What to Expect When You’re Adopting a Pet

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Adopting a pet can be a worthwhile investment to your home and family. In recent years, it has even become somewhat trendy to adopt an animal from a shelter or pet adoption agency instead of simply making a purchase from a pet store. If you are thinking about adopting a pet, here are several adoption expenses and additional steps to keep in mind as you plan.

The Application

Adoption agencies like to see that the animal will be going to a good home. Normally, those interested in adopting have to fill out an application and complete an interview process as well as visitation in order to ensure that they are a good fit for the animal(s) in question. Applications ask for confirmation of identity, living situation (housemates and children), address and contact information. In addition, they ask for references, an evaluation of your outdoor space, including fencing, your history of pet ownership. In some cases, these applications can contain some short-response questions about pet ownership and the kind of pet that you are searching for. After completing an application, your answers are carefully reviewed and you will be contacted by the agency for a follow up. Remember, adopting a dog is a big responsibility, and a good agency will make sure you are going to take care of the dog properly.

Application Follow Ups and Visitation

Follow up conversations by the pet adoption agency often require a phone interview in addition to a meeting in person. Some agencies will invite the person interested in adopting the pet to their adoption center or to the household of a foster parent for their animals. In other cases, the agencies will send photographs of potential good fits for pets, and the adoption agency will schedule a home visitation with the desired animal to see how the animal reacts being both inside your home and your outdoor space. This “meet and greet” of the animal also allows for the agency to follow up and more carefully confirm the information that you supplied both in your application and during the interview process. The pet adoption agent or the foster parent will address any concerns that he or she may have with the intention of helping the applicant best prepare his or her home.

Typically, after a visitation, the agency will follow up via telephone regarding whether or not the applicant is a good match for the animal. If any further requirements need to be met, the agency may schedule an additional appointment to investigate the changes to the home space. As long as the applicant has addressed the concerns appropriately, the agency should at that point allow for the individual to sign the adoption papers. In many cases, these papers will stipulate an additional visitation or two by the adoption agency within the first month to ensure that the pet has made a happy transition to his or her new home.

Fees and Expenses

Although animal shelters usually cover the initial veterinary examination, more exclusive adoption agencies may expect the aspiring pet owner to cover these costs with their own vet. During the initial veterinary examination, additional fees can be expected, including the cost of spaying and neutering, heartworm or leukemia tests, flea and tick treatments, deworming, and a collar and identification tag.

Having a pet shouldn’t be a burden, but when you first adopt an animal, you can expect a few initial expenses. When the initial output is a problem, some pet owners choose to cover any medical expenses with short-term loans. The costs from animal shelters and pet adoption agencies can range from $400-$1000 for these initial health checks and necessities. In addition to healthcare costs, you may need an extra $500-$1000 on hand for modifications to your home or backyard to best accommodate your new pet.


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