Adopting a pet is a beautiful thing. Whether going to your local animal shelter or other venues it is rather important to fully think things through. We all have to admit, it is extremely hard not to fall head-over-heels for all those cute, watery-eyed animals waiting for their "forever home" and not to just snatch them up and bring them home with us. I personally promote adoption over visiting breeders for the simple fact that there are so many lives waiting to be find families and without finding families they will more than likely be mistreated or destroyed. However, adopting a pet, cat or dog, is not for everyone. There are several criteria that I recommend you evaluate before even visiting a shelter and the majority focus on analyzing your family lifestyles. They are as follows:
1. Does your family consist of younger children, older adults or other pets?
2. What size is your home?
3. What is the temperament of your family and your other pets?
4. What is your budget for food, grooming, veterinarian visits, emergency vet care and equipment?
5. How physically active are the members of your family?
6. Who is going to be the main caregiver?
7. How often do you travel?
8. How long will your new pet be left unattended on a daily basis?
9. Are you prepared to experience possible behavior issues such as chewing on furniture, not being house broken and dominance?
10. What are your expectations and then what are the realistic expectations?
11. Are you going to put in the time, effort and money to correct any issues you may experience? 12. Do you use positive or negative reinforcement?
13. Where will your new pet sleep?
14. Is anyone allergic to the pet?
15. Does anyone have an issue with the pet before adoption?
16. Is your home "pet proof"?
17. Have you done research on the majority and possible minority breed in the pet?
18. What is your REAL motive for wanting to adopt a pet?
These are only a few of the questions you should be asking not only yourself but also your family before ever driving to a shelter. People tend to develop what I like to call "Superman Mania" when they visit a place with animals that are faced against the odds. "Superman Mania" is the belief both emotionally and mentally, that you can rescue the animals and save them from their sadness or from being destroyed. THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT MOTIVE TO HAVE! When people adopt an animal with this motive the animal is more likely to end up back at the shelter or worse. Other common motives for adoption that also resulting in an animal being returned back to the shelter is:
1. Adopting an animal to be a present or gift
2. Adopting an animal because you feel alone
3. Adopting an animal because someone you know adopted one shortly ago
4. Adopting an animal to become a protection or guard dog
5. Adopting an animal so your other pet will have a "friend"
The list can go on and on but these are a few of the main reasons.
If you have asked yourself all of the above questions over and over again and have really your research on what you would like to adopt then maybe you are ready to begin the process. The process of pet adoption can be rather simple depending upon yourself and the facility from which you are adopting. What I suggest is to come prepared. Take with you a camera and list of questions. If you are bringing the family please be aware that not all dogs or cats do well with young children and may do things they normally would not do because they are stressed and frightened. Whenever viewing or interacting with a shelter animal allow the facility employees to supervise and follow their advice. Be sure to ask all of your questions because no question is a dumb questions. Once again, keep in mind that the large quantity of these animals are turned in because of things like : excessive barking, fearful biting or nipping, potty training issues, lack of funds, moving to a different location, abuse, having high energy levels, medical issues(medical care is EXPENSIVE) and for simply losing their "puppy and kitten luster". Once you have narrowed the selection down go back to your question list and compare the pros and cons and be realistic with yourself and your family. At this point you may want to go home and sleep on it before making a life changing decision. Some dogs and cats can live well over 10 years or much more so make sure this is the right thing for you and your family. In the morning if you have completely decided that an adopted animal is for you then by all means go for it! There is usually a fee for adoption which can range from $20.00 to $200.00 or more. This is used to deter negative adoption candidates and to provide medical care. It may also be used for supporting the adoption agencies. After paying your fee you will be asked to fill out several form. These forms are documents stating the regulations and requirements for adopting your new companion. READ IT ALL! Some facilities will then require that your new family member stay over-night to be spayed or neutered. If they do not spay or neuter then they may give you a certificate to give to a veterinarian to perform the spay or neuter. This is very important because it only takes one one mistake before your new pet becomes pregnant or impregnates another. REMEMBER, ALTERING YOUR PET IS SAVING LIVES BEFORE THEY ARE EVEN BORN! You will be preventing more animals from ending up in the over flowing shelters where most will be destroyed and you can do your easy part in preventing this vicious cycle from continuing. After you have filled out the paper work, paid the fees and been given you certificate for alteration you are now ready to pick up your new pet! Remember your pet may be afriad when you go to take it home. It will take time, effort, patience and lots of love to make your new buddy feel at home but it will be well worth it. One last rule, NEVER EVER give the animal to a "friend" or "stranger" if it doesn't work out. Always return the animal back to the shelter from which you adopted from. This will prevent abuse and maltreatment of the animal.
With this statement I truly hope that you have given your new friend the perfect forever home they have always dreamed of! Good luck and best wishes from the Training by Trina Team!
I leave you with one quote for the day in the thought of adoption.
"One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have whole-hearted enthusiasm. One needs to feel that one's life has meaning, that one is needed in this world."