Tips for Adopting Your Next Pet

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hands holding dog paw. adopting a pet. Des Moines MomAdding a pet to your household is not something that should be done without consideration to your lifestyle. Adopting a pet is a multi-year commitment, up to 20 to 25 years in some cases.

Expenses to Consider

  • Pet care costs, which can include but are not limited to:
    Veterinarian expenses: annual and routine veterinarian exam, vaccinations, and medications, emergency veterinarian costs for sudden illness or injury
  • Dietary: food, treats, supplements
  • Boarding, pet sitting and doggy daycare fees if you travel or are away for several hours
  • Supplies: collars, leashes, harnesses, crates, bedding
  • Grooming and nail trims
  • Pet medical insurance
  • Insurance or other property requirements by your city, county, or homeowners insurance

Household activity and energy level

Selecting a pet or breed of pet that will match your household’s activity level will help ensure a proper match. Many puppies, kittens, and even adult dogs and cats require a lot of exercise or brain game playtime to burn energy. Preparing yourself for this time commitment or selecting a pet that matches your household’s activity level will make the addition successful.

Reasons to Adopt a Pet

In honor of National Puppy & Cuddly Kitten Day on March 23, let’s talk about how adding a furry family member from a licensed shelter or rescue group (see licensing for Iowa here), can help control the pet overpopulation, which in many areas is a major issue, and give a homeless dog or cat (or bunny, bird, horse, guinea pig, hamster, etc…) a loving forever home.

The Greater Des Moines Metro Area is fortunate when it comes to the number of shelters and rescue groups working tirelessly to save homeless animals and find them the loving forever homes they deserve.

Rescues with a physical shelter facility

AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport (Desoto)
Animal Lifeline of Iowa (Des Moines)
Animal Rescue League (Des Moines) 
Furry Friends Refuge (West Des Moines)
Kiya Koda Humane Society (Indianola)
Lucky Paws of Madison County (Winterset)
Panora P.E.T.S. (Panora)
Raccoon River Pet Rescue (Perry)

Foster-Based Rescues

(no physical adoption facility open to the public for walk-ins):
Forever Home Dog Rescue
Happy Tales Ranch & Rescue
Hope Animal Rescue of Iowa
Paws-N-Claws 
Rescue Rehab Rehome
Safe Home Rescue
Second Chance Dog Rescue of Iowa 
Whiskers TNR

Beyond the Greater Des Moines Metro

Ames Animal Shelter (Ames)
Animal Alliance Rescue (Mount Ayr)
Boone Area Humane Society (Boone)
Creston Animal Rescue Effort/Creston City Pound (Creston)
Dog Gone Rescue (Creston)
Heartland Humane Society (Ottumwa)
Humane Society of Lucas County (Chariton)
Noah’s Ark Animal Foundation (Fairfield)
Poweshiek Animal League Shelter PALS (Grinnell)
Stephen Memorial Animal Shelter (Oskaloosa)

In addition to the above listed, there are breed-specific rescue groups and they often have a foster home or a contact in our area?

Don’t see your favorite breed listed? Try Googling:
“[breed name] rescue group near me”.
Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue
German Shepherd Dog Rescue of Iowa
Heartland Lab Rescue
IDog Rescue: Labradoodles and Goldendoodles
Lucky Bulldog Rescue
Mid America Rottweiler Rescue (MARR)
Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue
Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue

Adopt-A-Pet and Petfinder are online, searchable databases of animals who are needing homes. Search criteria such as; species, breed, age, location, and additional information.

Already have a pet and considering a second? Read this

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Stacie is an Iowa native, living in Urbandale with her tall, dark, and handsome husband, Kyle (May 2014). They share their home with the lights of their life, their son, Calvin (August 2015), and daughter Sylvia (April 2019). They have a dog, Heidi, a cat, Frankie, and a Beta fish, JoJo. By day, Stacie is the Director of Development for Animal Lifeline of Iowa. By night, she’s a kid-chaser, Pinterest-recipe chef, Instant-Pot meal creator, thrift-shop find make-over artist, DIY project amateur who enjoys reading, hanging out with her family...along with an occasional girls’ night out.

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