Sharing your home with a four-legged companion can be a rewarding and joyful experience. However, adopting a pet is a big decision that must be carefully considered. Dogs and cats require an emotional and financial commitment that can last longer than 15 years. Ask yourself these questions before bringing Fido or Fluffy home:
Why do you want a pet?
This is a question that few people take the time to seriously consider. Adopting a pet because it's "the thing to do" or because the kids have been begging you for a pet usually ends up being a big mistake. Make certain that you and your family are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to an animal. (And remember that that commitment may last longer than 15 years.)
Do you have time for a pet?
What kind of lifestyle do you lead? Do you travel frequently or work late hours? Dogs, cats and other pets cannot be ignored just because you're tired or busy. Many animals are in the shelter because their owners didn't realize how much time it took to properly care for them. Before adopting, seriously consider whether you have the time to provide for the health of your new pet or the patience to raise a new puppy or kitten.
Can you afford a pet?
The costs of pet ownership can exceed $500 per year. Food, licenses, training classes, spaying and neutering, routine and emergency veterinary care, annual vaccinations, grooming, toys, kitty litter and other expenses add up quickly.
Are you prepared to deal with the special problems a pet can cause?
Flea infestations, scratched-up furniture, housebreaking, barking, biting, digging, spraying and general mischievousness are just a few of the problems you might encounter. Do you have the time and patience to cope with these potential problems?
Can you have a pet where you live?
Check your lease for restrictions and be certain you have landlord approval before you bring a pet home.
Are your living arrangements suitable for the animal you have in mind?
Think about the type and size of pet you are considering. Can you comfortably accommodate the pet in your living space? Can you provide the pet adequate shelter from the heat and the cold?
Is it a good time for you to adopt a pet?
If you have young children (under six years old), you might consider waiting a few years before you adopt a pet. Children should be mature enough to be responsible for and respectful of your new pet. If you're a student, in the military, or a frequent traveler, consider waiting until you settle down before bringing a pet into your life.
Does everyone in your household agree with adopting a pet?
"Surprising" someone with the gift of a pet may sound like a good idea, but it doesn't always work out. Pet ownership requires commitment and cooperation from the whole family.
Ready to take the first step toward taking home one of our adoptable dogs or cats from the Pasadena Animal Shelter? If so, you may view or download an application for a dog here or cat here. Please keep in mind that the Shelter's standards of care include giving greater weight to perspective adopters who have taken the time to come in to see the animal, and that those who haven't done so may not have that animal available when they do come in. What does this mean for you?
It means you should review the questions above and be sure you are ready to commit to providing a life-long home for your chosen animal. Once you've done that, you should come in to fill out the application, or if filling out at home and faxing to us, be aware your approval is affected by the interest you show in the animal you've applied for. If you've sent in your application but haven't bothered to come in to meet your animal, there is no guarantee we will not approve someone else who has an interest in the same animal and who has shown that level of interest. So fill out your application, fax in and then...make arrangements to meet you prospective pet and complete the process.