Deciding to get a Pet, can be a challenging or an easy decision. The next step of actually acquiring that pet is an entirely different matter, and how you cope with that process can be a mixture of experience and luck. We here at Spectial are hoping to help with that process and add “preparedness” to that equation to make the experience a positive one.
I’d Like to Get a Pet
Consider what type of pet you’d like to get. A dog, cat, pocket pet, reptile, insect, etc.
Ask yourself “Why do you want this pet?” A pet’s purpose in the home is very important as most often their status changes to family member. Some examples are:
To help me get out of the house more
A friend to exercise with and go hiking
3. Do I have the means to care for a pet?Things to consider would be the cost of adopting a pet versus purchasing from a breeder. Certain breeds require more maintenance upkeep and needs than others. Choose a breed and pet that’s RIGHT for YOU. Research your breed of interest carefully before you decide. Some people want to fulfill a childhood dream of getting a dog that they are not mentally, emotionally or financially equipped for.
4. Pet Insurance can go a long, long way in helping you care for your pet’s health and includes preventative, illness and injury. Some employers even offer this perk to their employees!
5. Should I Adopt or Buy? Consider ADOPTION as your first choice! Puppies, kittens, adolescents, adults and old pets of almost every breed is out there for adoption. Many adoption and rescue agencies are present in your area. Stop by and check out some future best buds today!
I’m Ready to Adopt!
Peruse in-person and online the profile of dogs that are available for adoption. These options change in rescues and shelters quickly! But there are always pets for adoption
Together, the aim is to match the right pet to your needs, home and lifestyle to create that lasting bond.
Each Adoption agency is different, and will have different requirements. They all however, require
A questionnaire to fill out
An interview in-person and with the pet. Sometimes the entire household including current pets are required to attend the interview
Must be at least 18 years old
Proof of address
Minimum is around $175
And we at Spetcial strongly encourage Pet Training classes.
The Adoption Process
Read each Pet’s online Profile and see if they are compatible with your home and lifestyle. For e.g. Good with kids, good with other dogs, does better in a single person home, needs lots of exercise or look for the word “energetic”.Not all pets will have an online profile so visit in-person as well.
Fill out online questionnaires and applications BEFORE you head to the shelter/rescue. This will save you a lot of time. When filling out the questions, be honest and know what behaviors you can put up with and what you can’t. This will be important in matching the right pet for you.
Bring these items with you
Completed questionnaire and application form
Proof of address/Letter from property owner stating it’s okay to have pets
Form of payment. Usually Credit Card OR Cash
Household members and pets for the interview
Lots of Patience. It can take anywhere from 1-4 hours before you can take your furry friend home with you.
4. The Interview: Be prepared to backup your answers on the questionnaire. Some require an in-home visit. Having options for dates and times ready will reduce your stay at the rescue.
5. While some agencies require a fenced yard to adopt a medium to large breed dog, some are moving away from that stipulation to match modern day life of city folk and apartment dwellers. Be prepared to state if your complex has a dog designated area, the location of dog parks nearby, will you have a dog walker? How many times per/day/week? The pet will be dropped off at dog day care /dog camp; how many times per week and if your office allows pets at work. The objective is to show that you will provide adequate potty breaks, exercise, socialization, play and environmental enrichment for your pooch.
6. Adoption Agencies do have the right to refuse an application and deny an adoption. But don’t let that stop you! There are dozens of shelters, rescues, fosters in your state willing to adopt out pets. These pets need a home, love and care that you can provide in your unique way.
Here at Spetcial, our aim is not only to partner to get the RIGHT pet for you, but ALSO to equip you with the right resources, information, network, and encouragement to ensure that your first couple of months post adoption are successful, fulfilling and you don’t feel alone in the process.
Published by Dr. Varsha Ramoutar, DVM MS