Thinking about Adopting a Companion Animal?

Adding a companion animal to your family & home is a lot to think about and is a huge commitment! Following these steps will make the process much easier for everyone involved. Please remember to “adopt; don’t shop!” There are many companion animals of all types and ages- from reptiles to dogs, guinea pigs to chickens – that need loving homes.

Step 1. – Determine what kind of animal would fit into your lifestyle. Consider…

  • Costs, such as food, vet visits, medication, vaccinations, waste collection/disposal, accessories, toys, licensing, training, and pet-sitting
    • If renting, there is often a pet deposit.
  • Activity level
  • Current or future children in the home
  • Other companion animals currently in the home
  • Space availability
  • Time necessary to provide proper care and attention
  • Landlord breed restrictions
  • Homeowners’ insurance breed restrictions

Step 2. – Research from where you would like to adopt.

Avoid purchasing from pet stores and breeders. Some pet stores are beginning to partner with rescues rather than sell animals from breeders. If your local pet store is finding homes for rescued animals, then purchasing from the pet store would be A-okay!

  • Why adoption instead of purchasing from a breeder?
    • By supporting breeders, you ensure that animals continue to be bred. Animals used for breeding are repeatedly impregnated and are often discarded when they are no longer deemed useful.
    • Both the breeding animals and their offspring are often kept in small, uncomfortable cages and unsanitary conditions.
    • Thousands of animals die {are euthanized} in shelters every day. By purchasing your pet from a breeder rather than adopting, you are contributing to that statistic. Adoption literally saves lives.
  • Where can you adopt?
    • Local animal control shelters, humane societies, and rescues are all great options.
    • If you are looking for a specific breed, there are breed-specific rescues that would be happy to provide you with your desired companion.

Step 3. – Understand what is included with the adoption fee and consider the costs of items not covered.

Adoption fees may or may not include:

  • Spaying or neutering of animal
  • Microchip
  • I.D. tag
  • Collar
  • Vaccinations
  • Veterinary exam
  • Medical tests
  • Deworming

Step 4. – Once a companion is found and is deemed compatible with you, an application must be completed.

  • The application may require references, proof of home ownership, landlord approval, the spaying/neutering of other pets, etc.
  • You will be interviewed either in person or by telephone.
  • You may be subject to a home inspection by the organization from where you are adopting.
  • There may be mandatory obedience training to attend with your new companion.

Step 5 – Prepare your home for the arrival of your companion.

  • Have food and supplies ready.
  • Designate who in the home will care for the animal and when.
  • Be prepared for emergencies.
  • If you plan to have your animal outdoors at all, make sure the area is fenced in.
  • Protect or put away any items in the home that may be chewed on, clawed on, etc.

Step 6 – Bring your new family member home, care for them, and cherish every moment!

This link provides great information on various types of companion animals:

Petfinder isn’t always up to date as far as specific animals but it is a great place to search for rescues near you! Start your search for an animal rescue here!