Missy's Hope Equine Rescue Resource 



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Adoption Tips

Tips for adopting a pet

            It is important to look into adopting a pet thoroughly.  You want to be sure to find the friend that is right for you.  Before even looking into a rescue, be sure that this is the right thing for you to do.  Assess your living arrangements.  Do you have room for the pet?  Do you have time for the pet?  Can you afford a pet at this time?  Are you planning to care for the pet for the rest of its life?  What will you do if you can no longer care for the pet?   It is important to look at all these factors before adopting a pet.


If you decide that adopting a pet is right for you, start by deciding what type of pet is right for you.

1.)    Would you like a small pet?

2.)    What kind of room do you have for a pet?

3.)    Do you have a specific breed in mind?

4.)    What do you want the pet for?  Is it as a companion, or in the case of a horse, is it to ride?

5.)    Where will the pet stay?  I.e.: boarding for horses, etc.


Once you have made these decisions, contact a local rescue.  See the tips on the “Finding the Right Rescue” page.  Do your research, and then begin looking at the pets.  Remember that rescues often come with “baggage” depending on what they have been through.  That should not deter you, but be sure that the “baggage” is something you are prepared to handle. 


  1. Talk to the caretakers of the pet.

  2. Tell them what you are looking for.  Do not set your mind in stone for a specific breed.  Sometimes the pet that will fit you the best is the one that matches your personality  

  3. Be willing to look at several animals.  Sometimes the first one is not the right one for you.

  4. Spend time with the pet.  First with the caretaker, then one on one.  Sometimes animals display different characteristics when not in the presence of their caretaker. 

  5. If possible, plan to make several visits with the animal.  This way the animal gets to know you and you get to know the animal.

  6. If you have children, be sure to find out what they are like around children.  If that is something that the caretaker is unsure of, bring your children with you on one visit.  Introduce them slowly and see how they react to each other.  If either one is aggressive or scared, this may not be the right pet for you.  A scared pet can often do things on accident out of their fear.  If they seem calm even though they are scared, let them get to know your child, but Do NOT leave them alone.  It may be that after several visits, the pet will have had time to get to know your child and will relax and be wonderful around them.  It there is no change in their behavior, then it is time to move on to the next animal.

  7. Follow your gut instinct.  Also talk to the caretaker, if they are the right type of rescue, they will not push an animal on you.  They will also be watching how the animal reacts to you and because they know the animal better, they may be able to see things that you do not. 

  8. Find out the adoption policies.  Be sure that you understand all of them.  Read a copy of the adoption policy carefully.  There are often rules on breeding, care, and home inspections in the adoption policy.  Rescues often also have some type of return policy if you can no longer care for the pet or if the pet does not fit in your home.  This is to insure that the animal will be cared for properly and that they will not be turned loose, sold, or given away.  Also find out about their exchange policy.  Some shelters/rescues will have one some will not.  The caretakers of these animals often become involved in the life of the animal, often they have nursed them through the worst time in their life and have seen them change in drastic ways.  They are concerned for the animal throughout its life and want to be sure that they will never have to go through something similar again.

  9.  Fill out the adoption form.  Be prepared to either bring photos of the home the animal will be going to, or for a home visit before you are allowed to bring the animal home.  Some places do not require these things, but many do.

  10. Remember to bring a way to transport your pet safely.  Carriers for small animals are a must!  If you are adopting a larger animal, bring a trailer or arrange for transport through a company that you have checked out thoroughly.  Some rescues have the ability to bring the animal to your home if you are in a certain time or distance from the rescue.

  11. Remember to give your pet time to become adjusted to your home.  If your pet seems to be having trouble adjusting, or becomes sick, contact your veterinarian and see if they have any suggestions.  Do not immediately return the pet.  These animals have to have an adjustment time, especially if they are young or have been in the shelter/rescue for an extended length of time.


            Remember that adopting a pet can be a wonderful experience, but it can often take time to find the right pet for you.   These animals are often the most loving animal you will ever meet as the result of what they have been through.  They can bring such joy into your life and they will receive the same joy for having you as their forever owner.   

Written by:  Brandi M. Qualset, 2007

Pets Featured belong to my family. 

The cats on top are Puffy (large gray and white cat: he was brought home by my dog eight years ago) and Pistol (adopted from a rescue where I worked seven years ago.  Her momma abandoned her at three days old and she has been with me ever since.)  The two dogs are our puppies, Screwy (in the left picture) and Valient (in the right picture).  They were found through an ad for free puppies and joined our family about 7 months ago.  The final picture is of Bonnie.  She joined our family just three weeks ago when her mother began killing off her kittens one by one.  


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