Deciding to get a pet is a large step in a family’s life. They have to decide what kind of pet that they want, what breed, and the general size. They might have already narrowed down their name choices for their new pet, picked out where its bed will be and bought some toys. Now all that is left to do is to get the actual pet. For far too many people, that next step will involve a trip to the local pet store for a purebred cat or dog, but our shelters are filled beyond capacity with pets that just need a little love and their chance to finally find a forever home.
Before you spend a large amount of money on a purebred puppy or kitten consider a few things. Are you planning on showing your new addition at shows? Is this a business decision that you are making? If the answer to both is no, then by all means reconsider spending that much money on buying your new friend. Go down to the shelter and walk through. Talk to the shelter staff, and let them know exactly what you would like to find. If the exact right animal is not there, and you truly do not connect with any of the available pets, leave your name with staff and have them call you if the right pet does become available.
Once you have made your selection, you will fill out an application and pay a small fee. In some shelters, there is an interview to make sure that the pet and the adoptive family is a good match. There might be an in house interview as well, to see the environment that the new pet will be coming too, and to make sure that there is adequate space for him. Some shelters now require an offsite interview with an area veterinarian who will fill out a letter of recommendation for the prospective adoptive family in order to assure the shelter staff that post adoption care will be maintained on a regular schedule.
After you have filled out the paperwork, answered all of the questions and been interviewed by those in charge, you will get to the most fulfilling part of adopting- the moment they put that leash or carrying cage in your arms and you bring your brand new family member home for good.