So you want to adopt a pet?

So you want to adopt a pet?

At some point everyone has wanted a pet. Dog, cat, chinchilla? Perhaps you’ve been to the zoo and overheard a toddler, who has eaten far too much cotton candy scream out, “Daddy, Daddy! We need one of those!” Your eyes follow the general flailing limbs to see the Siberian Tiger. Who hasn’t wanted a pet tiger? And just as quick as the thought enters, your brain conjures up the voice of a parent. “Will you walk it? Feed it? Brush it? Clean up after it?” Perhaps not a tiger. Maybe just a regular sized cat instead.  

From Harry Colebourn and Winnie (inspiring A.A Milne’s character Winnie-the-Pooh) to Disney’s Mickey and Pluto, animals throughout history have had a special connection with humans and remain an important part of everyday life. It could be argued relentless pictures of animals is what makes up most social feeds and likely keeps these platforms in business.

A question you will face is whether you bring your new best friend home from a shelter or not. There has been a renewed excitement around adopting pets from shelters and rescues. There’s a never ending stream of beautiful stories chronicling an animal being given a second chance in a good home. It’s never a simple as to why an animal has been entrusted to a shelter, but the result of giving these good little guys or gals a second chance is often a four legged fountain of love.

It has been shown time and again the benefits of adopting a pet from a good shelter, and the benefits go both ways. Many times animals can help us smile and laugh or maybe help us remember someone cares. Your pet may also go through an amazing transformation as it joins a loving home finally expressing their true natures and personalities.  

When you get your pet from a shelter, a major benefit is knowing they may be up to date on all their shots and may have seen a vet at some point during their stay. Some shelters include shots, neutering and micro-chip IDs in the adoption fee making the cost much more feasible. Many first time pet owners have found benefit in adopting an older animal that has had some training already and doesn’t have the energy a young pet will have.

Many factors should be considered before adopting a pet, and it is always advised you do some research before visiting the shelter. Be realistic about your lifestyle and understand the demands that will be placed on you as a good pet owner. If after doing some research you find your lifestyle or home may not be ready for a new addition but you still want to help an animal in need, you can always financially help those on the front lines of animal rescue and sheltering. Your local organization may allow sponsorship of an animal until it is adopted by a good home or receive a donation to help with general costs. Shelters and rescues may also allow you to visit the animals on a regular basis giving them much needed attention if you aren’t able to adopt one.   

Pets do life with their families. Wake-up together, walk, run and play together and are there when one or the other is sick. With proper research, preparation, love and care, there is a forever home for every pet out there. Share your love with an animal in need by visiting a shelter and saying hello to the friendly faces working there. Who knows, you may find your new best friend!

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