Dogs make wonderful companions – and shelter dogs are no exception. Yet, when looking for a new four-legged family member, only 17 percent of people choose to adopt from a shelter.
To help raise the profile of shelter dogs, the BC SPCA has designated September “Adopt a Dog Month.” Not only do we want to showcase the fantastic animals available in our shelters, but we would also like to take the opportunity to celebrate the ways dogs can change our lives for the better.
Just ask Meghann Cant, animal welfare educator for the BC SPCA. She adopted Jack, a one-eyed border collie mix, nearly five years ago. “Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for him,” she says. “Whether it’s the goofy way he greets me at the door or how he noses me to get up in the morning, Jack manages to bring a smile to my face each and every day.”
Photo caption: Jack, a homeless one-eyed collie-mix, was adopted from the BC SPCA in 2006.
“When looking for a dog, shelter dogs are a great option to consider,” agrees Craig Naherniak, the BC SPCA’s general manager of humane education. “Our dogs are vaccinated, spayed or neutered and sent home with a certificate for a free health check. They undergo a temperament assessment before adoption so that you can be matched with an animal who suits your personality and lifestyle. Plus, you just can’t beat the feeling you get from giving a homeless animal a second chance.”
Not sure how the adoption process works? Adopting a dog from the BC SPCA takes just five easy steps:
1. Complete the pre-adoption checklist
Read our pre-adoption checklist to ensure you understand the impact a dog will have on your household. Better to find out now before you commit! Information and opportunities are also available for those interested in volunteering to foster an animal in need.
2. Make the right match
Shelter dogs come in all shapes, breeds, sizes and activity levels.
Knowing the characteristics of the dog you want (or think you may want) will help when making your decision about which animal to bring into your family. Some shelter dogs have already had a difficult life and we try to make the best match so that they will never have to return to the shelter. Finding a dog who meets your expectations will help maximize the enjoyment you both get from the relationship.
3. View shelter animals available online
You can view all dogs in the care of the BC SPCA throughout the province online at spca.bc.ca/adoptme. You can also visit your local BC SPCA shelter to see dogs looking for a second chance in person! Some animals are also available for adoption at BC SPCA satellite adoption centres.
4. Submit an adoption application
When you visit a shelter, you will be asked to fill out a BC SPCA pet adoption application. The information you provide helps us to match you with the right dog for your lifestyle and household. You can also download a BC SPCA dog adoption application form and to fill out ahead of time.
5. Bring home your new companion
By far, the most exciting step is bringing your new best friend home. It is important to try and make a smooth transition with your new companion in your home. We have many materials available to help you understand and reduce specific dog behaviour problems in a positive way in our care and behaviour section.
And, should you need further proof of the rewards of adopting a shelter dog, take a moment to read a few Happy Endings - stories of people who have found wonderful companions at the BC SPCA.
Animals like Mack, who was transferred from one of our rural shelters as a puppy to the BC SPCA Port Coquitlam Education & Adoption Centre through the BC SPCA Drive for Lives program. His new family has this to say about him:
"Our whole family, including his grandma and grandpa, are completely head over heels for him. Every morning when I wake up and see his sweet face and get my morning kiss, I'm thankful and grateful to have him in my life. The love that we give and receive with animals is like no other and Mack is loved beyond words. Thank you for helping get him in my life.”
So, stop by a BC SPCA shelter near you today to find a furry friend that is just right for you.
More than 34,000 animals receive care and protection from the BC SPCA each year. Your gift can help a homeless, injured or abused animal until a loving home is found. Please donate today.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.