Are you ready to adopt?
Choosing an animal companion is a life altering decision that should not be taken lightly. At SPCA Otago we want to match every animal with the right owner. We suggest that you carefully consider your circumstances before taking on the responsibility of owning a pet.
Can you answer “YES” to the following questions?
- Are you 18 years of age (or over) and can you care for a companion animal for its entire life?
The average lifespan of dogs and cats is around 12 years, with some going on to live much longer. Like a human member of your family, a 'forever' pet will spend its entire life in your care.
- Can you afford a new family member?
Although our cats, kittens, dogs and puppies have been vaccinated, microchipped and desexed—you will need to think about the on-going costs like food, toys, bedding, flea and worm treatments, annual health checks and vaccinations, vet bills and emergency costs, for the entire life of the animal.
- Do you know how to care for a pet?
As a pet owner it is your responsibility to know how to properly care for your animals. We can give you some advice but it is important that you do some research before deciding to adopt. Check out our Animal Care pages, for more information about caring for a variety of animals.
- Do you have time?
Exercise, grooming, obedience and play are important aspects of pet ownership. Puppies and kittens in particular are a huge time investment—you will need to ensure that they settle into your house comfortably, are house trained, learn obedience, are fed, walked and taken to the vet when necessary.
- Is your home suitable?
Carefully consider the kind of accommodation you can provide for your companion. Your home and garden size are significant factors in determining your suitability as a pet owner.
Rental properties: If you live in a rented home think carefully before adopting—while some landlords allow pets, many do not. We require confirmation from your landlord that you are allowed pets on the property, before confirming your adoption.
Dogs/Puppies: You must have a suitable shelter and fenced property if you wish to adopt one of our dogs or puppies. Our staff will do a site visit to check this before finalising your adoption papers.
- Will a companion animal fit into your lifestyle?
Working hours, a busy social life and taking regular trips away are all factors you need to consider before adopting a pet. Before you adopt a pet consider their specific requirements:
- Are you prepared to walk your dog every day?
- Are you home often enough to keep your cat company?
- Do you have time to give your puppy or kitten the basic training it needs?
- Who will care for your pet when you are away from home?
- These are just a few of the questions you should think about when deciding if the animal you want to adopt is the ‘right fit’ for you and your family.
If you answered “YES” to all of these questions, then CONGRATULATIONS!—you are ready to find your forever companion! If you were unable to do this, please consider what changes you could make to ensure you are suitably prepared to become a responsible pet owner.