Considering adopting a pet? We interviewed Nina Tonnu who runs Valley Animal Center regarding questions pet owners should ask when taking their first steps to adopting a pet.
1. What are the pros and cons of adopting a pet?
By adopting a pet from any shelter you not only save its life, but the life of the animal that takes its place. The myth of shelter animals being “damaged goods” is just that, a myth. A lot of animals end up in shelters at no fault of their own; their owners moved, had a new baby or lost a job. Adopting a pet gives that animal a second chance at happiness and love. Sometimes, if an animal has been in a shelter for a long period of time, there can be an adjustment period that takes extra work on the adopter’s part – but it always pays off.
2. What kind of questions should a new owner ask when adopting a pet from a shelter?
When looking to adopt a pet for the first time it is important to find the right animal for your family and your home. Always assess the amount of activity and time you are willing to spend with your pet then ask the adoption agency which animals would fit into your home life best. Most of the time the staff will be able to tell you what amount of exercise or training each potential pet will need.
3. Should new owners be concerned about taking home a pet that was previously abused?
Absolutely not, in fact a lot of abused animals turn out to be the most loving and loyal. They’ve experience such neglectful and harmful situations that once they are shown love they can’t get enough of it. It is important, however, to learn about the adoption agency you are looking to adopt from. If you are interested in an animal that was once abused you want to make sure the facility you are adopting it from has a history of successful rehabilitations and an insight into animals behavior to ensure you are making the best decision for your family.
4. How should a new owner prepare for bringing a new adopted pet into their home?
Beyond making sure you have the necessary supplies, it is always best to make sure you introduce a new pet slowly, especially if there are pre-existing pets in the home. One of the recommendations is to give the animals their own space for a while, like a laundry room or bathroom. This allows the pet to get to know its new family without being overwhelmed by the new surroundings. If there are other pets in the home take something each animal has slept on and give it to the opposite animal. This allows the animals to get used to each other’s scents before introducing them. When you feel it is safe to introduce the animals without an altercation you can do so from there.
About Valley Animal Center: The Valley Animal Center is a non-profit, no-kill shelter and low-cost spay, neuter, and vaccination clinic for dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens. The organization is dedicated to controlling the pet population through education, adoption, and spaying and neutering rather than euthanasia. Our facility is community supported and does not rely on government funding so any and all donations are greatly appreciated.
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