Adopting a Cat or a Dog from a Shelter

By Valdette Muller| February 28, 2018 | Blog


Have you been thinking about adopting a new cat or dog from your local shelter?

Adopting any animal can be a wonderful and exciting experience, as well as an anxious one, especially if you are not sure what you are looking for in a new cat or dog or if you have not been to visit an animal shelter before.

To adopt any animal from a shelter, there are usually steps that need to be followed:

  • Most shelters ask that you fill out an application so as to make sure you qualify and can afford to look after a pet, filling in your personal details and information about your home life, finances, etc.
  • Choosing your new pet.
  • Experiencing a waiting period (usually 24 hours) so that the shelter can be made sure you have thought about your decision to adopt and are not having second thoughts.
  • Signing a contract and paying a fee.
  • Some shelters require that you undergo a trial period with your adopted pet.

It may be overwhelming to choose from so many cats and dogs who all need a new and loving home. Make sure you know what you as the potential pet owner want, and take a list of desired characteristics.

This may help remind you of any limitations you have on your choice. Think about the size, temperment, sex, age, and even the colour and type of coat that you would like to find.

Benefits from adopting from a shelter

Adopting a pet from a shelter can have its own rewards. By adopting you help save the life of the animal. Not all shelters keep their animals very long and have to euthanise them before the shelter becomes ill-equipped to look after so many animals especially as new arrivals are brought to shelters almost daily.

Many people say they are very happy with their choices, and that they could help save the life of a wonderful animal by giving them a new and loving home to live in.

Animal shelters can become filled to capacity with animals who were and could continue to be great pets.

Reasons for shelters

Many animals in shelters have been pets before, and whose owners can no longer take care for them for a variety of reasons:

  • The previous owners are moving away (usually overseas) and cannot take their pet with them.
  • The previous owner has health problems and cannot keep the pet because of their health problems worsening.
  • The previous owner does not have time for the pet because of changes in their lifestyle, e.g.; new baby or ill family member.
  • The previous owner had realised they should have never purchased this pet in the first place.
  • The previous owner has passed away and has no one to take over caring for the pet.

Animals are also brought to shelters because they are strays, homeless or come from abusive backgrounds.

Shelters can host some of the most beautiful cats and dogs in many varieties. Some are purebreeds that have been given to shelters because of minor imperfections.

You can also find beautiful, one of a kind mixed breeds. Instead of getting a kitten or a puppy, many people prefer to have an older pet so there are no surprises about how big they will grow or the type of coat they may develop.

Adopting from a shelter is a lot more cost effective then buying from a breeder. Some shelters only require you to pay a small fee for their services regarding inoculations and spaying or neutering.

Myth about shelters: Some people think that pets put in shelters are usually placed there because of behavioural problems. Many pets in shelters have good behaviour and habits. If there was a reason an animal was brought to a shelter regarding a behaviour problem, it may have been more a problem with the previous owner’s behaviour than the animal’s behaviour.



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