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Clear The Shelters: 5 things to know before adopting your new fur-ever friend

Here are five things to know ahead of adopting your new forever friend as part of your family.

The addition of a new furry forever friend can be something new and exciting for every family looking to adopt a new pet. But, there are some things to think about before you adopt a new animal. It's good to keep in mind how to prepare for the newest family member with both the pet -- and your family.

1) Make sure everyone in the family wants a new forever friend

Adopting a new pet is more than just providing a new home. When adopting, you have to keep in mind that you and your family will be taking care of the animal for the rest of its life. It'll become a long-term financial and emotional investment.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, preparing a schedule of who in the family will help take care of your new cat or dog will prevent problems down the road.

Shelter experts advise talking about delegating different responsibilities for your new pet, easing the transition for your family and new forever friend. For example, if you adopt a dog, include walking, playing, feeding and grooming. 

2) Be sure to research

Shelter experts suggest researching the type of animal you're about to get. Take your personality and lifestyle into account before adopting a pet.

The ASPCA suggests asking staff at shelters for guidance. Let them know how much space you have and how often you're home to get an idea on which pet will be the best fit for you and your family.

3) Ask questions about the animal

Don't be afraid to ask about your new pet!

Shelter workers can give you more information about the animal's health history or the situation that put them in the shelter. This can better prepare the family when questions come up after the animals leave the shelter.

Knowing your pet can help you with the transition.

4) Bring prepared paperwork to the shelter

As you begin the adoption process, be sure to have all applications filled out entirely ahead of picking up your new pet.

Most private shelters will ask you to fill out an application ahead of adoption. Others may not require you to do so until the day of adoption. However, it isn't a bad idea to call the shelter ahead of time to determine what they will need from you.

5) Send pictures to the shelter of your new forever friend, as some workers don’t get to say goodbye to the animal before they’re adopted

Why not? Sending pictures to the shelter of your new furry family member gives workers peace of mind the animal has gone to a loving family.

"A lot of adopters really understand how much we put in to the animals we care and get attached and want us to be reassured they went to a good home," Mantat Wong, the director of operations at Animal Haven in New York, said. 'This is a very thankless job, and it's such a nice morale boost to hear success stories."

From August 23 to September 18, you can give a loving home to a new cat or dog in need. 10News is working with animals shelters across East Tennessee to host Clear the Shelters, a nationwide push to encourage pet adoption.

Since 2015, the campaign has resulted in more than a half-million pets finding new homes.

Click here to learn more about Clear the Shelters 2021.

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