There are certain things you should already have on hand before you bring home a cat or dog. Please read our Pet Care information before filling out an adoption application. Any one may adopt from our shelter, but we do not ship animals and we require that you come down to the shelter and spend some time with the pet you like before formally adopting. Pets will be spayed or neutered before being released to the new owners.
We frequently get calls asking if a specific breed of pet is available. We have so many pets coming in daily, that we do not have staff time to keep track of special requests. Our suggestion is to check our website daily, since the animal listings are updated daily. Please do not call us asking for a specific type of pet. Check the website often, or just come down and look.
To adopt a pet, you must be an adult and have a legal form of ID (a driver's license will do) and fill out an adoption form in person. For certain animals (e.g. bully breeds and some other large dogs), you must consent to a premises inspection, so we can make sure the pet will be going to an appropriate place.
The City of Brownwood permits a maximum of four dogs and cats per home. We do not adopt to residents residing within the city limits of Brownwood who own four or more pets because it is illegal to do so. We will not be held responsible for those who adopt more pets than they are legally allowed to have. If you rent, you need to check with your landlord or lease to make sure you are allowed to have pets. It is heartbreaking to see a pet leave only to be brought back days later because "my landlord caught me."
Families with small children must get approval from the Administrative Manager before adopting small pets, and are usually not allowed to adopt small puppies and kittens.
After finding a pet that you would like to adopt, you will fill out an adoption application and staff will discuss questions, concerns, and what you should expect with your new pet. After you are approved, you can take your new pet home the same day if it is fixed, or within (usually) two business days if it needs to go to the veterinarian. You can choose your own veterinarian here in Brownwood, TX, or we can help you pick a vet that's right for you.
If your new pet doesn't work out, don't despair. Finding a pet that's right for you isn't always easy. While we don't offer refunds, we encourage you to bring your other pets and your children with you to the shelter once you have chosen a pet to adopt and completed an adoption application. (Please do not bring your pets with you to the shelter until you have talked to our animal services manager.)
Animals will usually not be allowed to be adopted as gifts to family members who do not reside in the same household. It has been our experience that animals given as gifts have a nearly-100% return rate. If you adopt a pet for a child, you must do so with the understanding that you, the adult, are responsible for taking care of the animal! Please do not use a living creature that is not yourself to teach your child "life lessons."
Understand that no matter what, approval for adoptions is at the sole discretion of the staff. Thus, please ask staff your questions, tell them your concerns, and above all else, be honest on your application.
Note: Our Guardian Angel program makes it so that some of our animals may have significant discounts applied to their adoption fees. To see these discounts, you must come to the shelter. Animals may also be discounted if they have already had vaccinations or tests done before being released to us.
Without any discounts, the cost to adopt a cat that is not yet neutered is $90; a cat that is fixed is $45. The adoption fee for cats pays for the spay/neuter surgery, microchip, rabies vaccine, first set of boosters, de-flea and de-worm.
The cost for a dog is $150. This is an $85 spay/neuter fee, $10 rabies vaccine, $15 heartworm test, $20 for the first set of boosters, microchip, a de-flea, and a de-worming.
We are asked many times if you can adopt an animal without paying the spay/neuter fee or microchip fee, and not get your animal fixed or microchipped. The answer is no. We are required by law to fix and microchip every animal adopted from our facility, and we have no desire to contribute to the already rampant breeding crisis in Brown County, TX.
If you cannot afford the adoption fee, unfortunately we cannot place an animal on hold, nor can you put down a portion of the fee as a "deposit." If you cannot afford the adoption, you should consider carefully whether or not you are ready to commit to the huge financial responsibility that is owning a pet. You can also save up a little bit of money each month towards the adoption fee and adopt when you are financially ready. We have cats, kittens, dogs and puppies of many breeds available all the time.
If an animal is too young to be fixed, you will still pay the full adoption price (which covers the cost of the spay/neuter surgery), but you will have to get the animal fixed at a later date, usually within thirty days.
Small and medium dogs will live about fourteen years, while large dogs will live about eight years. If you decide to adopt a puppy, plan to have him for at least a decade. Are you ready for that kind of commitment?
Pets of any kind aren't cheap, and dogs are no exception. The first year you own your dog will probably be the most expensive--expect to spend a good deal of money on health care and supplies. Every year thereafter, expect to spend several hundred dollars depending on the size of the dog and the breed. Even basic care—food, flea medication, heartworm preventative, collars, and annual vaccinations—adds up.
If the financial aspect doesn't deter you from adopting a fuzzy friend, then you need to prepare your home. You will need: 1. a food bowl; 2. water bowl; 3. dog food, dry and wet; 4. treats; 5. bed; 6. heartworm preventative; 7. grooming supplies (brush, nail clipper, shampoo, etc.); 8. leash; 9. collar; 10. flea collar; 11. ID tag; 12. toys; 13. first aid kit; 14. pooper scooper; 15. doggie doodie bags; 16. crate (for traveling); 17. a dog house if he will spend any time outdoors. It's a long list, but you really must have all of these things if you want your dog to be a loving, sociable, healthy companion.
Puppies are like babies; they are learning how to control their bladders and will have accidents. They are teething, so they will chew on everything. If you cannot accept a dog pooping and peeing on your carpet and chewing up everything at puppy-level, then a puppy is not for you. If you cannot accept having to wake up at three o'clock in the morning because Baby Woofy has to go pee-pee, a puppy is not for you. And if you cannot dedicate many hours a day to socializing your animal, a baby animal is definitely not for you. Older dogs are just as affectionate and loyal as their younger counterparts, but usually are already house-broken and can entertain themselves while you go to work in ways that don't involve destroying your home. Think about this before you adopt a puppy.
It is illegal for you to tie your dog up, even in your yard, for more than three hours a day in Brownwood, TX. If you do not have a fenced yard to keep your dog in, you will need to accompany your dog on a leash each time he has to use the bathroom. If you are found to be illegally chaining your dog, animal control can issue you a costly ticket, or bring the dog to the shelter. You may reclaim your pet, of course, but it can be costly.
Keep Brownwood Beautiful puts doggie clean-up stations in the parks around town. While we encourage you to bring your own doggie bags, you can find bags at these various stations. Please clean up after your dog; nobody likes to smell it or slip in it! And remember: your dog won't clean itself! You have to give your dog a bath every week, whether he likes it or not.
Cats are more solitary companions, though they do emotionally better when they have a cat companion. They don't require your attention all the time, like many dogs do. They aren't as demanding, either. Owning a cat is not much cheaper than owning a dog, so adopters need to be prepared to spend potentially several hundred dollars a year for flea preventatives, vet visits, food, toys, and supplies. Cats tend to outlive their canine counterparts. A cat's average lifespan is 12 - 18 years. Indoor cats tend to live much longer than outdoor cats, because outdoor cats are more likely to get run over and catch fatal diseases.
Before you bring your cat home, you'll want to prepare your home. You will need: 1. a food bowl; 2. water bowl; 3. cat or kitten food, dry and wet; 4. treats; 5. bed; 6. scratching post; 7. grooming supplies (brush, nail clipper, shampoo, etc.); 8. litter box, scoop, and litter; 9. collar; 10. flea collar (if outdoor cat); 11. ID tag; 12. toys; 13. first aid kit.
If you own a cat, you will need to scoop litter every day. If you do not, then your cat will rebel and poop in a clean spot...like the living room floor. Cats are very clean creatures, and they expect you to be the same way. Unlike dogs, cats clean themselves, and you won't have to shampoo your cat unless you have allergies or your cat gets into something it can't clean off by itself (something sticky, for instance).
Cats have a need to scratch. They do it because their nails have a sheath that needs to come off as it grows, and scratching does the trick. You can train a kitten to use a scratching post instead of your furniture in a matter of hours by picking him up when he scratches the couch, and then putting his paws on the scratching post. He'll get the idea pretty quickly. Older cats can also be trained, but it might take a bit longer. To prevent a cat from scratching in an area, line the area with double-sided tape; cats don't like sticky surfaces.
When you adopt an animal, you should be aware of the most common diseases. For cats and dogs, these diseases are rabies, distemper, parvovirus, heartworms, bloat, URIs, feline panleukopenia, FeLV, FIV, and FIP (descriptions are here and here).