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In the case of pet adoptions, a picture does not speak a thousand words. There is much more to pet ownership than seeing that cute cuddly animal that is staring at you from a web page and is calling your name. Before you consider adopting pet, we recommend you take your time and go through these steps and discuss with anyone in the family that should be part of the entire decision making process. 

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1. Why do you want a pet?

This is an important question and you should weigh the pro's and con's perhaps even writing them down to evaluate need versus want.

2. Will my new pet fit my lifestyle?

If you are working from home, it may be a lot easier to care for a particular pet than when you work say 60 hours per week away from home. Consider what type of pet to get that fits your lifestyle and do the research if you have not previously owned that type of pet. And what if your situation changes and you have to commute to the office full time?

3. This is related to question 2, how much time do you have to spend with your pet? If you get a pet that requires a lot of outdoor exercise, then consider this but also consider basic pet needs such as feeding, watering, grooming, companionship and medical care. 

4. This is a tough one but needs to be asked, with the cost of veterinary care sky-rocketing, do you have the financial ability to care for your pet not just for regular check ups but in case of an emergency?

Check with your veterinarian beforehand and shop around on veterinary care and emergency veterinary care to see if you are in a good position to take on this responsibility.

5. Do you rent or own?

What are your living conditions to accommodate the pets needs?  A landlord may not allow you to have a pet or require a high pet deposit. A condominium complex may have its own rules, all items to research before you adopt. Yes, we will verify your answers on the application to ensure that you are allowed to have this pet in these cases. 

6. What about grooming?

We mention it here separately because it depends on the pet. A shorthair cat will mostly groom itself, but a medium or long hair cat will need to be groomed either by you or a professional. The same is true for long-haired rabbits for example. This will take time from you and possibly cost. 

7. When I go on vacation, what happens to my pet?

Who will take care of your pet when you are on vacation or become ill. There are a lot of heart-breaking real-life stories where pets were supposed to be taken care of by friends or family while you are away and instead they were not or worse, they escaped never to be found again or hit by a car. In case of illness, DART is here to help so please contact us and share our contact information with your family and friends for that situation. 

8. Are you able to train your pet? 

A kitten or rabbit may need litter box training, a dog may need obedience training. Consider whether or not you are able to train yourself or can find resources to help you achieve the goal. 

9. Are you willing to give up some free time and freedom?

A pet can limit the time you can spend away from home with friends, doing activities. If your pet is sick, it may need a lot of care, going on vacation may now have to include the limitation of finding a reliable pet sitter and associated cost of hiring a pet sitter.

10. Finally, can you provide a stable living situation for your new pet?

Often times, the pets we rescue are in and out of shelters and foster situations, it is important that when they go to a home it is in fact their forever home so they can live a peaceful, happy and healthy life. COVID-19 is a perfect example of a pet crisis. People got a pet while working from home and now that the situation on the virus is improving everyone is literally dumping animals into shelters already overwhelmed or worse setting them loose

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