Sunday, June 17, 2012

The ability to say no.....

Mittens: Torbie, Cat; Dublin, OH  Mittens - still looking for a home
We are going to let mom take this one....
I have been volunteering (and yes even worked part time for a bit) in shelters for quite a while. I see all kinds of people come in and want to adopt. Some are great families, some need some education, and some should not have animals at all. All groups have a process to adopt and questions to answer.
However, I have noticed over time that some rescues seem to make it WAY more difficult than it should be. Isn't the point to get these animals adopted out so you can rescue more? I understand selective, but I have met families that I would have let take one of MY animals that have been turned down by another rescue.

That being the case, I am now doing most of the adoptions out of the one store for the rescue. I see all kinds of things - and will try to educate first. So far I only had one person I would have turned down, but they "changed their mind" after I tried to get more information out of them. :)
I did get an application the other day on Mittens. Great family - one older cat in the home, own their own home, two kids, two adults, all the right answers. Except the kids are 1 and 3. Yeah - that may be a problem cause Mittens can be fiesty. I have heard of groups that WILL NOT adopt to families with young kids. Really??? But, I don't want the family getting frustrated with her and returning her and her having to deal with that drama either. So I called the mom. Told her my concerns. And rather than saying no, I suggested another cat in another store (that was fostered by my friend Beckie). They said they would go meet Expo.

So, what is the point of this??? Maybe rather than volunteers saying no, make better suggestions. And people need to be aware that we aren't saying no for the heck of it....we all have reasons. But I also think rescues need to not adopt for the sake of adopting - stick to your standards and make people understand why.

And to those rescues out there that make people jump through so many hoops - your adoption numbers may be down because of it. And consider this - the last woman that I spoke to who had this problem ended up going to a backyard breeder. So now you are helping to perpetuate the very problem you claim to be trying to solve...... 

As a side note: Expo went home Saturday with her new family and her new mom couldn't be more excited. 


  1. Amen to that! Well said: we do need to have standards as we want the best people for the cats we care for, but trying to educate and reason with people, suggest other cats that would best fit their lives is the only way to go if we really want to help.

  2. There are two shelters in Missoula - the humane society and Animeals. Sherpa came from the humane society. My hubby had to fill out forms and pay for his shots and neutering. Animeals requires two references and a home visit. REALLY? Isn't that a bit much to adopt a cat? And they check the references 'cause we were one for a friend

  3. I agree with your post. I don't think I can ever do what you do because I do get too attached to the cats I rescue / foster. So I'll just stick to TNR. :)

  4. Too true! I helped a friend go thru all kinds of hoops to adopt a kitty, she had problems because she was here from Japan on a visa--they turned her down so I did the "adoption"...kitty went to Japan with friend 6 mos. later and is an cherished family member.

  5. That is what I call the SMART way to adopt out kitties! :)

  6. You and our mom would get along famously in person!
    Play bows,
    PS: Sorry we got so behind. It's the garden's fault!!!

  7. Most of the time, common sense works a lot better than strict adherence to regulations, but too many people find it hard to put their brain in gear...

  8. We don't have that level of screening here in Canada. Basically if you can afford the fees for adoption (which includes 1/3 the cost of neutering), you can pretty much adopt. There is a time limit for having the pet's spay/neuter done, otherwise the Humane Society could remove the animal.
    I think trying to do an appropriate match (as you did) is the best option. Knowing the animal, and matching the family to it's needs is worht the effort.
    If only everyone cared as much as you do about what's best for our furry little friends!

  9. We think there are a few adoption agencies around us that make it so difficult to adopt kitties. What a shame if someone is really willing and able to take care of them.

  10. Back when I was volunteering at a shelter, I had to turn down one person. It was someone who told me up front that this would be an "outdoor" kitty because his neighborhood needed a cat! After he was turned down, he sent in his friend to try to adopt the cat. Too bad they lived at the same address and I noticed!

  11. I'm glad you wrote this post and brought up these issues. I couldn't agree more with you. Education is so vital and so lacking. My daughter and I volunteered for years and didn't do adoptions (we did sick bay and laundry), but it just takes a little extra effort to make sure the animals get a good home. I think some volunteers either don't know or don't care enough to suggest alternatives or can interpret applications/people well enough to remove unnecessary hoops.
    I didn't mean to be so wordy, but it's sad and we're blessed with someone like you who knows what she's doing!


  12. Great post.. all the animals you help are so lucky to have you in their life protecting them...

  13. I do agree, but sometimes it is good to have rules in place. But a lot of volunteers need educating as well!

  14. Lots of good points to be sure! But ultimately you always have to consider the individuals in question on both sides of the equation- the potential adopter and volunteer. Either one might have the potential to be unreasonable which is why guidelines/rules can be helpful. Ultimately though , common sense is the order of the day and what you did makes the best sense-matching an animal with a family that will make a purrfect match! :)

    the critters in The Cottage xo


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