How Does Animal Adoption Work?

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Finding an Adoption Agency

  • If you're feeling the urge to adopt animal, you must first decide what kind of pet you are interested in. You then have to find an adoption agency that rescues that particular animal or breed. There are several websites that allow you to search for agencies or rescues based on animal, breed and location. You can then visit the agency's website, or call or visit them to find out what pets they have available. (See Resources.)

Application Process

  • Once you have found a pet you are interested in at the agency or rescue, you will be required to complete an application. These forms usually ask for information about what kind of home you live in, who lives in the home, what other animals you have, and why you are interested in adopting. If the application is approved, many agencies require interviews that may involve home visits. An agency representative will come to your home to see if the living conditions are suitable for a pet. This is also a way for the agency to get to know you and your family in person.

After the Application Process

  • While awaiting confirmation that you have been accepted to adopt, you may be allowed to visit the animal you're interested in. Once you have been approved for adoption, you will spend more time with the animal and have the rest of the family and other pets interact with the animal. This is to ensure that the new pet and owner(s) are a good fit.

Bringing Home the New Pet

  • When it is time to take your new pet home, you will be required to sign a contract that outlines what is expected of you as a pet owner. Most agencies and rescues also require that, if for any reason you are not able to keep the animal, you must return it to them.

    You will most likely pay an adoption fee, which can range from under $100 to several hundred dollars. The size of the fee depends on the agency, the health of the pet and whether the animal needs any special treatments or surgeries. Most agencies will alter animals prior to adoption, which will increase the adoption fee, and reputable agencies should be able to give you a copy of the animal's medical records.

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