How to Adopt a Rescue Pet in NYC

There are so many animals in need of a loving home in NYC. Are you ready to become a pet parent? Here’s everything you need to know to adopt a rescue pet in NYC, from shelters to preparing your home to selecting the perfect pet!

There are so many animals in need of a loving home in New York. Are you ready to become a pet parent?

Here’s everything you need to adopt a rescue pet in NYC.

Consider Your Space and Its Inhabitants

Before you even start looking at prospective pets, take a good look at your apartment.

How much space do you have? From their toys to their beds, pets need a lot of room. The size of your home will determine the size of your pet. Don’t try to squeeze a massive Great Dane into a tiny studio!

You’ll also want to consider your apartment’s inhabitants and their schedules. If you have children, you’ll need to choose a pet that’s kid friendly. Do you work a lot? Then an independent cat might be a better choice than a frisky puppy that needs a lot of attention.

Make a list of everything you’re looking for in a pet and bring it with you to the shelter.

Apopt a Rescue Pet in NYC

Image Source: Flickr/

Make an Appointment at a Shelter

After you’ve made your list, set up an appointment at a shelter.

The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a coalition of 150+ nonprofit shelters and rescue groups working to end the killing of healthy and treatable cats and dogs at our city shelters, is a great place to start. The website has information on everything from shelters to local adoption events.

At your appointment, you’ll need to fill out paperwork, answer some questions, and maybe even need to schedule a home visit. Are you a renter? Most shelters will also require proof that your landlord accepts pets, so bring a copy of your lease.

Get Your Apartment Ready

So you’ve met with a shelter, and you’re about to bring home a pet. Now’s the time to get your apartment ready.

Start by cleaning your house with pet friendly cleaners. Clear clutter from anything at pet level; hide small items that your pet may be tempted to eat; and secure any cabinets that you don’t want your pet to get into.

You’ll want to purchase food and a few toys. Finally, set up a bed or crate that your pet can sleep and relax in.

Adopt a Rescue Pet in NYC

Image Source: Flickr/Ella Mullins

What to Bring on the Big Day

The day has finally arrived! You’ve visited a shelter and found the perfect pet, and now it’s time to bring your pet home!

Make sure to bring a leash or a pet carrier to the shelter for transporting your pet. Keep in mind that your new pet may be just as nervous as you are!

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve found the perfect pet and brought it home, the next step is scheduling a visit with your veterinarian. Ask your vet to check out your new pet’s health and have it spayed or neutered if the shelter didn’t already do so. You may also want to schedule time with a trainer.

Most importantly, give your pet time to get used to your family and vice versa. Rescue animals often have a few issues, so shower your new pet with lots of love!

Adopt a Rescue Pet in NYC

Image Source: Flickr/Daniel Stockman

After reading all of this, are you unsure if you’re ready to adopt a rescue pet? Consider fostering a pet instead!

Main Image Source: Flickr/ChrisPerriman


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