The Pet Adoption Process – Passport and Social Security # Please


How to adopt a petUnderstanding the Pet Adoption Process

Thinking about adopting a pet?  During your search process, keep in mind that it is just as important to find the right organization to adopt from as it is to finding the right pet. Pet adoption organizations all vary in their adoption process.  The organization’s goal is to find homes for pets and make sure they stay happily in those homes. If you are new to having a pet, or if you haven’t had a pet in a while, you will want to consider the following when evaluating which adoption organization to work with.

The Adoption Interview Process

The application process should seem much like an interview.  A completed application, often followed by a thorough interview, helps the organization determine how informed you are about having a pet, including the financial and time commitments.  The adoption organization wants you to know how much you can expect to pay in vet costs, food and other necessities.  Some pets require more attention than others – so they will want to know how much you plan to travel and what your work schedule is.  The more the organization knows about your lifestyle, the better they will be at matching you with your perfect pet.  The interview process goes both ways.  You are interviewing the organization as much as they should be interviewing you.  You’ll want to know what information the organization has on the pet, including vaccination status, the overall health of the animal, age, energy level, special needs and whether the organization thinks this pet will fit with and adjust to your lifestyle.

Pet Adoption Home Visit

But some adoption organizations may want to do a home visit before adopting out a pet.  If you have other pets, the organization can assist with the introduction.  They’ll want to see how your current pet(s) interact with the new one.  By having someone from the adoption organization tour through your house, they can point out things which may need to be addressed, like a fence that may need to be repaired.  And they can also provide other helpful tips about what to expect when bringing the pet into your home.

What to Expect.

After you bring your new pet home, it could take up to three months for you and your new pet to settle into a routine.  Be patient and expect accidents as your new pet adjusts.   However, there may be unforeseen behaviors or situations you are unsure of how to handle.  Before you adopt, you should ask the adoption organization if they will provide training and other support if needed.  Many organizations have trainers or other needed resources.

If the adoption process seems cumbersome, it’s for a reason.  Animal organizations want to reduce the odds of a pet being returned once adopted.  You benefit from the process too.  If you have kids, you want to be matched with a pet that is safe around young children and be educated on how to monitor their interactions.  Doing your homework about the organization will ultimately lead to a better outcome for your new pet and your family.


 Photo: Courtesy of Orin Zebest via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

WagBrag’s co-founder, Russ Boles, has a deep history in animal rescue and welfare. For the past 12 years, Russ has served in various roles with Atlanta-based animal advocacy organizations focused on rescue, training and education. In addition, Russ led a local rescue volunteer team into New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina, assisting in efforts to rescue and care for stranded animals. This experience changed his life, and animal rescue and advocacy will always be a part of everything he does.