We are big fans of adopting from animal shelters. We each have two dogs acquired from shelters or rescue groups. They are all the absolute best – not that we’re biased or anything.
But we know that the idea of going to a shelter to pick out a pet can seem like an intimidating prospect. Won’t you want to take them all home? And how do you pick the right one?
To give you some top tips, we drew on our own experiences and spoke to experts on the subject: Elizabeth A. Berliner, DVM, a shelter medicine specialist at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and Aimee Gilbreath, executive director of Michelson Found Animals, a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to helping shelter pets find homes.
“As in dating, this can be more or less effective,” Berliner says. “However, there may be some surprises once you get home. Many shelters provide ongoing support to help nurture your new relationship if there are elements that are challenging at first.”
Be clear about what you are looking for in a pet. It can help to make a list of attributes such as weight, coat type and age before you go to the shelter so that it’s easier to narrow your choices.