How-to: Adopting an animal from a shelter
Giving a pet the gift of a new home is something extremely special. Especially when you give the gift of a new lease of life filled with love as well as safety to your new four-legged friend. It’s quite common for animals from a shelter to have experienced inhumane treatment and have a bad past. Others are unfortunately simply handed over due to a lack of experience and an overwhelming sense of responsibility on the owners’ part. Did you know that in Switzerland alone there are around 300 animal shelters offering hospice for almost 19,000 animals? And every single one is waiting for that special day where they’ll be taken home. If you’re already considering adopting a pet, then it’s really worth thinking about paying your local animal shelter a visit, don’t you think? In our guide you’ll find countless useful tips on how to adopt a pet from a shelter.
Adopt don’t shop: Why it’s better to adopt a pet from the shelter
If you’re looking for a new four-legged family member then you have the choice of either a breeder or adopting from an animal shelter. Unfortunately, animals who come from a shelter are usually given a bad reputation as having behavioral problems and being unsociable or difficult to integrate; which means that many people often go for the breeder route. However, the adoption of a pet from a shelter is a real benefit; in many more ways than you might think! You’re looking for a new paw pal and are unsure whether a breeder or an animal shelter is the best option for you? Then let us advise you on the five brilliant reasons why it’s better to adopt an animal from a shelter!
1. You’ll be giving your new pet a second chance: Every single year over a hundred thousand animals end up in shelters. Many of them are collected from the streets, some are simply given over to the shelter because they suddenly got too big, led to an uncomfortable living situation, or, unfortunately, because the owners got bored. Some animals are even born in shelters. No matter the circumstances of their previous life, they are all patiently waiting hopefully for a new home and a second chance. So, when considering adopting an animal from a shelter, just remember that by doing so you give an animal the chance for a good life with a lot of love, safety, and security.
2. You save the lives of two animals at once: Animal shelters in Europe are overflowing and the capacity for space as well as food are becoming more and more tight. Which means that unfortunately, not every animal or pet that ends up in a shelter can be cared for properly. So why not offer your new companion a safe, secure home and in doing so you’re making space for another animal in need; one that might not have otherwise made it to a shelter.
3. You have more choice: Not only do the most varied of animal types live in shelters but also from small to large, young and old you’ll find countless interesting characters that fit perfectly to you, your personality, and your lifestyle. There’s sure to be something for everybody on their search for a new pet. It’s important to take your time deciding and not rush into anything! Your new best friend shouldn’t only speak to you in how it looks, but also its character has to match well with your own. At best you’ll know and feel the spark of friendship between you and your new pet when first getting to know them.
4. You have lower purchase costs: Yes, you heard it right, adopting an animal from a shelter has financial bonuses as well. While one can look to pay over 1.000 Swiss francs for a new pet from a breeder, you’ll come away with an adopted pet from a shelter at a much lower price. At a shelter you’ll need to pay the so-called “protection fee” which concerns and handles the protection of the animal; for dogs it’s anything between 200 and 600 Swiss francs, and for cats the costs are around 200 to 450 Swiss francs.
5. You won’t be supporting shady breeders: Bad breeders sometimes let their pedigree dogs grow up under conditions that are not appropriate to their race. So, if you’re thinking of getting a dog or cat from an animal shelter or home you can have a clear conscious that you haven’t supported the dubious behavior of a bad breeder.
This is how you can support local animal shelters
There are plenty of ways you can support an animal shelter close by to you. Of course, animal shelters are always grateful for donations of any kind such as cash donations as well as dog and cat food, blankets, and towels are all great ways to do something good for the animals. If you’re interested in taking it a step further you could also work as a volunteer in an animal shelter. Walking dogs, stroking and playing with cats, but also the cleaning of the enclosures or manual work in the home could all be part of your tasks. It might be a good idea to do some research and get informed about exactly what kind of support they are most in need of.
Guide: How do I adopt an animal from a shelter?
Before going to the next closest animal shelter and adopting a pet you should think about if you’re ready for a furry family member. You should take into consideration that over the next years you’ll have to invest a lot of time and money in having a pet. Your living situation should also be taken into consideration and you should make sure that your new four-legged friend from the animal shelter has a new, safe, and secure home. If you are ready then there’s a few simple things to get ready before your new pal moves in.
As a first step you should get to know as much as you can about the animal from the animal shelter. Why is the animal in a shelter? How much and what does one know about the animal’s history and past experiences? Does the animal have any kind of allergies or diseases? How does the animal deal with others as well as people? Take your time to get to know the animal and visit it a few times. You’ll be able to tell relatively quickly while on a walk, playing, or cuddling whether or not you’re a perfect match for one another. Don’t be put off by how much the animal shelter wants to know about you. Such preliminary talks are quite normal and are intended to find out whether the animal will be in a safe living environment or not; which is the exact reason you’re there. Also, while enjoying personal conversations with the members of staff at the animal shelter, they will be able to find the right pet for you, especially when you tell them you’re living, family, and work situations. Have you found your new best buddy and the chemistry is there between the two of you? Then you’ll soon be getting a visit from animal protection. The members of staff will visit you at home and make sure that the details you’ve given are correct; when that’s all in order nothing stands in the way of your animal adoption process!
Checklist: What else you should pay attention to when adopting from the shelter
Wahoo! Finally, the day has come and your new pet pal can move in with you. First and foremost, you’ll probably notice that your new family member needs a bit of time to adapt to its new home. Don’t worry too much about this; actually, it’s rather exciting if you think about it! Because this is the time when the bond and trust between you and your animal is made. So that your pet feels right at home it’s crucial to make sure you prepare for your friends first few days. It’s important, especially at home, that you should make sure the right equipment is already available when it moves in with you. Depending on which animal you have chosen, this will of course be different. But one thing that should not be missing in any case is available safe hiding places for your new roommate. Especially over the course of the first few days it’s possible that the animal is disconcerted by the new environment. So, give your new pal enough time to discover their new home little by little.
Hold on to the most beautiful memories with ifolor
So, your new roommate has moved in, and your slowly becoming best buds? While playing catch and also cuddling up on the sofa your bound to get to know one another quickly. Why not capture the most beautiful moments together with an ifolor photobook ?!
Do a good deed this Christmas: Christmas in a shoebox, but for animals
Christmas is creeping up on us, houses are being decorated, flats are getting a decorative dose of Christmas cheer, and outside maybe the first few snowflakes are falling. Many people find themselves feeling the need to do something good, especially at this time of year. Maybe you’ve already heard of ‘operation Christmas child’ or the ‘shoebox Christmas’ project where shoe boxes full of gifts and donations are packed and distributed to needy children around the world every year? For a few years now some animal shelters and animal protection organizations offer a similar gift donation campaign, because animals and pets are also strongly dependent on humanitarian assistance at Christmas time. In order to prepare a bundle of joy for the animals in the homes, small packages with the most diverse things are packed, bringing dogs, cats, rabbits, or guinea pigs alike all the joy in the world. Toys, blankets, treats: all this can be put into a Christmas package for animals. Afterwards the gift boxes are distributed to the animals in the animal shelter, some shelters then hand the packages over to other animal shelters abroad. Would you also like to do something good for the feast of love and bring joy to an animal from the shelter with a Christmas present? The best way to do this is to find out from your nearest animal shelter whether they partake in such a donation. Otherwise, you can find various organizations in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany on the Internet to which you can send similar shoeboxes.