Okay, this is going to be my -“venting & complaining” maybe some sarcasm thrown in there-blog. (Just to forewarn you!).
I was at the store the other day & overheard a conversation a lady behind me was having with another lady. Apparently she’s adopting a pet from a breed-specific rescue organization & was “inconvienced” about the lengthy adoption process. Now, I am not an expert on the adoption process, in fact, I’ve never adopted a pet myself. I would (and will oneday) just not in a position at the moment to do so. I do, however, hold college degree’s in animal related fields & have working experience in multiple areas of the animal industry. I chose to not give her my opinion & I’ve regretted it ever since. Whether she would’ve even cared what I had to say, I don’t know…but at least it would’ve made me feel better. Instead I chose to remain quiet (shocking, I know!) & the missed opportunity to educate someone has passed & that’s been weighing heavily on my mind. I’ve decided to take that missed opportunity & blog about it. Maybe at some point someone will stumble across my little piece of this world, read what I have to say & think twice before they complain about how “inconvienced” doing good has made them.
When you make a decision to bring a pet into your life, it truly is a blessed thing. It’s a big decision & not one to be taken lightly. That pet is looking towards you for companionship, security, & to be a part of your “family”. You’re making a contract with that animal to take care of it for the rest of their life. Sometimes that’s not always the case, life happens & unfortunately animals occasionally have to be re-homed. Giving an animal away really is a selfless act, to love something enough to want a better life for it, to realize it’s not a life you can provide…that’s commendable. You’re allowing another family to expand into the role of “pet owner” & all the perks (sometimes aggravation) that that responsibility can hold. Many animal shelters-both kill & non-kill, as well as breed-specific rescue organizations have an “adoption process” that is designed to provide both the animal & the owner with the best possible match.
Usually the first step is filling out a questionnaire. It basically asks questions about your lifestyle- your housing situation, kids, how active you are, how much time you have to spend with a pet…that kind of stuff. Then it’ll match you based on what they have in the shelter or in the network of organizations that they’re under. Don’t forget, the animal adoptee’s job is to place the best interest of the animal first & not your best interest- for instance, if your lifestyle is more sedentary the last thing they want is you to take home a high-strung, active Jack Russell. It’ll be an un-happy match for both. Breed-specific groups run the same way- if you’ve got a home with small children, but want a chow-chow (not notoriously good with kids) they will be specialized enough with that breed to know what behavior traits to watch out for. You’ll most likely have a meet & greet with the dog (or cat) of interest, both at the center & at your home. The rescue organization or shelter needs to see that you can handle the animal’s behavior & provide a safe environment for it. If you’re interested in an animal with known hip problems, & have a lot of stairs in your home, not a good match. If you’ve got a pond on your property & are looking at a lab…perfect! Those kind of assessments can only be done in person & again, is only to benefit the happiness of the potential owner & the animal. Finally, the last step of the adoption process usually involves a “contract” of some sort. An agreement that you make with the shelter to take care of all veterinary visits, if the animal is on a special diet/medications, & if you’re unable to care for the animal any longer-that you will contact the shelter & let them know (especially true for breed-specific organizations).
The adoption process is lengthy, in some cases it can take months. But, its designed that way with the intent of the animal being placed in their “forever home”. It’s certainly not done to “inconvience” the potential owner. And besides, if you’re “inconvienced” by the process, you’re really going to be “inconvienced” once the pet comes home. If you don’t have the time or patience to go through the process, than you don’t have the time or patience to own a pet.
Adopting a pet is such an incredibly caring & loving thing to do. I’m not a fan of breeders at all (that’s for a later blog) & going through a rescue shelter is giving you the chance to save an animal that could, in some cases, be sitting on death’s doorstep. With the amount of irresponsible pet owners that don’t spay/neuter (little patience for those that don’t) shelters are beyond overcrowded with grateful pets that would love to snuggle up with your family at night. Some of the most gentle, sweet, & kind animals I’ve ever come across have come from some kind of rescue organization. Maybe it’s knowing they’ve been given a second chance that makes them feel more grateful & appreciative.
Good thing I don’t work at the adoption center where that lady is going through, she might be getting a big red “denied” stamp on her paperwork from me! 🙂