Rescues & Shelters

Broward County:

Below is a list of well known charity organizations throughout Broward County. These charities are related to rescues, foundations, fundraisers that benefit the overall improvement of life for pets. This list is for public service and is not a direct endorsement of any particular organization unless otherwise stated.

Palm Beach County:

Below is a list of well known charity organizations throughout Palm Beach County. These charities are related to rescues, foundations, and fundraisers that benefit the overall improvement of life for pets. This list is for public service and is not a direct endorsement of any particular organization unless otherwise stated.

Pet Adoptions: What to know before you adopt a dog or cat

Rescues and Adoption Agencies are overwhelmed with dogs and cats in need of a home. Many of these pets are happy, loyal, and grateful to be part of a loving family. This makes pet adoption a great option for someone who wants to own a pet.

The first step towards adoption is to consider your lifestyle. If you have never owned a pet then you should be aware that pets are like children in that they require you take care of their necessities including food, water, shelter, and healthcare. They also require love and attention, which they give back tenfold.

Some shelters are classified as no kill shelters which means that the residing pets are given food, shelter, and basic care for as long as they are staying at the facility, while other less favorable shelters are classified as kill shelters which means that unwanted pets are euthanized if a suitable home cannot be found in a timely manner.

Pet adoption is a necessary, worthwhile, and humane thing to do in place of buying a pet. Do your research, make sure the adoption agency is reputable and that they take proper care of all their residing pets. Pets ready for adoption should have all required vaccinations including Distemper, Parvo, Kennel Cough, and Rabies for dogs; and upper respiratory/feline Distemper, +/- feline Leukemia for cats. All pets should be screen for intestinal parasites and dogs over 7 months tested for heartworm disease. A spay or neuter may be elected but this is typically done after the adoption process.

If you decide to proceed with the adoption, be sure to prepare your home by doing the following:

Pet proof your home
if you have never owned a pet, then your home might need some pet proofing. Make sure all chewable or small items are out of reach as they can be a choking hazard. Also make sure that electrical wires and hazardous household chemicals are inaccessible.

Buy pet food and feeding bowls
Feeding bowls aside, it is important that you are feeding your pet the right diet to maintain a proper health. Speak to your veterinarian about your pet's nutrition. Always make sure that your pet has fresh water in its bowl.

Devise ways to keep them entertained and active
pets are a joy to own, but they also require attention so it is important to devise activities such as playtime with toys, walking, jogging, or time at the dog park.

Be aware of multi-pet interactions and facilitate human-pet bonding
If you own other pet(s) consider how they will interact with each other. If you have children, consider how the children will interact with the pet and how the pet will interact with them. In fact, the decision should ideally be a family affair with all members of the family being present before and at the time of the pet selection as you introduce the pet as a new member of the family.

Consider Your Pet's Healthcare needs
Consider your ability to afford pet healthcare for your pet. This includes ongoing preventative care such as vaccinations, parasite screening, physical exams etc. This may require putting aside funds in advance, applying for Care Credit, and/or purchasing pet insurance. Remember that pet insurance is primarily for emergency or unexpected care and may not cover preventative medicine. On the other hand, preventative care can reduce your overall pet healthcare costs by preventing serious complications.

Once you and your home are prepared and you are ready to select your pet be sure to ask many questions about the specific pet so that you can properly understand his/her personality trait and temperament. You should also interact as much as possible with the pet before you make your decision. Optionally, some adoption agencies will allow you to foster a pet before making your final decision, which is a good idea for the first time pet owner. If you live in the Boca Raton, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, or Parkland Florida areas, then see the list of rescues and/or shelters shown on the left. You may also visit Parkland Veterinary Hospital or call us at 954-757-1729, to ask more about the process of adopting a pet or what preventative pet care is needed if you recently adopted a dog or cat.