Adopting an animal is a rewarding experience for both you and your new pet. Millions of animals are left homeless each year. If you are thinking about getting a new pet, consider adopting a homeless animal from an area shelter.
Decide whether your family is ready for a new pet and what kind of animal you would like to adopt. You should take into consideration your lifestyle, budget and living situation.
Visit area shelters, rescues and animal adoption events to meet adoptable animals. Many shelters host adoption events on a regular basis or visit the shelter itself. You can meet homeless pets that you have seen online or you may find additional ones to consider. Talk to shelter staff about the animals that you are interested in and gather as much information about each animal.
Follow the shelter's policies for adopting an animal once you have located the one you wish to adopt. Many organizations will require you to fill out an application, pay an adoption fee and have a home check done. Some rescue organizations also have short waiting periods or approval processes which place animals with the best suitable home and not the first available.
Prepare your home for the animal that you are adopting before you bring her home. This will help ease the transition for everyone.
Adopt your new animal and take him home with you. Adoptions are best done when you have some time to spend at home with your new pet to help him settle in.
Take advantage of any pet care classes, adoption counseling or other information that the rescue organization provides. Many animals are abandoned because their owners weren't prepared for the time and effort of a pet. Learning more about the animal you adopted, training and care will help you be a better adopter and pet owner.
Tips & Warnings
Don't be discouraged if the shelter doesn't have an animal that is the breed or type that you want. Shelters receive new animals every day so continue to visit the shelter or look on their website on a regular basis.
If you decide that you are not ready or cannot physically adopt an animal, consider "adopting" an animal from a conservation or rescue organization. By donating time or money, you will help with the care and expenses of homeless pets and endangered animals.