Owning a pet is big responsibility. Before you adopt a pet, please consider the following:
Q: Are you prepared to care for the pet for its entire life?
If the answer is no, read no further because you aren't ready to adopt a pet. When you adopt a pet you are making a commitment to that animal for the duration of its life. Remember, puppies and kittens don't stay small and cuddly for very long.
Q:Why do you want a pet?
Stop and think carefully about your reasons. A pet may be with you 10, 15, even 20 years. Is your desire to have a pet enough to sustain your commitment for that long? Will you still want the pet - and the responsibility - after the kids are grown and gone?
Q:Do you have time for a pet?
Most pets, especially dogs and cats, require companionship in addition to food, water, exercise and care. These basic needs don't go away just because you've had a bad day or don't feel well.
Q: Can you afford a pet?
The cost of owning a pet can be quite high. Licenses, vaccinations, kitty litter, leashes, toys, ID tags, etc.
Q: Can you handle the unexpected?
Animal behavior can be unpredictable. How will you react if your pet uses your new rug for a litter box, or chews up your favorite shoes? Most pets don't have behvior problems if they get enough care and attention from their owners, but there is always the possibility of the unexpected.
Q: Is this a good time for you to have a pet?
If you have a child under age six, are a student, in the military or travel a lot, it may not be a good time for you to get a pet. It's best to wait until you're settled and that the children in your home are mature enough to be responsible.
Q: Is your house or apartment suitable for the pet you want?
If you rent you may not be allowed to have a pet. Even so, an apartment is not suited to an energetic dog who needs lots if exercise. If you live in a house, is your yard fenced? Allowing your pet to roam free is dangerous and irresponsible, and can cause problems (maybe even law suits) if your neighbors aren't fond of pets.
Q: Who will care for your pet while you're on vacation?
Unless you never leave the house overnight, you'll need someone you can rely on to take care of your pet, or enough money to hire a service or pay boarding.
Q: Will you be a responsible pet owner?
Having your pet spayed or neutered, obeying leash laws, keeping ID tags on your pet, etc., are all part of being a responsible pet owner. And, of course, there are the essentials like giving your pet love, companionship, nutritious food, and regular health care. Contrary to what some people believe, animals can not take care of themselves.
Q: If you are ready, consider adopting your pet from a shelter.
Most animal shelters stay full most of the time and are unable to take in all the dogs and cats that need protection and shelter. Many of these animals are there because they were adopted by people who were not ready to own pets, or are the result of pet owners who irresponsibly allowed their pets to breed. If you adopt a pet from a shelter, you are not only providing a home for a wonderful dog or cat, but you are also making a place at the shelter for another animal that needs protection.
P.O. Box 5354
Columbia, SC 29250
The Animal Protection League of SC (APL) is a local non-profit humane organization founded in 1982 by concerned individuals who love and respect animals. Our goal is to provide a safe haven for the community’s abused and abandoned dogs and cats and place them in permanent loving homes.
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APL is registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity.
All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.