Written by Lauren Avellino Turton
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. If you're looking to add to your family with a four legged friend, here are some things to consider.
Typically, local shelters offer pets in all different sizes, colors, and ages; mixed breeds and purebred dogs and cats, as well as other small domestic animals. In order to ensure the shelters can find loving, permanent homes for these animals, most shelters have guidelines they follow. While each may be tailored to the town or county, you are likely to find many share the same requirements and recommendations.
A Family Decision
"When adopting a dog, all members of the family must meet the dog before the adoption is complete," says Justina Colgiano, the Director of Community Relations at Delaware County SPCA. "We look out for any allergies and how the animal reacts. It's a full family responsibility to take part in the new pet."
All Animals Must Get Along
Not only is it important for the humans to meet the dog, but the other dogs as well, says Rich Britton of Chester County SPCA.
"When a family chooses a dog, it's 'all-in' to make sure they all get along. It's important for the current dog to meet the rescue dog first."
In order to complete the adopting, you might be asked for the following:
Proof of home ownership, proof of rental agreement with pets allowed, veterinarian references if applicable, agree to have the animal spayed or neutered, and to return the animal to that shelter if you are unable to keep it.
Calgiano says while not required, there are a few things the Delaware County SPCA recommends.
"A fenced-in yard is not required, but there are certain specifications for breeds. We do strongly suggest a free-standing fence in all cases," she says.
Britton reminds pet owners-to-be to take the financial aspect of pet adoption seriously, but reassures local shelters usually run specials.
"There are always great promotions for micro-chipping, spaying/neutering, and vaccinations where you see significant savings," says Britton.
"We try to make it fun and give people incentive, such as free bed and blanket giveaways when we have the resources," she says.
Resources for Adopting