How to adopt a dog and what to expect - detailed guide
The dog adoption process is always a better alternative to buying a dog from a responsible breeder. You can adopt a dog – this can be a shelter dog or one being rehomed or given up by the family to be sent to another family.
If you can only offer a short-term commitment but are otherwise ready to bring a dog home, you can sign up with your local shelter/ NGO to foster dogs. Fostering helps keep certain dogs out of shelters, and the focused attention and home environment are beneficial for them.
While signing up to foster a dog, you can specify what kind of cases you can handle. Depending upon your bandwidth, you can be paired with dogs that require daily care or vet visits, etc. ‘
So let’s talk and know about the Dog Adoption Process in India.
Whether you adopt, rehome or foster, always find out as much as possible about the dog’s behavior and history, so that :
- You know it is a genuine case and that the dog has not simply been relocated because it was living on the street. Many Indian pariah dogs do just fine on the streets with regular vaccinations and feeding. Removing them from there and placing them in homes can cause undue stress on them.
- You are prepared for any efforts required from your end regarding behavioral training or any other training, medical expenses, etc.
- You can make an informed decision about whether or not the dog will fit into your family and lifestyle, even for a short-term foster.
Almost every city has an organization or individuals who work in animal welfare. Additionally, some cities have animal shelters where rescued dogs are housed, either temporarily or permanently.
Here is a simple overview of the adoption process:
- Animal welfare entities often send out adoption appeals for the dogs under their care. You can respond to the respective adoption appeal if you’re interested in adopting a specific dog. Some organizations require you to fill out a form and contact you based on that. Since most of them are run by a small team of people, responses may take time. You can also schedule a visit to a shelter, meet some dogs, and then decide. The animal shelter must be visited regardless of how you adopt it daily.
- During the adoption process, you will be assigned an adoption coordinator who will be serving as your point of contact.They will also provide you with the dog’s medical history and vaccination status.It is important to find out why the dog was given up so that you can address any behavioral issues by yourself. Your adoption coordinator should be able to give you this information.It’s much kinder to the dog to pass her up now rather than rehome her later if there are some issues that can’t be fixed, and if that makes the dog a wrong fit in your home.
- You will need to send a video of your house to the adoption coordinator or consent to a house check by the coordinator or another authorised person from the shelter. It ensures that the dog will be safe at your home and will have enough space. After the house check, they may recommend some minor changes to accommodate the dog. For example, if you’re adopting a small breed and your balcony has considerable gaps in the railings, you may be required to create a barrier so that the dog does not fall.
- It helps if you make a few visits to the shelter prior to finalizing the adoption. Walk the dog, play with her and let her get to know you. You can even take her for a car ride.
- You will be required to provide proof of your ID & local address. If you live in rented accommodation, you can submit your rental agreement and evidence that you have cleared bringing a dog into the house with your landlord (better if you have checked with the RWA too).
- At the shelter, you will fill out an adoption form. The form has the dog’s details and your details like name, address, profession, etc., along with particulars of any dogs you currently have, veterinary services that you intend to use for the dog, how you will take care of the dog, and family and housing questions. This document will also have fields for emergency contacts and options for care while you’re away. Some forms require details of what you will do if you need to give the dog up. This form can vary in complexity depending upon where you are adopting from. Some animal shelters require references; some need a witness while completing the adoption formalities (often, someone from the shelter can volunteer for this).
- Your shelter may also require you to carry a leash and collar with you for the dog you will adopt.
- Post-adoption, the adoption coordinator and their team will keep checking on the dog from time to time. Most animal shelters encourage adopters to check-in and discuss any issues they are facing with their dogs. Some shelters also have guides on what to expect during your initial months with the dog.These also contain common challenges and how to mitigate them. Once you adopt from a shelter, you become a part of their community of dog parents.
Here’s everything you can expect when you want to adopt a dog.Giving a dog their forever home is one of the best things we can do and we hope this guide helps you get a better idea about the overall process.