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Before Adopting

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Please review the information below to ensure you are ready to adopt.

  • Is it a good time to adopt a pet? If you have children less than six years old, travel for work, or move frequently, you may want to wait a few years to adopt a pet. Pet ownership requires everyone in the household, including children, to be old enough to understand pet responsibility, how to safely interact with pets, and to be present and consistent.
  • A responsible pet owner obeys the appropriate laws, keeps identification tags on pets, supervises pets in public, and keeps pets safe at home. Pets need food, water, companionship, care, and exercise every day.
  • Do you or other household members have allergies to pets?
  • Living arrangements need to be suitable for the animal you have in mind. Animal size is not the only factor. Some dogs are very active (i.e. Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, American Staffordshire Terriers, Jack Russell terriers, Boxers, etc) and require a great deal of exercise, some are not as active, some need fenced yards, and some do well in apartments.
  • All fences should be secure on the property. Are there ways to exclude pets from certain areas in your yard if needed?
  • If you don’t own your home:
    • Have you discussed pet policies with the landlord and/or property manager?
    • Do you need to sign documents or obtain permission to have a pet?
    • Are there restrictions (like breed or size) on pets in your home/apartment?
    • Will you need to pay a pet deposit or monthly pet rent?
  • Major lifestyle changes can affect your pet’s behavior. This includes expected or unexpected changes.
  •  You will need to be able to set aside funds for expenses, such as medical care.
  •  You will need to arrange for any household members or current dogs to meet before adoption.
  •  If you travel often, will you able to arrange care for your pet when out of town?
  •  Everyone in your household needs to be ready to be part of a new pet's life. This includes feeding, providing clean water, training, socialization, cleaning up pet waste and enclosures, interacting, exercising, and enrichment activities.
  •  Are you prepared to pay for all ongoing fees for pet ownership? There can be many, such as:
    • Pet deposits, fees, monthly pet rent, or pet health insurance.
    • Potential damages caused to home/property or regular carpet cleaning.
    • Supplies such as leashes, collars, bowls, bedding, litter, crates, etc.
    • Food and treats. Some pets may have medical needs that require special/expensive foods.
    • Routine vet care such as yearly vaccines, dental cleaning, flea/tick treatment, etc.
    • Emergency vet care or vet care when sick.
    • Training and socialization.
    • Boarding or care for pets when you travel or move.
    • Grooming. This can cost between $45-$100, depending on breed and size.