As much as we love petting dogs and cats for hours on end, there's so much more than that that goes into caring for an animal. Lee Asher, a Los Angeles resident who has dedicated his life to helping rescue animals, currently has eight rescue pets himself, and has a few questions he thinks it's important to ask yourself before deciding to adopt:
Figure out what kind of pet is right for you.
Is your work schedule flexible, or do you have to be out of the house Monday through Friday every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., no exceptions? How big is your living space? Do you have easy access to lots of outdoor space? Are you an active person, or are you more of a couch potato? Believe it or not, these are all important questions when trying to figure out what kind of pet is right for you. Every pet has different needs, from cats to big dogs to bunnies to small dogs.
"When you adopt a pet, you're saving a life, but you should still make that decision carefully," Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA, told The Dodo. "I always encourage people to go in with an open mind, yet be mindful of their home environment and lifestyle. For example, an active person might be matched with a high energy pet, while a less active person may be better off with a more sedate pet. Your local shelter knows its animals well, so they can usually find a strong match that will change both of your lives for the better."