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Tips On What To Expect At Pet Adoption Events

By Cuteness Team
published: October 31, 2017 - updated: January 20, 2023 • 3 min. read

Whether you’re ready to adopt or starting to think about adopting, adoption fairs are a great place to meet your new potential pet. Here are some tips on what to expect.

What is an adoption fair?

Generally, a shelter or a rescue group will set up an event that encourages a high volume of pet adoptions. To do so, the shelter or rescue group will choose a location, gather a bunch of adoptable pets and staff the area with volunteers (or shelter employees) available to answer questions. Some adoption fairs (but not all) may offer discounted adoption fees.


Attending an adoption fair

Adoption fairs can take place anywhere, such as a physical location like a “storefront” of a shelter or rescue group, the inside a pet supply store, or in a variety of other public places. You will see adoptable pets in pens or being held or walked by volunteers. You can walk around, meet the pets, and ask questions.

Adopting at an adoption fair

Adopting at an adoption fair generally means you will be taking home your new pet that same day. This is not always the case as some rescue groups prefer to do a home check first. A home check is when they check your home for potential danger to animals.

You’ll most likely be asked to fill out an adoption form which they will (in most cases) process on the spot. You’ll also want to have a plan in place if you end up bringing your pet home the same day. Have your supplies checklist ready and know the basics of introducing your new pet into a new home.

While still at the adoption fair, be sure to ask the attending staff what kind of food your pet has been eating, how up-to-date the pet is on shots and if there is anything else you should know about the animal’s temperament. For the food, you’ll want to buy the same brand and keep serving sizes consistent to minimize chances of an upset stomach. When it comes to vaccinations, the group putting on the event may offer discounts on any remaining shots needed. Lastly, knowing about your new pet’s temperament can help you understand how best to make your pet feel at home.

Be prepared for your new pet to be scared or confused, especially on that first day. Being patient and providing a calm environment helps your new pet acclimate to his or her new surroundings.

Pet adoption costs

The cost of adopting a pet, both within and outside of an adoption fair, varies widely. At some adoption fairs, fees will be lower than usual, to encourage more adoptions. At others, the price will be consistent with the usual adoption fee the rescue group charges. The fee also might be different for cats and dogs. It’s always a good idea to ask about the adoption fee up front!

Who can I bring with me to an adoption fair?

Humans only, please! Bring anyone who would be involved with your potential new pet: your partner, kids, etc. If you’re serious about adopting a pet, it’s a great idea to have your relevant loved ones there to give input and interact with the adoptable animals. You can also bring a friend for moral support, or just for fun.

Don’t bring your pets!

Though it may be tempting to see how the adoptable animals get along with your already-existing pets, your pets are not allowed at an adoption fair. Most fairs will have signs saying so. Bringing pets puts undue stress on all animals involved and creates potential danger for both the animals, the volunteers or staff, and you.

Now you’re primed and ready to go. Go forth and adopt!

This article is provided by Cuteness—the go to destination for passionate pet parents. Cuteness has answers to all of your health, training, and behavior questions – as well as the cutest, funniest, and most inspiring pet stories from all over the world.

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By Cuteness Team

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