After You Adopt
Congratulations on your adoption!
We are so thrilled that you chose to adopt a pet from Operation Kindness. This is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long relationship.
Here’s how we’ll support you and your new pet post-adoption.
14-Day After Adoption Medical Support
We partner with VCA Animal Hospitals to provide after adoption medical support. At adoption, you will receive a VCA Healthy Start Certificate. We encourage you to schedule your free wellness exam as soon as possible with one of the participating VCA locations listed on the back of the certificate (the certificate is only valid for 14 days after adoption).
As soon as you schedule this appointment, you will have access to the My VCA app, which includes a 24/7 live chat option with a Registered Veterinary Technician. Since we often do not know the medical history of our animals, we are not able to predict whether they are going to start showing symptoms after adoption. Many of the medical concerns that appear after adoption are treatable through VCA’s Healthy Start Program, just make sure to schedule the appointment within 14 days of adoption. Please refer to the VCA Healthy Start Certificate in your adoption folder for more information on covered services, exclusions and scheduling instructions.
At the time of your adoption, a veterinary technician will review your pet’s medical records and any current conditions or medications. If your pet recently had surgery, you can review the post-surgery instructions here.
If you have adopted a heartworm positive dog, the treatment plan will be reviewed at the time of adoption. Operation Kindness will provide the heartworm treatment at our on-site hospital at no additional cost to you.
Dog Training & Behavioral Resources
Below you’ll find a variety of resources on dog behavior and cat behavior for common issues to help set your new pet up for success.
If you adopted a Max Fund pet, your adoption includes a scholarship for in-home training to make your pet’s transition a success.
If you’re not sure where to turn for help, our behavior team can be reached by email or at (972) 418-7297.
Bringing Home your New Dog
The first few weeks in your home are critical for your newly adopted dog. During this time it is important to set up clear, consistent rules and patterns.
Back to Work
Prepare for your first week away from your new dog. Get our tips on easing your new dog’s transition and adjustment to your work schedule.
Dogs are social and most enjoy the company of other dogs. Read these tips to learn how to acclimate your resident dog and newly adopted dog.
Crates are a great training tool because they give your dog a safe “den” to rest and sleep in. They also help with potty training and reduce the possibility of destructive behavior.
When potty training (also known as house training) a dog, create a predictable and consistent schedule so that your dog will learn what to expect and where to go potty appropriately.
Symptoms of separation anxiety can be common in dogs recently adopted from shelters. Read these tips to learn how to help your dog with separation anxiety symptoms.
Destructive chewing can not only be annoying, it can be costly and dangerous. Dogs naturally use their mouth to explore the world around them, but it is important to teach them the things that they should and shouldn’t chew on.
Demand barking, or bossy barking, is when your dog barks at you when they want something. If your dog has trained you to respond to their barking demands, use these tips to train them quieter ways to ask for things they want.
Managing a Mouthy Puppy
Puppies learn to explore the world around them by using their mouths. It is important that you teach your puppy when and where he is allowed to use his mouth to avoid bites or chewed up items in your home.
Dogs that Jump up on People
Jumping is a natural greeting and play behavior for dogs. Since most people don’t enjoy being jumped on by dogs, especially larger dogs, it is important to teach dogs that jump on people how to greet more appropriately.
Dogs that bare their teeth, growl, snap, or bite to defend things that belong to them are expressing a natural dog behavior that can be dangerous if not addressed. Teach your dog how to learn more appropriate communication.
Learning to ``Say Please``
Dogs are willing to ask for the things that they want in life. With your guidance, your dog will learn to get the things they want without jumping, barking, mouthing, chewing, pulling on leash, or counter surfing.
Positive Reinforcement Training
Positive reinforcement works by rewarding your dog after a desired behavior is shown, making the behavior more likely to happen in the future.
Managing a Door Darter
If you struggle to keep your free-spirit dog in the house when you open the front door, then follow these tips for managing a door darter.
Dogs may jump up on counters to find food because it is natural for dogs to explore the world around them. Use these tips to manage counter surfing.
Managing a Dog Who Digs
Dogs that dig up your back yard can be frustrating, but this is often a sign of boredom. It is up to us to make sure that they have more appropriate ways to outlet their energy.
Playing Keep Away
If your dog likes to grab things and won’t return them to you, you probably end up playing a not so fun game of keep away with him. Learn how to have your dog give up items to you.
Working with a Fearful Dog
The goal when adopting or fostering a fearful dog is to modify their behavior by making new, positive associations with things they fear, as well as building their confidence.
Adopting a Puppy
Adopting a puppy is a very exciting time! If this is your first puppy, there are lots of things to learn. Raising a puppy is a challenging but rewarding job that requires lots of patience, empathy, and time.
“Littermate Syndrome” is the term used to describe the anecdotal observations of many pet professionals, rescues, breeders and pet owners of siblings that develop behavior issues when being raised in the same home.
Confidence Building in Shy Dogs
Dogs that are shy, fearful, or anxious about new things can benefit from confidence building. Many dogs can get overwhelmed when forced into situations that are too scary for them without any skills on how to cope.
Boredom Busters for Dogs
Humans have quite enriching lives. Whether it is school, work, social activities – there’s a lot we have to do. Dogs need enriching lives, too. One key to a happy, healthy dog in the home is enrichment.
Cat and Dog Introductions
Adopting a new pet into your home comes with lots of new exciting experiences. Despite the stereotypes, many dogs and cats do live together peacefully. It is important to take this introduction slowly.
Cat Training & Behavioral Resources
Bringing Home your New Cat
Adopting a cat can be a very exciting time for you and your family. Cats have very long memories so you want to make the best first impression possible.
Cats that use your furniture to sharpen their claws can cause damage. Cats need to scratch so we need to teach them where it is okay for them to scratch.
Kittens Who Play Rough
Young kittens raised alone may use their teeth or claws more than kittens who grow up with litter mates. We can teach them more appropriate ways to play.
Litter Box Issues
It is not uncommon for cats to experience issues with using the litter box. Learn how to address it promptly.
Learn about the effects of declawing and why Operation Kindness does not recommend the declawing of cats.
Rough Play in Cats
Cats stalk, chase, pounce, swat, kick, scratch and bite when they play. These tips will help train your cat to play nicely.
When you are bringing a new cat home, it is important to make sure that your current cat’s introduction goes well. Cats have a long memory, and they can be skeptical of new housemates at first.
Bringing Home a Fearful Cat
Cats appreciate routines and patterns so they can feel comfortable and safe. If you are bringing home a fearful or shy cat, the following tips will help your cat feel welcome in their new home.
Boredom Busters for Cats
One key to a happy, healthy cat in the home is enrichment. Check out this list of awesome “Boredom Busters” to enrich your cat’s life.