5 Tips for Adopting Shelter Animals

Fido, Snowball or Goldie–no matter the critter, study after study shows that pets are good for our health. Their unconditional love and wonderful kindness reduce our stress levels and increase our serotonin intake. Sadly, fewer than half of family pets live out their lives with their original families. That’s an estimated seven million animals entering our shelter system every year, many simply through the irresponsibility of careless owners. If you’re thinking of adopting an animal for yourself or your family, here are some tips:

Avoid impulses “There are so many great (shelter) dogs and cats in need of a home,” says Babara Savidge, owner of Olive: Green Goods for Modern Dogs. “That said, don’t be completely swayed by a cute face. Take some time to think about what’s important to you in a pet. Make a list of what you want, what you don’t want, and what you can compromise on–before you even look. A little pre-thought will go a long way to ensuring a good fit for both parties.”

• 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 questionnaires stating desires and behaviors. In this way, the more knowledgeable handlers at the shelters can point the owners in the direction of a breed or animal that would suit their lifestyle 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 both the work and rewards that come with owning a pet?

Have you seen the new Adoptable Pets page on Care2? Check it out here! Please also share with your friends – we’d love your help in finding great homes for these adorable animals!

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Margaret Richardson
Margaret Richardsonabout a month ago

My last comment was cut....here's the rest..
They then walked beside me, eyes on me, back to my daughter's home. Both my daughter and her sister-in-law were amazed. Previously both dogs would ignore repeated calls to come, but the bio-energetic healing, the Australian Bush Flower Therapy and renewed clicker training have transformed them into the wonderful companions I always knew them to be.
As I said, Bio-Energetic Therapy can be done from a distance and Nicole does use Skype, please go to the website and check it out.

Margaret Richardson
Margaret Richardsonabout a month ago

For those of my friends here who do choose to adopt shelter pets but who are finding the past life experiences of their new companions to be a tad troubling, I have just found this wonderful service to help. http://www.petetiq.com.au/ Unfortunately Nicole is situated in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, so that limits who she can visit personally, but bio-energetic healing can be done from a distance and I'm sure she would be happy to consult via Skype by arrangement.
Both Honey and Elsa had failed every training school that I'd tried, but after meeting Nicole, receiving bio-energetic healing, and using some Australian Bush Flower Therapy (similar to Bach Flower Therapy) they are completely different dogs. They no longer rush at the fence whenever they see movement beyond, and merely look at dogs as they pass by rather than challenging them. They've also become responsive to clicker training. The other day they escaped from my daughter's yard when I was visiting, and I spotted them up the street, far out of voice contact. My daughter's sister-in-law attempted to help me retrieve them, but I stood where they could see me and clicked the clicker. Two heads immediately popped up and looked towards me, and I clicked again, no voice command, no anything else, and both dogs came running towards me, ignoring the woman who was trying to help, bolting past her and sitting at my feet, where they waited to find out what I wanted them to do. They then walked beside me, back to m

elsa mossberg
elsa mossberg6 months ago

thank you

Valentina R.
Valentina R.6 months ago

Adopt, don't shop.
Millions of beautiful, loving, healthy dogs and cats are killed for absolutely no reason other than overabundance. Be it mutt or pure breed, choose your furry friend in a shelter/rescue.

Margaret Richardson

I agree with the comments mentioning that a pet is for life, and the reward is unconditional love. Honey and I recently added to our family, a lovely little girl of the name of Elsa. They have bonded marvellously with each other and with me, and they are never left alone.

Natalia S.
Natalia S.7 months ago

Adopting means to care for them every day of your life. It's not a doll you can left alone, when you're tired of it! Animals need YOU and you gets LOVE

Genoveva M M.
Genoveva M G.7 months ago

And before you adopt, always remember that a dog or cat is forever, and should be considered as family.

Carole R.
Carole R.9 months ago

thank you.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you :)

Lyn Romaine
Lyn Romaine1 years ago

This is great advice.