Just one look at Molly and Pica, and it’s hard to believe that the inseparable pair of pooches was returned to the Burbank Animal Shelter after just three days.

But their story, including that of a pit bull that was returned after just one day, should serve as cautionary tale for anyone whose eyes may be larger than their lifestyle.

The life of a shelter dog is a — ahem — rough one. Thrust into a new environment surrounded by strange cellmates and an ever changing atmosphere, any semblance of a normal life, of routine, is quickly lost. It’s that sense of normalcy and calm — so quickly lost in a shelter — that can be hard to regain in a new home.

As shelter operators so often say, it takes time and patience, especially when considering each animal has its own personality and disposition. One can only imagine how jarring it must be on animals to move in and out of a shelter environment.

So while adopting a pet is a valiant, applaudable move, please be sure to come in with eyes wide open, in more ways than one.