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We invite your participation in helping us develop our FAQ’s. If we’ve overlooked an area of importance, please pass your questions and/or suggestions along to us.  Thanks!!

 I’ve found a pet I’m interested in. Now what?

Congratulations! Your next step is to contact WAGS and fill out a preliminary application.

You need to go to the shelter during its open hours and ask to see the pet in person.

 What is the difference between a shelter and a rescue group?

The biggest difference is that most shelters keep their available pets in a single facility, while most rescue groups keep theirs in the homes of volunteers.

Also, shelters usually have some paid staff as well as volunteers, while rescue groups are almost always all-volunteer efforts. WAGS is a shelter. Our mission is to provide the best quality of care, advocacy and shelter for lost and homeless animals seeking new permanent homes. We pride ourselves on the highest medical care, excellent behavioral assessment of each animals and high degree of socialization for our animals.

 The pet I’m interested in is at WAGS; what will it be like when I go to WAGS?

After you’ve selected a pet who seems right for you, WAGS is a private pet adoption organization that will invite you to spend time with the pet in a special room or fenced outdoor area set aside for pets and adopters to get acquainted.

If you are interested in a dog and already have a dog at home, WAGS will require you to bring in your resident dog to meet the prospective new family member. This is to make sure there will be no future dog-to-dog conflicts.

 What kind of paperwork will I have to fill out?

WAGS will ask you to fill out an adoption application. Sometimes they do this before you’ve met any pets, and other times, they don’t have you do it until you’ve selected a pet you’d like to adopt.

Sometimes, the questionnaire is mostly about practical things like your experience with pets, landlord information, and references. WAGS feel this is part of the process by which the Adoption Coordinator help steer you toward the pet who is right for your lifestyle.

Many shelters these days do some type of “personality matching” to ensure the best match for each pet. An animal that is adopted, only to be let loose or returned to the shelter, can suffer more damage than waiting a bit longer to be adopted in the first place.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has developed the Meet Your Match™ assessment tests to find out what type of pet best suits your lifestyle, and several shelters around the country employ this assessment test for prospective pet adopters.

There are also many sites that one can do an online “pet match” quiz. I have taken several, and haven’t found any particular one to be super accurate for my pet personality, but the quizzes do get you thinking about many aspects of pets and your lifestyle. A little peek at what to expect for your life with your new dog or cat. Here is an example of a personality quiz for choosing a dog.

While most quizzes suggest a particular breed of dog, it is important to keep in mind that these are just suggestions, and mixed breeds often share dominant breed traits. Shelter workers will be able to assist you in mixed breed personality/trait identification.

 What is the best age to adopt?

It is important to consider the age of the pet you are adopting. Kittens and puppies are always adorable, but they do require a bit more work and a lot more supervision. Here are some articles to consider on this topic:

 Will I be able to take my pet home immediately?

Usually yes, but sometimes you’ll have to wait for the pet to be spayed or neutered.

 How much will it cost?

Sometimes pets are free if there’s a special promotion going on, but adoption fees commonly range between $50 and $225. But now and then the cost may be much higher. If you feel the cost is too high, ask what it’s based on. Was the pet with a rescue group that receives no outside funding, and pays for all veterinary care, spay/neuter, training, housing, etc. out of their own pockets? Did the pet have extraordinary expenses, such as costly medical care, before being made available for adoption?

 What happens if there are problems when I get my pet home?

WAGS has recommendation to local dog-training classes or veterinary or behavior assistance, to make sure your adoption goes smoothly after you get your new pet home.

If you’re having health, behavior or adjustment problems with your new pet, call WAGS to ask if there are any services that can help things work out!

 After my pet has settled in and we love each other – what do I do next?

Studies have shown that people are three times more likely to go to a shelter or rescue group if they talk to someone else who has. So your next step is to tell the world about your wonderful pet, and where you found him or her! Please go to WAGS website www.WAGSPetaDoption.org. or https://www.facebook.com/4wags.org. Share your pictures and story. Many people use the Social Media as a trusted reference.

 Do the dogs who go through rescue demonstrate behavioral problems or have medical problems?

WAGS assess each animal on an individual basis and are able to determine what we have to work with.  Most medical issues have been either resolved By Westminster Veterinary Group doctors by time the pet is ready for adoption. Generally speaking, most behavior problems simply require time, training, tender loving care and, mostly, commitment on the part of the people who are giving the dog his or her new lease on life.  WAGS will always disclose to you all we know about an animal.

 Once adopted, do you ever take back the animals that were once in your care?

WAGS have a lifetime commitment to all of our animals. Should any unforeseen situations arise with the adoption party and the animal can no longer be cared for by them, we will always accept the pet back into our organization with a fee.  This fee is to ensure the care costs are covered until the next adoption.

 How many pets do you adopt out each year?

from July 1, 2011-June 1, 2012 WAGS found homes for 460 pets.

 How long do pets remain up for adoption?

There is no specific time limit for WAGS animals who are up for adoption. Some pets are adopted within a few hours, while other pets remain in our care for months! All animals remain available for adoption as long as health, behavior and space permits.

 Can I adopt a pet as a gift for someone?

We do not encourage adoptions of WAGS pets as surprise gifts to family and friends. At WAGS, we believe it’s very important for individuals to choose their own pet, so they can find the perfect match (MYM)  for their family, lifestyle and expectations.

 What if my pet gets sick after the adoption?

You are responsible for all medical care after the adoption agreement is signed, unless other arrangements have been made. You will receive copies of all veterinary records with your adoption contract so that your vet will know your pet’s medical history.

If there are any health concerns with the pet you are adopting, the pet will remain in our care until our vet has given a clean bill of health. This may include kennel cough, skin issues, and parasites. Additionally, no pet will be released for adoption until after the spay and neuter has been completed. We do release kittens prior to spay/neuter if they aren’t yet 2 pounds, with a $100 spay/neuter deposit.  We do weekly/bimonthly weigh-ins until they are 2 pounds, then schedule them for surgery immediately

 Why is my pet microchipped?

All pets that are cared for by WAGS are microchipped. The microchip provides information for your pet to be returned to you if he gets lost and ends up at animal control, a veterinary office or another rescue.

 Why is the adoption fee so high?

WAGS charges $175-$225 for puppy/dog adoptions and $50-$125 for cat/kitten adoptions. The fee only covers a portion the care of your adopted pet. Your pet has been part of WAGS environment where they have received love, socialization and medical care from Westminster Veterinary Group (www.westminsterveterinarygroup.com ). In addition, pets are current on all vaccinations as needed for their age unless otherwise noted, microchipped, and spayed/neutered prior to adoption.  A heartworm test is included with dog adoptions and FELV/FIV testing is included with cat’s adoption.  All pets also get a fecal exam to check for internal parasites, are dewormed and treated for fleas, which averages $350 per pet. Taking all the costs of feeding and other supplies as well, our adoption fee is really very minimal.

 Will the pet be spayed or neutered?

Per WAGS’s mission, all pets are spayed or neutered prior to adoption. Your adoption fee covers the cost of the spay or neuter.

 What if my current pets are not spayed or neutered?

We strongly encourage that your current pet be spayed or neutered prior to bringing a new pet home.  Having an intact pet already in the home, may impact the approval of an adoption application.

 How long before I may adopt my pet?

We strongly encourage that your current pet be spayed or neutered prior to bringing a new pet home.  Having an intact pet already in the home, may impact the approval of an adoption application.

 Where may I see the pets available for adoption?

WAGS Pet Adoption- 6621 Westminster Blvd, Westminster, CA 92683 or www.WAGSPetAdoption.org   Also some animals appear at one to two adoption events per month. Visit our events calendar for dates.

 Is this pet still available for adoption?

WAGS adoption page is updated regularly.  But, if you would like to know immediately if a pet you are interested in is still available for adoption, please call 714-887-6156.

 Will WAGS hold my favorite animal for me?

WAGS cannot hold pets at our shelter unless your application has been approved.  At that point, we will hold the pet for 24 hours if you want some time to think about it to make sure this is the right pet for you.  If a pet you are interested in is not yet available, WAGS will take applications until the day of availability and select the best home based on the applications.

 Can WAGS ship an animal to me?

WAGS prefers not to.  We want to make sure that you have come down to WAGS and have met the pet you are interested in prior to taking the pet home.

 What should I bring to the shelter to adopt an animal?

Payment and  photo identification (driver’s license, etc.). Also, make sure you bring something to keep the animal secure — a collar and leash for a dog, or a carrier for a cat. And don’t forget to get an identification tag with your phone numbers onto your new family member’s collar right away!  We also ask that you bring proof that a pet is allowed where you live (rental agreement if a renter stating a pet is allowed).

 Should I call WAGS before I go?

Good idea. Tell WAGS the animals name (which you can usually get from our website or Petfinder.com listings). Verify that the animal is still at WAGS, and verify the available date.

 How reliable are your descriptions of the animals?

We try our very best to provide reliable information. Our Care Center Coordinator has experience evaluating animal temperaments and breeds. It is NOT possible for us to know how an animal will react with different people, around different animals, under different circumstances, or at a different time.  We do our very best to give you accurate information so you can make an informed decision before bringing your new pet home.

 Where do the donations go?

All of the money you donate is used toward WAGS animal care.  Food, medical care/supplies, toys, property improvements, etc. all come from donations made by caring people that want to help. The amount received for adoption of an animal may not cover the cost of having rescued that animal.

 How can I help?

Because of you WAGS animals are S.A.V.E.D.- Sponsor- Adopt-Volunteer-Educate-Donate

You can sponsor a pet by a monthly monetary commitment of _$20___ or foster a dog.  The need for safe and loving foster homes is enormous – but this can’t be just a weekend commitment.  We need homes who will watch the dog until he or she is placed.  Of course, adopting is key to helping WAGS animals. WAGS needs volunteers to help care for the animals on a daily basis. WAGS needs photographers to help take intake pictures that are attractive. WAGS needs volunteers to do tours for possible adoptive families. There are many volunteer options please contact us at www.WAGSPetAdoption.org or   714-887-6156.  Education about WAGS and the rewards of adopting a shelter pet is critical to the mission of saving these animals.  Donations of all sorts – monetary and animal products like; collars, toys, bedding, and kitten food.  The list is long –please contact us if you would like more information.