Before You Adopt
By Beth Bersani
Congratulations on wanting to give a good home to a stray, abused, unwanted or neglected pet. Before you adopt your pound puppy or kitty, it is important to understand the following:
- Pets are like babies; they cry, chew, get into things and have accidents. You wouldn't take your child back for these reasons so please make sure you can commit to your new family member.
- Pets are not disposable. They are not something to get rid of when you no longer want them.
- Be sure that you have the time and space for a pet. If you rent, you must have your landlord's permission before you adopt a pet.
- Adopting an animal means a long-term commitment. Many dogs live to 15 years, while indoor cats can live into their twenties.
- Shelter dogs are often not housebroken. They are confined in kennels for up to 15 hours a day, and even previously housebroken dogs may need a refresher course.
- Dogs from shelters are usually not well trained. This is your responsibility.
- Make sure no one in your home has allergies before you take your pet home.
- Animals are a big responsibility. They require feeding, grooming, vet care, exercising and play.
- Puppies will grow up! Cute little puppies may become large dogs. Know the breed.
- The average adjustment period for a shelter dog to its new home is 3 to 6 months. Don't give up on them. These animals truly want to be a part of your family; they just need you to show them how.
- All shelter animals have suffered some trauma in their lives. They need LOVE, ATTENTION, PATIENCE, and TRAINING.
In return you will receive unconditional love and companionship. Not a bad deal!