Animal shelters are the perfect pet source for families on a budget, or those with the desire to save an unfortunate stray or abandoned animal from euthanasia. Public shelters are generally run by the county humane society or a government subsidized agency.
The benefit of adopting an adult housetrained and socialized. Most will be more than a year old so new owners won't have to guess how big they'll get.
The downside to adopting a sheltered animal is that strays often have no history, so adopters could get a loud, destructive, fearful, aggressive or unhealthy animal. Owners that abandon their pets don't always tell the shelter staff the truth because they are often ashamed of abandoning the animal for selfish reasons.
The shelter adoption fee ($50-$100 for a dog and $40-$85 for a cat on average), hardly ever covers the cost of housing the dog until adoption, and doesn't cover any additional veterinary bills that the shelter had to incur. Most animals that leave shelters have already received vaccinations and neutering or spaying prior to adoption. Some shelters even microchip or tag their adopted animals.
To find your perfect match at the shelter ask the staff about:
- The animal's history?
- Any vaccinations that have been done?
- The animal's health?
- Any behavior problems?
- If the animal is good with kids, elderly or other animals?
- If the animal sheds?
- How much exercise, grooming, food the animal needs?
- If the dog is purebred or mixed?
- For breed, veterinary or training references?