Adopting a pet is a life-changing experience for many families. Pet adoption not only allows you to help an animal in need, but it also lets you add a furry and lovable friend to your family. If you’re looking to adopt a pet, you should know a few things before you begin the process. Keep reading to find out how adoption works and what you need to do to get started.
Start your search online to adopt a pet
Once you’ve decided to adopt a pet, the first step is to begin looking for available animals near you. Check out the websites of local animal shelters or nearby rescue organizations for the most up-to-date information on which pets are currently available for you to take home. You can also use sites like Petfinder, which will let you see dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds, and other adoptable pets near you.
Get in touch with the shelter or rescue organization
After you’ve found a pet that you’re interested in, you should contact the shelter or rescue organization to submit your interest. At this point, you’ll find out if the pet you had your eye on is still available and what you’ll need to do to apply.
Meet your prospective pet
If you’ve decided to adopt this special animal, it’s time to meet your potential new family member! The specifics will depend on the organization’s policies, but in most cases, you’ll need to visit the shelter or schedule a time to meet with the animal’s foster family. (Note: Due to COVID-19, some shelters aren’t currently allowing in-person visits and you may have to complete this part of the process virtually.)
Submit an application to adopt a pet
If all goes well with your meet-and-greet, the next step is to fill out an adoption application. You’ll need to answer questions about your family, including whether you have any children or other pets. Usually, you’ll also have to submit information about the types of animals you’re interested in adopting and whether you’re willing to take in pets with different medical needs or particular personalities.
Bring your furry friend home
Once you’re approved, it’s time to finalize the process by paying adoption fees and submitting any additional paperwork required by the shelter or rescue organization. Then it’s time to bring your new family member home! Make sure to ask the adoption facility about medical care your pet might need (including shots and spaying or neutering), approved types of food for your pet’s breed and age, and other relevant details. It’s also a perfect time to stock up on pet supplies, including bowls, toys, leashes, and treats.
Pet adoption is certainly exciting, but it’s also a big commitment. Before you start looking for a new furry friend, you should make sure that everyone in your household is on board with bringing home a new pet.
Ready to start the process? We recommend heading over to Petfinder, where you can find nearby animals for adoption, as well as helpful resources to learn more about how to adopt a pet and what you can expect as a new pet owner.