Choosing the right pet for you or your family is an important decision that requires a lot of research about breeds, sizes and adoption facilities. Whether you want a purebred dog from a kennel breeder or a rescued cat or mixed-breed dog from an animal shelter, it is a good idea to research the pet adoption facility you are interested in.
Pet adoption locations will differ on things like adoption fees, selection of animals and additional services, depending on what kind of adoption place it is. Shelters differ from kennel breeders in their adoption process, so it is smart to inquire about each facility’s adoption process.
What are the different types of pet adoption companies?
Animal shelters and rescues
Animal shelters rescue dogs and cats that have been abandoned or mistreated. They treat them medically and give them transitional shelter while looking for a permanent home for them. Shelters typically have modest adoption fees of around $100-$150 for dogs and $60-$80 for cats.
Breed rescues are generally a group of local volunteers that house, care for and place purebreds into permanent households. Consumers who are looking for a specific breed of dog can check their community for a breed rescue with the type of breed they are looking for.
Kennel breeders are a formal, heavily regulated dog breeding facilities that breed purebreds and are expected to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics. Each puppy bred at a kennel will come with registration papers that shows its lineage and breeding history.
What kind of selection do most pet adoption places have?
Pet adoption facilities generally have a variety of dogs and cats to choose from. Depending on the type of facility you visit or the type of pet and/or breed you are looking for, you can find purebred, designer mixed-breed and rescued mixed-breed dogs, as well as rescued cats.
- Purebred dogs: Purebred dogs are dogs of a modern breed and have a documented pedigree (genealogy). They are registered with a national breeder or kennel club and come from known, registered ancestors (closed stud book) or outcrossed ancestors (open stud book), meaning the dog is bred with other breeds, usually for things like working characteristics.
- Designer mixed-breeds dogs: Sometimes called hybrid dogs, a designer dog is a cross between two purebred dogs. Like, purebreds, designer dogs have a documented purebred ancestry. Examples of designer mixed-breed dogs include Cockapoos, Goldendoodles and Labradoodles.
- Rescued mixed-breed dogs: Often found in rescue shelters, rescued dogs are generally mutts, meaning their pedigree is unknown. Mixed-breeds are less prone to suffer from some genetic disorders, including cataracts and some skin allergies. It can be more difficult to predict the behavioral traits of mixed-breed animals than purebred dogs.
- Rescued Cats: Rescue shelters typically have a big selection of cats that have been found neglected and mistreated. After nursing them back to health these shelters help place them in a permanent home.
How much does it cost to adopt a pet?
Adoption fees are important to consider when selecting a pet to adopt. Fees can differ depending on where you get your pet, what kind of pet you’re getting and what kind of health and medical treatment it’s had.
- Breeder adoption: Adopting a purebred dog from a registered breeder or kennel can be very expensive. Buying a puppy from a breeder can cost between $500 to over $1,000 depending on the breed. Necessary vaccines, spay/neuter procedures and other medical treatments are not usually covered by that price.
- Shelter adoption: When you adopt a pet from a shelter your adoption fee generally goes towards the care of that pet, which is why shelter adoption fees vary slightly depending on the age of the pet. A good shelter spays/neuters, updates shots and treats animals before releasing them, so your fees include all medical treatment. Adopting a dog from a shelter can be around $100-$150, while cats can range from $60-$90.
Does the adoption facility keep a healthy environment?
Making sure the animals are raised and kept in a healthy environment is an important factor when choosing a pet adoption facility. Factors like facility cleanliness, proper air ventilation and behavioral enrichment activities are important for the proper development of dogs and cats. Most states have laws regarding the animals’ living environment when they’re for adoption or sale. To ensure you’re adopting from a legitimate facility or business, make sure they’re following local laws.
- Cleanliness: Make sure the adoption facility is clean and odor free. Animal living quarters should be very clean and washed out regularly.
- Air quality: Proper air ventilation systems should be used to maintain clean air for the animals and reduce airborne diseases.
- Behavioral enrichment: Taking care of animals beyond their basic needs is very important for proper development. Behavioral enrichment features like companion housing, communal play areas, durable toys and more help stimulate an animal’s brain and keep them active.
- Quarantines: To prevent the spread of disease, any ill animals should be housed away from other animals until a veterinarian deems them healthy.
Do pet adoption facilities offer additional pet services?
Many pet adoption facilities offer additional services for your new pet. Some kennel breeders provide puppy training, boarding and vet care from staff veterinarians. Shelters include vaccinations as part of their adoption fee and often include things like microchipping at discounted costs.
- Training: If you are looking for a puppy at a kennel, be sure to ask if they offer dog training courses. Some places offer complimentary training as well as private lessons to help crate- and house-train your new puppy.
- Boarding: Many adoption facilities and businesses also offer boarding services for your dog or cat if you purchased them from that particular facility. Some places have special requirements for boarding like only taking certain sized dogs, so it is a good idea to ask about any specific qualifications before choosing to board your pet.
- Vet care: Most shelters and kennels include the first round of puppy vaccinations in their adoption fees.