we now turn the blog over to the mom (for the moment)
I've read different blog posts and newspaper articles and online posts about how rescues make it "so hard" to adopt. Don't get me wrong....I truly believe that there are some rescues that do make it exceedingly difficult to adopt. Which makes me wonder what their ultimate goal is for the animals they rescue.
On the complete flip side, there are some organizations that don't check anything. No landlord, no vet, no nothing. And that frightens me. The job of a rescue IS to protect the interests of the animal.
Other rescues take the middle road. The one where I foster does check with a landlord (if you rent) and vet records. We ask for personal references but don't check them unless something pops up that we question.
Our application is 2 pages long: who are you and where do you live? how many people in the household? kids and ages? do you work and where? own or rent? landlord info if you rent. questions about understanding the commitment to having a pet. do you intend to declaw? if yes, why? animals currently in the household. vet info. animals in the household in the last 5 years - and where are they now. Which animal do you want to adopt and why?
I honestly don't think any of these questions are invasive or out of line. Let's go through some of them.
kids: we don't say a blanket no to kids. But we do ask ages so we can help you find a better match
rent/own: I am forever amazed by the people that put one, cross it out and then put the other. How do you not know this?? And don't lie...our county auditor is online and I check.
**I went over an application recently for Morocco. He put that he owned the house. According to the auditor, he did not. I then had to call and ask for landlord information (plus there is the whole "he lied to me" part). He then ADMITTED he lied....because his landlord has a no pet policy. And that is why we ask....if we adopt and your landlord has a no pet policy and finds out you have an animal, what happens to the animal??? [he was denied]
declaw: the "yes" answer won't get you an automatic no, but we will give you the anti-declaw talk. If you are determined, we have some very nice cats that came to us declawed. Please choose from one of them.
current pets: again, no blanket policy on numbers (though it can be a consideration). But do they see the vet regularly? Are they spayed or neutered? If you have dogs are they are heartworm prevention? We are looking for basic care issues. And if you have pets, give me your vet info...I am just going to call and ask for it.
**I got an application for a kitten once where the dog currently in the house was not spayed. Everything else checked out so I called the owners. He said that the dog only went out to pee so they hadn't bothered (the dog was female so how they lived with her being in heat I have NO idea). I went over the health risks...and then said - what if she gets loose some day during a walk. It only takes once for her to get pregnant and now there are unwanted puppies adding to the population. He admitted he hadn't thought about that. I made this suggestion: I put a hold on the kitten and they make an appointment with our local low cost clinic to get the dog spayed. Once I knew she was there, we would set a date and time to finalized the adoption for the kitten. He called me the next day with the appointment time. I called that Friday to verify the dog was there for surgery....and the kitten went home on Saturday (we got an update about 6 months later and they adore him).
previous pets: Again, we are looking for history of care and well being.
Here is the bottom line.....depending on the rescue, more than likely the person looking at your application and doing the research is a VOLUNTEER!! Please don't waste our time making us track down information. Please don't waste our time by lying to us. Please don't waste our time by making things up. In the land of technology, we can most likely find out and you are just making it harder.
The second application I processed this week - I called the landlord and he yelled at me because he just filed an eviction notice. Really?? Why is this my fault? I called the woman, didn't mention the landlord issue and she said she couldn't really afford it at this time. The application had been filled out less than 24 hours before I called her. She had to know this and did it anyhow.
We WANT adoptions. But we also want them to succeed. PLEASE....make sure you are ready for the commitment. Make sure that you understand that this is for life - not for whenever you get tired of having a pet. Make sure you have everything lined up and ready to go. Know that we want to approve people - but we want to make the right match and we want to be sure the pet isn't returned to us after a short period of time because you changed your mind. Returns for rescues are terrible....the pet doesn't understand and as those who process information, depending on circumstances, we feel like we failed to make the right decision. Don't make this harder for everyone involved.....please.
Oh, and do us all one final favor and don't complain about adoption fees. Those fees NEVER cover the cost of rescue, surgery, vaccines, medications and microchips. Heck, if you want to do a rescue a favor, overpay them for the adoption!
Your rescue's adoption policy sounds very similar to that of the group to which I belong. There is no point rescuing cats or dogs if they are then adopted to people who aren't going to care for them properly or put them in situations that are careless.ReplyDelete
I think it is so great how hard rescue's work to make sure the animals have a good home and one good reason is that a lot of people are trying to get anmals for horrible reasons so all those questions are so important. I, for one, appreciate all the hard work the rescue people do. Anyway, great post.ReplyDelete
So much this. I've volunteered for a lot of rescues, and in general, the more lax their adoption policies, the higher the rate of returns.ReplyDelete
And a lot of potential adopters are flabbergasted when they find out that the average lifespan of a cat is 15 years. They haven't thought about the fact that the kitten they're getting for little Susie will STILL BE THERE when Susie's gone off to college. So I make sure I mention it. Ha.
that is one thing that have to check - "are you prepared to care for the pet for their entire life - 15-20 years"Delete
Singing to the choir! I adore the rescue that I volunteer with because we refuse to adopt to anyone who will declaw. Talk or no talk, it's the worst possible thing to do to a cat, so the directors refuse to approve those applications. They also keep bonded pairs of cats together; adopter must take both. And what you say about the fees...I hear people all of the time complain about it...that really gets my blood boiling.ReplyDelete
This is an amazing post! I wish it could come with every adoption application - maybe things would be more obvious to people looking for a pet.ReplyDelete
WOW wouldn't that be GREAT???Delete
our shelter used to have a four page adoption application and people were quite put off by it. Some of the questions were a bit over the top, but there were reasons in the past that caused the shelter to add them over time.
A few years ago they went to a one page application (ONE PAGE!?!? EEEK) and I kinda freaked.. I thought how could you possibly weed out the ones who let their cats go out and be food for the local fisher cat (yes, we had a woman who wanted to adopt a third cat in two years and no, she couldn't possibly keep the cat in, that wouldn't be fair to the cat) but for the most part it hasn't been an issue. I had two kittens who were adopted by someone returned a few months later because he was going into the service (like you didn't know that was going to happen??) but since they don't really keep track of returns it is hard to tell... but I would think if it was a serious problem they would have noticed it and made changes..
They still do interviews, and discuss lifestyle - although more so with the dogs - which is good.. and the increased adoption fees weed out a lot of the problem adopters like your about to be evicted person who probably wanted the kitten for company and to cheer herself up more than considering it a life long thing which is sad.
the shelter where mom volunteers has a 4 page app and we have heard complaints but they don't seem inclined to change it and we don't think it has scared too many people offDelete
Great post ! We wish every rescue had an adoption application like this one ! PurrsReplyDelete
This all makes total sense to us!ReplyDelete
guys...awesum post yur mom putted two gether; even tho de food serviss gurl person a lee noes de gal that handles adoptshunz frum wear we came frum, her still had ta fill out an applicationz just like everee one else...ReplyDelete
.her friend told her up front she was gonna get "checked" & R mom waz like, thatz cool & thatz de way it SHULD be ♥♥♥
adoptshunz fees heer inn clood microchip; spay neuter, vaccinez & a 5 pound bag oh food a bullz....
An excellent and important post! Thanks you for the detailed explanations and examples:-)ReplyDelete
Your adoption application sounds very much like the ones that I've filled out...I don't consider those questions invasive at all.ReplyDelete
What a great post! Most people don't understand why they have to answer these questions, but it sounds like your rescue does a good job matching adopters with adoptees for the best possible outcomes.ReplyDelete
It sounds like your rescue has a really good policy for adoptions. We understand how important these questions are...and can't believe people would complain about them or lie or whatever.ReplyDelete
These kitties are too precious to not follow such a strict adoption process... we all want forever home outcomes. Thanks for everything you do for the rescue.ReplyDelete
Great stuff. It's amazing how careless people can be, so questions like this can help remind them of the realities of caring for dependent creatures.ReplyDelete
We understand completely, Jeanne. We really, really do. Your application sounds very similar to the one at our shelter, and we've had experiences VERY much like yours.ReplyDelete