Adopting a pet and using rescues…

Written By: JENNIFER .M.
Edited By: ELISA .M.

My sister and I have been volunteering at a local rescue for about five years and before then we have adopted all our pets from a rescue.  So we are familiar to both sides of the coin. And how the adoption and rescue process works.  We have seen and experience both parties frustrations.  We hope this article sheds some light to the adoption process and clears up miscommunications between both parties.

WANT TO BRING A NEW PET TO YOUR HOME…   
Many of us find ourselves wanting to buy (adopt) a dog, cat, bird or hamster for many different reasons at our local pet store or rescue.   Some include wanting a companion or teaching our kids responsibility overall if you think about them really clearly they are selfish thoughts for a selfless acts.   Who is going to be most affected by the adoption? In any case it will be the animal who will be affected most with your decision(s).  So instead of what I want; think about these few questions…

1. Why do I want to adopt or bring in animal to my home?

2.  What type of animal is proper for my house hold?
– The animal should not fit to your home.
– Your home should fit the animal.
– Will it get along with my children or already exciting animals in my household?
–This includes finding out about current allergies or allergies you maybe unaware of.
— What dog or cat behaviors or life style already exist or may come up after adoption?
— If you are an active household you will not have time for a young animal (puppy or kitty)
— If your dog or cat does not like cats or dogs it would not be a good idea to get another cat or dog.

3. After choosing the type… CAT | DOG | BIRD| ETC …. What kind of breed?
– The breeds is very important particularly for dogs, cats and birds.
– Determine the characteristics of that breed.
– How much activity it will need.
– Even its diet or health issues.
– Will your family be able to pay for future cost. Vet | Day Care or Pet Sitting | Bathing | Training

4. What will I need?  Look at all the food and supplies you will need.
– This will prepare you for the total cost of the animal.
– If you are already a pet owner you are probably more aware of the cost.
– If you are a new owner or one that has not have had one for a year or so its always good to ask this question.

5. Where can I access or adopt this animal?

RESCUE VS. BREEDER VS. PET STORE
We both agree to first check out petfinder.com there are many rescues and individuals who are trying to give their pet or animals up for adoption.  The site is not focused just on dogs and cats.  It is surprising what type of animals you can find.  Plus it will get you familiar of what is already up for adoption and what rescues are near by.  It is a good resources rather you are looking at rescues, breeders or your local pet store.

WHY SHOULD I ADOPT?  There are thousands of animals being abandoned and over half of them are being put to sleep because people are not spaying or neutering their animals as well as not being good pet/animal owners.  This is your opportunity to support a local rescue so they can continue to get animals in difficult situations and to save a life.

ADOPT VS. FOSTER?  If you find yourselves that your household is ready for a pet but life style, job, and/or money is getting in the way maybe you need to think about fostering.  There are so many who adopt and at the end they really should thought about fostering.  Fostering is another great way to support your local rescue.  If it was not for fosters more than half of the animals in our non-kill shelters would be in killed shelters and be killed because of lack of room.  Depending on the program most fosters are only responsible for the animal, its food and living supplies.  And some will even provide that.  Most will pay for pet emergencies or annual check-ups to the vet.  All you have to provide is the love, time to the vet, to take to the rescue or time for others to visit the animal so they can receive a forever home.

WHY SHOULD I GO TO A BREEDER?  If you are still not convinced to go to a rescue or you can not find what you want it is now to look at a breeder.  It is always good to look for one in your area but remember certain breeds may be common to certain areas.  So you might be looking at some travel time and expenses.
– Take time to meet with the breeder face to face.
– Look at the place where your animal is coming from.
— This will determine the over all health of your pet when and after you’ve received it.
– Meet with the parents that your new puppy or kitty is coming from.
— You will get a sense of the behavior and character of your puppy or kitty.

WHY SHOULD I GO TO A PET STORE?  Okay you can not find the hamster, lizard or snake you want any where else; it time to visit your local pet store.  This is the time you research on the pet store you are buying from.  Where are they receiving their animals?  Who are they buying the animals from? What are the complexes like that the animals are coming from?  Are there any rebates, exchange or returns if the animal does not work out or dies within 30 days?  You need to know all this so you know what you are getting and as a new or establish pet owner your are protecting yourself in asking these questions.

WHO ARE PET OWNERS?  Each county and state are different.  Most will agree CHILDREN can not be owners.  That is define as anyone under the age of “18” years of age.  It does not just stop when you adopt your pet at a rescue, breeder or pet store.  It continues at the vet and animal control.   As parents or adults it is critical to understand the financial cost of the new member to our family.  Our children may hold the responsibility but we are paying for the supplies and the over all health for the animal.  Some animal are more costly then others as well as some are labeled better for different age groups.  A goldfish might suit a 2 year rather then a puppy or reptile.

FINALLY THE ADOPTION PROCESS?  Every rescue is different depending on who is managing it.  They can be local government workers to volunteers who have over the moon ideas.  But no matter where you get them be aware that you might have to provide them with some private answers.  The truth will go along way…

Applying for an animal online is always tricky no matter if it is from an individual or rescue.  Always try calling or meeting with the rescue first. Your questions and concerns will be answered faster.  Plus if you are interested in an animal you have a higher chance of being able to adopt (him/her).  When meeting them it will give you the idea of what the location is like and you may be able to meet your future pet.

If you can not or tried calling and no one calls back it is time to e-mail…
-First search the rescues site for an application on their website…
– Cannot find one; search an example of a animal adoption application or pet adoption application online this will allow you to answer some of the rescues question.
– Introduce your house hold. Some rescues hate people who e-mail just to ask for an application.  At the end you will be waisting yours and the rescues time.  And you are more then likely not going to have the opportunity to adopt that animal you are so interested in.
Depending on the rescue the process may take long (month) or as short as a day.. This depends how old the animal is, how far in the process the animal is in the rescue (rescued, spayed/neutered, behavior issues, etc) and how long they have been at the rescue.  So if you are in the middle of something (job, activity, trip). Now is not the time to adopt.
– Some will include in the adopting process a visits to your home and/or phone calls to references.

SAMPLER: “PET APPLICATION QUESTIONS
1. Do you have any other pets?  Include types, breed and age
2. Are they indoor or outdoor cat/dog?
3. Do you have any children? How many and include gender?
4. What type of living facilities do you live in? one story house, mobile home, apartment, etc
5. Do you have a yard? Include if  it is fence or not
6. Are you near any parks or trails?
7. Who is your vet or do you have a vet in mine?
8. If you want a puppy? Do you have a day care/pet sitter in mind if you are away 8hrs or more.
9. Family activities or your life style.. Kids in sports, full time job, traveler, etc

We hope this makes the adoption experiences a little easier.  At the end be open to the experience and always educate your self. Because at the end it is always about the care of the animal and not about making the individual who will be its owner happy.

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