HomeAnimal RescueCat sheltersDo you think animal shelters are too picky with potential adopters?


Do you think animal shelters are too picky with potential adopters? — 6 Comments

  1. Michael, I’ve been seeing comments for years about how adoption places made it hard for people to adopt animals. Almost as if they don’t want to give up “their” animals.

    I had to fill out an onerous and lengthy application form for Tootsie, provided by the rescue place. I also had to agree to a “home visit” to inspect my place. That never happened, thankfully. I don’t know how often they actually follow through- maybe that’s just there to scare people off. Or, I got off easy b/c I offered up my “credentials” as a cat blogger, as I then was.

    And, when I finally went to adopt Tootsie from “Fancy Felines”….

    I’m copying a rant from a flickr post:
    As I have related before, Ms. Cat has only recently ventured outdoors. She’s been really well behaved during the adventure. Previously she would bolt upstairs whenever I opened the patio door. I know it’s probably safer to have a cat completely indoors.

    Plus, when I adopted her 2 years ago (she’s 8 now), I had to sign papers saying I would keep her as an indoor cat. However, after all the paperwork was done, and I was ready to take Ms. Cat home, the adoption person said, “oh, by the way, we didn’t actually test her for FeLV/ FIV, because she’s always been an indoor cat.” Which was NOT what was said on the petfinder ad online.

    The adoption person added “but when you have her tested by the vet, if it turns out that she is positive, we will take her back.” I can’t tell you how gobsmacked I was. Uh, totally pissed off. Like I would just return her as if she were a faulty lampshade?

    Well, Tootsie’s not FeLV/ FIV positive. But, I figure that the rescue agency’s contract had no merit, given the lie in the ad they placed. So, Ms. Cat gets to go outdoors. Very occasionally, and under my strict supervision.

    And, sorry for the rant, but I guess it’s been brewing in my subconscious for a while. *g*


    • There is a lot of discussion on this. There are stories of rescue centers having massively successful adoption days as soon as they loosen their adoption standards which begs the question why not do it all the time. I think the shelter people lose sight of the context: a cat will die unless adopted therefore it is better to take a small risk and adopt out to someone who might not look perfect. I might do something on this today.

  2. Absolutely! We were rejected by 3 different organizations…here were their reasons:
    1. We have a cat
    2. We have two children (8 & 13)
    3. The organization asked for a DMV report…to see if we owned a truck.
    4. Organization wanted to make 3 separate home visits.
    My family lives on an Air Force Base, there was no way my husband was going to vouch for a total stranger coming on the federal land.
    It was so frustrating, all we wanted was a dog to spoil. We homeschool are children, so basically, the time the dog would be left alone would be minimal. And did I mention my parents live 2 doors down from us?!

    Our cat has been with us for 8years & is use to dogs & basically keeps to herself. My son and I did a mission trip to Costa Rica last summer working with animal rescue…we entered up finding a dog, less than 3lbs, missing half his hair, wondering down a busy street in La Fortuna. He spent 5 days at the vet in Costa Rica before we could bring him home. Costa Rica does not have rabies so there is no quarantine period. We named him Tito and literally nurse him back from the brink of death.

    He has brought so much joy into our family. Last month, when we had him neutered, I brought him home, fed him turkey jerky by hand while he laid next to me on a heating pad on my bed. My point being….seriously, my family rejected? My sister said, “It’d be easier to adopt a Chinese baby!” Unfortunately, I’d have to agree with her.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience Alysa. You dog is very lucky to have been rescued by you. What you say is almost shocking. I don’t understand the mentality of these rescue organisations.

  3. Okay now about the rudeness and obstructing, yes & yes. Almost every time I’ve gone to the local shelter here in California, I have encountered this. I’ve had poor interactions with them going back over 20 years. I think it’s a culture passed on from the veteran management to the staff. Maybe not right away else they sour them too quickly and spook. I have talked to staff at the counter who were pleasant, which also spooked me because I wasn’t expecting that. Once they sour though, it gets pretty bad. Here anyway. The first rotten encounter I had with this shelter was a long time ago when I brought them a stray. I mentioned he accidentally broke the skin to which they announced they’d kill him. I protested and they only got indignant about it. I proffered a solution which I was sure would satisfy them, I’d adopt him to which, you guessed it, they refused! I argued so long and hard about that that they relented and “Danny” became my first bromance with a cat. We had a great life together but I’ll never forget those people. They don’t want to learn either because I reported back to them that he turned out great but they didn’t care. And yes, Danny’s eyes looked outward (so funny).

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