Becoming a pet owner is more than just paying that $60 adoption fee. There are other long-term costs associated with owning a pet. Everything from those first shots to vet trips cost major money, on top of regular food and toy purchases. The Animal Humane Society recommends that, before you take your new shelter animal home, you make sure you can afford to give them the life and love they deserve.
Sure, their cute factor might be off the charts, but puppies and kittens will be adopted no matter what. Adult cats and dogs are far less likely to be adopted and may end up euthanized, according to the Humane Society. If you want to stock up on good karma and get an obedient, mature new friend, adopting an adolescent or adult pet is a great way to save a life.
Many shelter animals landed there because their owners simply became bored with them, couldn't afford to feed and care for them, were allergic to them and hundreds of other reasons. These animals are used to being abandoned, so if you adopt, make sure you're willing to make it a lifetime commitment to cut down on the pet's heartache and your own.
Don't be blinded by their cuteness. If a pet seems temperamental at the shelter, odds are they won't be much better when you get home. Try playing with your potential pet at the shelter and talking to the staff. Ask about how the pet is with kids, other pets and people in general. If the pet comes to you willingly to get affection, that's a good sign. Pets with signals of bad temperaments will require some training. If the signs are there, make sure you know they won't be the well-behaved pet of your dreams right out the door.
After adopting your new pet, odds are they will be standoffish. They're not used to you or your home and do not know what to expect. Give them time and space and show nothing but affection when they peek out to see what you're doing. Eventually, they'll come around.
Watch the story of how an ill-mannered former shelter dog, Vinny Love, transforms into a wonderful companion with talent!
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