The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : I Rejected The Perfect Pet Adoption Family For The Wrong Reasons

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I Rejected The Perfect Pet Adoption Family For The Wrong Reasons

I read an interesting post today on my social media page. It said:

"I continue to see rescues treat people in a way that will sadly keep irresponsible breeders and pet stores in business."

Before you judge that statement, this person is heavily into rescue. I'm involved with rescue and I have more friends than I can count in rescue. I am a fan of tons of rescues and individual animals. However, I totally get her post and there are many who agree.

Of course, this statement is not about all rescues. I do believe we must take a step back every so often and do a reset, much like a dog shaking it off. I attended an animal shelter worker seminar years ago and the speaker asked us to raise our hands while he asked several questions. These questions were yes or no questions with no room for offering explanation. As we responded, the speaker would choose specific people to put their hands down based on their response. We were asked if we had a fenced in yard, if we let our cats go outside, if we had kids, if we had other animals, if we lived in apartments, if our animals were home alone for more than four hours, if every one of our animals was up to date on vaccinations, had a recent fecal screening, were on heartworm preventives, flea control and so on. At the end of the questioning, only a few people had their hands still raised. He then revealed he was reading from a collection of adoption applications and only those with their hands still raised would qualify to adopt. Eye opening to say the very least.

He wanted us to see how we unintentionally narrow the chances for animals to find a home. He also read off some adoption fees from rescue groups that ranged from $100 to $500. The adoption fees for shelters ranged from $0 to $200. I have personally experienced interaction with rescue groups who seemed uninterested in my desire to volunteer, adopt or foster. I have also been the person reviewing adoption applications.

I turned down an adoption application because the other dog in the house, who was ten years old, was not neutered. I was adamant I was doing the right thing; downright adamant. The people had fallen in love with a dog at the shelter. They had been to the shelter several times meeting with the dog and discussing their decision. When I turned them down the wife started to cry. She told me they didn't know that neutering their dog meant they were responsible pet owners but I made sure to correct her. She expressed that considering the dog's veterinarian monitored health issues, neuter was considered risky at that point. She also advised me he'd never sired any puppies and was a stray when he joined their family as a young dog. Still, I said no. A few weeks later they came back to the shelter. I smugly thought they had their dog neutered because of me and I could now approve them. They actually came to show me their new puppy. A puppy they purchased from a pet store because they didn't have to meet any qualifications to buy him. I had just played a part in supporting a puppy mill.

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