As more attention is being brought to the inhumane breeding practices and treatment of designer dogs, more and more dog lovers are looking to grow their families by adopting their pups from shelters. Adopting from a shelter is a great way to serve your community by rescuing a dog in need, and can be an affordable and humane way to welcome a new furry friend into your home. Today we are going to take a look at the process of adopting a dog from a shelter, and some things to look for as you begin your dog adoption journey.
How to Choose a Dog Shelter
Researching Dog Shelters
There are many types of dog shelters, each with different rules, regulations, goals, and funding. A good place to begin your search for a shelter is with a simple Google search. Browse your local shelters’ websites to learn about their missions, how long they have been running, and to gain an understanding of their staff’s experience and credentials. We also encourage you to look at the Google reviews of your local shelters to learn what people love about them, and to understand the issues they may have.
Most importantly, visit a few shelters before you make your purchase. Visiting a shelter should be a positive experience; if you leave the shelter feeling sad or rushed, we recommend choosing a different shelter.
Questions to Ask an Animal Shelter
Lastly, we have prepared a list of questions to have handy as you are visiting shelters and ultimately choosing where you will adopt your next pup.
-Where do you rescue dogs from?
-Do you have a veterinarian on staff?
-Do you offer any forms of post adoption support?
-Address concerns that you have based on your online research or your findings when you visit the shelter.
-Do you have any behavioral training after you rescue dogs?
-Do you provide proof of vaccinations?
The Adoption Process
Now that you’ve picked one or more shelters that you trust, let’s take a look at the typical process of adopting a dog from a rescue shelter. This process is usually very similar regardless of the shelter you choose, but some may have some extra steps to ensure the safety of the animals.
References or Home Visits
Not all rescue shelters will require these steps, but it is becoming more common for them to request information from people looking to adopt from them. This information can include character references, details about previous dogs you have owned, or even home visits to ensure the dog will have a clean and safe place to live.
Browsing Dogs Online
Most shelters will update their website with listings of puppies and dogs they are currently caring for. Finding dogs you are interested in online will limit the number of times you have to travel to the shelter and allow you to choose a few dogs that could potentially be a good fit before you go visit them in person.
Scheduling a Visit
If you fall in love with one of the dogs in an online listing, it’s time to schedule a visit at the shelter. We recommend bringing the entire family with you to the visit so everyone can have a chance to see if there is a connection. Also, if the shelter allows it, we suggest bringing your other pets with you. Rescue animals can be skittish around other animals, and how well the potential dog does with your current dog should heavily inform your decision to adopt.
Adopting Your Dog
Once you have visited a shelter and your family has connected with a dog, it’s time to finalize the adoption process! This step typically includes signing paperwork and going over records that show the shelter has followed proper processes and procedures leading up to the adoption.
Adopting from a shelter is the perfect way to welcome a new dog into your home, while also helping animals in your community. As you are preparing your home for your new furry friend, check out Trailside Structures’ line of Residential Dog Kennels. These are perfect choices to provide a comfortable and attractive place for rescue dogs to adjust.