Shelter Pets: Frequently Asked Questions, Misconceptions and Resources
Underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company

Shelter Pets: Frequently Asked Questions, Misconceptions and Resources

Looking for your next furrever friend, but not sure where to go? One great option is to visit your local shelter. Shelters come in all sizes and provide different resources. Sometimes there are misconceptions in regards to shelters and we wanted to provide clarity on what to expect from a pet shelter and answer some frequently asked questions on the adoption process.

The life of the Shelter Pet: Frequently Asked Question, Misconceptions, and Resources

All shelter dogs are problem dogs.

It is a common misconception that all shelter dogs are problem dogs. People often think that because they are in a shelter, they must be a bad dog. For the reason that the dogs must have behavioral issues and no one wants them.

Rather “a good majority of shelter dogs are strays” states Katherine, Trupanion on-site Shelter coordinator.

All Shelter pets have behavioral issues.

When pets are taken into the shelter they are put through a medical screening and behavioral testing to assess the well-being of the pet. This screening is in place for the pet, the future forever family, and the public. Any red flags would be indicated and notated upon intake. Most shelter pets are unsure of their surroundings and can be scared or confused, but that does not mean they have a behavioral issue. Rather pets are well-adjusted and trying to understand where they are.

Can you find a purebred in a shelter?

Absolutely! Pets of all shapes and sizes can be found at shelters. A shelter can offer a versatile selection of pets- mixed breed, purebred, puppies, kittens, and senior pets.

Wait – did you say puppies and kittens?

You can definitely get a puppy or a kitten at a shelter. Due to popular demand, the puppy or the kitten is typically the first pet out of the door on adoption day.

Adoption is too expensive.

Taking on the responsibility of a pet is a lifetime commitment. There are costs that are going to contribute to this commitment, but the actual adoption itself can be financially feasible. The adoption fee is comprised of many factors: Spay/neuter, vaccines, and a microchip. All of these services are typically included in an adoption fee when you adopt a new pet.

Shelter pets are sick.

Many shelter pets are in fantastic health. If a pet is sick or showing signs and symptoms of a condition, it is documented and medically treated. Most pets receive a clean bill of health upon adoption.

It takes too long to adopt a pet.

If you are planning on adopting a pet at your local shelter, be prepared to spend a full day. It can take a few hours to fill out paperwork, meet and greet with family, and get all supplies needed for the pet.  Some shelters require you pick up 1-2 business days after adoption if all vaccinations or spay/neuter have not already been completed.

“Additionally, don’t plan to attend any parties or dinner plans on adoption day. You’ll want to spend quality time at home bonding with your new best friend”, states Katherine.

The whole family doesn’t need to meet the pet.

The most common reason a pet is returned to a shelter is due to issues with other pets in the household. Secondly, pets are often returned due to problems with kids in the household. Pets are part of our family, likewise, it is important they are a cohesive part of that unit. The pet needs to meet everyone in the household before going home with that family. As a result, many shelters require they meet all members of the family before being adopted.

I want the perfect dog.

The perfect dog might not exist. But, you can find a wonderful dog or cat that is a great addition to your lifestyle. “The process of adoption is very much a match-making process” states Katherine. This match-making process is due to the many different characteristics that make up the ideal pairing. The personality characteristics to consider are a lifestyle, home environment, work environment, and energy level of both you and your furry mate.


It is the shelter’s goal to find the best home for the dog or cat. The shelter would like nothing more for a pet to be happy, healthy, and in a loving home. Adopting a shelter pet is a unique experience that will forever change your pet’s life, your life, and you will have a best friend for life.


What questions do you have about pet adoption and animal shelters?









One Comment

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *