Recently I had the pleasure of adding a pet to my family. In the process I visited shelters, pet businesses and explored the world of online pet adoption. A wide range of conditions, competencies and motives exist for these operations.
If you, too, are looking to add a pet to your home, here are a number of questions you might want to ask yourself as you search for a companion: 1. Are you allowed to see the kennels and cages where the animals are housed? If adopting from a person, are you allowed to see the home where the animal lives? 2. Is the place clean? Are the animals' dwellings clean? Are the animals healthy, groomed and clean? 3. Is the place upfront about whom or what they are? Will you be able to contact them after the adoption (name and phone number) if you have questions? 4. Does the place interview you in an effort to match you with an appropriate companion? 5. Is the place able to provide you with details about individual animals? (Personality traits, needs, history, quirks and idiosyncrasies?)6. Is the place knowledgeable about the needs of the animals in their care? 7. Are trained professional staff employed to provide veterinary services for the animals? 8. Are veterinary records available for the animals? 9. Are the animals spayed or neutered? 10. Will you be able to return the animal if things don't work out?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then for your sake as well as the animals, you might want to consider another individual, agency or business that is more transparent. A place that puts the needs of its animals above all else is acting in the best interest of both the animal and the adopter.