Pet Adoption Tips
PHASE 1: THE APPLICATION PROCESS
1. Get Your References Ready
The first step of the adoption process is application. Reference checks
are actually quite common at this initial stage. Let your friends, family
members, or whoever else you’ve decided to list as a reference know
they should be expecting a call from the rescue.
2. Set Aside Time to Apply
Adoption applications are usually online, but they do tend to be somewhat
long, taking anywhere between 25-40 minutes. They’ll ask you for
detailed information about your personal qualities, your history with
dogs and cats, your home and more.
3. Be Patient
Most rescues have limited manpower, which might mean you have to wait
a few days to a week before you get a response. If enough time passes,
don’t hesitate to contact the shelter and check on your application — just
like with a job, calling and checking on your application status will only
show you’re serious about this endeavor. Eventually, the rescue will
arrange a meet and greet between you and your prospective pet.
PHASE 2: THE MEET AND GREET & HOME CHECK
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions!
For your meet and greet, prepare and ask a lot of questions. Also, keep in
mind you may not be the only applicant for ownership of this pet, so treat
it like you’re competing for a job. Make a wonderful first impression and try
to wow everyone you encounter during that first meeting. If you have any
other pets or children, bring them, too! This will be a great opportunity to
see how everyone gets along.
5. There May be a Home Check — Prepare for It!
After the meet and greet, the rescue may send someone to your home,
which could involve anything from an examination of the pet’s potential
living space to a yard check to getting to know you more. Make your home
presentable; lock up any harmful household items such as cleaning
supplies and loose wires. If all goes well, the contract will be next!
PHASE 3: THE CONTRACT
6. Take the Time to Bring Forth Any Concerns
More often than not, rescue animals come from less than ideal
backgrounds. When the contract is presented, take a moment to learn as
much as you can about your animal’s past and what you can do to
accommodate its specific needs to be the best pet parent you can be.
7. Review the Contract Thoroughly
The contract will likely be a written agreement that details your new
responsibilities as a pet owner. It should also include any policies
regarding the return of the pet in a worst case scenario. Take care to go
over every section of the contract, stopping to ask questions when you
feel the need.
8. Be Prepared to Pay
Fees vary, but puppies typically cost the most because shelters spend the
most resources caring for them.
PHASE 4: AFTER ADOPTING
9. Prepare Your Home
You are now a pet owner! Make your new pal comfortable by providing all
the new pet essentials. For a dog, make sure you’ve got a leash, harness,
and collar to start with, while a cat will need a litter box most of all.
Chapter 5 will more thoroughly detail all the essentials. Have fun, and don’t
be afraid to call the shelter if you ever need assistance!