6 Things To Consider Before You Adopt Or Foster A Shelter Animal

6 Things To Consider Before You Adopt Or Foster A Shelter Animal

The transformation makes it all worth it.

One of my favorite things is seeing people open their hearts and their homes to foster or adopt animals from a shelter. These animals, for the most part, have had a rough life. They either come off the streets, are surrendered by their owners, abandoned, severely mistreated, or an unfortunate combination of these things.

Each animal has their own story. Hopefully, part of their story includes people who decide to care for them even when it's hard. Bringing home a shelter animal has it's own unique set of challenges.

I adopted my dog and am currently fostering another. Sometimes it means enduring late nights, cleaning up after them constantly, or giving them meds every six hours, but seeing how happy and healthy they become makes it all worth it.

If you are considering adopting or fostering an animal, please, keep these things in mind:

1. It might take weeks or sometimes months for them to fully trust you.

Not all, but some of these animals have been mistreated. There are those who then turn aggressive and then there are those who become extremely skiddish. The shy ones require a lot of love and patience before they become comfortable around people again.Don't become discouraged when they aren't overwhelmed with your presence right away. I promise you, you will slowly see the transformation.

2. Most animals will come home with a medical problem.

Dogs off the streets typically have a variety of illnesses including anything from intestinal worms to skin parasites. Most of them are treatable, but some of them are not.

Additionally, most animals experience symptoms related to stress from the shelter but it's nothing a little love can't fix!

Please, do no expect your new pet to come home without some form of medical issue and blame it on the shelter when they do not. The shelters do the best they can for all their animals with the limited amount of resources offered to them.

3. Dogs are usually on concrete or in crates.

So, when you take your furry friend home, they might need a little reminder about where it is appropriate to use the bathroom. They get used to popping a squat wherever they want to. Some might have never been inside at all because they came in straight off the streets.

4. A lot of patience and love is required.

These animals aren't perfect. They need a lot of grace just like we do. If their sick or struggling to trust again, the best medicine you can give them is love. (Cheesy, I know, but still true.)

5. The transition can be difficult.

Just like any animal, they will need some time to adjust to your home and to your lifestyle. It takes some time for them to become comfortable in their new environment. Keeping a consistent routine for the first week or two will help your pet transition with as little stress as possible.

6. Shelter animals make the best pets.

You should visit your local humane society to see how you can help!

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/search/animal%20shelter/

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To The First School Pony I Ever Rode, And Still Love

Although its been around 9 years since I've ridden Change, I still remember all he taught me.


Here's some background. It was my 4th birthday that started my love for horses. My parents and I lived in this house that had an acre plot of land, perfect for the best birthday parties. This birthday party, in particular, consisted of ponies.

My father rented one of those party organizations to bring a few ponies for my friends and me to ride, and that very day I said to my father, "I want to ride horses!" And the rest was history.

I started and still to this day ride at Level Green Riding School, a barn that became a second home to me at a young age. My first lesson, at the age of 6, was on this magical little pony, who now barely reaches my hips, Change. He was this fiery little pony who had some attitude but was incredibly patient with the young students.

I took my first few weeks of lessons on him and continued to on and off ride him for about two years after. Although we did little real work other than walk, trot, canter, then finally 18-inch jumping, I learned a lot from him.

So to my buddy Change,

Selena Spezio, 2009

Thank you for helping me grow my love for riding. Because of you, I have continued to pursue my passion for the sport. I have kept with it, even when I felt like a failure. There would be times when I felt horrible about a lesson, but because of you I keep with it and understand that there is always room for improvement.

Thanks to you, I understand that the horse is never to blame, but that I should reevaluate my position, attitude or technique to better my relationship with the horse I am on. The love I have for these animals stems from the small connection my young kind had with you.

I learned how to be humble. The little things we accomplished together, like my first time ever posting, where I looked like I was attached to a pole just standing up and sitting down, was a big moment, but I know it only happened because you helped me out. Image if I was on a wild pony who had an attitude and was out of control, those big moments would have come a lot harder.

The first time we jumped, oh what a joy. Although it was a small pile of poles at first, I felt free. I really saw what it was like to have a simple connection with a being.

Change, you taught me control, composure, and to have a great attitude no matter what. Those times when you were having a bad day and the first time you tried to buck me off, instead of being in fear, I just laughed and kicked you along.

You taught me the fun of this sport, and for that, I thank you with all my heart.

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