Watch more Pet Care videos: can’t wait to adopt a rescued animal. But there’s a lot to do before you bring your pet home from the shelter.
Step 1: Decide if you’re ready
Pets need love, but they also need attentive owners who are patient, available, and able to afford the expenses and effort to take care of them. Since many animalsâlike dogs, cats, and birdsâcan live for more than a decade, determine whether your schedule, lifestyle, and finances will allow you to be a good long-term pet owner.
Step 2: Check in with your landlord
If you rent your home, check in with your landlord to make sure youâre living in a building thatâs pet-friendly. Otherwise, bringing home a furry friend may violate the terms of your lease.
To prevent future hassles, get a signed, dated document from your landlord stating that pet ownership is permitted on the property.
Step 3: Find a shelter
Search online for a local shelter. Many sites offer reviews of shelters; find one in your area that rates well, gets good feedback, and has the kind of pet youâre looking for. If you can, visit in person to get a feel for the place and its staff.
Step 4: Investigate the adoption process
Each shelter has its own adoption process, so find out whatâs required in advance. You may be asked to provide documentation and personal references to verify your income, home address, and travel and work habits. Consider assembling & filling out paperwork you might need before you get there. Also, make sure youâve got the funds to pay for adoption fees.
Find out whether your adoption fee covers services like spaying or neutering, disease testing, and microchipping. Also, ask about the shelterâs return policy.
Step 5: Visit the shelter
Visit the shelter, and meet the pets. Itâs great to find the fuzzball of your dreams right away, but donât feel pressured to adopt the same day or leave with a pet that youâre not totally sure of. You want the one thatâs right for you, so take your time.
Step 6: Speak with a shelter worker
If you decide youâd like to adopt a pet, let a shelter worker know. Theyâll be happy to start walking you through the process. They may also be able to provide some background about your prospective pet: where it came from, if it has any issues you should be aware of, how long itâs been at the shelter, and other information.
Step 7: Take your pet home
Once youâve finished the adoption process, congratulations! Youâre a proud pet owner. Take your pet home, and introduce it to its new family.
Did You Know?
On average, more than a quarter of animals found in shelters are purebreds.