Thinking of Adopting a Pet? It's OK to Ask Questions

Experts say asking questions and doing research is crucial to ensuring you find the right fit for your home

NOTE: For a fourth straight year, NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago are teaming up with animal shelters to waive adoption fees across the Chicago area and help pets in need find forever homes. The pet adoption initiative known as Clear the Shelters takes place nationwide 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 18.

Thinking about adopting a pet?

You probably have a lot of questions. And that’s OK.

Experts say asking questions and doing research is crucial to ensuring you find the right fit for your home.

Kelly Kaapke adopted a 5-year-old Chihuahua about a month ago – a move she said she never expected she’d make.

“Chihuahuas are definitely not the breed that I would have thought that I would adopt,” she said.

The receptionist at Old Town Animal Care Center said the idea didn’t even cross her mind – until she met Sadie.

“Once I started reading up on them and I started really bonding with her and playing with her I kind of changed my mind a little bit,” she said.

Adoption centers say it’s important to find an animal that matches your lifestyle and to ensure new pet owners understand the training requirements and financial commitment of owning each pet.

“The last thing we want people to do is make the decision to save a life and then wind up having the animal back in the shelter,” said veterinarianTony Kremer.

Kremer said there are many reasons a pet may end up in a shelter.

“Maybe an owner passes away and that pet has no home anymore, maybe someone didn’t make the association with how much it would cost to have this pet, or they didn’t check into the rules at their condo or apartment and that animal winds up back in the shelter,” he said.

Fifteen years ago, Kremer founded, a humane society that has placed over 15,000 animals into loving homes. Having a rescue under the same roof as a vet clinic offers many benefits, he said.

“We know that these pets have been looked at by vets, they’ve been spayed and neutered, they have a micro chip, fully vaccinated, dewormed… so you’re getting a pet that is ready to go into a home,” he said.

His biggest advice for potential new pet owners? Go to a shelter, meet the animals, and ask plenty of questions.

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