There are a number of ways to find your new furry friend! From breeders to Craigslist adds to local shelters, it’s hard to know the best choice. Although a “free” pet from the local paper may be tempting, they are anything but. New pets need wellness exams, vaccines, deworming, and a variety of other care that adds up fast. We at the Family Pet Veterinary Center strongly recommend checking your local shelters before other sources. The shelters are full of adorable, adoptable cats and dogs in need of permanent homes!
The Animal Rescue League has several locations servicing the Des Moines and Ankeny areas. Pets adopted from the ARL are fixed (neutered), receive basic exams and disease screening, as well as initial vaccines. Adults surrendered to the shelter may need little veterinary care, making them an affordable option!
Furry Friends is a no-kill shelter located in West Des Moines. This organization focuses on finding new homes, assistance to find the best animal for a family, and follow-up behavior assistance. All cats, dogs, and rabbits will already be spayed or neutered at the time of adoption. Cats are microchipped, given basic vaccinations (except rabies vaccine), and have been tested for FeLV/FIV. Dogs are microchipped, given basic vaccines (except rabies vaccine), and have been tested for heartworm.
Animal Lifeline of Iowa focuses on rescue, recovery, and adoption of companion animals needing medical care. The cats and dogs at the shelter arrive injured, handicapped, in need of immediate medical attention, orphaned, or pregnant and nursing; animals that would not survive without them.
If you are set on purchasing from a breeder, check the Iowa Friends of Companion Animals page to help differentiate between a quality breeder and a puppy mill! Furthermore, consider consulting with your veterinarian (prior to adoption) about their recommendations and current care expenses associated with a new pet. We at the Family Pet Veterinary Center encourage adopting shelter animals, and offer a complimentary wellness exam for recent adoptees!