Tips for finding the best cat or dog for you; plus: preparing for a puppy
Adopt a Pet
Before You Adopt
Choose the right pet
Shelter pets may be purebred or mixes.
What to expect in a pet adoption
Questions to ask the adoption group
- Is a home visit required prior to adoption?
- What is the pet adoption fee?
- Are pet introductions by appointment only?
Pet Adoptions and Free Pets
Why pay a pet adoption fee?
It may be tempting to look for a free pet in your local classifieds rather than pay a pet adoption donation. But the reality is, no pet is free: You'll be responsible for her vet care, food and supplies for the rest of her life (see more information on the annual costs of pet ownership). Pet adoption fees vary by organization, but often cover the basic veterinary care you would have to pay for with your "free" pet.
Where does my adoption fee go?
Ask the rescue group, but fees usually include:
- Spaying/neutering $150-300
- Distemper vaccination $20-30 x2
- Rabies vaccination $15-25
- Heartworm test $15-35
- Flea/tick treatment $50-200
- Microchip $50
Another note on "free" pets
Unfortunately, individuals who do not have a pet's best interests in mind often scour classifieds for "free to a good home" ads. Therefore it's recommended that anyone seeking to rehome a pet request an adoption fee (see more on finding homes for pets).