Things to Consider Before Adopting

Making the decision to give an animal a furr-ever home can be one of the most exciting choices in your life. There’s just so much to look forward to with your new companion! From toy shopping and long strolls in the park to simply relaxing at home with some Netflix, there’s no doubt there’ll be endless fun to have with your new BFF! However, in all of the elation that comes with adopting an animal, we can sometimes forget that it’s good to be thoughtful about picking out a pet!

Perhaps one of the most important things to consider when adopting a new member of your family is your lifestyle. Whether you’re an avid runner or more of a lounge-about homebody, there’s a furry friend for you! Just like people, animals have varying personalities and energy levels all of their own. Picking a pet with an activity level similar to your own is a good way to ensure that you and your new friend’s relationship is beneficial and rewarding to you both!

cat-football

Another thing to be aware of is the lifespan of your potential pet! Dogs are known to have a life expectancy anywhere from 10-15 years, while cats can live to be 20+years. Dogs and cats can become very attached to their owners, so you should be certain your living situations won’t change unexpectedly or other outside factors won’t cut your time with your pet short.

If you already have an animal at home, it’s important to ensure that both your old buddy and your new buddy get along – preferably before you even bring your new pet home! Most adoption centers will allow you to bring your current pet in for a “meet & greet”  with your potential pet before going through the full adoption process so that you can be sure that there’ll be no complications once they become fully-fledged family members.
Children also are an essential part of the adoption process.. While plenty of animals get along with – or even enjoy being around – children, this is not the case for all of them. Some animals are regular child-rearers, while others are content to be the only babies in your life! “With a dog or a child, you want to bring them to the center for a meet & greet,” HSNEGA Adoption Center Coordinator, Mindy Kanieski told me, “You don’t need to bring cats to centers for meet-n-greets, but always bring in kids. Sometimes kids are scared of pets, even if it’s a puppy.”

rescue-pic(photo special to http://www.realdogsrealpeople.com/kitchener_waterloo/rescue-and-adoption-organizations-kitchener-waterloo)

Adoption fees are a natural feature of the adoption process. The fees from adopted animals not only help cover their vetting costs, but also ensure the owner is a committed individual. At the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, we have a special program called “Adoption Angels.” By becoming an  Adoption Angel, HSNEGA supporters can make donations towards a resident animal’s adoption fee. When donating, they can either specify which animal they’d like to donate for, or they can pick to donate to the animal that needs it the most (e.g. the animals whom have been with us the longest). The Adoption Angels program has proven to be a highly successful and has helped many of our friends find their permanent homes; some of their adoption fees have even been fully waived through the generous contributions of our donors.

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Last, but not least, there’s the important task of setting up your house itself for its new inhabitant. Mindy recommends that any potential pet adopter ensure that they’ve scoped the areas inside and outside of their house for poisonous plants or other such health hazards. She also suggested that baby gates are useful investments with puppies or animals yet to be house-trained. Dogs and cats respond differently to new environments. “With cats, I’d suggest starting them out with one room and then gradually opening up the rest of the house to them” Mindy said.

It’s also a good idea to do your research on local veterinarians before bringing your dog or cat home! HSNEGA does provide low-cost vaccinations and spaying/neutering, but we do not offer examinations. Look into nearby veterinarians so that you don’t find yourself scrambling once your animal is already ill.

Do you have all of your bases covered? Think you’re ready for a new and fulfilling relationship with a new friend by your side? Great! The next step would be to check out the list of adoptable animals at the organization you’re interested in. Our page of adoptables can be found at this page. Adoption hours for the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia are Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Sunday 12-5 pm. We hope to see you soon!

Information for this post was compiled from the following site(s):

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Adoption Tips

American Association of Poison Control Centers

More information on preparing to adopt an animal can be found on our website.

Learn more about our adoption fees here.

Want to become an Adoption Angel? Follow this link!

Written by Kelly Kucera, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern
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