Lighthouse Animal Shelter

ADOPT

  • If you’re reading this, you are probably considering adopting a new furry family member.  Adopting a dog or a cat is a lifetime commitment (10 to 15+ years for a young dog/puppy or 12 to 20+ years for a young cat/kitten). Choosing the right animal for your family is imperative in ensuring a successful adoption.  The rewards are tremendous when you are able to save the life of a rescue animal and feel the unconditional love they give back to you throughout their lifetime.  If you are planning to move or going away on an extended vacation, it is best to hold off on adoption until you are back into a regular routine.

    Before.You.Adopt

    SOME FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU ADOPT:

    Do we have the time to properly care for a dog or a cat?

     Puppies and young dogs generally have LOTS of energy!  They almost always need to be house trained, leash trained, trained not to chew or to chew appropriately, they need lots of socialization with people and other animals, and they need to get out to potty and exercise more frequently than older dogs.  Adult and senior rescue dogs may also need training if they have not previously been trained.  They generally do not need to go out as frequently, but still do require physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.  If your family works full time and has an active social life, or many activities scheduled where dogs are not welcome, please factor that into your decision on the type of dog that would be appropriate for the amount of time you have available.  Doggy day care is a great option for those with less time and that can be researched by checking with family and friends who have used those services.  It also offers your dog socialization, which is great for their mental health.

    Kittens and cats are more independent than dogs, but still require physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.  They need exercise and love on a regular basis.  Kittens and cats should remain indoors for their own safety.  Traffic, coyotes and Fisher cats are a real threat to outdoor cats.  Litter boxes are necessary for indoor cats, so if you have an aversion to cleaning them, you may want to consider a different pet. Most cats are litter box trained at a very young age, and neutered males are far less likely to spray or mark their territories than un-neutered males. Cats are generally social creatures, and like the company of other cats. Unless your cat is an exception to this rule, you may want to consider adopting a pair.

    Do we have the resources needed to properly care for a dog or a cat?

    Dogs and cats generally are healthier eating a grain free or low grain diet.  This food can be more expensive than the regular brands you see in the stores which contain fillers (corn, soy and meat by-products), but in the long run they will be less likely to develop health issues (digestive problems, skin allergies, diabetes, etc.) when fed a better diet.

    Dogs and cats should both be seen for annual vetting visits, and receive the appropriate tests and vaccinations needed to comply with the law and to keep them healthy and safe.  Dogs and cats should both be kept on preventatives for flea and tick, and dogs should be kept on heartworm preventatives.  Fleas and ticks can spread disease to your animals, and heartworm can be fatal if left untreated.  Animals also get sick occasionally, just like their humans, and can get ear infections, urinary tract infections, cuts, breaks and sprains or as they get older require dental work.  There are lower cost vetting options available, but the general cost of vetting still needs to be considered before adopting. Cats generally cost less to vet, and the larger the dog, the higher the cost will be.  Just like people, the older an animal gets, the more likely he or she is to develop age related illnesses.  Please keep in mind that animals are not disposable.  If you know you won’t be able to afford the additional vetting required as your pets age, please reconsider and get a pet that requires fewer resources. If you are already finding yourself struggling with caring for your pets, check our resources tab and reach out for help sooner rather than later.

    If you go away on vacation or have a medical emergency where you are unable to care for your animals at home, do you have someone who will care for them in your absence?  If you don’t have a family member or friend to care for your cat(s) or dog(s) while you are away, can you afford to keep your animals at a boarding facility or hire a pet sitting service?

    All animals should be groomed (nail trims, brushing, bathing) on a regular basis.  Dogs and cats with longer hair need grooming more frequently, and often require trims or cuts.  If you do not have the equipment and/or are not comfortable in doing the grooming yourself, please factor in the cost of grooming when selecting your new family member.

    Some rescue dogs will require training, and training in general is a good idea to help you and your dog bond and get you through any initial rough spots in undesired behaviors that pop up once a dog settles into a new home.  Training costs can vary greatly.  Check with your family, friends and vet for recommendations for a trainer with a style that works well with your own.

    Does your home owner’s insurance have breed restrictions?  If you are renting, does your landlord have breed or size restrictions or allow pets at all?  Insurance companies and landlords may charge additional fees when adopting certain breeds (generally bully breeds such as pit mixes, rotties, shepherds, chows, etc.).  Landlords may require additional security deposits for certain sizes/types of dogs or cats.

    Before adopting, do your research and see what prices and services are available in your area. Decide exactly what you can afford, and factor in possible emergencies to see what type of animal you can properly care for.  If you opt to adopt, before bringing a new animal into your home, pet proof your house, car, and yard, removing any hazards and securing gates and doors. Purchase an ID tag with your name and contact information to put on immediately upon arrival.

  • Adoptable.Dogs.WebsiteYou have decided that you are now ready to start the process of selecting a good match for your family. If you haven’t already checked out our “Before You Adopt” tab, it would be a good idea to do so now.  You can check out our adoptable dogs on our Petfinder.  You are welcome to stop by the shelter to meet our adoptable dogs any Saturday between 11 and 2 for our adoption day, or you can call the shelter to make an appointment for another day and time.  Some of our dogs are in foster homes, so if you have a specific dog in mind you should call the shelter before heading over to make sure the dog you are hoping to meet is available.

    You can fill out an application when visiting the shelter, or print out a hard copy (click on the link below) to return in person, by mail (596 Hathaway Rd., New Bedford, MA 02740) or by email (scan or photograph the completed application and email it to  lighthouseanimalshelter@gmail.com).

    PRINTABLE DOG ADOPTION APPLICATION

    If you prefer, you may fill out an application while you are at the shelter.  We do not adopt out on a first come, first serve basis, but rather adopt out by best match between dog and family. We do ask that you contact your references (landlord, personal and vet) in advance to let them know that we will be calling.  Our adoption counselors will be able to direct you towards dogs that may be good matches for your family.  You will have a chance to interact with them, and if you find a dog you would like to adopt and your application has been approved, and your family selected as the best fit, we would then proceed with a home visit/trial.  One of our trained volunteers would bring the dog to your home, help to make proper introductions to all of the human and animal residents, go over the dog’s paperwork, check fencing if applicable and answer any questions you may have.  If all goes well, and you want to proceed with the adoption, we would then leave the dog with you with enough food to transition him or her over to the brand you plan to feed, check in with you over the course of the first several days, answer any questions or concerns, and if everyone decides the dog is a great match, we would then finalize the adoption at the end of the week.  More details are available on our adoption application.

  • Adoptable.Cats.New.WebsiteYou have decided that you are now ready to start the process of selecting a good match for your family. If you haven’t already checked out our “Before You Adopt” tab, it would be a good idea to do so now.  You are welcome to stop by the shelter to meet our adoptable cats any Saturday between 11 and 2 for our adoption day, or you can call the shelter to make an appointment for another day and time.  Some of our cats are in foster homes, so if you have a specific cat in mind you should call the shelter before heading over to make sure the cat you are hoping to meet is available.

    You can fill out an application when visiting the shelter, or print out a hard copy (click on the link below) to return in person, by mail (596 Hathaway Rd., New Bedford, MA 02740) or by email (scan or photograph the completed application and email it to  lighthouseanimalshelter@gmail.com).

     PRINTABLE CAT ADOPTION APPLICATION

    If you prefer, you may fill out an application while you are at the shelter.  We do not adopt out on a first come, first serve basis, but rather adopt out by best match between cat and family.  We do ask that you contact your references (landlord, personal and vet) in advance to let them know that we will be calling.  Our adoption counselors will be able to direct you towards cats that may be good matches for your family.  You will have a chance to interact with them, and if you find a cat you would like to adopt and your application has been approved, and your family selected as the best fit, we would then proceed with the adoption.

  • after.you.adopt

    You fell in love with a furry, four footed friend, completed the adoption process and are now learning to live and love your newest family member.

    As tempting as it is to spoil your new, beloved family member, set some limits and establish a routine so your new cat or dog knows what to expect long term.  Avoid overwhelming your new animal with a lot of new people and situations for the first week or so.  If your cat or dog is shy, let him or her come to you and allow enough space to let him or her feel comfortable and safe.

    Set up a safe haven where your new pet can retreat – a small room for a cat with food, water and litter box placed apart or a comfortable crate for a dog with a familiar blanket or toy.

    If you have not done so already, purchase an ID tag with your new dog’s name, your name and contact information and attach it securely to your dog’s collar.  If your dog or cat is microchipped, be sure to register your information with the microchip company.

    Guard the gates.  Make sure that all doors and gates are securely closed, and windows are not left open enough for your new pet to squeeze through.  Remind family members to be extra careful going in and out of the house and yard to be sure your new pet does not escape.  He or she will  be in unfamiliar territory and may panic.

    Although your new pet will be fully vetted when he or she arrives in your new home, it is a good idea to set up a relationship with the vet you plan to use.  Bring your vet your new pet’s paperwork.  If you have adopted a dog, he or she will need that information in order to prescribe heartworm preventatives.  It is also a good idea to sign up for training classes.  It’s a great way to bond with your new dog and work on his or her manners.

    It is quite common that cats or dogs will not want to eat much when they first arrive to a new home.  Some dogs have not learned to potty on leash, and it may take some time for them to learn to go on leash.  Dogs who appeared to be fully house trained before adoption, may have accidents due to the stress of changing homes and routines.  Be patient as your new animals adjust to their new surroundings and schedules.  With a little love and consistency, they will get back on track, and discover how wonderful it is to feel safe, secure and loved.