Pet Adoption 101: Everything You Need to Know!

April 13, 2015

Article written in collaboration with John Agionicolaitis, Animal Health Student, Asista Foundation

If you’re a pet owner, we’re sure the idea of adopting a pet came to mind. Too often, when the word “adoption” is pronounced, people think that they will be adopting a bad pet with behaviour problems. Know that this is not the case. In light of adoption season, read on to understand what adopting a pet really involves and how it can be a life-changing experience for both you and your new furry friend.

I want a puppy or a kitten. Is adoption an option?

Definitely! The general perception of adopting an animal is that you will be adopting a stray of at least 4-5 years of age. That is false. Oftentimes, the majority of the animals in shelters are between 2 weeks to 2 years of age.

What does adopting a pet involve?

Adopting an animal from a shelter is like saving a life. Often, the animals found in shelters are as great as pets sold in pet stores or through breeders. Animals found in shelters are generally housed trained and socialized depending on their context and history.

It’s important to know the responsibilities associated with adopting an animal. We all want that “ideal” pet that will cater to what we define as a “perfect” pet. Keep in mind that you are the parent and your pet will be a reflection of how you are with him or her on a daily basis. You have the responsibility to train and teach your pet proper ways as well as caring for their hygiene, their physical and emotional health. The recipe to success requires a lot of work, patience and commitment, which will guarantee a harmonious relationship with your companion.

Things to consider when adopting or searching for an animal:

  • Space (apartment, condo, house)
  • Size of the pet
  • Breed/Species
  • Allergies
  • Veterinarian care
  • Dog care (diet, grooming)

Why adopt?

As a pet parent, adoption should always be considered when searching for a new furry friend. Statistics provided by the Montreal SPCA indicate that, in Montreal alone, there are 3,000 to 5,000 animals that are abandoned every year!  There are organizations in your local community that work hard at getting these abandoned animals a new home. If you don’t know where to start looking, check out Petfinder.com. You can select your location and search for pets from local rescues close to your home. Know that by going through these organizations, you are helping diminish the problem of strays that eventually lead to euthanasia.

Here are a few other reasons why you should consider adopting a pet:

  • You are saving a life and giving a pet a second chance
  • You are making a difference with the ever growing population of animals
  • You can obtain a healthy animal for a minimal fee
  • You are taking a stand against puppy and kitten mills

Inform yourself at your local rescue to see which pets are available for adoption. Adopting a pet is a great initiative, a gratifying experience and the start of a life-long friendship.

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