Adopting a shelter pet is a big decision. While it’s a decision that can bring you lots of joy for a very long time, it’s important to understand the commitment you’re making. As long as you’ve given yourself time to think through the impact of this decision and know with certainty that bringing a pet home will be a good fit for your lifestyle, you can feel confident in moving forward.
Because we’re a company that gets to talk to pet owners every day, we hear lots of stories about people giving shelter pets the gift of a loving home. Based on all of the conversations we have, we want to share a few tips about this process that are important but may not be as obvious to someone who’s going through it for the first time. Specifically, we want to cover the questions you should ask when you’re actually at the shelter where you plan on adopting from:
Get the Animal’s History
Having a rough background doesn’t mean an animal is permanently damaged or not deserving of a loving home. On the contrary, countless people would say from personal experience that these kinds of animals make the most loyal pets. However, the reason it’s important to ask about an animal’s history is so you can fully understand its current state of mind and know in advance if you’re going to need spend extra time working on any specific behavioral issues.
Find Out About Previous Medical Care
As with the first question, asking this question will bring you up to speed about any issues you may need to monitor on an ongoing basis. When it comes to providing a new pet with the absolute best quality of life, there’s no question that knowledge is definitely power.
Ask About the Adoption Timeline
A common assumption is that you can go to a shelter and then go home with a pet in a matter of hours. That is true for some shelters. But it’s not how all shelters operate, which is why you should ask upfront about the timeline for adopting. This will also give you insight into how much paperwork you can expect to fill out.
Know All Required Fees
Like the timeline for adopting, the fees associated with this type of pet can vary significantly from one shelter to another. Although it’s highly unlikely that the fees would be a deal breaker, it’s still helpful to know in advance (including if you’ll need to pay via a specific method like check or cash).
By making a note to ask the above questions when you’re at the shelter, you’ll be able to know with complete certainty that you’re going to have a very bright future together with the pet you bring home!