4 Things To Know Before Adopting A Rescue

Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at th...

Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at the Paws and More No Kill Animal Shelter in Washington, Iowa.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adopting a rescue can be a greatly rewarding experience. The ASPCA estimates that approximately 3 million to 4 million animals are euthanized in shelters each year. Aside from saving a life, bringing a cat or dog into your home can bring you oodles and oodles of joy. Here are a few things to consider before you bring your new furry friend home.

Financial Commitment

Aside from the basic care your cat or dog will need to stay healthy (yearly vaccinations, grooming, food, toys, etc.) it is best to allow for unexpected medical care. Some shelters have a veterinarian examine intakes in order to assess the animal and provide the new owner with as much health information up front as possible. However, be prepared for issues that may only become apparent once your companion is in a home environment. Your new pet may have suffered physical injuries in the past or be prone to hereditary ailments.

English: Animal Rescue

English: Animal Rescue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Choosing a Shelter

A quick Internet search will leave you with no doubt as to how many options you have for finding the right pet. From private organizations to city and county operated facilities, the variety of places offering cats and dogs for adoption can be overwhelming. Doing a bit of research ahead of time to find the right shelter to work with can save you time and energy in your quest for a suitable companion. Some shelters provide intakes with medical treatment and behavioral assessments while others, due to lack of funds, may only give animals a swift look over.The more thorough a shelter examines the animals they intake, the more information they’ll be able to offer you.Which, likewise, will inform your decisions and prepare you for the care your future family member will need. Check out shelter websites, peruse online customer reviews on sites like Yelp.com, and ask lots of questions.

Dog at animal shelter

Dog at animal shelter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Home and Family Considerations

If your companion experienced unpleasant or abusive interactions with its previous caregivers, it may have a difficult time adjusting to some aspects of home life. Certain people or places can trigger instinctive reactions in animals such as aggression or timidity. Be particularly conscientious when bringing a new pet into a home where children or other animals are present.

It Takes Time

Animal Shelter Painting Event

(Photo credit: wabisabi2015)

Whether you are adopting a young or new pet, a stray or a previously cared for animal, it will take time for your companion to acclimate to its new surroundings and to its new family. Your pet may require training or retraining. He or she may not be house broken. Your furry friend may also not be used to interacting with people on a regular basis. A qualified trainer can provide you with guidance for socializing your new cat or dog. Keep in mind that this can be a long and challenging process. The baggage and behavioral issues your new pet brings to your home may not be fully apparent at the start. Patience and compassion will ease this transition.

Irene Hicks loves animals and has written several articles about pet care as well as posts on subjects like vet tech programs, for those seeking a career in animal care.

Please visit my web site at Pet Portraits by Deena and see the many portraits I have painted.  10% of proceeds goes to support CorgiAid!

Here’s a guide to pet rescue, care and adoption:


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