The first step in adopting a pet should always be researching your local shelters and rescues. If you’re not able to drive out to one on a spot, you can find information about pets on many shelter websites or through the phone. Social media has also provided a great avenue in recent years where you may be able to find detailed information on dogs and cats up for adoption. However, it’s always important to ultimately visit before you solidify your decision-making process.
Nothing’s going to give you as much information as seeing an animal face-to-face, and it will also give you the opportunity to see if any potential pets truly click with you.
If you’re specifically considering adopting a rescue, you’re going down a great path, but you should also make sure that it’s definitely going to work. Rescue facilities often charge a bit more upfront than shelters do, as it can be difficult for them to maintain funding without the government support that shelters receive. However, the cost is still usually considerably less than compared to purchasing from a breeder. Some rescues will ask you to have a specific trial period with your pet to make sure it’s a good fit. This is ultimately a great thing for everyone, as an animal and owner who don’t live together well won’t make anybody happy, but it’s something you should be aware of going in.
You should also check with shelters and rescues about any potential quirks of an animal you may adopt. Although the majority of animals up for adoption are loving and kind, and simply end up in an unfortunate situation, you do need to be aware of any behavioral issues before adoption. It’s great if you can take in a dog or cat that has some challenges and work together with it, but you need to be sure it’s something you can commit to. If you’re not confident in your ability and willingness to make progress with a difficult animal, it’s better to go for an easier adoption than to end up putting a pet back in the shelter.
Ultimately, pet ownership is both a privilege and a responsibility. Choosing to adopt an animal is a momentous step that could bring you great joy in the future, but it’s not something you should take lightly. If you feel ready, however, go ahead and visit your local shelter or rescue as soon as you can. You just might find the animal that’s truly perfect for you.