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Hearts & Bones Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Photos by Nikki Tappa and Hilary Benas

Before You Adopt

Pet adoption is life changing, and it is important that everyone in your household is ready. We’ve created a basic checklist below, ILM PETS, or I Love My PETS, for you to review with your family prior to submitting an application.

Identification

  • Identification includes tags, microchip information updates, dog licenses (if applicable), among other registrations.

  • Adoption 101 includes being prepared to keep all of your new pet’s registrations up-to-date, in the case your new dog gets lost. Animals cannot talk, unfortunately, so it is the adopter’s responsibility to take all necessary precautions as soon as possible following adoption. 

Lifetime Commitment

  • Dogs are a lifetime, daily commitment. Dogs can live 15+ years. What happens if you change jobs? Find a new partner? Move? Have children? Get another dog? What if issues arise around these situations – will you be able to make accommodations to keep your adopted dog? A dog should be considered a part of the family and not dispensable during life changes.

  • In addition to life changes, dogs need daily commitment – this includes feeding, walks, stimulation, and love. Will he or she be taken care of everyday for the rest of his or her life?

Medical Care

  • Medical care, at the very minimum, includes vet visits, basic vaccinations, and preventives on a monthly basis. Is this affordable?

  • Additionally, what if something happens to your dog and an expensive surgery or procedure is required? Is this affordable? We recommend pet insurance and can provide you recommendations.

Patience

  • The adjustment period post-adoption is not always easy. Your dog may exhibit: separation anxiety, poor leash walking skills, anxiety while you are gone, a liking for chewing your couch. Are you ready to be a patient teacher while your dog adjusts to your home? Adjustment can take a few months or even longer.

Expensive!

  • Dogs are not cheap. Below is a list of typical expenses related to one dog. Have you considered the total cost on a monthly basis?

    • Dog Food – High-quality, healthy food

    • Heartworm and Flea/Tick Preventive

    • Annual Vet Visits

    • Pet Insurance

    • Dog Walkers

    • Dog Daycare / Pet Sitters

    • Dog Training

    • Dog Toys

    • Dog Treats

    • This does not include any emergencies, whether training or health-related, that could arise.

Training

  • While some dogs may already have some basic training skills down, all adopters must be prepared to work through behavioral issues that may arise. We have trainer recommendations that can help you if you are working through any issues! Typical training items include:

    • Housebreaking

    • Cratetraining

    • Separation Anxiety

    • Fearfulness

    • Leash Walking

    • Food Aggression

    • Leash Aggression

    • Dog Aggression

Supervision

  • Last, but certainly not least, is often something that is overlooked. Dogs require a lot of supervision. Is this something that you have time and energy for?

    • Do you have children? Children should never be left unattended with a dog. No matter how well-behaved your dog or child is, children, especially young children, can make more unpredictable movements that can make a dog uncomfortable. Children should never put their face in the dog’s face, ride the dog, pull the dog’s ears, etc. It is your responsibility as the adult to always supervise these situations to prevent a dog bite. Dog bites result in quarantine, and at worst, can lead to euthanasia.

    • Have a yard or patio? Dogs can get bored – they can dig, they can jump over a fence, and can get out more quickly than you think. They should never be left unsupervised outside.

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