Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much does an adoption cost?
A. See the Adoption Process page for these details.
Q. If I find a pet that seems right for me, what happens? May I simply take the pet home?
A. The Adoption Process page describes the steps and requirements to adopt an animal. If you meet all the requirements and the adoption is approved, you could potentially take your new pet home immediately. However, there are times when several days are needed to get the required documentation on the vaccinations of your existing pets or lease information.
Q. Is it difficult to adopt?
A. Every shelter has its own policies for approving adoptions. Our adoption screening process is designed to ensure that each animal is placed with a responsible person, one prepared to make a lifelong commitment with the resources available to care for and house a pet, so the animal doesn’t end up back in a shelter again. Our first priority is to help the animal find the best home possible where it can live out all of its remaining years and be properly cared for.
Q. What can you tell me about the breed of a specific dog?
A. Our method for determining the breed of any dog is to evaluate the size, appearance, and temperament and, based on experience, make our best guess. Mixed breed dogs can be a combination of many generations of mixed breed dogs, so it isn’t always easy to make an exact guess. Some are easy and others are impossible to determine. DNA testing is available for breed identification; however, that would be at a cost to the adopter post-adoption.
Q. How big will this puppy get when it grows up? What do you know about the mother and father of this puppy?
A. Since our puppies come directly off the streets, we almost never know anything about the mother or father. And even with that information, there can be dominant or recessive genetic traits that produce a puppy that is nothing like the parents. The size a puppy will grow into is at best a guess that at times we get wrong. If you require a specific size dog or are unwilling to give a home to a large dog, a mixed breed puppy is not a good choice. A dog approaching one year old is fully grown in terms of height.
Q. What can you tell me about the background of a specific animal?
A. Our animals generally come from the streets with no history on health, parentage, or previous owners. There is little or no information forwarded to us about the pet. Occasionally we will know something and are happy to share what we know, but that happens very rarely.
Q. Is this pet good with kids?
A. Our pets come from the streets so their interaction with children is unknown and we do not have test children to try out with them. We attempt to flag any pets that we would not recommend with children, and we’ll do our best to help you select the best pet for your household. However, the final decision and responsibility about what pet to adopt lies with parents. It is also important to ask yourself how your kids would be with a pet. It is unreasonable to expect that even the most docile dog or cat who is startled by a child screaming, grabbing, hitting, or abusing the animal would not react. Training is always helpful, not only for the dog but for the entire family to know how to manage a new dog. For more information on dogs and kids, go to our Tips for Introducing a New Pet to the Home page.
Q. Is this dog housebroken?
A. We do not speculate on housebreaking for adult dogs unless we have had the dog in our own home and verified that it is housebroken. However, we take in hundreds of dogs every year and very few of them stay in private homes, so it is rare that we know housebreaking status. Adult dogs instinctively do not relieve themselves in their immediate living area and a dog that is housebroken recognizes their living area and as such does not relieve itself there. It stands to reason that a dog coming from a hospital environment isn’t going to immediately understand that your house is now their house too. Some do, but some need a transition period of a few hours to a few days to figure that out and we always recommend letting them outside more often until they are fully acclimated. You need to expect a few “incidents” while they settle into new surroundings and learn your routine of when they go out, go on walks, eat, sleep, etc. Very young puppies are physically and developmentally unable to understand housebreaking. As they mature, you have to teach them. If you want a puppy you have to expect to train it; they never come pre-trained.
Q. Is this dog good with other dogs?
A. We do social evaluations with our dogs and are able to identify dogs that are overly dog-aggressive, and will identify them as NO OTHER DOGS in their adoption profile. However, there are various levels of getting along in the dog world that are dependent upon breed, age, sex, and most importantly the qualities of both dogs together. Our suggestion is that you bring your dog to meet any dog you potentially want to adopt, and we can provide a neutral space for that to happen. For more information on integrating a new dog into your household if you have another dog, go to our Tips for Introducing a New Pet to the Home page.
Q. Is this dog good with cats?
A. Dogs and cats can and do get along, however, instant friendships are rare and usually take some time. Our recommendation is that you avoid breeds with high prey drives if you have a cat. Secondly, a cat that is not a fear runner is more likely to get along with a dog. A running animal triggers a chase reflex in most dogs and when the cat doesn’t run, the dog is more likely to respect the cat and not see it as a toy or something to chase, allowing a friendship to eventually form. For more information on introducing dogs and cats, go to our Tips for Introducing a New Pet to the Home page.
Q. Do you visit my home as part of the adoption process?
A. We do not do home visits.
Q. Where do you get your puppies and kittens from?
A. We typically get all of our adoptable pets from local police stations that are found as strays. We have a stray holding period and then will vet them and adopt them out. If for some reason there is a pet that is not adoptable due to health issues, behavior, or any other underlying reasons, we will then work with local rescues to find these pets a great and loving home.
Q. Are all pets shown online still available? Can you hold a pet for me if I call?
A. We update the pets shown online as often as possible. Adopted pets are removed and new pets are added. It is highly likely that a pet shown online is available. However, our goal is to place homeless pets in permanent homes and holding them would potentially deny them a home while we wait for someone who may or may not show up and may or may not actually adopt the pet. If you see a pet online that seems right for you, please call the number shown on each online pet description and you will be given the up-to-the-minute information on the pet’s availability. If still available, we recommend you come in immediately to meet the pet and fill out an application if you decide that you want to adopt.
Q: Is there a health guarantee for animals that you offer for adoption?
A. When animals arrive at Midwest Animal Hospital, they receive examinations by a doctor and daily observation by their caretakers.
Vaccinations: The vaccinations decrease the possibility and severity of an illness, but take some time and boosters to become fully effective, especially in a young animal.
Parasites: We test for parasites and routinely de-worm animals as a preventative while they are in our care and provide treatment when necessary.
We do everything in our power to detect and treat illness prior to an adoption; however, the animals we rescue are homeless and typically receive little or no medical attention prior to arriving at our facility. Plus after adoption, the stress of the transition into a new home can frequently cause a pet that was healthy on the day of adoption to wake up the next morning sick. Puppies and kittens younger than six months are more vulnerable since they do not have the fully-functioning immune system of an older animal.
Q. Where are you located?
A. We are located at 11205 W. 183rd Place Orland Park, IL 60467.
Q. Do you put any pets down if they are not adopted in a certain time period? How long do you keep pets who are brought to your facility?
A. Animals are kept sheltered until they find homes, no matter how long it takes unless they are seriously ill and their quality of life is unacceptable by a DVM.
Q. Is it OK to let a cat we adopt from you go outside?
A. Outdoor cats are exposed to many dangerous things including being hit by a car, eaten by a coyote, disease exposure, fights with other animals and more. The fact is, outdoor cats live an average of 6 years, while indoor cats can live from 15 to 20. If there is any plan for letting one of our adoptable cats go outside, please let us know first so we can take the right precautions as far as vaccines and care go.
Q. Why was my puppy or kitten altered at such a young age?
A. All pets available for adoption from Midwest Animal Hospital are spayed or neutered prior to becoming available for adoption. Kittens and puppies as young as 8 weeks old are spayed or neutered. This is a safe, effective tool to help end pet overpopulation and has numerous health benefits, including a drastically-reduced cancer rate later in life.
Q. Why do you require that other cats and dogs in my household be altered before you will approve an adoption?
A. Experience has taught us that adopting into a home with an intact dog or cat can cause behavior problems that can escalate and lead to one or more of the animals ending up back with us or at another pound or shelter.