So You Want To Adopt?

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Please Think Before You adopt.

There is a lot to consider before adopting a life long friend. It should not be done on an impulse. It can happen to the best of us. You see a cute, block head pittie, just begging for attention. Or maybe it's a gorgeous Labrador mix whose tail seems to be wagging just for you. You take one look, and the next thing you know, you're walking down the pet food aisle at the supermarket.

If you're like most of us, falling in love with a pet is easy. And no wonder! Sharing your home with a four-legged friend can be one of life's greatest joys. Dogs, cats, and other pets give us unconditional loyalty and acceptance, provide constant companionship, and even help relieve stress after a hard day's work.

Adopting a pet, though, is a big decision. Dogs can require lots of time, money, and a commitment-over 15 years worth in many cases. Having a dog to share your life with can be rewarding, but only if you think through your decision before you adopt a companion.

Things To


So you've thought about it, which has brought you to this section. Before you make that decision to bring a furry friend into your life, take a moment to think over these questions:

  • Why do you want a pet?  Make sure it's for all the right reasons. It's amazing how many people fail to ask themselves this simple question before they get a pet. Adopting a pet just because it's "the thing to do" or because the kids have been begging for a puppy usually ends up being a big mistake. Don't forget that pets may be with you 10, 15, even 20 years.
  • Do you have time for a pet? Dogs, cats, and other animal companions cannot be ignored just because you're tired or busy after a long day. They require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of every year. Properly training a puppy/dog now will only make them a better adult dog down the road. But it takes time and consistency from all of the family.
  • Can you afford a pet? The costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Training classes, spaying and neutering, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food and other expenses add up quickly. Just one sick appointment can be double what you spend on an annual well visit. If you are new to pet parenting, check out some local vets you intend on using to see what the financial situation can cost you for visits, vaccines and heartworm an flea/tick preventions.
  • How we determine what breed a dog is? Quite simply we don't. Our dogs, most commonly, are magnificent mutts. The breed listed on the website is always a "mix" and is completely based on a guess of one person (usually shelter staff). There can be endless varying opinions as to what a dog is really mixed with. For example, a dog may be marked as a lab mix and if you get a DNA test done, there may not be any lab in the dog at all.The reality is, if it's important to you to have a certain breed (or it is important that your dog NOT have certain breeds in its makeup), try a breed-specific rescue group. If breed is not a concern when choosing a fit for your family, try to focus on traits that make a difference in daily life such as personality/temperament, size, health, activity level and age. When it comes to choosing a rescue dog, they most often are very watered down mutts and should not be judged based on any specific breed stereotypes. WE CAN NOT/DO NOT REPRESENT THAT WE REALLY KNOW WHAT BREED/MIX A DOG MAY BE. Sort of the same for age. Unless we were there and witnessed the birth...age is a best guess from shelter/staff or at the first exam from a Vet.
  • Can you have a pet where you live? Many rental communities don't allow pets, and most of the rest have restrictions. Make sure you know what they are before you bring a companion dog home. Some charge additional pet fees to your lease. Based on the rental community guidelines, Wags has some renter restrictions for bully breeds and weight restrictions as well. If applying, please let your landlord know we'll be contacting them to verify any restrictions.
  • Is it a good time for you to adopt a pet? If you have very young children, for instance, you might consider waiting a few years before you adopt a dog. Depending on their age, can you juggle it all? Please don't rely on the kids to be the main cleaner-uppers...we've all fallen for that, lol. If work has you away for long hours or travel...maybe now isn't the time to add a dog.
  • 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 they often bark at any noise. On the other hand, some big dogs are laid back and quite content to lie on a couch all day. Before adopting a pet, do some research and read our bios! That way, you'll help ensure you choose an animal that should fit into your lifestyle and your living arrangements.
  • Do you know who will care for your pet while you're away on vacation? You'll need either reliable friends and neighbors or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.
  • Will you be a responsible pet owner? Having your pet spayed or neutered, obeying community leash and local township licensing laws, staying up to date on core vaccines such as rabies and keeping identification tags on your pets are all part of being a responsible owner. Of course, giving your pet love, companionship, exercise, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary care are other essentials. If you receive an un-altered dog from Wags Rescue, you will need to pay a Spay/Neuter deposit with your adoption fee. Within 3 to 6 months of adoption, you will need to have your dog spayed/neutered. It will cost you anywhere between $100 to $800 for the surgery.
  • Finally, are you prepared to keep and care for the pet for his or her entire lifetime? When you adopt a pet, you are making a commitment to care for the animal for his or her lifetime. This brings us up to some age requirements we have. We only adopt to those 24 and older. Now as for our Senior Citizen Adoption Policy. Wags Senior Citizen Adoption Policy
    Our first interest is placing our dogs in a home that will be able to care for them for the rest of their lives. Sadly, the shelters are full of dogs that are turned into the shelter in their later years as their owner is no longer able to care for them due to the owners own health issues, moving to a retirement home, etc. While this is a delicate topic, and not meant to insult anyone, the following guidelines must be met if an adopter is over the age of 64:
    1) Generally we will not adopt out young puppies to senior citizens - in 100% of cases in the past, the pup has been promptly returned as the pup was simply too much work for the senior citizen/adopter to keep up with. The dog you choose must be at least 1 year old (or older), and
    will also be dependent on age of adopter as well as other factors.
    2) When choosing a dog that will be a right fit, the age, size and energy level of the dog must be considered. Factors such as whether there is a yard or not, and whether there is another person also living in the home to help care for the dog will be considered, and Wags reserves the right to restrict the size and age of the dog eligible for adoption to a senior citizen.
    3) Any person over the age of 64 must have a family member agree that they will take the dog in the event the adopter can no longer care for the dog. This family member must be interviewed by Wags and must also sign all adoption paperwork. When choosing a companion to adopt, please think of the big picture, be realistic, and choose a dog that you expect to be able to care for the rest of the dog’s life.


Sure, it's a long list of questions things to consider. But a quick stroll through a dog shelter will help you understand why answering them before you adopt is so important.

Many of the shelter's homeless animals are puppies and kittens, victims of irresponsible people who did not spay or neuter their pets and allowed them to breed. But there are at least as many dogs at the shelter who are more than a year old and were obtained by people who didn't think through the responsibilities of pet ownership before they got the dog nor did they take the time to train the dog in simple behaviors.

Please, don't make the same mistake. Think before you adopt. Sharing your life with a dog can bring incredible rewards, but only if you're willing to make the necessary commitments of time, money, responsibility, and love-for the life of the pet.

If you're ready to adopt a companion for life, please click the links above at the top of the page to some of our many wonderful dogs available for adoption at Wags Rescue.

If someone tugs at your heart and you would like to meet him or her, please fill out an Adoption Application.

Ready to Adopt?

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