Animal Shelters: What Good Ones Will Tell You Regarding Pet Adoption
In the market for a new dog? Find out what a good animal shelter will tell you before you adopt a pet!
Good animal shelters want to place people and pets in situations that will last. Unfortunately, overcrowded shelters staffed by volunteers sometimes get overzealous about placing dogs and will "oversell" a dog to an adopter who may not be able to handle this dog's needs.
Before you lose your heart to a dog, ask the shelter for as much information as possible about the dog's past. In some cases, of course, there may be little to tell -- for instance, if a dog was dropped off on the shelter's doorstep or found abandoned.
Even these experiences, though, may tell you something about what to expect from this dog and the shelter should be able to tell you what their experiences have been since taking this dog in.
Here are some questions to ask when making the choice to adopt a dog:
- Is this dog suitable for a home with children?
- Does this dog chase cats?
- Has a dog been socialized, and does this dog get along well with other dogs?
- Does this dog exhibit any fears of men? Women?
- How much exercise does this dog need?
- Does this dog have any health problems I should know about?
- Is this dog housetrained?
- Does this dog understand any commands?
- Is this dog crate-trained?
- Has this dog ever bitten anyone?
- Does this dog excessively bark?
- Is this dog at its full adult size or should I expect it to grow bigger?
Make sure you choose the right dog for you and your family before you take it home. Too many dogs are returned to shelters because owners didn't have all the information they needed. Be responsible and get all the facts you need regarding pet adoption before adding a dog to your family.