Reading Shelter Cage Cards

Animal Shelter

You’ve done your research and you’ve found the pet that’s right for you. You’re ready to head out to the shelter to look for your best pal.

When you arrive at the shelter and shown to the area where the cages are, you will see, attached to each individual cage, a “cage card” that will give you helpful information about that dog or cat. Here is a list of some of the basics you’ll find on the card.

  • Name of the pet – if shelters don’t know the name, the staff usually gives the pet one.
  • A shelter ID number for the shelter’s records.
  • Breed or breed combination (if possible) of the pet.
  • Male or Female
  • The spay or neuter status of the pet.
  • Age of the pet if known or approximate age.
  • Color and markings if any.
  • Reason for the pet being in the shelter – whether left by owner or a stray.
  • The date the pet arrived at the shelter.
  • When the pet will be available for adoption.
  • The pet’s behavior such good with children, other pets, etc.
  • Special needs
  • Vaccination history
  • Microchip and license numbers

Not all cage cards have all this information and some may be written in abbreviated form. Some cards are color-coded to inform of the pet’s status. If there is anything on the card that you don’t understand, ask for an explanation.

The shelter staff should be able to answer most of the questions you may have about the pet you’ve chosen to share your home with.

Best of luck. You will be doing a good deed and sharing years of love and loyalty.

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