If you are interested in adopting a pet or in becoming a foster parent, please contact your local animal shelter for more information.

To contact the Seattle Animal Shelter call 206-615-0820 or visit their website at www.seattle.gov/animalshelter.

There aren't enough homes for them all! Save lives! Be a responsible pet owner. Spay or neuter your pet.

Are You Thinking of Adopting a Pet?

Before making the decision to adopt a pet, spend some time determining why you want one and what type of pet would be best for you and your family as well as your lifestyle. If the answer to that question is Yes, please make sure you can provide the following:

  • Are you ready to take on the responsibility for the lifetime of the pet? A cat can live to be 20 years and older!Does your lifestyle predispose you to being a pet owner? For instance, are you away from home for many hours a day causing a pet to be left home alone for many lonely hours on end?
  • Do you have enough free time to devote to being a pet owner? Do you have adequate time to devote to grooming, exercising, training and socializing? Be fair. Think of the pet, not yourself.
  • Can you afford vet visits? Yearly vaccinations and exams can cost approximately $100 - $300 per year but depend on what area you live in and the health of your pet. The cost for vet care for a pet with health issues can be astronomical. Ensuring that your pet receives consistent preventive care is always the best way to ward off serious illness. If you cannot afford veterinary care for your cat, do not adopt one. It would not be fair to the cat. Wait until you are better financially capable of being a responsible pet owner.
  • How do you feel about declawing? If you feel that removing a cat's claws is OK, think again. Declawing not only removes the cat's claws, it also removes their first knuckle. It is an extremely painful surgery for your pet to recover from (some cats never do) and a cat without claws will resort to biting when it feels the need to defend itself. A cat without claws is also an easy target for predators and you can not predict if your cat will ever have a need to defend himself. Even an indoor cat can accidentally escape and become exposed to raccoons, dogs or other deadly threats. Before you even THINK about declawing a cat go online and read up on it. Just a few of the articles we Googled confirmed what we already knew, we would NEVER put any cat through this torture for the sake of a sofa (or other inanimate object) that will never love us back!
  • All pets need to live indoors and be part of the family. Are your living arrangements conducive to having a pet? Do you have adequate space for a pet to live with you comfortably? Do you have adequate room for a climbing tree and other toys to potentially be underfoot? Will your pet be given free range of your entire home or just certain sections? How happy would a pet be living in this space and under these conditions?
  • All pets make some type of mess. Are you prepared for cleaning up after a pet? These messes may happen in a convenient location OR they may happen on your silk chair or on your white carpet. It's all part of being a pet owner. Pets require patience and understanding.
  • How settled are you? Are you expecting major life-style changes over the next several years that will affect your relationship with your pet? Pets are living, breathing beings, with feelings who grow to love and depend on you. They are not inanimate objects to be left behind on a whim.
  • Are any of your family members or members of your household allergic to cats? Do any of them dislike cats? You would be surprised at the number of people we have spoken to since becoming foster parents who come in to adopt a kitten and tell us that someone in their household DOES NOT LIKE CATS! Don't bring a sweet loving creature who only knows how to give love into a home where it will not receive only love back! Wait until you are living under different circumstances. Please, I beg of you, think of the animal, not yourself!
  • Are there children under the age of 7 in the household? Are you getting this cat for a child under the age of 7? If so, you need to be aware that research has shown that the majority of children 7 and under have difficulty telling the difference between a small kitten and a toy. Therefore this can be a potentially disastrous coupling. In addition, kittens have not yet learned what is appropriate scratching and biting and simply resort to these behaviors if it feels threatened or provoked. Even the best behaved and closely supervised children don't always practice stellar behavior when in the presence of kittens. Their excitement often gets the better of them. Families with children 7 and under should consider adopting a slightly older cat. One of the benefits of this is that the cat's personality is already formed and you know what you are getting. There are many WONDERFUL, older cats in the shelters crying out for loving homes. Or even wiser, wait until your child is a bit older.
  • Are you prepared to care for the needs of small kittens? Kittens are very much like human babies. They don't sleep through the night, they cry and they require additional love and attention.
  • Do you rent or own? If your current rental situation allows you to have a pet now, what about in the future? You won't abandon a pet for a nice waterfront rental that won't allow pets, will you?

The most important thing you will ever do for your pets is to give them the same unconditional love they will always give to you. You will find it to be one of the greatest relationships of your lifetime.