Abominable Adoptions

I fell in love from the moment I saw him.  His name was Cliff.  He didn’t look like most cats.  Cliff had a cleft palette!


Matt and I had made the mistake of going to Petsmart to purchase food for our cat, Miracle.  Little did we know that this day was part of the National Adopt-a-thon weekend.  Bad news for an animal lover like me.


While I was looking at the dogs, my husband gravitated toward the cats.  That’s when he discovered Cliff.  Of course, I wanted him.  However, his adoption fee was $100.  Matt said that we would need to think about it, and we left.


That night, I e-mailed the rescue agency inquiring about Cliff.  I received a very curt response the next day stating that Cliff had been adopted…that very day that we were there.  I was heartbroken, but, also a bit angered.


Adoption events, like the Adopt-a-thons, are great, in theory.  I love the idea of several rescue groups coming together to help their furry friends find forever homes.  But, some use high pressure “sales” techniques.


The idea of “better buy it while you see it” is NOT the way that animals should be adopted out.  Adding a fur baby to the family is a huge decision.  It requires careful thought and consideration.  Which is what Matt and I were trying to do.


Adopters need to think about the following:


  1. Why does he/she want the pet?
  2. Do they have the money to support said pet (i.e. vet visits, food, crate, pet bed, etc.)?
  3. Will the new addition get along well with other pets/children?
  4. Do they have the time to devote to the new pet?


I fear that many of these adoption events create the tendency to impulse buy.  And let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to adopt the cute little puppy that is wagging its’ tail and giving you kisses?  But, people need to see beyond the cute and actually think about the pet’s well being.


My husband and I had a brief stint as a foster home for a local rescue agency.  I remember a young couple coming in and adopting a Bulldog puppy.  It was the cutest little thing and got along great with their other dog that they were smart enough to bring with them.  When they left, they were all smiles and the puppy was the happiest of them all.


Two hours later, the couple was back returning the puppy!  They said that they “didn’t realize how much work it would be” to take care of a puppy.  Seriously?  A puppy is the equivalent of a human baby and you didn’t stop and think that he/she might require more attention than your already established adult dog?  


I truly don’t believe that the couple was stupid.  I think that they were lazy.  They don’t want to take the time to train the puppy.  What they were looking for was another dog that was already potty trained, had good manners and would get along with their dog.  Dream on!  No dog is perfect.  Each one of my fur babies has a quirk or two.  But, you work WITH the dog to help him/her be the best that they can be (as long as the behavior isn’t extreme aggression).


Another local rescue group is having a February special.  All adoptions are just $14 for the first two weeks in February.  This includes shots and spaying/neutering.  What a great deal!  However, my fear is that some cruel intentioned people will “stock up” on these “cheap” pets and end up torturing them. Or put them on Craig’s List and try to sell them for a higher price to make some quick cash.  While I see the agency’s intention behind the event, I just feel that this will attract the wrong crowd.


Many of the animals that are currently in shelters and with rescue groups have had a very rough life.  Some have been abused, others have been over bred, while still others have never even seen the outside world.  These creatures need to be adopted to loving homes that will keep them forever, not just until they cease to be a puppy/kitten.  


I feel that shelters and rescue agencies need to be more strict in their adoption policies and procedures.  Simply filling out an adoption application and paying the fee is not enough.  Background checks and home visits should be required.  After all, the animals’ happiness and lives depend upon their adopter.


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