Getting Your New Pet Settled
Congratulations on the adoption of your new family member. Here are some tips on what to expect during your first few weeks with your new pet.
Your new pet may have been abandoned or surrendered by a previous family, has had to adjust to the shelter and is now going to a new, unfamiliar place with strangers. Being gentle, considerate, kind and patient will help ease your pet into the new family.
If your pet appears to be scared, provide a small, quiet area (such as a laundry room or bathroom), along with food and, with a cat, a litter box. Do not allow your children to bother a frightened pet; fear can result in bites or scratches. Instead, give your pet plenty of time to adjust to the new surroundings, taking it one step at a time. Do not give up!
Even a housebroken dog or cat can make mistakes in a new home. Adjusting to a new routine will take some time, so please be patient. Keep a watchful eye on your pet, and when you can’t watch, confine your pet in a safe area.
Expect behavior problems
Your pet had another set of rules in its previous home. Teaching proper behavior takes time and patience and can sometimes be frustrating. If you need more help, please don’t hesitate to call your adoption shelter or your local VCA Animal Hospital.
Things can get touchy
Many pets are uncomfortable with being picked up and/or being held, but they might sit in your lap happily for hours or prefer to cuddle right beside you. Let your pet do what is most comfortable. Respect your pet’s need for rest and privacy.
How long will all this take?
Allow your new pet several weeks or longer to adapt to the new surroundings. Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment. We assume you will make a patient and concerted effort to achieve a successful adoption.
Healthy Start Exam — It’s Free!Your pet’s health and happiness starts with a thorough wellness examination. Free Healthy Start Exam includes checking your pet’s heart, lungs and other vital organs, and examining your pet for fleas, ticks and other external parasites. You will also receive a free consultation from one of our doctors and access to free healthy steps brochures for your pet’s health needs! We look forward to seeing you and your pet soon.
The VCA Shelter Partnership Program
All of us at VCA Animal Hospitals are deeply committed to the health and well-being not only of the pets in our care, but of pets everywhere. That’s why we are so proud of our special relationship with so many animal shelters and humane societies all across the United States. Click here for a list of our VCA Shelter Partners.
VCA Animal Hospitals can provide the pets in your shelter with uniquely caring and expert animal health care by bringing together the medical expertise and compassion of people in our hospitals, combined with the support of our nationwide network of veterinary specialists.
Enrollees in the program can be certain that new pet owners will have the educational and medical resources they need to properly care for their pets. We believe that an informed, well-prepared pet owner is less likely to “return” an adoptee. Once a pet is referred to us, we are fully committed to ensuring that pet has a long, healthy, and happy life.
Your shelter, your pets, and your clients all benefit with the VCA Shelter Program.
“The VCA Shelter Program is great for the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico because all adopted pets have a complimentary wellness exam. The exam helps the client establish a relationship with a vet that will offer optimal lifetime health care for their animal.”
Anna Todd, Animal Humane Association of New Mexico
Contact us today for more information about the VCA Shelter Program: email us at partnership@VCAhospitals.com.
Arizona Humane Society, Phoenix, AZ
The Arizona Humane Society is the state's largest nonprofit animal welfare and protection agency. Annually, the shelter takes in more than 43,000 unwanted, sick, abused, and injured animals. As a private, nonprofit, 501 (c)(3) organization, they are funded solely by donations and do not receive any government funding. It is their mission to build healthy relationships between people and animals.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles, CA
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles, as its mission states, believes that animals, as living creatures, have value beyond economic measurement, and are entitled to legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection. The SPCALA is very active in the Southern California community with many workshops, seminars, and partnerships all intended to help the lives of unwanted and/or neglected animals until they are adopted into loving homes.
The Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA), Sacramento, CA
The Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) was established 1894 and is dedicated to ensuring the humane treatment of all animals in the Sacramento, California, area. They provide a safe and nurturing environment for unwanted, abandoned and mistreated pets until they can be placed into loving homes. Through proactive intervention, public education and community outreach, the Sacramento SPCA seeks to promote respect for all life by breaking the cycle of abuse, neglect and pet overpopulation in our communities. These accomplishments happen without any government, state or city funding.
Humane Society of the South Platte Valley, Littleton, CO
The Humane Society of the South Platte Valley was established in 2010 to offer shelter, care and compassion for lost, stray and unwanted animals until they are redeemed by their families or adopted into a new home in the south Denver communities. The Humane Society of the South Platte Valley is committed to strengthening the bond between pets and people and being the community's animal welfare resource, helping lost and abandoned animals by providing a compassionate, humane and safe environment, and saving animals by finding new homes for abandoned pets and reuniting lost pets with their families.
Humane Society of Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, FL
The Humane Society of Broward County (HSBC) has been providing residents of Florida with friends for life since 1944. The HSBC is a 33,000 square-foot, completely air-conditioned shelter with the ability to house over 300 dogs and cats. The HSBC is a non-profit organization that relies on 100% of its funding from individuals and is nationally identified as a "Leader in Animal Welfare in South Florida". The HSBC has an abundance of services for clients and has partnered with VCA Animal Hospitals to provide people and their newly adopted friends the very best in veterinary care.
Atlanta Humane Society, Atlanta, GA
The Atlanta Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc. was founded in 1873 and is the city's oldest, private, not-for-profit animal welfare organization. Originally chartered to help women and children as well, the AHS now focuses its efforts on addressing the pet overpopulation problem and encouraging pet adoption in Georgia. Located on Howell Mill Road in Midtown Atlanta, the pet rescue and animal welfare organization offers the public numerous opportunities either to donate or get involved.
In addition to its pet adoption services, the Atlanta Humane Society pet rescue organization offers other programs and services, including fundraisers for our rescued pets, an expertly-staffed clinic, opportunities for volunteering, and year-round, community-wide events.
PAWS Chicago, Chicago, IL
Founded in 1997, PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) Chicago is the city's largest non-profit, no-kill humane organization. PAWS Chicago envisions a no-kill Chicago--a city in which no pets are destroyed just because they are homeless. Their work is focused on alleviating tragic pet overpopulation by targeted spay and neuter clinics and humane education.
Humane Society of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
Since 1905, the Humane Society of Indianapolis (HSI) has provided shelter and care to animals in need. Originally started to help both animals and families, the Humane Society eventually switched to focus solely on animal care and now spans over 32,000 square feet on 13.5 acres in its new facility. The mission of the HSI is to provide shelter and comfort to the over 12,000 animals that are seen annually on their way to loving, lifetime homes.
Humane Society for Hamilton County, Noblesville, IN
The Humane Society for Hamilton County serves as both a humane society and as animal control for the citizens of Hamilton County. VCA Animal Hospitals is a corporate sponsor for the Humane Society for Hamilton County as the HSHC relies on the generosity of local businesses and individuals for all of its much-needed services and contributions. The mission of the HSHC is to protect lost, neglected, and injured pets.
The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) is a private non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of animal suffering. Chartered in 1888, we are the oldest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization in the state, providing care and basic medical services for thousands of homeless and unwanted animals each year.
Guided by a priority to improve the Quality of Life of all companion animals, our programs and services propel our mission forward. Whether it's educating our youth to value and respect all living things, enlightening the community about the importance of spaying and neutering, investigating animal cruelty cases and seeing those cases through the legal system, or making lifetime human/animal matches, we are committed to change.
Animal Shelter, Inc., Sterling, MA
The Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling, Massachusetts is a non-profit organization and no-kill shelter. They are supported entirely by donations from private individuals and through mandatory surrender and adoption fees. The Animal Shelter, Inc. does not receive support from the United Way or from federal, state or local governments. The shelter provides humane sheltering and care for stray, unwanted, abused and neglected animals. The staff is dedicated to finding good homes for adoptable pets and we continue to promote responsible pet ownership to improve the quality of life for the animals and people in our community.
Worcester Animal Rescue League, Worcester, MA
The mission of the Worcester Animal Rescue League (WARL) is to be an advocate for all animals that cannot speak for themselves through care, cruelty prevention, and community educational programs. Operating since 1912, the WARL is a nonprofit organization that relies on private donations to keep the shelter doors open and to continue helping animals in need. In addition to general donations, the Rescue League accepts sponsorship of individual animals and enclosures at the shelter so that donors can specify where his or her donations are used.
Animal Humane Association of New Mexico, Inc., Albuquerque, NM
Serving New Mexico since 1965, the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico (AHANM)'s mission is to improve the lives of companion animals through sheltering, adoption, community education, and programs that reduce pet overpopulation. The AHANM is a non-profit organization that survives solely from private donations and has one of the highest adoption rates in the country; 68% of the animals coming into the shelter will find a loving home.
Town of Islip Animal Shelter, Bay Shore, NY
The Town of Islip Animal Shelter has approximately 90 dogs, cats, and the occasional pocket pet in the shelter at any time in their 145 runs and cages. Operating as animal control and as an animal shelter, the Town of Islip Shelter places approximately 75% of the animals that come through the door. The Shelter currently does not have a website to showcase their facilities and pets, but you can contact them by phone at 631-224-5660.
SPCA of Texas, Dallas, TX
The SPCA of Texas is the leading animal welfare agency in North Texas since 1938. As an open door, private, nonprofit organization, the SPCA of Texas is dedicated to the welfare of animals and people with three community shelters. The SPCA of Texas has a 98% adoption rate of those animals that are friendly and healthy and does not place any time limits on animals waiting for adoption.
Houston SPCA, Houston, TX
The Houston SPCA has been an open door, safe haven and defender for all animals since 1924. They have consistently placed more animals into loving, permanent, and responsible homes than all other area shelters combined. The mission of the Houston SPCA is to promote commitment to and respect for all animals and to free them from suffering, abuse and exploitation. The doors are always open to all animals and no animal is ever turned away due to species, size, or health.
Humane Society of Bexar County, San Antonio, TX
The Humane Society/SPCA of Bexar County is a non-profit organization that has served Bexar County and its surrounding areas since 1952. In the past 50 years, the HS/SPCA has found homes for over 157,000 animals. Their mission is to be the community¹s primary resource for promoting the humane treatment of companion animals by providing education and adoption services.
The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County, Tacoma, WA
Since 1888, The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County has been working toward a more compassionate world for people and animals. They are open to tens of thousands of homeless pets every year, and find homes for more animals than any other shelter in the state of Washington. Their mission is to protect and promote the well-being of animals and to foster positive relationships between animals and people. The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County is an independent non-profit organization with 501(c) 3 status that depends upon the tax-deductible donations of generous donors. They are not a governmental agency nor are they funded by any national animal welfare organization.
Lancaster County SPCA, Lancaster, PA
Founded in 2013, the LCSPCA will be the leader in serving Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with all available means and resources to prevent and alleviate the suffering of animals, and provide sheltering, humane care and adoptions of stray and unwanted animals and animals who come to us as the result of owner surrender and cruelty investigations. We are dedicated to the belief that all living creatures should be cared for and protected. Our staff works together to create an orderly and caring environment to best serve both the animals and the community.
Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, Palm Springs, CA
Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a community responsible for pet stewardship and humane treatment of animals. We are dedicated to the belief that all living creatures should be cared for and protected. Our staff works together to create an orderly and caring environment to best serve both the animals and the community.
San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, San Diego, CA
Serving San Diego County since 1880, the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA provides vital services to animals and people alike. Our mission is to promote the humane treatment of animals, to prevent cruelty to animals, and provide education to enhance the human-animal bond, while inspiring the community to end animal suffering.