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The Humane Society of Richardson County views owning a pet as a privilege - not a right. Unfortunately, not all people can successfully take on the responsibilities of pet ownership. It is for this reason that HSRC has a strict adoption policy. Our adoption program strives to place animals only as companion animals in kind and responsible homes where we are confident that they will receive proper care and attention throughout their lifetime. By doing this, we prevent future cruelties and actively control pet overpopulation. Our ultimate goal is to insure that fewer and fewer animals become tragic statistics in the communities that we serve.

Things To Consider Before Adopting A Pet

PLEASE take time in choosing a pet. Take into consideration the cost of food and health care, conservatively $300 per year, as well as the time you have to spend with your new companion. Consider the needs of the animal as well as your own.

PLEASE give the adoption time to work. It may take three to four weeks for your new pet to adjust to its new surroundings and to its new family. Pets are easily confused by drastic changes in their lives. Their habits have to change with each new owner. You are new to the animal and they are not sure where they are or how long they will be there.

When adopting an animal from the Humane Society we ask that you fill out an adoption appllication. There will also be an adoption agreement to fill out and sign.  Adoption fees are variable depending on the individual animal and funds invested.
If you are interested in adopting an animal from us, please fill out the application below. (Do NOT hit the ENTER key while filling out the application or an incomplete form will be sent. If this occurs, please fill out a second application.)

Full Name:
Drivers license number:
Employer's name and contact info:
Do you own your home or rent?
If you rent, name of landlord and contact info:
Do you have a fenced yard?
If fenced, type & height:
Do you have an outdoor kennel?
If so, what is the size?
Name & contact info of current vet:
What type of pets do you have currently?
What type of pets have you had in the past two years?
If you have children, what are their ages?
Does anyone in the home have allergies?
Will you be crating this dog?
If so, how many hours per day/night?
What type of exercise will you provide?
Have you ever had to rehome a pet?
If so, please explain the reason:
May we inspect your home/yard?
Have you ever potty trained a dog before?
If so, what method did you use?
If you are adopting a cat, will the cat be kept indoors, outdoors or both?
If you have a dog, is it friendly to cats?
Names of adults living in home:
Does everyone in the household agree to this adoption?
Please provide the name and contact info for an unrelated personal reference:
Name of animal you are interested in adopting:

Ardis Ramsey

Julie Phroper

Adoption ABC's

This story is far from unusual. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, the top reasons people abandon their pets in shelters are issues like landlords that object to pets and the cost of pet food--the unforeseen problems that come up when people casually take on animals without thinking about the long-term future. Many of the pets in shelters today could have been spared if their owners had gone through a careful decision-making process before adopting them.

Can you commit?

It may seem simple, but people often forget that the most important part of adopting a pet is deciding whether you should have one at all. If you're revved up and ready to go get that puppy, stop for a moment to be sure. It's hard to check your enthusiasm, but you need to--ask yourself the tough questions. Answering them honestly now could save you and your pet from a heartbreaking situation later on.

# Do you have the space to keep an animal in your home? Some pets need a big, open lawn to run in.

# The average pet owner pays $150-350 for veterinary care each year, according to AAHA's Pet Owner Survey. Are you willing to spend this much or more? Can you afford to provide medical care, pet food, a cage, bedding, kitty litter, and/or a collar and leash?

# Are you very protective of your furniture, rugs, and other possessions? How upset would you be if you came home to find your shoes chewed or sofa scratched?

# Do you own your home or have a lease that allows pets? Pets can live for anywhere from four to 20 years or more. If you might be moving in the next five or ten years, will you be able to find a home that accepts pets?

# Do you have enough free time to exercise, play with, train, and give affection to a pet? To feed, groom, walk, and clean up after an animal?

# Are you expecting a child to be the animal's primary caregiver? When your son says he's going to feed the kitty, groom her, and clean the litter box, no doubt he means it with all his heart. But a child's attention is naturally fickle, and parents will probably end up performing most or all of the pet care.

It can be a terribly hard decision for an animal lover to make, but if you don't have the time, space, or resources to keep a pet healthy at this point in your life, sometimes choosing not to have one is the most loving thing you can do.

Finding the pet that fits

Now that you know you're ready to adopt your bundle of love, you need to decide what kind of animal is right for you. Your biggest considerations are space and time: if you live in a basement apartment and work 60 hours a week, you're best off considering a low-maintenance pet such as a hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, snake, or turtle. These pets aren't maintenance free, however: they do need fresh food and water, their cages need to be cleaned often, and they need to be observed carefully because they can become ill quickly.

If you have a bit more room and free time, a cat or dog could be the pet for you. Cats are the less demanding of the two. They can be happy in a small apartment, so long as they have plenty of toys to bat around and at least an hour of attention a day. Dogs, on the other hand, take the most time and effort of all the traditional pets. They need to be walked at least two to three times per day. Also, they are very social animals, and they need a lot of play and affection to stay healthy.

Dogs vary more between breeds than any other pet: think about how different it would be to live with a three pound Yorkshire terrier, for example, than to live with a 160-pound mastiff. If you're thinking about getting a dog, you should talk to your veterinarian about what breeds will best fit your needs based on size, temperament, grooming, and energy level. Be sure to consider mixed breeds as well--they often combine the best characteristics of several breeds in one package.

If you adopt a dog or cat, you should give some thought to the age you're looking for. Kittens and puppies are adorable, but they need to be housetrained and socialized. They are also generally much more rambunctious and mischievous than older animals, and they will probably leave you more messes to clean up. Adult pets, on the other hand, usually know the ins and outs of interacting with a human family.

Looking for love

Now it's time for the most fun part--picking out your new friend. Buying from a pet store generally isn't a good idea: these animals often come from places that don't treat animals well. Adopting from a breeder can work out well, but you must be sure the breeder is reputable and isn't breeding animals with genetic defects.

A wonderful alternative to buying is adopting a pet from a shelter. When you adopt, not only are you saving hundreds of dollars, but you're rescuing an animal from abandonment or euthanasia. Classified ads and signs advertising free puppies and kittens are one way to find pets who need "parents." Or, if you're looking for a more structured environment to adopt from, try a humane society or animal shelter. There are a variety of shelters across the US and Canada, some offering only cats or dogs and some offering a range of animals from dogs to pocket pets to exotics. Shelter workers can be a huge help as you pick out a pet: they get to know the animals they house, and they generally screen them for disease and behavioral problems. They can usually tell you the history of the animals you're interested in, how they behaved with their last family, and why they were given up to the shelter.

To protect the interests of their animals, shelters require adopters to show that they can be good pet parents. There is generally a requirement to be older then 18 or 21 and an adoption fee ranging from $40 to $90. Sometimes fees are higher because they include the cost of vaccinations, spaying or neutering, or microchip identification.

If you are interested in an adult purebred dog, you may want to look into rescue organizations. These groups focus on matching new owners with abandoned dogs of one specific breed. The organizations come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Some have their own boarding and training facilities and handle adoptions directly, while others function more as a referral service, matching a list of dogs in the area against inquiries from people who want to adopt. In either case, they are an excellent source of information about living with a certain breed.

Getting to know them

Wherever you choose to seek out your new fuzzy (or feathered or leathered) pal, be sure to spend some quality time with him before you take him home. Sit down with the animal you choose and start playing. Not only will this make it easier for your pet to adjust to you later, but it will also give you a chance to make sure he's social, responsive, and healthy. If you notice signs of a disability, chronic illness, or behavioral problem, that doesn't mean you shouldn't adopt your new friend. It just means you should talk to your veterinarian or a shelter worker to be sure that you have the resources to care for him. Living with pets with special physical or behavioral needs can be incredibly rewarding, but it takes some time and commitment.

In the long run, it's important to use as much logic as love when you get a new pet. It may be hard to be patient when you just want to run into the pet store and pick up the sweetest little thing on four legs, but the extra restraint is worth it. When your new best friend bounds through your front door for the first time, you'll be a happy pet parent, knowing you made the right choice for both of you.


One look at a puppy or kitten and most people melt. They are so cute and playful it's difficult to resist them. And while we love the babies just as much as the next person, it's the adult homeless pets that tug at our heartstrings. They have so much to offer as a companion it seems a shame that so many sit waiting for homes. There are many benefits to adopting an older pet, some you may not be aware of...

Older pets present you with a "what you see is what you get". Their personalities are developed and they know who they are. A kitten or puppy's personality is still unknown and you do not know what type of adult they will become.

They've gone through the kitten or puppy stage and you'll not experience the chewing or curtain climbing stage as young ones are prone to do.

You can be sure of the pet's full size and over all appearance as an adult.

Older pets are typically calmer and more settled into life. This makes them more appreciative of your love and attention.

There is another topic that comes up when considering the adoption of an older pet. The question goes something like this, "Why would someone just place a pet they’ve had for years in a shelter? There certainly must be something wrong with him/her."

The truth of the matter is that there is more than likely nothing wrong with the pet at all. Pets of all ages are relinquished for any number of reasons. The family may have discovered they no longer have time for a pet, they may have moved out of the country, the owner may have died, someone has developed an allergy to pet dander. Homeless pets are not always homeless because there is something wrong with them; they are simply victims of circumstance and dependent on humans to provide them with a home.

So the next time you are considering adding to your family, remember the older pets waiting quietly for someone to notice them. Chances are, you will find the rewards beyond compare.


In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him. 

Thank you for visiting the Humane Society of  Richardson County Inc.'s  online shelter.
Please tell your friends about us!