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Adoption procedures apply at almost all shelters. Many find this frustrating and ask, why is this even necessary? I am a good person, can’t they see that?

The adoption process is in place for one reason: to make sure the animal is going to its forever home. The process protects the animal, and often, protects new pet owners from picking a pet that will not fit their lifestyle or home environment. Rescue workers also need to determine whether the new owner is financially capable of looking after the pet.

How do adoption procedures work?

When you decide to give an animal a forever home, the shelter you are adopting from will have an adoption procedure to work through prior to handing the animal over to you. The procedure will likely include; a home visit, an interview and of course, meeting animals that are up for adoption. It is crucial to choose the animal that is the right fit for your home. If the rescue worker or new pet parent chooses an animal that is not quite the right fit, the animal will end up back at the shelter. Returning a pet is not ideal for the organisation, the owner who now feels inadequate to care for a pet, or the animal.

The interview

The interview is usually the first step in a pet adoption procedure. In the interview, which may be performed in person or via a form, the rescue organisation will determine a number of things; namely, why you want to adopt a pet, whether you have been prevented from adopting one before, if you have a background of animal abuse or neglect, your future plans (are you moving to another property soon), other animals in the home, and so on.

The home visit

If you are successful at the interview, a home visit will follow. The purpose of the home visit is not to check up on your answers from the interview; it is to see whether the dog will be safe (is there adequate fencing and shelter), the condition of other animals on the property, and whether other animals (or persons) on the property will get along with the new pet. If the home visit goes well, the animal you wish to adopt will be introduced to its potential new family under the supervision of the rescue worker.

The adoption fee

The fee for adopting is often a talking point. Many feel that more animals would be adopted if the adoption fee is less, or if there is no fee at all. However, the fee for adopting is crucial to ensuring the pet’s future safety. And this is why…

  • Adoption fees help the organisation do the work they do. When you pay the adoption fee, you are helping the next pet find their forever home too
  • The fee often includes neutering or spaying, deworming and a tick and flea treatment
  • The fee sometimes includes microchipping
  • If you can pay an adoption fee, you are likely financially capable of looking after the pet

What do pet parents need to consider before completing the adoption procedure process?

As sad as it may seem, some individuals are not prepared for a new furkid in their home. Before adoption procedures commence, ask yourself some critical questions:

Why do I want to adopt? 

Do I mind if there is pet hair in my home? 

Am I capable of taking care of a special needs pet?

Do I have extra time to spend with a furkid? 

What age animal or activity level am I looking for? 

What is the amount of money I can spend on food in a month?

Do I have the funds for medical emergencies available should my furkid get sick?

When I travel, do I trust a family member or friend to look after my pet while I am away?

It is important to remember that answering “no” to any of these questions does not make you a bad person or incapable of adopting a furkid. It means that you need to do some research and planning before you start the adoption process.

In summary

Adopting a pet is one of the kindest things you can do for an animal. It is also fulfilling and a rewarding experience. If you have room for a four-legged friend in your home, contact a rescue organisation and find out how you can start the adoption procedure.

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