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How strict is your animal shelter when it comes to interviewing and adopting out pets to new homes? Are a lot of people turned away?<br><br><br><br>
The shelter I volunteer at is extremely strict, and it's been frustrating me quite a bit lately. We want the best for our dogs and cats, and that's very understandable, but I'm wondering if we're doing more harm than good by being too strict. I would estimate that 95% of the people who come in with the intention of adopting a dog end up leaving without one, and the vast majority of those people end up going to breeders, pet stores or newspapers to find a dog.<br><br><br><br>
As an example, the policy that frustrates me the most at our shelter is that any dog that comes in as a stray is not allowed to be adopted out to a family with kids under 8 years old. The only dogs we will adopt out to families with children are dogs that we know lived with kids in their previous home. Oh and if they're a young couple who we think might want to have kids in the future, they're treated the same way. The other frustrating policy to me is is that nearly every dog we have requires a fenced in yard, even the dogs that can jump fences. We come out to your property and do a fence check. Finally everyone that applies for a dog is put through a pretty strict interview process, a three page application and an interview with two staff members, and there are a lot of things that will end up getting them turned down.<br><br><br><br>
The only exception to these policies are dogs in foster homes, because the foster guardians are able to decide their own requirements for their dogs.<br><br><br><br>
So, I know a lot of you have experience with shelter in your area and I'm curious how other shelters out there compare in their leniency to adopt to people.<br><br><br><br>
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, but the thing that got me talking about was the "No More Homeless Pets" email listserve which happens to be discussing this topic this week. Read it at: <a href="http://network.bestfriends.org/Blogs/PostDetail.aspx?bp=2520" target="_blank">http://network.bestfriends.org/Blogs...l.aspx?bp=2520</a>
 

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No. Our shelter simply asks you to sign a paper and asks a couple simple questions, i.e., "Have you ever been charged with animal abuse?" and "Will this be an indoor or outdoor pet?" That's about it.<br><br><br><br>
The only really strict rule is that they have every animal altered before it leaves with you.
 

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The only animal shelters in my area that I know of are the Humane Societies. The strictest they have gotten, to my knowledge, is deciding not to take dogs and cats back to the county fair after a large dog bit a boy who was manhandling him. It's really rather sad. The boy should have been removed from the fair, not the dog. If anyone treated me the way the boy did, I would have bitten someone, too.
 

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If anything the cat place I work with isn't strict enough, and there have been several times where if I were the one doing adoptions I wouldn't have oked it.<br><br>
We don't allow declawing, and indoor access is necessary, and if you have pets and you've lived here for more than a year a vet reference is necessary. But really all you have to do if fill out the form and pay the money and you can get your cat that day w/o a home check or anything.<br><br><br><br>
We do get a many returns for stupid reasons, like this kitten is too "rambunctious", I'm moving (she had the cat for 10 days), etc.<br><br><br><br>
A few weeks ago they adopted a kitten to a lady who had just "gotten rid of" her adult cat because it scratched her 3 year old daughter (when I was 3 any scratches I got were deserved).<br><br><br><br><br><br>
I am however glad that my place isn't as strict as yours because there are way more cats than we can help as it is w/o eliminating all but the very best homes. I'm sure cats and dogs in homes that are just "OK" are way happier than those in a shelter situation.
 

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Wow..yeah, that's strict.<br><br><br><br>
The rescue I got my fosters from have you sign a no-declawing clause (claws! *rimshot*) an indoor only agreement, then they've got some neutering/spaying agreement. I'm trying to remember how that worked, I think it was that if the animal wasn't neutered/spayed, they cost a little more and then the adopter got a voucher for the neuter/spay.<br><br><br><br>
I volunteered and then worked at the humane society. They were pretty much like what Peace said about hers. Unless the dog was a certain breed, i.e. rottweiler, pitbull. Their runs are locked so people can't open them unless they ask for assistance, and they require more of a background check on the potential adopters.<br><br>
I do notice they aren't very strict on who they euthanize. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br>
A couple situations stick in my mind, and it's been 5 or so years since I did my little working stint there. I was training back in Surrender and this mother with a couple kids come in to bring in their cat. Everyone was crying, I don't remember their reason for bringing the cat in, but they were crushed. We took the cat and put it in a cage. I was givin it some lovins and he blew a snot bubble. I told the lady who was working back there, and she immediately said "Oh..upper respiratory infection. We'll put him down this afternoon." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sick.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":sick:"><br><br><br><br>
Another family brought in their dog, upset, crying, whatever. I dont' remember their reason, either. They did the leashing test, where they have the dog on a leash, the leash attached to a hook on the wall. Then they test the dog's temperment (tugging on its tail/ears, coming up behind it, etc) to see what kind of home & restrictions he/she would need. This dog was SO scared. They put him/her down, too.<br><br>
I just think that if someone did that to my dog, brought her into a new place with strange people, tied her up to the wall, pulled on her ears and tail, purposely scared her just to see how she'd react, my dog would probably detach your hand. And my dog is the sweetest, smartest dog EVER. It's so sad that there are so many friggin animals out there that they can't be very picky on who they put down and who they let live, because they'd take a little more handling than others. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/bigcry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":cry:"><br><br><br><br>
Sorry. I digress...
 

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Yeah Jessica I hate temperment testing, a lot of it is so pointless and most of the issues could easily be worked around or trained out. s
 

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When I adopted one of my cats I had to sign a form saying that I would keep him indoors and I had to leave a deposit that was returned to me when I brought proof that he'd been neutered. That was about it.<br><br><br><br>
It is difficult to decide what's too strict and what's too lenient. I mean, you want to insure that the animal goes to a good home, but you don't want to discourage worthy people from adopting. The one regulation at your shelter that I definitely take issue with is denying adoption to couples who <i>might</i> have children. WTF!? I also think they should decide on a dog-by-dog basis whether a dog should go to a family with young children. Some dogs are great with little kids and some aren't, so why just make a blanket decision for all dogs?
 

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The indoor/outdoor thing for cats seems problematic. My grandparents got a cat to chase their mice from the goat barn on their 100-acre farm. This cat would have been miserable inside. In fact, they don't see him at all for days on end.<br><br><br><br>
My sister once had a cat that would push out the screens to get outside. She (the cat) would stay relatively close, and we couldn't keep her inside worth anything. Eventually she did get run over by a car, but she was much happier outside and dangerous than inside and sulky.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Jessica Alana</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
A couple situations stick in my mind, and it's been 5 or so years since I did my little working stint there. I was training back in Surrender and this mother with a couple kids come in to bring in their cat. Everyone was crying, I don't remember their reason for bringing the cat in, but they were crushed. We took the cat and put it in a cage. I was givin it some lovins and he blew a snot bubble. I told the lady who was working back there, and she immediately said "Oh..upper respiratory infection. We'll put him down this afternoon." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sick.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":sick:"></div>
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This especially saddens me since one of our cats has a chronic respiratory condition, and I know many people would have euthanized him long ago, but with a little extra care and attention he's able to do just fine!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>skylark</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The indoor/outdoor thing for cats seems problematic. My grandparents got a cat to chase their mice from the goat barn on their 100-acre farm. This cat would have been miserable inside. In fact, they don't see him at all for days on end.<br><br><br><br>
My sister once had a cat that would push out the screens to get outside. She (the cat) would stay relatively close, and we couldn't keep her inside worth anything. Eventually she did get run over by a car, but she was much happier outside and dangerous than inside and sulky.</div>
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If the cats have always been indoor cats you don't have the problem of them getting used to outdoor life. None of my three cats shows any interest in going outside. In fact, one of our cats seems to have been an indoor cat who someone abandoned and left outside, because he just showed up on the doorstep one day, came inside, and never left. I could see, though, how it would be a problem to change an outdoor cat into an indoor cat though.
 

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I got my cat from the local shelter. They required that I pay an extra $25 which they refunded when I sent proof that she'd been spayed. I signed a form saying that I would not abuse or abandon her and that she would be kept inside. They also asked about what vet I would use, what type of food I planned to feed her, if I'd had cats before, etc. I think they would have given suggestions if they weren't happy with my answers.<br><br><br><br>
A few years ago, I tried the Humane Society and gave up due to the policies there. They wanted 2 interviews, a home visit, a signed statement of some type from my employer, a visit with the apartment manager, a vet reference and a signed statement from the apartment that showed I was allowed to have pets. I didn't have a vet at the time (because I had no pets!) and my employer thought the request was stupid and was unwilling to comply.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>eggplant</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
If the cats have always been indoor cats you don't have the problem of them getting used to outdoor life. None of my three cats shows any interest in going outside. In fact, one of our cats seems to have been an indoor cat who someone abandoned and left outside, because he just showed up on the doorstep one day, came inside, and never left. I could see, though, how it would be a problem to change an outdoor cat into an indoor cat though.</div>
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My grandparents' cat was born outside and taken to their home as soon as he was old enough. Another of my sisters took a cat from the same litter, who was just fine with being inside all the time.<br><br><br><br>
The cat I descibed in my previous post was born and weaned indoors. As soon as she was adult enough to be able to push out the screens, she did.
 

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One day when my foster kittens were a few weeks old, someone rang my door bell like 3 times. I woke up, looked at the clock, and it was 8 am. I go downstairs to see who the hell it was, and there was a mother and a son holding 2 of my kittens. They said they were out walking and heard some meowing from the bushes, looked up and saw a bunch of other kitten faces peering down at them, so they figured they were mine.<br><br><br><br>
My kittens had pushed out the screen, and 2 of them had fallen out and down to the bushes/rocks 2 stories below. Amazingly they were both fine.<br><br><br><br>
I then ghettoly used duct tape and packing tape around the frames of my screens all around my apartment. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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my place (cats only) was pretty strict.<br><br><br><br>
about a three page written questionnaire, an in person interview, a phone interview, mulitple meetings with the cat before they deliver him to your home so they can do a home inspection. a written contract you sign promising to keep the cat indoors (i'm in a city so this is not unreasonable); to return the cat to them if you ever get rid of it; a promise to not euthanize the cat without talking to them first; a promise to never speak badly of the shelter, etc etc.<br><br><br><br>
basically, the shelter is run by the crazy cat lady. that being said, i think people do tend to take in animals without necessarily thinking thru all of the consequences/responsibilities.
 

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We adopted a dog a few years ago. From what I remember, the only requirement they had was that she had to be spayed (and maybe vaccinated--not sure). We did have to fill out a long form about other pets, fences, etc. but they never said anything about it, even though we didn't have a fence and we should have (she's a Husky). We also had to give our permission for the shelter staff to visit our home and check up on her in a few weeks. They never did, although I'm not sure if that was normal or because we had connections with a staff member who knew we wouldn't mistreat animals (but she wasn't there when we adopted the dog).<br><br><br><br>
By your shelter's rules, we would not have been able to adopt either of the dogs we've had. Tipsy, who my parents got about a year before they had me, was great with children. She was a very mild-mannered dog who even 'adopted' the abandoned kitten they rescued. Paris, the Husky I mentioned, would be best off with a large fenced-in yard to run around in, but she's still much better off in our home than she would be in a cage in the shelter.<br><br><br><br>
On the cat tangent, our cat was raised indoors, never begged to go out, and only escaped a few times (usually when we had him on a harness outside and he decided to wiggle out of it). I guess it just depends on the personality.
 

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Wow, that's strict <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sweatdrop.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":sweat:"><br><br><br><br>
It's tempting to insult them for it, but then again they are doing what they think is right for the animals (even if it's turning people away). The shelter I worked at was a good medium, but it was only cats, I know dog adoptions are more stringent. Still, we would tell the person a cat sometimes bit or scratched, and they were still allowed to be adopted, because sometimes you get people who love the animal despite their problems and we know the animal well enough to know it wouldn't launch a full on attack, it just didn't like being picked up, or whatever.
 

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I hate it when small dog rescues require fences. Hello.. why would a maltese or pekingese need a fenced area to run around in?
 

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Regardless of breed I would rather they go to an otherwise great home that wants to walk/run/socalize them all the time than one with a fence but no other great points.<br><br><br><br>
The fence is a nice plus, but it's not necessary.
 

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When looking for a new dog, in about 9th grade I tried going to various shelters. My old dog, Shiloh (who was abused, and switched from home to home), passed away because she was hit by a car. We never let her out by herself, because she ran away, but on that day my dad opened the door and she slipped out, so we went looking and couldn't find her. Then at about 7pm we saw her and tried to get her, but couldn't because she ran away (again) and when trying to get her again it was too dark to really see anything. Later a police officer came to our house saying she was hit and passed away.<br><br>
It was huge accident, and obviously I wish I could have prevented it and I spent hours searching in the woods for her. On the application it asked about any dogs that died, so I put that she did, and I believe I got turned away from shelters because of this, regardless of me still having my 10 year old golden in perfect health. It made me feel even worse, because apparently we weren't seen as good owners.<br><br>
Also two shelters blatently told me no when I wanted a small dog (around my new Beagle's size) because they said my golden was too old and big to be with a smaller, younger dog.<br><br>
I did eventually go to a pet store to get my beagle (even though I felt guilty about doing so) but unless I stole a dog from the animal shelter, it seemed pretty clear I wasn't getting one. My beagle now gets along just fine with my golden.
 

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Seems like some places are too strict and others are not strict enough. Once, the bf and I went to a shelter in Nothern VA when we lived there to look at the cats. I don't remember if it was an ASPCA or just a reg. county shelter but we were told (After spending about an hour there playing with the cats through their cages) that in order to even HOLD an animal we had to prove where we lived and if we owned or rented. If we rented then they wanted to see a copy of our LEASE in order to make sure they allowed pets. It was an insane request. We had no idea that we needed to bring legal documentation just to be able to hold a cat! We left the shelter quite upset and never returned.<br><br><br><br>
We did end up adopting two of our cats from a no-kill rescue organization a few years later. They had a lot of rules and agreements too but none as silly as the lease request. Mostly standard things like agreeing to spay/neuter, keep the cat indoors, pre-adoption home visits, and if need be, promise to return the cat to the org. and not give it away or place in a shelter. One of their rules however was that if you had previously had a cat and given it up, you would be denied the adoption. I had written on my adoption form that I had given away two cats to shelters before (It was my parents doing as I was a minor at those times) but because I was a foster mommy with them, they called me to ask for an explaination instead of just denying me. I was also waived on the home visits because others at the org had vouched for me since I knew them.<br><br><br><br>
Although I agree with having the best interests of the animals come first, I think that it can hinder good people from adopting because of the lengthy process and strict rules. The home visits are a little sketchy because I don't know what exactly they are looking for and what personal biases they might have to your home life. And I don't agree with keeping all cats indoors. I think it's situational. But I understand that they are making these rules up for the pet parents who aren't the brightest in the box and aren't very responsible.<br><br><br><br>
(Sorry for the run-on post)
 
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