Your donations and adoption fees also help those other pets in need.
Look for a clean place. Many rescues have websites that will show how and where their pets are kept. You can also ask for a tour of their facilities to make sure the pets are being kept in adequate enclosures. Many dog rescues might have been around for a long time and look a bit worn which is ok, as long as it is clean. A clean place shows that their standards of care are high and that the health of the pets living in their shelter is important to them.
Make sure they provide behavioral assessments of their pets. The more you know about your new pet the better chance you’ll have of finding a great match. Some cat and dog rescues work through a foster program and these can be a great asset as the pets are kept in a home environment. This means the foster pet parents can provide a lot of behavioral and personality information about each pet staying with them.
The rescue should have as many questions for you as you have for them. This shows that they are interested in placing these pets in forever homes rather than just adopting out at a fast pace. Their questions are meant to match you and your family with the best dog available to fit your lifestyle so try to be as detailed as you can. Most pet rescues and shelters are busy, but they should take the time to work with you, answer all your questions as best they can and allow plenty of time for you to meet the pets.
Adopting a new pet for your household is a big deal and you should give yourself some time to think and discuss with all family members before making a decision. After all, we want that new pet to stay with you for their entire lifetime.
Please read our next post with tips on how to pick the right dog for your family’s lifestyle in one of the many pet shelters out there.