There’s a wonderful new site, Adopt-a-Pet, which focuses on permanent pet adoption. Victoria Stilwell, host of “It’s Me or the Dog” on Animal Planet is helping out.
Purina and Adopt-a-Pet.com, a non-profit pet adoption charity, worked together to create a “Permanent Pet Adoption” checklist, which provides tips to ensure a successful adoption.
The sad truth, unfortunately, is not all adoptions end with happy endings. Too many times dogs are adopted without fully realizing what a huge responsibility dog ownership is. Cute puppies grow up, dogs don’t always listen, time is needed for care and grooming, and the costs involved can be very expensive.
The key to changing this is education. That is the crucial factor in keeping pets in forever homes. The checklist below, info compiled using a survey of over 180 shelters, is an invaluable resource.
Before You Adopt Give This List Some Thought:
1. When you adopt, you need to make a real commitment to care for your pet for its entire life, no matter what that entails, just as you would with a child.
2. Be prepared for a pet to affect other parts of your life for as long as you have the pet (can be up to 15 years for a dog and 20 years for cat). Your pet’s well-being will have to be considered in all kinds of decisions, including travel, social life, relocating to a new home, adopting other pets, having children, etc.
3. Verify in advance that you’re allowed to keep a pet where you live, especially if you rent or belong to a homeowners’ association.
4. Make any necessary modifications to your yard and fence, if you have one, to provide for your pet’s safety and to prevent your pet from escaping.
5. Never give a pet as a gift.
6. Choose a pet appropriate to your living situation and lifestyle. Figure out what size, age, and energy-level pet is most appropriate for you.
7. Never adopt a pet on a whim or because you feel it’s love-at-first-sight. Do your research and carefully consider all the aspects and implications of adopting before you make a decision.
8. If you’re adopting a pet for your kids, understand that the responsibility is yours. Kids, by their nature, often tire of things that were once new and exciting, and this includes their pets. You will most likely end up being the one who provides most of the pet’s care.
9. Plan for a several-week adjustment period during which there will be challenges.
10. Provide sufficient exercise and stimulation. (Walk dogs according to individual need, provide playtime and appropriate toys for both dogs and cats, spend time just petting and talking to your pet, include pet in family activities.)
You can also watch Victoria Stilwell, on video, as she reviews the top 10 list.
Besides the terrific top 10 list, the site is filled with valuable information and cool links. So, whether you’re looking to adopt or not, it’s worth stopping by and checking out Adopt-a-Pet.
If you’re having trouble watching the video in your reader, you can watch it here!