I’ve found that there are some common questions people have regarding adoption. I’ve picked five of the ones that I think are important and need answering.
- Have all animals at adoption centers had troubled histories?
Most adoption centers will tell you that there every animal comes with its health problems, some with a history of abuse. But you’ll also find animals that once had loving homes. In these cases, the owners moved or were forced to give the animals up because they went broke or couldn’t afford to take care of them anymore. It’s sad, I know. Which is why you should adopt and encourage your friends and family to adopt too!
- Are all pets in shelters maladjusted?
All pets will take some time to adjust to you and its new home. Whether you adopt an animal or a human child, there will be a period of time when both of you will be sizing each other up, deciding how to get along together. Give your animal patience and love, and you’ll find it responding to you soon enough.
Of course, your shelter is likely to have a process for relationships that don’t work out after a basic adjustment period. In this time, you should do your best to make the relationship work!
- I work full-time for a demanding boss, and I often work overtime. Can I not adopt an animal that I can come home to?
Of course, you can adopt. It’s terrible about your bad boss – but a loving pet to come home to can take the edge off a stressful day. There are many cats and dogs that are quite independent and can keep themselves entertained when their human is away. Animals are weird and wonderful. Check out these dog cam highlights if you don’t believe me! Give them lots of love when you’re with them, and they won’t mind sharing you with the rest of the world for several hours.
You can talk to the adoption specialist at your adoption center to find out which dogs are best suited for your lifestyle. (This is just incidental but – have you considered a job change?)
- How do I tell if an animal shelter is real or a scam?
This is a great question. It doesn’t have an easy answer. You’ll have to depend on your instincts and watch out for some red flags. I suggest you ask yourself the following questions:
Does the animal shelter ask you enough questions about the kind of home you’ll be giving the dog, about your lifestyle, about whether your other family members are willing to accept a pet etc? If they don’t, it’s a sign they don’t care where the dog goes. Whether or not it’s a real shelter or a breeder posing as one, you shouldn’t adopt from such a place anyway, unless you’ve just absolutely fallen in love with a resident animal there.
Does the adoption center list mostly purebred puppies? There is a high chance it’s a breeder and not a rescue adoption group. Of course, you will find a purebred here and there in legit adoption centers. But these are rare. Shelters, like refugee camps, are places where animals of all ages live. “Only purebred” adoption listings should raise a red flag for you.
What does the adoption fee include? Most adoption centers will tell you about the medical and social history of the animal you’re adopting. Where it’s been, whether it has any disease, what kind of habits it has, how it gets along with the other animals at the center, and so on. They will also tell you if the animal is current on vaccinations.
Only irresponsible shelters or breeders will not be able to give you a medical history. Also, good animal shelters spay and neuter their animals to prevent cruel overpopulation. Many good shelters will have their own neutering or spaying program. If they don’t, however, it’s not always a sign that they’re not legit. But be sure to ask.
Also, make sure the group is comfortable with you asking them questions. Go with your gut feeling. Instincts are not usually wrong.
- Why do adoption centers charge an adoption fee?
That’s easy. They’ve given the animal you’re taking home a good life, with medical care and food. That costs something! Surely you won’t grudge them that, just like you don’t grudge your child’s school cafeteria fees. Plus, the fees will help to keep the group running and provide expensive medical help to pets that need them.
Q What is the adoption process like?
Well, it’s not easy. You’ll have to fill up a zillion forms, more than you’ve ever filled up for college. You have to answer all sorts of questions like What kind of a person do you think you are? and even after all this, you’ll probably go home dogless. After a week or two, you might have a visit from someone at the shelter. Only then can you finally bring your new baby home. But believe me, when the once-homeless animal adjusts to life in your home and trusts you enough to crawl into your lap or lick you madly with joy when you come home, you’ll find it’s been all worth it.
Do you have any more questions? Drop me a line below. I’ll be happy to answer them when I’m not helping out at pet shelters, planning what to buy for my favorite dog, answering emails, planning meals for my favorite dog, or running errands. (Do you see what I live for?)