Preparing to Adopt

Please be sure to consider these factors before adopting a pet.


If you lease your home, check with your property owner before adopting to ensure that you are allowed to have a pet and can afford any required pet deposits. Pets are sometimes returned because of lease restrictions and/or property owner disapproval. This can be an expensive lesson-adoption fees are non-refundable. Plus, being returned can be a stressful experience for the animal.

Other household members

All members of your household should be aware and approve of you bringing a new pet home. You should also consider:

  • Allergies
  • Fear or discomfort associated with animals
  • Expectations in sharing pet care responsibilities


Potential initial and ongoing costs for a new pet:

  • Adoption fees
  • Food
  • Grooming
  • Obedience training
  • Pet supplies
  • Licensing
  • Veterinary care (these costs can easily amount to $400 or more within the first few weeks of adoption)

Other pets

We recommend that you do not immediately introduce your new pets to the existing ones. Consider how you might manage an isolation period and be sure all existing pets are current on their vaccinations and other routine health care before bringing a new pet home.

Facilitating positive pet-to-pet will require some management on your part too.  Not all dogs are instant friends and may require temporarily or intermittent separation to ensure a smooth transition. Some pets are immediately happy to share their home within a week or two, others may take longer to adjust.

Time Commitment

Dogs will need time to adjust to the transition of a new home and new family and may require housetraining and behavior training to correct problem behavior. If you aren’t prepared to invest time into teaching your new pet appropriate behaviors and helping the animal adjust, consider waiting until you are to adopt a pet. Positive reinforcement-based training is the preferred training method for all newly adopted dogs and puppies.

The lifespan of your new pet could be 10-15 years. Ensuring that you can provide them with their basic needs, and loving attention is very important.

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RCHS does not receive any support from the Humane Society of the United States. Nor do we receive any federal or state funding sources. We rely largely on donations, fundraisers and grants for our program activities. All donations are tax deductible