Adopting a pet, read this first


It sure would be heart-breaking to find your furry soulmate, only to walk out of the shelter alone- because you didn't come prepared.

Lin Holmes, of the Humane Society of Genesee County, says you should, of course, bring your ID. You will also need proof of where you live, whether you own your home or rent.

"If someone lives in an apartment or has a landlord, we will have to talk with their landlord to make sure they can have the pet they are looking at."

It's easy to fall fast for the sweet little faces in those cages but, before you give in to your heart, Lin suggests you use your head and do a little research about your potential new bestie.

"So many people will see something and think, 'oh, that's so cute, I absolutely love that,' but you should really look at, 'does this really fit my lifestyle'."

You will want to know if a pet needs a lot of exercise, special grooming- even how large they will get.

"If they see a breed they're really interested in, research that breed before you look at it, or after you find it."

While you want to make sure your current pet or pets will get along with a new family member, if you have other furry roommates, Lin suggests you leave them home for your first shelter visit.

"We ask they not bring them that first day becasue we want them to be able to look around and see what they're looking for."

If you already have pets at home, make sure you bring your current veterinarian's contact info, and proof that your pets are up to date on vaccines and preventative medications.

"It's really important for us, that if you are looking to bring a new animal into the home, that actually the ones you have are keeping up on all of that."

While you are researching, make sure you look at how much it will cost to feed, vaccinate and care properly for your pet . Make sure you can afford this new committment, that could last for ten years or more.

The last thing you want to do is bring home a little love-bug, then have to bring them back to a shelter. It will be painful for you and for the pet.

You should also be prepared for a background check. A new law- on the books since the end of last year- allows animal rescues to perform background checks on prospective adopters.

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