Interested in adopting an animal?
Before you go ahead and contact the shelter, you should give some thought to some practical issues. Do you have time for an animal in your life? Do you have a suitable, stable and safe home to offer it? Do you understand what is involved in looking after the sort of animal you want? Do you know where you can find a vet and food suppliers? How will you arrange care for the animal when you want to go on holiday or out for the day?
A little research and serious thought at this stage can save a lot of trouble later on - for you, the animal and the shelter.
If you have read this, done your research, thought it through and still want to proceed, now it is time to contact the shelter and make enquiries about the animal you have seen on RescuePet. The shelter will tell you whether that animal is still available and will probably suggest that you come to the shelter and visit him/her. The shelter staff may ask some questions at this point which will help them assess whether the prospective adoption is going to work. It may be that an animal needs a particular type of home. If the animal you saw on RescuePet is not available, or the adoption unfeasible, please go and visit the shelter anyway. There will be many more animals that are just as lovely and may be more suitable.
Always be honest with the shelter staff about the sort of home you can provide and the experience you have. The only agenda a shelter ever has is to find a good home for their animals. The last thing they want is to place an animal and have it returned to them a week later because the new owner:
A reputable shelter will want to do a home check prior to adoption. Don't be worried about this. Again, the shelter is just being responsible and making sure that home is suitable for the animal you want to adopt. They are not there to check your dusting, they are there to check your fences are secure! This is another good opportunity to ask questions and get advice on how to make your house safer and more comfortable for your new friend. For example, you might want to talk about what sort of bedding to get and where it should go. Or you might want advice about integrating your new pet with others in the house already.
If you are adopting a dog, it is also normal for a shelter to expect you to come and walk that dog a few times before letting you adopt it.