Thursday April 30, 2020 is National Adopt a Pet Day in the U.S. Sure, there’s a day for everything anymore, but this one is special. Every year nearly 6.5-million companion pets (dogs and cats) end up in shelters, and about 1.5-million of those are put down.
Thankfully, good families adopt over 3 million of those pets every year. If you have room at your place for a new four-legged family member, there is a shelter near you that would love to help you adopt. Here’s what to expect as you go through the process.
Keep Us Posted: if you ever adopt a new dog or cat (or rabbit, hamster, hedgehog, etc.) post pictures to our Facebook page.
Before You Go
Call the shelter for their current COVID-19 shelter hours and procedures. You may need to make an appointment. Also, be sure you’re ready for the responsibility. You might be getting the dog or cat for your kids, but they’ll get bored with Skippy in a year or less. That leaves you caring for it for well over a decade. Maybe longer.
Additionally, most shelters will not let you pay for a pet and leave. Most require a picture ID with your present address. If you rent, you may need to supply proof that pets are okay for your house or apartment.
At Coastal, we get questions about pet and livestock health almost every day. To help answer some of your new-pet questions, we sent our very own Meg Walker over to Stayton Veterinary Clinic in Stayton, Oregon, to get some answers. Check out the interview and learn how you can get answers to your pet questions.
Are You a Dog or Cat Person? Maybe Both?
Some shelters are dog or cat specific, but many have both. Cats are generally kept in a communal room while dogs will be in separate kennels.
Choose the Right Breed
As you meet the cats and dogs up for adoption ask plenty of questions. If you need a hypoallergenic pet, let the shelter know. This is also a good time to let the shelter know about your home, family activity level (do you go hiking every weekend or do you lounge), and how much room you have for the pet to run and play. There’s a big difference between the type of dog or cat that will thrive in an apartment versus a 20-acre ranch. The experts at the shelter can help you decide on a breed based on your needs.
Bring the Whole Family
That includes your other pets. Seriously. You want to choose a pet that gets along with you, the kids, and your other domestic animals. If you have farm animals, be sure to let the shelter know. They’ll likely have an idea of which dogs (or even cats) will behave around livestock. In fact, most shelters test animals for aggressiveness toward people and other pets and will share that information with you.
Adoption is Cheaper (usually)
Most shelter animals have already been spayed or neutered or come with a vet certificate for a free or reduced-rate surgery. They’ve also been micro-chipped and vaccinated.
Don’t Get Frustrated
Unlike a new car or truck, you can return a dog or cat to the shelter with no questions asked. Most places offer a 10-day grace period. Sure you will want to give your new dog or cat a chance, but if it doesn’t work out, bring it back and try again.
Prepare Your Home
If you’re new to owning a pet, you’ll need a food and water bowl, bedding, and collar. Dogs need a leash for their walks, and cats need a scratching post and litter box (if they will be indoor cats).
Coastal is Pet Paradise
You’ll find everything you need for all of your furry family members at your nearby Coastal. That includes toys, treats, bowls, beds, coats, crates, training tools, food, kennels, and a lot more. Be sure to bring your pet to the store and wander the aisles together. The way we see it, the whole family is welcome here including your dog or cat.