Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

P Shopper Columns


One of the best parts of my job as an animal shelter care technician is matching adopters with a pet who fits their needs and lifestyle. My own pets are a constant source of joy and companionship; my home wouldn't be the same without them. I love that adoption not only means a fantastic new life for one of our animals but so much happiness for our adopters, too!  It may seem overwhelming to choose the right animal, but making an informed decision is important. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I get as an adoption counselor and questions you should consider when choosing your new pet. What are the animal's age and energy level? Any new pet will need training to acclimate to a new home, but some more than others. A puppy will need extensive training, whereas adults are more well-mannered. Adults and seniors often get overlooked in favor of their younger counterparts, even though they tend to require less training and are just as affectionate, fun, and loyal. When adopting a senior pet, owners should be financially prepared to handle any medical needs their pet may develop as they age.

Adoption not only means a fantastic
new life for one of our animals,
but so much happiness for our adopters, too!

Is the animal good with other cats or dogs? Do their neighbors have dogs with whom their dogs would interact?  Do they pass dogs frequently on the sidewalks?  Would they need to be able to exercise their dog at a dog park?

Can I be responsible for a pet through any foreseeable life changes that may occur?  Do I have breed restrictions?  Many apartments, rental homes, military housing, campgrounds, and other establishments sadly ban their tenants from having certain breeds. Moving is one of the most common reasons owners surrender their dogs. Those facing relocation, military deployment, new parenthood, and other life changes should have a long-term plan for their pets' wellbeing.

Am I prepared to provide yearly healthcare? Like people, dogs and cats require medical care to keep them healthy.  They need vaccines, flea prevention, dewormers, and checkups from their veterinarians, who can also run blood work and listen to the heart and lungs. Dogs should also be on heartworm prevention year-round. A potentially fatal disease caused by mosquitoes, heartworm disease is much cheaper and easier to prevent than cure!

Because the bond we form with our pets is so strong, owning one should be a lifelong commitment.  When I ask my adopters why they want to adopt, the answer is always more or less the same. They're looking for someone to spend time with when they come home, a hiking companion, a study buddy, or a friend to cuddle with on the couch. In other words, they're looking to bring a little sunshine into their homes! Pets truly do light up the lives of those who love them. With a bit of careful consideration, adopters can meet their perfect match and experience the joy of a lifelong friend.

Breonna Loxley is an animal care technician at an animal shelter. She is an avid artist, writer, and animal-lover. She lives with her parents, a younger brother, two cats, and one dog.