The dog adoption process
When selecting a dog at your local animal shelter it is important to keep in mind that, just like people, animals are not perfect. Whether a dog is a $10,000 show dog or a mixed puppy that is “free to a good home”, each will have specific faults in either their physical bodies or psychological makeup.
While it is important to select a dog that seems to be in good health and high spirits, no dog will come with a guarantee. Therefore, should your puppy or dog have minor issues such as parasites or kennel cough, try to be tolerant and understand that these are basic issues that most dogs will have.
With a little care and some extra help from you, your adopted shelter dog will overcome these shortcomings fairly quickly and then blossom into a strong, robust house dog that you can show off around the neighborhood.
I am certainly not suggesting that you let all negative signs slide from the dogs you are trying to choose from at the animal shelter. In fact, besides common issues and idiosyncrasies that all dogs will have, you should have a good idea of what you are in for when selecting one of these animals and be on the lookout for signs of good health.
In addition, do not just focus on the condition of the dogs themselves. Pay attention to the animal shelter and do not hesitate to be critical about the condition of the center itself.
Is it clean, free from odor, and well-lighted? Do the dogs have adequate space or are they crammed with 2, 3, or more other dogs in the same small space? Is there plenty of fresh drinking water available? Does the shelter staff seem genuinely interested and enthused about the work they do? Take a look at the dogs when a staff member approaches them, does the animal respond positively or back away in a state of fear?
The answers to every one of these questions should be a blueprint in your mind that tells you whether or not these dogs are getting the care and treatment that would make them a good candidates to bring home to your family. There have been numerous shelters in the past that treated their animals very harshly and therefore caused more stress and emotional issues for the dogs when they were adopted.
And let’s not be too selfish here on the issue. Don’t just look around and decide that you don’t like the dogs and go home, help do something about the organization in question. If you are visiting an animal shelter with the interests of adopting a dog or puppy, and the entire place looks rundown with staff that obviously is mistreating the animals, call the local authorities to investigate further.