When you find an animal you really like in a shelter or a rescue center, it is so exciting. You want to take him/her home right away. But please take your time to get to know the animal beforehand. He or she may not be right fit for you or your lifestyle or your family or home. As much as you want to be a forever home of the animal, if it is not a right fit you might end up returning him/her. This is heartbreaking for both you and the animal.
Most of the time, staff members in the shelter can provide you with all the information they have about the animal. Ask questions as much as you can. Is he/she very active? Does he/she require a fenced yard? Is he/she older and a couch potato? Does he/she get along with other animals? Is he/she friendly to people? Why was he/she surrendered? What was the previous owner like? There are so many questions to ask.
Once you brought the animal home, be patient and take things slow. The animal needs time to adjust and get used to the surrounding. Just imagine, if you were brought to a different environment, you don’t know anyone and you don’t speak their language. How frighten that could be, especially for sensitive animals. Introduce other people slowly. If it is a dog, take him/her for a walk just around the block for the first couple of weeks. Of course, it is depending on each individual and some can adjust rather quickly. It is still a good idea to take things slow.