You’ve read up on dog breeds, worked out your budget, talked to a local vet and researched the best types of food. You’ve covered all the angles. At least, that’s the idea. There’s one thing that’s often overlooked by prospective adopters, even well prepared ones like you. Specifically, the process you have to go through to adopt a dog can be a little rough for the uninitiated. Here are a few pointers to help you through the process.
Where should you start? In a word: online. Start searching on the web. Ideally, search for adoption centers near you or use a web directory. Some services make it easy to find an exhaustive list of potential new family members. Simply enter some basic location and species information, and then get searching. Having plenty of choices means that you’re more likely to find a lifelong fit.
Being open-minded is great, but staying focused on your preferences and practical requirements can help you be a better dog parent. Even if a large dog captures your heart, neither of you will be happy in the long term if you don’t have the space that dog requires. Even if you want to adopt all the dogs, and you will probably feel that way after seeing so many cute faces, everyone is better off if you stick to your original plan.
Understanding the Adoption Center
Adoption centers and foster homes are the most likely places you’ll go to adopt a dog. These places are usually certified by one or more government or charity organizations. This means legitimacy, but it also means paperwork. Come prepared to fill out some forms, and possibly answer some questions. Even if you don’t love red tape, try to remember that it all comes from a place of love. The professionals and volunteers at shelters, dog foster homes and similar organizations truly care for animals.
It might seem fun to go meet pups and play around, but in realitydog adoption is competitive and fast-paced. Many dogs have multiple applications pending at any given time, and approval can take several days. If you see an opportunity, don’t pause to deliberate extensively. Take your chance immediately.
At the end of the day, each process is different. The story of adopting a dog often becomes an important part of the bond, coming up every year around the anniversary of the adoption. Starting with a good source of information and sticking to your plan will help you make the process as smooth as possible. Here’s an example of a national directory and resource for pet adoption to get your search off the ground.
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