Falling in love with a pet is easy and pet ownership is very rewarding. Adopting a pet, however, is a big decision. Dogs, cats, and rabbits require a lot of time, money, and commitment. OHS encourages you to think through your decision before you adopt a companion animal. Our experienced adoption counselors will help you find an animal that's likely to be a good fit for your lifestyle and living arrangements.
You can use the Find Your Match search feature available at the top of our Dog and Cat adoption pages. This lets you search for animals who have the specific physical characteristics and personality traits you are looking for. We'll even email you when the pet you are looking for arrives at the shelter.
Things to Consider
Here are some things to consider before you make that decision to bring a furry friend into your life:
- Why do you want a pet? It's amazing how many people do not ask themselves this simple question. Adopting a pet just because it's "the thing to do" or the children have been wanting a puppy can be a mistake. A pet is a long commitment—10, 15, even 20 years.
- Do you have time for a pet? Dogs, cats, and other animals require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of the year. Many animals in the shelter are there because their owners didn't realize how much time would be needed to care for them.
- Is your pet a good fit with your family? Please bring your entire family to the shelter to meet your new pet and make sure everyone gets along well. That includes not only children (some pets don't do well with young children), but your canine family members as well. OHS can host "pet meets" at the shelter.
- Can you have a pet where you live? Pets may not be allowed at many rental communities or they may have restrictions. Make sure you know what they are before you bring a companion animal home.
- Are you prepared to deal with special problems that a pet can cause? Flea infestations, scratched-up furniture, accidents from animals who aren't yet housetrained, and unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership.
- Is it a good time for you to adopt a pet? Pets like a predictable routine, and your routine is changing—perhaps because of a new job, a new house, a new member of the family—waiting until you settle down is wise.
- Are your living arrangements suitable for the animal you have in mind? Animal size is not the only variable to think about here. For example, some small dogs such as terriers are very active—they require a great deal of exercise to be calm and often bark at any noise. On the other hand, some big dogs are quite content to lie on a couch all day.
Before adopting, ask yourself all of the above questions, and feel free to discuss these issues with an OHS adoption counselor. You can also use the search features on our adoption pages to find pets who have the traits you desire. That way, you'll choose an animal who will fit into your lifestyle and your living arrangements.