Thinking of adopting a shelter pet? Here are five things to consider first.

Christina Jedra
Updated: March 15, 2019
Aaron Dyer

Natalie DiGiacomo, director of Community Outreach at Bucks County SPCA, in Pennsylvania, recommends you find out the following before you commit to adopting a shelter pet.

1. What is known about the animal’s past?

Its background can offer insight into the pet’s health history and behavior.

2. What about the animal’s personality?

The shelter staff may have made observations about the animal’s fears (e.g., loud noises) and play habits.

3. What services are included in the adoption fee?

Many shelters include sterilization, vaccinations, microchip identification, and more.

4. Does the shelter offer follow-up care?

Some do provide post-adoption services, such as consultations from an on-staff veterinarian.

5. Can you recommend other local animal services, like training classes and grooming centers?

Most shelters can provide referrals for trusted professionals in your area. Many also have information about local dog parks, pet-friendly rental housing, and more.

Find a shelter near you at theshelterpetproject.org.

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