you adopt a new pet?
This is a big decision. It is important to ask yourself many questions
and answer them completely before signing an adoption contract.
Looking at those cute faces and into those soulful eyes pulls at
everyone’s heartstrings. Love at first sight can lead to a twenty-year
commitment. Let reason guide your decision, not your emotions.
Are you ready?
An adult pet will be in your home long after a child’s desire and
promise to care for a puppy or kitten has flown. There are many adult
Dalmatians, Jack Russell terriers, and Chihuahuas in need of homes
because television and movies feature a few beautiful and talented
individual animals of these breeds causing many people to adopt
animals ill-suited to their particular home.
Necessary veterinary costs can be quite large over the fifteen -
twenty year lifetime of a pet. Food, grooming, boarding / pet sitting
while you vacation, cat litter, beds, toys, training classes for dogs,
license fees all add up quickly. Do not underestimate the monetary
costs of pet ownership. There are some that say you should
expect to spend around $1000.00 a year on average for the basic proper
care of a pet.
Will you be a responsible pet owner?
Adopting a pet is making a commitment to the health and well being of
that animal for his or her lifetime. Pets all need love,
companionship, good diet, veterinary care and exercise. As a pet
owner, it is essential that you and your family members have the time
and enthusiasm required for daily pet care. Who will provide the hours
of daily feeding, brushing, exercising, emptying cat boxes, cleaning
up puppy "puddles" and training?
Are you allowed to have a pet where you live?
Many rental property owners do not allow pets. Those that do allow
pets often require large deposits or have other restrictions. If you
reside in a rental property, Seward Animal Shelter requires proof of
permission from the property owner.
Can you accept the special problems encountered with
Not all, but many cats scratch furniture. While this problem can be
mitigated with appropriate scratching material, it is likely that a
cat will at sometime during its life scratch something it should not.
Dogs: Accidents from animals not yet housebroken. All animals:
unexpected medical costs. Dogs: How big will it get? A cute cuddly
puppy might become a 100 lb. eating machine.
Is this a good time for you to adopt a pet?
Children must be mature enough to understand a pet’s
special needs. If your child is under six years, you might want to
wait before adopting a companion animal. If you or other family
members travel frequently - if you are a student - if you are in the
military, you might want to wait for your life circumstances to
stabilize before making a pet a part of your life.
Lastly, do your homework. Research and plan for this
addition to your family as you would any other. Search the Internet.
Speak to friends and family who are longtime pet owners. Consult with
a veterinarian about potential and expected medical costs for animal
care. Visit your local shelter and spend time with the animals. If you
make a reasoned and planned decision to adopt a shelter animal, you
are more likely to find pet ownership a rewarding and happy
experience. Fifteen to twenty years of unconditional love and
companionship is priceless.