How to Find a Shelter Pet That Fits Your Lifestyle

We know the excitement you feel when you meet a cute, cuddly, ball of fur. It can be hard to say no to sweet a face waiting for a forever home. You may also feel a sense of urgency to take it home immediately upon meeting the animal, either because it just feels right or because you’re afraid someone else will take it if you don’t.

As much as San Antonio Pets Alive! wants every animal to find a loving home, we encourage all pet parents to take their time when selecting their new family member. We know it’s hard to be patient, but going slow and ensuring a good fit is better for you and the animal in the long-term. When pets are adopted hastily and don’t turn out to be what the adopter expects, they are often returned to the shelter. This is confusing for the animal and takes up space we greatly need to save animals from euthanasia.

The adorable cat pictured below, Eddie, was adopted through SAPA!, but he was returned because the owner had an allergic reaction to him. Fortunately, this wonderful couple adopted him at our Petco Ingram location, giving him a third chance at having a happy forever home.

Eddie the cat

Here are some tips to make sure you find a pet that’s right for your lifestyle:

1) Consider how much time you really have.
As cute as a tiny puppy is, the reality is they need tons of time and attention. And as fun as large dogs are, they need plenty of exercise. Think realistically about how often you are home and how much time and energy you have for a pet. If you don’t have time for a young puppy, consider an adult dog or a cat. When you meet a dog or cat at the shelter you’re interested in, make sure to spend plenty of time playing with it to get a sense of its energy levels. You may want to come back another time to see if their energy level is the same (you may have caught them when they were tired or very excitable the first time).

2) Be realistic about how much space you need.
If you’re looking at cats, do you have a good spot for a littler box? If you’re thinking about a dog, do you have a yard or a nearby area where you can run them out for bathroom breaks? Think about how much room you have and what size animal will be most comfortable in your home.

3) Think about your family.
If you’re married or in a relationship, make sure your partner is on board and has the same expectations about the type of pet you’ll get. If you have kids, make sure they are comfortable with pets and have a chance to meet the pet before you adopt. With small children, be wary of dogs that tend to jump.

4) Consider other important factors
As Eddie’s story shows, knowing whether or not you have pet allergies can be very important! Other things to consider: Are you prepared for pet hair in your house, or if you get a non-shedding dog, regular trips to the groomer? Do you know who will watch your pet when you leave town? Has your landlord approved you getting a pet? Are you ready for the vet bills? Think about all of the other factors that could affect whether you’re ready for a pet and whether this particular animal is right for you.

5) Consider adopting from a foster
Are you very picky about the type of dog or cat you want? You may be better off adopting a pet from a SAPA! foster parent rather than one of our shelter locations. This is because an animal in foster care has been living in a real home anywhere from a few days to a few months. The foster parent can offer great insight into the animal’s personality, energy, and behavior, and this valuable information can ensure a better fit. Most of our foster animals are listed on our website. You can also ask a staff member at one of our locations for information on foster dogs that might be a good fit for you.

Are you considering adopting a dog or cat as a Christmas gift? San Antonio Pets Alive! sells gift certificates that will allow the whole family to select the perfect pet together. Buy yours now at any SAPA! location!

Happy Birthday Paul Jolly Center!

The Paul Jolly Center for Pet Adoptions is turning one this month. Since its opening in October 2013, The Paul Jolly Center for Pet Adoptions has been instrumental in San Antonio Pets Alive!’s ability to increase the live release rate at San Antonio Animal Care Services. With over 3,000 adoptions in less than one year, the center is now a focal point for SAPA!’s adoption program as well as a hub for community engagement initiatives at the Petco Pavilion including a monthly pet market, dog walking volunteer groups, weekly meetings for a local 4-H Club and the location of this year’s TPR “All Pets Considered” event. The central location of the center has allowed SAPA! to extend its supporter network and ultimately strengthen its presence within the community.

Meet Arabella
. She was 2 years old and suffering from mange and emaciation when she was rescued from the city shelter and taken in to our program. She was at the center for four weeks before being adopted by Laura Gonzalez. She was still recovering from hair loss caused by mange, but her new mom continued care with medication, coconut oil and love. She gained 15 lbs. and her beautiful fur coat grew back. Like many other adoptable dogs and cats at the center, Arabella found her happy ending!

In celebration of The Paul Jolly Center and to all of those that have supported our work this past year, SAPA! and Petco are teaming up to host a family friendly event on Saturday, October 25. Bring your wolf pack and have a doggone good time dancing to the beats of Jason Saldana, getting your grub on with Cheesy Jane’s food truck, winning our Halloween costume contest, and saying “cheese” for the pumpkin patch photo–op. The first 150 past adopters will also receive a Petco swag bag, so get there early! A special “Walk of Life” will take place at 1 p.m. in Brackenridge Park where all dogs and their humans are welcome to join. Of course, all of our wonderful pets will be available for adoption and freshly groomed thanks to Petco’s expert grooming department. For one day only, folks can add a new member to the family for a donation to SAPA!


Thank you for making our first year one for the books!
We could not have done it without our amazing supporters who have helped find homes for countless animals.  Your commitment to making San Antonio a No Kill city is demonstrated through your passion and generosity. With your help, we will become the largest No Kill city in the nation!

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Why You Should Consider Fostering or Adopting from a Shelter

bottle baby kittens love for one another..Why should I consider fostering?

  • Fostering animals is simply put, you are saving lives. When you become a foster parent, you volunteer your time and energy to keep an animal in your home until they are ready for adoption. Fostering is best done through an animal shelter, or rescue group such as San Antonio Pets Alive! Fostering increases an animal’s chance of being adopted. The foster families are usually the first to find out about the animal’s personality. You as their foster mom or dad, may even be the first to teach your foster pets house manners, making them more appealing to adopters. Fostering is temporary, but is so rewarding as you play an instrumental role in helping us make San Antonio a No Kill city. Fostering also doesn’t require much but your love and the basic necessities.  SAPA! covers the cost of all medical care until the animal is adopted.  Take the time to think about it, and maybe YOU will save another life by fostering.

Why should I consider adopting?

  • Thinking of adding a new pet to your family? Here are some reasons you should consider adopting from an animal shelter.  You will save a life. Sadly around 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States simply because people give up on their pets, or fail to spay/neuter. Animal Care Services(ACS) has limited space and after a brief stray-hold, many animals find themselves slated to euthanasia.  Animal shelters are brimming with happy, healthy animals just waiting for someone to take them home. All animals adopted from SAPA! are spay/neutered, up to date on vaccinations, microchipped, given their first dose of flea and heartworm preventative and receive 1 month pet insurance at no additional cost.  If you are looking for a new companion, please consider adopting an animal from SAPA! or ACS. It will save a life, and make room for others to be rescued.

I hope that some of this changes your mind, all volunteers, donations, and help is greatly appreciated, as well as welcomed! 🙂

10 Reasons You Should Vote for SAPA!

It’s that time of year again…The San Antonio Current‘s 24th annual Best of San Antonio reader’s poll is now open! Vote for SAPA! as San Antonio’s “Best Place to Adopt a Pet” today! Keep an eye out for the April 23rd issue, when the results will be unveiled.

Top 10 Reasons You Should Vote for SAPA!:

    1. When you adopt from SAPA!, you save two lives!
    2. Our puppies give the best kisses.IMG_1543-2
    3. We have saved over 13,000 lives!
    4. Our Neonatal Kitten Nursery saves orphaned babies who wouldn’t otherwise stand a chance.
    5. We save the little guy, the underdog, the ugly duckling…we save them all!
    6. Our Parvovirus ward is the only one of its kind in the city!
    7. Our organization is primarily operated by dedicated volunteers.
    8. We are focused on saving the lives of animals in immediate danger of euthanasia.
    9. All of our adoptable pets provide unconditional love and companionship.
    10. Because Peaches said so…

Vote Now!

Mail-in your donation: P.O. Box 830006 San Antonio, TX 78283

© San Antonio Pets Alive!