Considering adding a new furry member to your family? We chatted with Jessica Bowers, shelter manager for the Humane Society of Manatee County, to learn the tips and tricks for a successful adoption. Here is what she shared with us!
When looking to adopt a new pet dog or cat, we always ask if they have other animals, or two-legged kids and their ages, etc. It is essential that everyone is excited to adopt a pet, and that no one in the house is allergic to the type and breed. The housing situation is important as well; even homeowners need to make sure that specific type and breed of pet is allowed at their home. Next, consider the living space. Animals with a lot of energy need space and exercise to be well behaved.
We try to match personalities (couch potatoes with couch potatoes, athletes with athletes), so we take a look at the potential adopter’s lifestyle.
Adopting an adult shelter dog will show you their forever personality. Puppies and young dogs will most likely change personalities over time (for example, a quiet puppy may not be a quiet adult.) Older dogs and cats also tend to not need as much one-on-one time as younger pets.
If people prefer a dog/cat who is calm and reserved, they need to look for the dog/cat who is more aloof and quiet (and may even appear standoffish from the stress of being in a shelter). Don’t choose the animal that is scared or fearful.
If people would like a dog/cat who is there to greet them and all of their guests or who will play fetch, they need to consider a dog or cat who focuses on them more than the surroundings. The biggest mistake adopters looking for in this type of animal is picking the most active dog/cat, even if they aren’t paying attention to them. Those are generally the animals who will get into trouble as they are independent and won’t necessarily bond with their owners.
Observe from a Distance
One of the best ways to determine an animal’s behavior is to see how they interact with the staff members. In the kennel, they may be showing one way, but on a leash you will more likely see their true colors. An animal doing anything negative in a shelter environment under high stress will almost always do it at home as well. KNOW THAT before taking them home, and be ready to correct the behavior. If animals are pulling on the leash or fixating on other dogs, know you most likely need to watch your dog around other dogs and work on leash walking at home.
There are many animals in need of adoption in Manatee County. Nothing feels better than adopting animal looking for a loving home. Make a difference: adopt a shelter pet!
Photo credit: https://flic.kr/p/rBYQ8o