Choosing to adopt a pet is an important decision, so let us be your pet adoption education resource. Below is some information to help you prepare and understand how the process works. Please keep in mind that each adoption group must adhere to their own policies and regulations for placing any animals in accordance with State laws. Many can range from a government-run agency with few restrictions to private groups with very specific restrictions. WPA/America’s Family Pet Expo is not responsible for any decisions made between the adoption group and show attendees.
  • Do you have the time to take care of a pet? Most pets need some sort of socializing with the owner, exercise and play time, and every pet needs to be fed and cared for.

  • Do you have room in your home for the pet?

  • Are you prepared for years of friendship and years of care? Dogs and cats can live 15 years or more.There are costs, too. Food, veterinary care and licensing (for animals like dogs and cats) are long-term expenses.

  • Do you have children? Very young children and a new pet may not mix, especially when it comes to cats and dogs.

Each agency has its own process for adoption, but here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Some adoptions may happen the same day, other times it may take several days or longer. Ask the group how long a typical adoption takes.

  • You’ll be asked to fill out some paperwork. The application is geared for determining if you’re a good candidate to adopt a pet and what type of pet
    might be best for you.

  • Is there’s a fee? Yes, most adoption groups charge a fee. Fees vary per group.

  • Some agencies won’t let you take the pet home until they have seen you and your spouse and/or children interact with the pet.

Your part is more than just filling out paperwork and paying a fee, too. Be prepared to ask questions to make sure you get the pet that’s right for you. For example:

  • How the pet got to the adoption group. Was it a stray, did an owner drop it off or was the animal taken from the home because it was being abused? There may be behavioral or medical problems you’ll want to know about before you adopt.
  • Whether the group offers training classes to help your pet adjust to its new home.
  • Who’s responsible for medical care if your pet becomes ill shortly after leaving the group.
  • What happens if the adoption simply doesn’t “work out.” What if your new pet doesn’t get along with your children or other pets? What happens if you have to move and you can’t take the pet with you? Some groups may let you return the pet within a certain number of days, while others may leave it up to you find the pet a new, good home.
  • If you rent, lease, or are part of an HOA you should be able to show what pets and their size are allowed.

Sometimes adoption applications are rejected. There are many reasons why. For example, you may not be the only person interested in a pet and someone else may have filed an application first. Or, the group may decide the pet you want isn’t right for you or your family. For example, someone living in an apartment may not be an ideal candidate for a Great Dane.

If adoption was rejected, find out why your application was denied by the group and what recommendations they may have for you to be a pet owner in the near future.

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