Opt to adopt: Dos and Don’ts for adopting a pet

Merani Rivarola, junior in family studies and human services, gets sniffs and kisses from a dog named Mack at the Pet Away Stress event in the Waters Quad on Oct. 12, 2016. (Miranda Snyder | The Collegian)

When looking for a pet, you should consider adoption. There are millions of animals in shelters across the country, each with a different personality type. When you go to adopt, you’re picking one special pet to take home and love.

The T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter in Manhattan is home to dogs, cats and other small animals like bunnies that are waiting for their forever home.

“This shelter is so special because of the volunteers and staff that work here as well as the good network of foster homes throughout the area,” said Hanna Shoemaker, a staff member at the shelter.

The T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter is open from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Other local animal shelters include the Riley County Humane Society and Purple Power Animal Welfare Society.

Here are some dos and don’ts for adoption that can help you prepare to bring home a new pet.


  • Research what breeds you want
  • Figure out the costs of a pet
  • Make sure you know how much time having a pet will take
  • Be open minded when you go into a shelter

“It takes money, patience and time to take care of an animal.” said Cindy Anderson, who has adopted a dog from the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter in the past.

It’s good to go into a shelter with an idea of what you want and knowledge of the kind of responsibility that having a pet requires. However, your plans may change if you go into a shelter and have an emotional connection to a different pet than you initially planned for.


  • Don’t be impulsive
  • Pick a pet you won’t be able to take care of
  • Pick a pet that may not fit well with your lifestyle

When adopting you should have a mindset of giving an animal a forever home. Don’t adopt if you have any concerns in the process. You should never go into the shelter without knowing as much as possible about the process of adoption.

Adopting changes not just your life, but the life of the animal you take home. So, it’s important to be informed. These dos and don’ts offer a first step to understanding how to adopt the right way.

If you can’t have a pet where you live, but you still want to make a difference in the lives of animals, try volunteering at any local animal shelter.