In addition to the helpful article (below), remember to use Music My Pet to ease the transition in adopting a pet....
Adopting a pet is a wonderful deed—you’ll help a dog or cat in need while at the same time find a devoted animal companion. But it’s also a long-term commitment and not to be taken lightly. You’ll need to be prepared to provide care, food, training and attention— be ready to deal with a pet that may shed on or chew or scratch furniture—and be able to afford years of veterinary costs. But what you’ll receive in return is priceless and immeasurable: the gift of unconditional love.
Shelter Pet Myths
There are many myths associated with shelter animals that prevent potential pet-owners from considering adoption. One myth is: you can’t find adoptable puppies or kittens, while in reality shelters have pets of all ages and sizes waiting to find a forever home. Another myth is that there are no purebred dogs or cats available for adoption. The truth is 25% of shelter animals are purebreds. In addition, there are many breed-specific rescue groups that work to match up the right owner with the perfect purebred pet. Finally, many believe falsely that shelter animals have been given up because they’re un-trainable, while in fact many healthy, sweet, smart animals have been surrendered to shelters not due to their dispositions but due to situations out of the pets’ control. Plus, many pets adopted through shelters and rescues are spayed or neutered, behavior tested, and microchipped.
Many healthy, sweet, smart animals have been surrendered to shelters not due to their dispositions but due to a divorce, a move or lifestyle change, or a family member developed allergies, or because an owner was not truly ready for the responsibility of pet ownership. Shelters offer adoptable dogs and cats of all ages, breeds, mixes and sizes. And if you’re truly set on a purebred pet, there are breed-specific rescue groups that work to match up the right owner with the perfect purebred pet.
Finding Your New Pet
When considering a new pet for the whole family, it’s good to involve all members of the household in the process, which means having everyone visit the shelter together to pick out your new dog or cat. That includes your current dog. Some shelters even provide special rooms for dog-to-dog meet-and-greets to ensure the right match. It’s also a smart idea to keep an open mind about the kind of dog or cat you want and work with the shelter experts to find the pet best suited to your lifestyle and temperament.
The Adoption Process
Most shelters have an adoption screening process that includes paperwork plus personal references. And you should know that adoption fees often cover vaccinations, micro chipping, spay/neuter surgery.
A Period of Adjustment
It’s common to experience a period of adjustment when you bring your new pet home. Remember, your pet has just gone through many changes and is often confused. Dogs are creatures of habit and need time to get used to new smells, schedules and people. Cats are very territorial and often hide for a few days, even up to a week, when introduced to new surroundings. Have patience—this initial adjustment period can last a month to three months. In taking the time to learn about and get used to each other, you and your pet will build a loving relationship that will last for years.