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Checklist before adopting a pet

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

October is Adopt a Shelter Pet Month, and Houston Humane Society has a lot of wonderful pets waiting to find their forever home.

Before visiting the shelter, consider the following suggestions:

Am I ready for a pet? Keep in mind that adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment. You should be prepared to care for this animal for its lifetime (sometimes 12 - 15 years or more!)

Do you have time for a pet? Although the time commitment varies depending on what type of pet you decide to adopt, each one does require you to feed, water, exercise and care for it every day. If this is your first pet, we suggest you try pet sitting for a friend to see if you are ready to commit the appropriate time necessary to give an animal a happy, loving home.

Can you afford a pet? It's not just the adoption fee! Pet ownership can be expensive. Just like any other member of the family, your new pet will require yearly doctor visits for shots, heartworm prevention, flea and tick preventative and more! Not to mention food, treats, grooming, toys, kitty litter, and other expenses that can add up quickly. It's a good idea to put pen to paper and make sure you are financially ready to commit to a new pet.

Can you have a pet where you live? If you rent, obtain a copy of your lease or pet agreement BEFORE falling in love with an animal. Many rental communities have weight limits and/or breed restrictions that you will be required to follow.

What pet will fit your lifestyle? Consider your schedule, hobbies and basic outlook on life. Do your homework and pick a pet that fits with YOU!

Will you be a responsible pet owner? Your pet will not only need unconditional love and affection, it will also need companionship, exercise, a healthy diet, regular trips to the vet and other essentials. You will also be responsible for obeying all community leash and licensing laws for the municipality in which you reside.

On the Web:

Houston Humane Society -- http://houstonhumane.org/

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