Have you ever thought about how many abandoned shelter dogs are killed annually? The number might shock you, reaching 390,000 in the USA, which is around 56 percent of the total dogs that enter the shelter. And thousands of dogs are waiting in shelters for a home with loving owners every day.
Adopting one is a great way to help out abandoned dogs. Shelters are overcrowded, and they are working hard to find homes for all of their animals.
- Why Should You Adopt a Shelter Dog?
- What Should You Consider Before Choosing a Dog at the Shelter?
- How to Choose a Dog at the Shelter-Step by Step Process?
- What is the Adoption Process?
- Why Do Shelters Take Your Interviews?
- At What Age Should Kids Get in Touch with Shelter Dogs?
- How Much Are Dog Adoption Fees?
- What are the 3-3-3 Rules for an Adopted Dog?
Why Should You Adopt a Shelter Dog?
You save a life whenever you adopt a pet. Besides, you help to save many other lives. However, saving lives is not the only reason to adopt a dog. You help fight against the puppy mills, which do not care about the dogs’ welfare but only about their profit by breeding dogs in large numbers.
Adopted Dog Costs Less Than From Professional Breeders
What would you do when you wanted a loyal friend? Either you would go to a breeder or you would check with a rescue shelter. Going to a breeder is not a bad idea or option when you have a specific breed in your heart. But remember, there are numerous dishonest breeders, to whom the dog’s well-being does not matter; they care about profit only. And a breeder will make you spend more money than a shelter. You can often get a free shelter dog as well.
Besides, shelter dogs are properly vaccinated, dewormed, and neutered, whereas all these maintenance procedures might cost you additional hundreds of dollars in the first year. Moreover, 99% of shelter dogs are already microchipped by shelter organizations. So you don’t need to buy a chip, which can save you an additional $50.
Adoption Saves a Dog’s Life
As I mentioned in the beginning, every year, a lot of unfortunate cats and dogs are killed at shelters without finding an owner to take them home. The number is an average of half a million every year. The disabled and elderly are mostly killed because they are expensive to maintain.
So, adopting is like giving someone a second chance to start their life. In return, you get a good friend at an affordable fee, sometimes at almost no cost at all.
Adoption is a Humanly Solution
There are millions of dogs waiting at shelters, making those shelters overcrowded. Strayed dogs are neutered to properly accommodate the existing dogs and to prevent them from bringing more homeless puppies into the world. When you decide to take an adopted dog home, you are taking part in a compassionate solution, and acting like a social being.
Get a Trained Dog
Many shelter dogs are already trained by previous owners. They become abandoned most of the time for reasons they are not responsible for. Many people leave their dogs at shelters because they can’t afford the amount of time their pets demand. As the trained dogs are more mature, you can turn them loyal to you fast, and they get accustomed to new environments quickly.
What Should You Consider Before Choosing a Dog at the Shelter?
It would be a mistake to choose a shelter dog only for its pretty good looks or because of the affection, it shows while you are on the spot. Don’t be perplexed by their behavior while homeless dogs wait for someone to rescue them. And remember, their nature varies from breed to breed, including their age and physical condition, which are strong determinants.
Choosing the right dog from the shelter is tricky, and you need to consider a few things when you pick an acute puppy as your future companion.
- Think of Family Members, Especially Kids: Whether it’s an adult dog or an innocent puppy, if it can’t settle and feel comfortable with you, your family members, your kids, or other existing pets, you might be causing some trouble within your home. It’s hard to say which dog will be a loyal, happy friend to your family. For instance, lots of German Shepherds are found at shelters, and if you want any of them, you must know that they are not very gentle with kids.
- Adopt Older or Disabled Dogs: First, I would suggest picking a dog more likely to be euthanized. People usually don’t like to adopt older or disabled dogs, thinking they will not be the right fit for their age or handicaps.
- Adopt One: Second, it’s normal to fall in love with the adorable looks, thinking you are going to take all of them to your home. You can adopt as many puppies as you want, but, in reality, it will not be a wise decision at all. Each dog needs care, expecting a reasonable amount of time to keep them healthy. More dogs mean more care, resulting in more time. Do you think you have enough time to spend on them? If you are not confident, you should pick one or two and focus on their care. Besides, you might not have enough space to accommodate all the dogs you like at the shelter.
- Talk to Shelter Staff: When you have got your pick from the shelter, do not process the paperwork hurriedly. Not all shelter dogs can be controllable if you are not already an expert in handling pets. For example, you should know if your picked dog is a service dog that has been trained hard and, accordingly, needs an expert handler. Besides, some species are more aggressive than others, like bulldogs, beagles, English mastiffs, etc.
- Research: Before adopting a dog from a shelter, research the breed you want to adopt. You should know what type of dog suits your lifestyle and personality. If you have kids, make sure they are comfortable around dogs before bringing home a puppy. Also, if you plan on having a pet, make sure you have enough space for it.
How to Choose a Dog at the Shelter-Step by Step Process?
- Search Online: You need to choose a suitable shelter. Searching online is a better way to check which shelter can offer your preferred dog. You can search by location or size of the animal (small, medium, or large). You can also narrow your search by specific needs, like cats, dogs, breed, age, etc. However, It’s better to adopt from your local shelter.
- Visit Shelter: Once you’ve found a shelter that’s right for you, visit it and take a look at the available pets. You might already have thought of a specific breed, but after visiting, there are chances you will find the right companion. If you’re interested in adopting one of them, ask about their adoption procedures.
- Know About The Dogs: Talk to the staff about the dog’s history and temperament. Ask them questions about how long the dog has been at the shelter and whether it has been spayed or neutered. Look at pictures of the dog and read its adoption papers.
- Make a Decision: After meeting the dog, decide whether you want to adopt it. If you do not feel ready to take care of a dog, don’t adopt one. You may want to consider fostering instead.
- Pay Fees: Shelters usually charge an adoption fee that covers the cost of the dog’s care and any additional expenses related to its health and safety, including vaccinations, neutering, deworming, etc. In most cases, this fee is actually less expensive than buying a new pet.
- Process Documentation: Complete the final documentation, which gives you ownership.
- Take Home: Finally, make sure to take your adopted pet with you when you leave. Many shelters allow pets to stay with their adopters until they are ready to be rehomed.
- Vet Check: Adopted dogs from a shelter have already been vaccinated and neutered. However, consulting a vet with your new pet can be helpful. He might guide you with some valuable suggestions. You should also check with your vet about vaccinations and other related care the dog might need.
What is the Adoption Process?
The adoption process or the paperwork is more manageable than people may think. It’s easy to complete in a few steps:
- Apply for adoption and fill in the dog adoption form by answering the questions;
- Attending a formal interview with the shelter counselor or representative;
- Meeting the pets waiting at the shelter and choosing one of them, considering the things stated above;
- Finalizing the paperwork and bringing it home.
Why Do Shelters Take Your Interviews?
Even though shelters are overcrowded and seek kind adopters to take the cute pooches home, they do not hand over the dogs to anyone randomly visiting the shelter. The adoption process goes under some set rules and all these precautions and procedures that shelters have taken to prevent the wrong adoption that often results in sheltering again.
So you might have to prove to yourself that you’re a capable adopter of a homeless dog who can provide food, shelter, care, and love to it.
However, considering all this, you might fear facing the interview process. But you should not; it’s not like an examination; instead, it consists of rather personal questions, for which you should not feel offended. Shelters have developed questionnaires to check whether you are fit enough to take care of the dogs and whether you have decided to adopt a dog, not out of sudden emotion. Besides, the interviews help them check if you already have some knowledge about pet grooming.
At What Age Should Kids Get in Touch with Shelter Dogs?
The age of your kids should be considered an essential factor to consider when you are taking a shelter dog home because there is always a risk of getting injured. In addition, kids have to have the least maturity to understand the pet’s behavior, as they will grow up together, understanding each other. And their ideal age should be at least 4.
How Much Are Dog Adoption Fees?
Unless you find an abandoned dog, you have to pay fees for adopting a shelter dog. Most of the time, the cost is affordable, being minimal compared to what a breeder can take. And as different dog shelters and rescue organizations work in different ways, their costs differ based on the various factors they consider.
However, I can give an estimation of the adoption cost you might pay, which can be somewhere between $50 and $700. That includes all the costs, along with the staff fees, vaccinations, etc.
Adoption costs can be broken down into the following:
- Adoption fee: Based on the pet’s condition, most of the shelters can demand adoption fees, starting from $50 to $700.
- Initial Medical Cost: Most of the time, the adoption fees include the dog’s primary, essential vaccines. Besides, stray dogs are often neutered. As per CanineJournal.com, in the first year, a dog’s veterinary costs can be around $100 to $350.
- Primary Accessories: If you have had a dog at home already, then you must have an idea of what the necessary goods a dog needs are, like a bed, crate, chains, food and water pots, toys, brushes, etc. All these accessories can cost up to $500 if you choose the premium goods. However, you can count on $200 for standard equipment.
What are the 3-3-3 Rules for an Adopted Dog?
The 3-3-3 rule defines the stages to understanding how a rescue dog can cope with your family, or more specifically, how to make it adjust through a step-by-step process. The rules are set for 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months, starting from the first day the dog enters your home. Some call it the “adopted dog’s honeymoon period.”
So why did this concept grow? First, as a stranger, think about how you would feel in a new school or workplace. All those curious eyes were looking at you, making you uncomfortable. If you were poorly treated, your confidence would be very low from the beginning, and it would become a nightmare to cope with new mates. But if someone smiled or treated you well to make you comfortable, you could start a good journey and act naturally within a few days.
That’s how these 3-3-3 rules work.
But do the 3-3-3 rules work? Well, most of the time, you usually get the expected results within 3 months, but it depends on the dog’s behavior and maturity. And if you don’t get results within 3 months, don’t worry. 6 months to 1 year is not really a long time if you care about your new companion.
The following lists can help you understand how your new puppy should be treated in its new home.
How to Deal First 3 days
This is a stressful period, and the dog will feel fear and discomfort. The primary symptom is sitting and hiding in the crate or under the table. You should not force it to eat if it doesn’t want to eat at all, but rather let it stay alone so that it can gradually understand its surroundings and what’s happening around it.
Be careful not to let it go without chains; it may run away from fear in a new environment.
How to Deal After 3 Weeks
The new dog has started to understand its new home and environment. It now recognizes its new family’s faces. And it has become accustomed to its new routine. It feels comfortable and has started to act as per its natural behavior. However, it still does not know the right or wrong it needs to maintain in the new family. After 3 weeks, once the dog feels comfortable around you, start teaching it basic commands. For example, teach the dog to sit, stay, jump, lay down, roll over, shake hands, and play dead.
Besides, dogs need exercise to burn off excess energy and keep their bodies strong. So make sure you walk your dog regularly.
How to Deal After 3 Months
The new dog has entirely accepted its new home and acts comfortably without any guards. It follows the daily routine and observes the basic training that has been taught to it in the last 3 months.
What you should do is rectify their behavioral issues and familiarize them with the additional training if you want.