It's the holiday season, and people are in the giving mood! However, as nice as the thought is to adopt a pet as a gift, adding a new fur-kid is a far bigger commitment than say that treadmill that is collecting dust in our spare bedroom. (It seemed like such an amazing purchase at the time, but instead of my people using it to get into shape, it now serves as a perch for me to better see out of a window on the second floor of our house.)
But I digress...
We of course encourage people to adopt pets, but the key is to be fully prepared for a commitment that (here's hoping) lasts for at least 10-12 years. To help, we're going to feature a series of Q&As with rescue organizations on our blog.
This time around, we asked the fine folks at PAWS in Philadelphia to share their insights on the actual adoption process. Check out our Q&A with Sara S., PAWS Development and Administrative Manager, and be sure to learn more about this week's featured adoptable dog Mona!
SS: First and foremost, think about the kind of personality and activity level you're looking for in a pet. We have very feisty, playful cats, as well as the more mellow and independent types. Some of our dogs are low-energy couch potatoes, while others need to have regular exercise to run out their energy and would make good running partners.
SS: Sometimes, you just know! PAWS staff can help you make a match based on what your household is like - some of our animals are great with kids, some love the company of other pets, while others may prefer to be only-pets. Many adopters prefer an adult animal so they know from the start what the animal's personality and behavior is like.
SS: First, there's a brief application to fill out, which you can pick up at our adoption center or print out at www.phillypaws.org/adopt. Then, our adoption staff will be in touch with you to get to know more about you, your living situation, and your lifestyle to help you make a match. The whole process takes a few days or less.
SS: Our adoption staff can let you know what items your new pet will need, and you can go to any pet store, as well. However, the most important thing to prepare is yourself! Integrating a new animal into your family takes time and patience. Any new pet will need time and training to adjust to their new surroundings and learn to be the best pet possible. You can ensure the best start by committing yourself to your new pet's success.
SS: Enjoy it! Not only are you gaining a family member, but you're saving a life that may not have had a chance without your kindness.