Have you attempted to adopt a pet from an agency recently? If not, you are in for an awakening. Let me break this down.
If you have ever purchased a home, birthed a baby or applied for a job, consider yourself lucky. You will not have reached the level of scrutiny you will receive on a pet adoption application. I'm not saying they don't have a reason to be nosy, they are looking for "good" homes for these pets, but OMG I have never felt so judged!
Then they move on to:
- Who lives in your house? Names, ages?
- What is your relationship?
- Do you rent or own?
- Can we call your landlord?
- Do you have pets currently?
- How many, how old?
- List all visitors to your home, including pets.
- Will you ever leave the dog alone?
- How long will the dog be alone?
- Have you always kept your pets current on vaccines?
- Can you prove it?
- Where will the animal sleep?
- What is your plan for obedience training?
- Describe all pets you've had in the past 5 years, age if living, age at death.
- Have all pets been spayed and neutered?
- Can we call your vet? (Even if you no longer have the pet)
- Have you EVER surrendered an animal?
- Have you EVER rehomed a pet?
- Will the animal ever be tied up?
Be prepared to have a background check on yourself and anyone living in your home. If your current pets are not spayed or neutered, chipped, up to date on shots or your dog is not on heart worm prevention medication, DO NOT APPLY
I forgot about that when I recently submitted an application for a young dog. I waited in anticipation, thinking about a new friend for Benny and how fun it would be to take for walks and travel with, etc. <<crickets>> Ghosted again.
When I think back on all the animals we have had here at the farm and how much every single one meant to us, it is a hard concept, for me, to be considered as unacceptable for pet adoption. Have we neutered/spayed every pet? Well, almost. One well-respected vet actually advised us against neutering for the sake of lengthening the life of the dog. We have not bred irresponsibly. There are no puppies or kittens here, unless we rescued them from somewhere else. Have we been up to date on every single vaccine? No. Sorry. Sometimes that gets lost in the shuffle. Have we rehomed a pet? Yes, once, 30 years ago. Have we had to surrender? Yes, once, due to circumstances beyond our control. Do we leave our pets alone? Yes, we have to go to work. Don't most people?
So, for the adoption price of up to $500, and the chance to have more scrutiny than the IRS gives your tax return, you too can be rejected as unsuitable for pet adoption with an agency. Even though I can prove that we keep our pets until they have passed, sometimes decades. We still have our old hens here. Even though I have all the resources necessary, and the willingness to take on someone else's mistake. Even though I *thought* I was a good person.
I don't mind you coming out to look at my place and check out my animals to see if they are happy and well cared for. In fact, I welcome it! I don't mind you asking how much money I make and if we are in it for the long haul. Call my vet, sure. But give me the chance to explain. Talk to me. Don't let the computer decide if I am worthy.
I know the adoption industry is super scared about a bad placement. I have the same nervous stomach every time someone comes out to buy chicks or ducks or fish. Maybe that isn't as high stakes, but they are still living creatures that deserve humane treatment. We too have found homes for rescued kittens only to find them being rehomed again a year later. Does that mean we failed? No. The kittens would have died without us in the first place. Some of them survived and are living their best lives. Adoption isn't an exact science and no form will protect a pet from running out into the street one day and getting hit by a car.
So, having failed to impress an agency (actually 3) that I can provide a good home for a pet, does that mean I will never have new pets in my life? NOPE. I have only to look to social media to find a back yard breeder willing to take my money. Sometimes even for free. Does this make me feel like part of the problem? Kind of. But what am I to do? Lie on my application? When a questionnaire asks you, "have you EVER" done something, doesn't that go back to your birth? Where else in life is a process so unforgiving? Even your credit score can be rehabilitated once enough time has passed.
I believe "Adopt don't Shop" is a failed movement, a trendy catchphrase that really doesn't allow regular people to participate, is designed to provide a sympathetic revenue stream to maintain dogs and cats in shelters, and sustains a marketplace in which back yard breeders thrive.
Just my two cents.