An estimated 7 million animals enter our shelter system every year many, simply through the irresponsibility of careless owners. This Valentine’s Day, if you’re thinking of adopting an animal for yourself or your sweetie, here are some tips:
- Send an eCard! Support animal welfare and thrill your love with a super cute and free animal rights eCard. For every eCard sent, Care2 makes a donation to an environmental non-profit to save a square foot of rainforest.
- Meet Your Match. More than 250 shelters across the U.S. use a “Meet your Match” program. The potential owners are required to fill out lengthy questionares stating desires and behaviors. In this way, the more knowledgable handlers at the shelters can point the owners in the direction of a breed or animal that would suit their lifestlye well. Occasionally, owners are introduced to breeds that they never would have considered, helping “less-popular” pets find loving homes.
- Rely on the shelter workers for advice and knowledge. Many pet stores view each pet as a potential sale, while the shelter workers, often volunteers, are invested in every animal they help and want to find the placement that will work best for all parties.
- Do your research! Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t adopt. “Several large breed dogs, older dogs and cats are well-suited to apartment life,” says Shannon Boyer of the Arizona Animal Welfare League. “These animals are pretty sedentary and are very happy and healthy with just a couple short walks each day.”
- Introduce your current pets. Many shelters will allow you to bring your current pets into the environment to ensure that everyone feels comfortable with the new addition. If your adoptee is shy, many shelters have programs that will help with training and socializing.
Remember, you are now responsible for a life so this is not a decision to be taken lightly. Consider the pros and cons. Are you ready for the potential aggravation but wonderful rewards that come with owning a pet?