Things to think before adopting a pet |

Things to think before adopting a pet

Nate Day
Rhiannon Rowe of the Eagle County Animal Shelter said that cats aren't as independent as some people assume, and that people often adopt them not knowing how much care they really need.
Special to the Daily

How much is that doggie in the window after all?

An adoption fee is important, but it’s not the only thing to consider when adopting a dog — especially around the holidays.

“No doubt, come January we will probably get at least a couple of animals that were given as gifts,” said Char Gonsenia, the director at the Eagle County Humane Society. “They’ll come from people that weren’t looking for that kind of gift.”

One of the biggest faults of people that adopt or rescue animals is their lack of understanding of the responsibility.

Outside of adoption fees, training and availability, general cost of care should be considered as well.

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“Make sure it’s the right time for you. Animals live for many years and they require care and attention,” said Rhiannon Rowe, animal shelter manager of Eagle County Animal Shelter. “Consider the cost of care and we don’t always know the animals’ histories. Do your research, figure out if it’s really the best time for you.”

Often times around the holidays, pets will be given as gifts, only to find out that the owners don’t have time, or desire to own a pet. While both the Eagle County Humane Society and Eagle County Animal Shelter will always take animals back if needed, they’d prefer to see animals go to a prepared household in the first place.

Match made in Heaven

The Humane Society’s adoption process is rigorous, following an application, a visit between an animal and a potential owner is required to determine if it’s a strong match. The application and meeting include a discussion of what kind of time and resources the adopter has, as well as if they own other pets, have small children or need landlord approval.

Following the visit, the pet’s foster parents will also weigh in on the fit. Most of the time, Gonsenia noted, it’s a match made in heaven.

The shelter’s process is similar, but may take less time, resulting in a same-day adoption. They also give a five-day trial period to allow an adopter to see whether the pet is a good fit.

And it’s not just during the holidays that people need to make these considerations.

“We don’t necessarily see an influx of adoptions around the holidays,” Rowe said. “It happens a lot in the spring when people are thinking about being outside.”

If you’re giving a pet as a gift this season (or adopting one later), it’s a good idea to consider every aspect before pulling the trigger.

“Getting a pet for someone is like having a kid,” Gonsenia said. “It’s really important to only get a pet when somebody is looking for and wanting a pet.”

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