Animal rescue and adoption is often a labor of love but it is an area of the animal industry that has always been warped and continues to irritate me, just like many of the aspects of the livestock business have always done.
I ranted about animal adoption nazis last year and noticed that my irritation seemed to rise about the same time it did this year.
There are a lot of ways to get an animal as a pet.
For instance you can
- adopt from a shelter,
- obtain from an animal rescue group or breed rescue group,
- get a pet from a municipal animal agency,
- buy from a breeder,
- shop for one at a store,
- peruse the internet or local publications for a pet,
- acquire from a private party,
- be adopted by an animal,
- find an animal in distress and re-home it.
There are a lot of considerations involved when getting a pet but my main point here is to illustrate the different ways people can obtain an animal so with some many ways to get a pet–why would you make it a saga?
Each way to get a pet has its own unique problems and shortcomings.
Depending on your views, you might think one is better than another–but the bottom line on most of the ways people get pets involves some sort of business practice.
If you want to place animals you need to have business sense AND you need to be customer friendly.
What set me off on this year’s irritation was a particular request for help in placing an animal.
Normally I avoid these like the plague.
Because nobody ever calls me and says, “Hey, I am thinking of getting a pet. Do you know of any that need a good home?”
Instead I get, “I have an animal that needs a good home–know of any that need one?”
Plus, truth be told, I am a bit more sensitive that my professional side presents.
When I worked as an adoption counselor I was one that struggled with compassion fatigue and the anger that came from the stupidity of the management whose animal rights views clouded their business judgement and so kept animals in cages instead of homes.
I watched animals deteriorate mentally over time…but I digress.
Anyway, I got a call from a rescue group member who had a neighbor, who had a dog, who needed a new home.
The group is in a rural section of my community and has too many dogs.
They also are part of a larger network and the reason they have too many dogs is that they make it hell for anyone to adopt an animal by all the rules and regulations they impose on prospects–while failing to look at their own situation and the dogs within it.
Their personal opinions and ideas about the idea of re-homing a dog cloud their vision about just what makes a good home. And so, they hang to dogs for eons because of it.
The problem is not the mental health of the dogs since they are happy and well behaved in this situation (which is unusual in many cases) or the care of the dogs (other than they need more grooming) but the fact that one person cannot manage such a large group of animals adequately.
Beyond that, the neighbor’s dog is slated to end up in a rescue environment.
At the moment he is a charming, adolescent that is not neutered (yet) but who is pretty obedient and well adjusted.
So, after weeks of pleading with me, I broke my cardinal rule–don’t get involved unless they are a client.
Guess what? I found a home.
Guess what else?
The rescue person nixed it right away without investigating, without talking to my referral, without thinking about the animal–she was only thinking about her own ideas and said, “I am protective.”
Geezuhs, get over yourself.
The home happens to be with a business owner locally whose dog is aging and he wants to integrate a new dog before the current one passes away.
The current dog has a ton of dog pals and is always with someone and new visitors in a stimulating enviornment.
She has NO behavior problems and is well behaved, well loved, and well taken care of.
She also sleeps with the caretaker who lives on the premises.
But she lives the life of a working dog and not a pampered pet in an urban environment.
Anyway, it pissed me off that the rescue gal made a judgement without any further investigation simply based on what she wanted–but what really gets me mad is that I got involved personally when I know better.
Now, as an animal professional (and former adoption counselor) I know the warning signs for a bad placement and don’t believe this situation would be a negative one.
But, my point is that her actions are not unusual for a lot of places and this is the reason I think many rescues have miserable placement and adoption rates.
My professional opinion is that you are not successful when you are unable to place an animal in a home within a certain amount of time.
I recently read about a “successful” placement that happened after six years–seriously, would you call that a success?
Now I certainly would not.
I’d rather see more success as is the case with the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas but one thing is for sure, I won’t be helping the local group any more.
Any other ways you know of to get a pet? Do you know any great animal rescue groups?
Photo Credit: Labanex