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The Frustrating Process of Pet Adoptions

Looking for that new family member can be somewhat frustrating at times...

A little over a year ago, my family and I decided to add a new kitten to our home.

We had recently lost our beloved cat, who was a valued member of our home for a very long time. We didn't run right out, seeing at the time we had a old dog who was going blind and had gone deaf, but just the same was very very much a part of our lives.

We had searched local online adoptions, and yes, every single kitten was cute, so my husband and I decided to venture out on my birthday to find the right kitty. We spend hours driving around and finely found the perfect kitten at Petsmart in Jenkintown. After about two hours of holding it and bonding, the woman assisted me in filling out the paperwork and told me we were the first to put paperwork in on him.

I left somewhat unhappy to leave behind my new little guy. But I waited for that call to run down and pick him up. That call never came. Even after my umpteen phone messages left.

Finally, after about two weeks, I received a call from the woman who was in charge and guess what, my application sat on her desk while she decided if I was worthy enough to adopt the pet.

After speaking to me she said, "OK, but the cat you want is already gone!" I mean, come on, I had one cat that had passed - mind you I had spent over $2,000 trying to save it - and a dog who was blind and deaf but still no reason to put down, and another old cat who had nothing wrong with it.

So, I ask why? But with that said, I went to a pet store and bought a kitten! Put a real bad taste in my mouth for these shelters! Now time has come to add a puppy to our home, after almost a year since my beloved pet had passed, the hunt begins.

With this in mind things have changed a bit since the last canine purchase: The grandchildren! On Saturday we venture out to Hatboro to visit with the pets for adoption, still a little shaky about them, but there he was, the most adorable little puppy, a black lab mix. My granddaughter fell in love.

Again, the fill in and wait begins. I was determined this time to not be left behind, so I filled in the paperwork, followed up on Monday, and today received the dreaded, "Oh, we gave it to someone else."

Now, I very much understand the fact that they accept paperwork and have to check it out, but what I do not get is why bring a puppy to a festivity for adoption and then not have that puppy given to someone there?

This has very much made me suspicious about the system for these private shelters. Don't get me wrong, I believe the pets deserve a good chance and these people do care for them, but I believe these people do not take into consideration that when a five-year-old sees a puppy at an outing and are told we will put paperwork in for it, and then they don't get that puppy, well, let's just say I think I will be finding a puppy elsewhere!

So the search goes on, for a medium size dog, would love a chow mix, but will look at other mixes as well, no pit bulls, no dog that is going to be a runaway and so on. I know the dog is out there, and it's a shame that that one was not ours, but maybe I will find one soon.......

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Jenea September 25, 2012 at 06:58 PM
My suggestion is to do a little research on the local rescue groups first. I volunteered with a lab rescue and it seems the simplest way is to apply with the group first and go through the interview process to get cleared. That way your paperwork is complete and they can help match you with the best animal. Everyone has a common goal, to get these animals into a loving home.
Lavender Green September 25, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Jenea, yes I agree, and I did ask them to process the application, I just want not to wait weeks, If a person has a reputable name then they should be able to process the application asap. Funny its a lab I was looking at. I would love to have a puppy this weekend, and have no problem adopting, actually thats what i want to do but i refuse to wait weeks
Alice w September 25, 2012 at 08:17 PM
the procedure of most rescues is to have the potential adopter complete an application, a volunteer will come to your home for home inspection, talk with you, check your home to make sure it is pet safe and from there the application will be approved if everything meets the requirements and the dog will be in a loving and safe home...from there the dogs are matched with the most compatible family....if the dog isn't good around kids or cats etc...the dog will be placed in a compatible home to meet the dogs requirements to make the easiest adjustment for the adopter and mostly the dog...Dogs that have been "dumped" in a shelter usually have been abused, neglected, abandoned etc they need patience, love and training....Perhaps the dog you wanted wasn't the perfect fit unfortunately....You should complete adoption applications with several rescues, have the home inspections and get approved, so that when a dog that you fall in love with can be yours as long as its compatible with you and your family.....Dog rescues only want the best for these dogs that have had a rough start to life, they deserve to be happy and healthy....Try going on pet finder to find your perfect dog...there are numerous rescues in the area....Good Luck
Fran D. September 26, 2012 at 12:33 AM
My family and I had the same experience. My son was small and we wanted to get a kitten. He saw one he loved at our local Petco, filled out the paperwork, got the call to come get it, and when we got there, they said, "oh no, you can't have that one, but you can have this one." Needless to say it seemed a little sickly and it was not the one we wanted. So we went to the SPCA down on Eerie Ave. in Phila. where my brother got all his pets over the years with fantastic luck, and boy, did we luck out as well. We went in looking for a kitten, but it wasn't really kitten season, so we just went to look at the dogs for fun, and came home with the best dog ever!!! Just had to pay $75 donation. She was 2 yrs. old, fixed, trained, beautiful, and sweet as can be. We've had her for 6 yrs. now and couldn't imagine life without her! That place is great for pets!
ingrid September 26, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Volunteering with dog rescues, we want the best fit possible since the animal has been through enough. When doing a home visit, any rescue worth their weight in gold will take their time and ask many questions in order to determine what a good fit may be. If potential adopters find this to be inconvenient, that in itself will disqualify someone from adopting through our rescue. However, PETCO in WIllow Grove has a great cat rescue from Philly and have many cats and kittens that are waiting for good homes. They are staffed on the weekends and if all checks out, you can take your new pet home with you the same day. Don't give up on rescues. It takes some time and patience but rescuing an animal brings many rewards for years to come.
Liz Shockley September 26, 2012 at 02:35 AM
We went to Kitty Cottage in East Norriton for our cat and, yes, we did have to wait for the app to clear but they called my references the very next day. I just went back to look at dates on photos and we applied on 7/3/2010 and we had him on 7/8/2010. Upon selecting a kitten, they were able to tell us right on the spot if any other apps were in. The application was a little intimidating, however, they weren't rigid in having all of the right answers, just honest ones (e.g. I'm allergic to cats and put that on my app). Your situation seems like a chicken/egg scenario. Hey, put in your app and pay a fee (if applicable), then we'll tell you if you're approved and you can pick your pet. You might not want to do that until you pick a pet, though, because you may not bond with the ones they have available. I've heard a lot of stories like yours recently and it's very disheartening. If any place can't tell you upfront if there are other applications in for the pet you like, and the one you chose is given away to another family, I would go elsewhere. You put your heart and soul into selecting a pet. Any shelter that takes that for granted is one I'd pass on. There are so many animals needing homes. The process shouldn't be so discouraging that you find it better to pay to buy a pet than to adopt one. Ask your friends for references of places they've used. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing.
Lavender Green September 26, 2012 at 06:48 PM
thank you all for your advice, as stated i really wanted to adopt, however seeing i have tried two different rescues and my application sat for like ever, and I also had two people who work at the rescues give me an excellent reference, and the fact that i have a 17+ room house with ample yard and so on the process was just way to long. Those beautiful animals grow fast and my grandchildren need to see the process of the growth, so i sucked it up and went to a pet store in bensalem and purchased a pure bread chow chow. She is 9 weeks old and worth all the money i paid. My grandkids are happy, my vet has already seen her and she will now be registered with the township. I stress to anyone who has the time to wait to adopt to do so, as for me its not an option
Francis Mattis September 26, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Wow, you posted this yesterday and have already given up and decided to contribute to the problem. Way to hang in there.
Tina Cairns September 26, 2012 at 09:40 PM
The fact that Lavender Green didn't have the patience to wait a few days to adopt a pet and headed right to the puppy mill is exactly the reason WHY we have puppy mills in the first place!!! Thanks to Lavender that chow chow's mom will be able to pump out a few more litters for profit while living in deplorable conditions.
Alice w September 26, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Tina, very well said, I was just getting ready to post a similar post....Thats what happens when people like Lavender Green are uneducated on the adoption procedure and inpatient adopters want a dog NOW!! I'm sure if LavenderGreen was putting a human child up for adoption she would want all the proper steps taken to make sure the child would be raised in a safe and loving home, its NO different when it comes to a dog, they too are living creatures that deserve a wonderful life as well.. People like that just encourage the vicious cycle of puppy mills to keep breeding and breeding and living in horrid conditions!!!
Lavender Green September 27, 2012 at 03:31 PM
The funny thing is i have been looking for almost a year now, and i agree with you all, i did just post and yes it seems that i did run right out and get one but the truth be told i have been looking and looking and this is not the first time I have had issues with the slowness. I agree, one should value the steps they take to insure the safety of the loved animal, but, yep theres a but, if the people who are excepting the applications would be honest to those trying to adopt and tell them that it takes a few weeks, instead of telling my entire family on saturday in Hatboro, that we would have an answer by tuesday, and that that pupply would not be available, then it would be much better, but they dont. They bring the cute little animal, then someone goes up and says they want to adopt it and they fill in the paperwork with the only thing in mind of having that one and guess what the information is left out! But people believe me i am all for adopting animals children and so on, I believe that the process just like any other application takes time and moves at a snails pace, do i think these people intent to lie or ummmm mislead, no i believe they are trying and then people like me who have two small children saying why dont have the time to wait, Yup people it was wrong, and i feel well ok because my puppy is perfect and my grandkids happy

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