The Federation of Insured Dog Owners in Florida (FIDO) is on a mission—literally. This caring group supports all manner of issues concerning the health and welfare of man’s best friend, including rescue groups, instructive programs, safe haven kennels, and more. FIDO is all about education and encouragement–and one of the best places to accomplish this is at an animal shelter, where you can save a life and find a forever friend in one fell swoop. Do your homework before visiting a shelter to help ensure you adopt the pet that’s right for you.
Start your search online. Many websites list shelters all over the country, and allow you to filter searches based on breed or breed mix to find animals that are in your vicinity. Pay attention to how the shelter describes the pets. If each description says “friendly, loving, easy with kids,” it’s not likely that the descriptions are truly personalized or completely accurate.
Inquire about the adoption process. Good shelters will allow you and your family to visit with the potential adoptee outside the kennel for an extended period of time. Ask if the shelter tests for temperament; unless you have specific experience in animal behavior modification it’s probably best to avoid pets with a history of being chronic biters. The best shelters will allow you to return an animal that you have adopted, but don’t go into an adoption with a return in mind. Of course, if an extreme life-altering event or illness occurs, a return may have to take place—but if you move, have a child, change job schedules, etc., you should do so with the idea that your pet will be included.
Be willing to travel. Perhaps the right pet for you isn’t around the corner but is a few hours away. If it’s really true love, be willing to travel some distance—a few hours’ drive, even—to connect with the right animal.
The Federation of Insured Dog Owners in Florida salutes all those pet lovers out there who are committed to saving a life by finding their forever friend from an animal shelter.