Area shelters, including SPCA Tampa Bay, will waive adoption fees -- as high as $200 for puppies -- at events this weekend in order to get furry friends into forever homes.
But adopters should avoid common mistakes, so they don't have to "return" pets (the national return rate is 10 percent)
- Make sure everyone in family, including other pets, gets a chance to meet-and-greet potential new pets, whether it's a dog, cat, rabbit or pig (yes, the SPCA has oinkers, too). If the animals fight, or little Sally's not feeling the love, that's a bad sign.
- Do homework and research on animals and their breeds (especially how big they get, that's another reason for returns)
- Your apartment building may allow pets but double-check with your landlord about secret fees for new pets.
- If you have a busy schedule, not nearly enough time in the day for yourself, you probably don't have enough time (or energy or patience) for a puppy.
- Puppies get all the love, but "Diamond Dogs" aka our seasoned dogs make great pets for seasoned people -- or simply those who need a smart, mellow potty-trained pooch. Adoption of Diamond Dogs often come with a host of free benefits (including medical visits and doggy spa visits), so make sure to check on those.