Adopting a Dog

When you adopt a dog, you save a life.

People looking to adopt dog at animal shelter

Looking to welcome a new pet into your home? Consider adopting a dog from an animal shelter.

When you do research prior to bringing a new dog into your home, including the possibility of adopting your new pet is one of the most compassionate decisions you could make. Contrary to the myth that animal shelters are filled with "bad" pets, most shelter and rescue dogs are wonderful companions who drew the short straw when it came to getting a loving and responsible owner.

Online Pet Adoption Tools

Petfinder.com, one of the internet’s largest directories of homeless pet and pet adoption agencies, features a “fill-in-the blank” search tool for finding potential pets near you, and offers an abundance of adoption advice.

In their online library, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, will tell you how to evaluate shelter dogs for a safe, friendly, and adaptable temperament. Sue Sternberg, owner of Roundout Valley Animals for Adoption, also explains how to change the name of your dog, “sometimes adopting a dog means adopting a dog with a name you don’t particularly like. Actually, it’s easy for your newly adopted dog to learn a new name.”

Understanding Pet Adoption Fees

Petfinder.com also delivers practical advice on the ever-contentious issue of “adoption fees.” They admit that it may be tempting to look for a free pet in your local classifieds rather than pay an adoption donation. The reality, however, is that “no pet is free.” You'll pay for vaccinations, spaying, etc. now … or later. Adoption fees vary by organization, but often cover the basic veterinary care you would have to pay for with your "free" pet. Further, they counsel that if you find yourself needing a new home for your pet, you should request an adoption fee: Unfortunately, individuals who do not have a pet’s best interests in mind often scour classifieds for "free to a good home" ads. Therefore, it’s recommended that anyone seeking to "rehome" a pet request an adoption fee.

Petfinder.com is undoubtedly one of the best online resources for dog adoption. The “This Week’s Happy Tail” column is filled with wonderful and inspiring “pet adoption” stories. The story of you and your new pal could be the next!