12. A Community of Pet Lovers
Once you adopt a pet, you're automatically enrolled in a community of animal lovers and pet enthusiasts. According to Colvin, many people that adopt from the Des Moines ARL later become volunteers. It's a wonderful relationship because shelters encourage and depend on such help, and volunteers lend their time to help the animals and to share their fondness with other pet-loving individuals. "Not only can you adopt your best friend at a shelter, but you'll also be doing valuable community service," says Colvin.
Colvin recommends establishing a relationship with a local vet as soon as you bring your new pet home. For dog owners, getting to know a reputable trainer and taking classes is another great way to enrich the human-animal bonding experience.