Me and baby Rosie Carr BEFORE I adopted her, when she came to visit WDHA!

Hi Friends!

 Adopting a new pet or a best friend in training is a major commitment.  There are so many WONDERFUL animals of all kinds in our local shelter groups. Young, Old, Purebred, Muttigree, Dogs, Cats, Rats, Bunnies, Birds….the list goes on.

Animals end up in shelters of no fault of their own. Owner death, divorce, financial difficulties, and other factors sometimes force humans to give up their pets.

Adopting a new pet could be life life-saving for our furry friends. It is always traumatic for pets to be re-homed, and sometimes it takes time for your new pet’s personality to emerge, but rescue animals ROCK and are so grateful for a second chance at life and love.

RELATED: The Benefits Of Adopting A Senior Pet

If you are considering adopting and especially if you are a first-time adopter, there are a few things to consider before finding the perfect match. Personally, for me, the rescue group is key.

I have had two beautiful experiences with my friends at The Denville Animal Shelter. Meredith runs the shelter and is open, honest, and helpful in fitting the lifestyle of pets and people, which is important. Many of our rescue groups do that.

Randolph Regional Animal Shelter is INCREDIBLE with its foster program, ensuring that the right pets and people fit together for a perfect match.

TC and A Dog. Always advocates for adaopting a new pet

I love meeting shelter dogs and loving on them….something so simple…goes a long way


ALSO SEE: The WDHA Staff Dogs

My tips are not laws, but opinions – based on my experience with Rock N’ Ruff, rescue dogs, and pet passionate listeners and our shelter partners. BTW…WDHA is planning a cool adoption event at the station so keep the date of Saturday, June 1st open! More details coming VERY SOON!

Thank you for coming to us on your first step on this amazing journey.  And, thank you for thinking about adopting a new pet – member of the family. So here we go, see our tips below!

5 Important Tips Before Adopting A New Pet

  • Keep An Open Mind


    One of my favorite Rock N’ Ruff Rockstars!

    Sometimes we go into the adoption process thinking I want “exactly this”!
    And when we meet a pet, we want them to be exactly what WE want. I had a friend that wanted a male, huge dog, no Bully breeds please….Instead he got a female, medium and the DNA came back with some Staffordshire Terrier. The BEST dog he’s ever had. She spoke to him at an adoption event. Meet the shy animals. Once they are in your home and feel safe they don’t usually stay shy! Their personality comes out. Listen to your heart. Feel the connection. And understand what you can give. If you have low energy don’t forget the seniors. They are amazing and need homes too and many actually have puppy energy! And let the shelter help you. If you are out of the house for 8 hours a day, a puppy is not a great idea. Look for a couch potato- they rule!

  • Puppies Are 5x's The Work Of Adult Dogs - Please Consider This

    Puppy 2

    Puppy Kisses RULE!

    PUPPIES!!!!!!! The cutest! And the most work. NOW, if you have the time to devote, there is nothing more rewarding than raising a puppy, but please note……It’s a lot of work.
    Puppies should not be left alone for a crazy amount of time. They need to eat, be socialized, relieve themselves A LOT and must be watched constantly. Puppies are babies. They need guidance along with love and attention and structure. I adopted Rosie as a puppy and she was not alone during the day when I was at DHA. She had a “sitter” and my older dog to show her the ropes and help her out. WDHA is also a dog friendly environment, and she was able to come to work with me as well. Puppies require time….lots of it. If you have it – GREAT! But consider your time constraints and know that it’s likely a 15 year commitment.

  • Understand There Is A Decompression Time


    Rosie and Scarlet were best buds- Rosie misses Scarlet so much. Her big sister.

    Decompression time. It’s a must.
    There is a 3 in 3 kind of “rule” that rescues speak of.
    It takes three days for initial decompression, three weeks to learn the routines of your household, and three months to start to feel relaxed and at home. When you adopt, foster, or are a new pet parent, it’s especially important to understand this. Patience is key. Love is crucial. When Rosie first arrived she was so afraid of my older dog, she was a little devil! But we were all so patient with her and she and Scarlet turned out to be true sisters. They were literally attached to each other. It took about 6 months, but it was worth it.

  • Do Your Homework On Rescue Groups

    Sunny w/ Bones

    Here I am with my good friend Sunny Nowell from The Randolph Regional Animal Shelter with “Bones” Sunny is wonderful to work with in finding the perfect fit for you.

    There are so many fantastic groups in the state of New Jersey. Some have actual shelters, some are foster-based. Some specialize in older dogs, or small dogs, or larger dogs or breed-specific rescues.
    For example – Gingerbread House Animal Rescue specializes in small dogs, many Pekinese, and seniors.

    Sedona Shepherd Sanctuary is all about Rescue German Shepherds.

    Randolph Regional Animal Shelter has a wonder “Foster To Adopt” program, allowing the dog to come into your home (once approved) on a foster trial basis.

    Eleventh Hour Rescue has hundreds of animals in their shelter care, and require an approved application before allowing adoptions.

    There are many ways to adopt. Shelter groups want to make sure the dogs have safe, loving homes, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, fill out applications, and work with the group on obtaining the information that you need. There are so many dogs and cats looking for homes, if one you may have spotted gets adopted before you have the chance, please open your heart to another deserving animal. There are so many.

  • Listen To Your Heart

    tc pups

    I adopted Rosie and Star from The Denville Animal Shelter. Star passed away in 2023. We miss her so much. My little fighter.

    Our hearts know best. I was not looking for a new puppy when I met Rosie, but there was something about this scrappy little mutt that was running around the shelter that got me. I couldn’t forget about her and I was on vacation when I called the shelter and said- “I Want The Little Brown Puppy”!
    Please don’t forget the shy pups, the dogs that may not show well in a cage, barking to get you to notice them. Meet them, take them outside. See how your heart feels.
    We had a family come to last years WDHA Dog Days Of Summer event and they came looking for a dog and left with two cats. The kids fell in love with the cats, so they adopted the kitties. Your heart knows!

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