If you love pets but don’t want to be a puppy mom, these are the stories you need to know about

Are you thinking about adopting a new pet? Just in time for fall. But, we want to warn you: It’s not easy finding one that will be healthy enough to join your family in the first place.

People are often hesitant to adopt a dog or cat because of fears about the puppy they gave up. We all know someone who experienced the feeling of realizing they had to send a dog away—trying to find the right fit, the perfect fit.

It’s a time-consuming, emotional process. That’s why we wanted to share some wisdom—through case studies and pictures—with our readers about how to adopt responsibly. We started with dogs. And since we are talking to a group of pet lovers, we decided to also give a heart-felt introduction to cats. The goal was to put some of these problems in perspective and make a case for why we should consider a health profile when considering our animal companions. To that end, we included pictures of the cats and dogs who have had health issues and succeeded.

That’s what this post is for! Here is a small selection of the papers, magazine covers, and endearing stories that inspired this post:

FOUR-YEAR-OLD BLONDE MIX GABBY IS REALLY NOT A BEAUTIFUL CAT—JUST WHEN SHE TURNS NICE AND TORTUOUS, SHE NEEDS to BE ADOPTED. “It’s an emotional roller coaster for all of us.”>> Adopting a baby tiger and cuddling in her cage are the reasons cat-sitter Ed Martin brings up his passion for pitting species. >> Looking for a dog that could help you lose some weight? Try this five-pound pup that eats acorns and chocolates. >> We found some of these resilient pets who had done just fine despite health issues. >> Animal studies have shown that all animals need to eat food. READ MORE

While the risks of owning a pet can be high, there are benefits too. We wanted to share the stories we found helpful and share our own personal stories that made us realize that sometimes there really is no right answer when it comes to our pets. We hope you’ll find the light in these stories and continue to offer up a health profile for your pets. And, for pets who have medical issues, perhaps you’ll consider giving up on the adoption process altogether.

We hope this helps you through your decision-making process—whether it’s about whether to take a one-off pet or a lifetime companion. You have a choice to make!

And here’s one more thing: If you have any questions about adopting or adopting from a shelter or rescue group, email [email protected] We love hearing your story.

This post originally appeared on ShelterMag.com.

If you have a question about joining the shelter family or more information on adopting a pet, please email [email protected] We love hearing your story!

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