Adopting a dog from a shelter doesn’t just do good – it feels good. Plus, there are lots of great animals in shelters through no fault of their own. Their owners may have died, moved away, had a baby, or just decided they didn’t want a pet anymore. As Inga Fricke, director of pet retention programs for the Humane Society of the United States, puts it: “Typically, animals don’t end up in shelters or homeless because they have severe medical or behavioral issues. The overwhelming majority of pets in shelters are there because of people problems, not problems they themselves have.”
Thinking of doing a good deed and adopting a shelter pet? These are some of the most important questions to ask before bringing one of these animals home to live with you.
1. Am I ready to take on the responsibility?
Adopting a pet is a lot of work regardless of whether you get him from the shelter or from a breeder or pet store. Before you commit to taking on the responsibility, ask yourself if you’re ready for the added time and expense for walks, food, play, vet bills, and other things that may come up along the way. The worst thing you can do is bring home a shelter pet and then have to send him back because you weren’t ready yet.
Next: You need to ask your family this question before adopting a pet.