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A Good Reason Pet Adoptions Take So Long

Rescues are careful to place pets into loving homes for the animal's own protection.

Some say it is easier to adopt a child than it is to adopt a dog from a rescue. Now whether you believe this or not, I have to say, there is a good reason for it.

The rescue I volunteer with checks references, does a house check, and does home trials before anyone is allowed to officially adopt a dog. You may be asking why a rescue would go through all of that. Isn’t the point to get the dogs adopted into a home?

Well, that is partially true. Yes, the rescues want to get the dogs adopted, but they want the dogs adopted into a good home.

After reading an article a couple days ago, I became furious! I read an article about a woman in New Port Richey that saw a dachshund in her neighbor’s yard, whimpering with blood coming from its mouth.  She ran over to help the dog, and the person in the house where the dog was came out with a broom. It appeared she had been beating the dog on the head with the broom until it bled. As the neighbor tried to save the little dog, the dog “owner” came after her with the broom, and dug her nails into the person’s back to try and get the dog.

This is only ONE story of many that is in our area alone. There are so many more about abuse and neglect. Things like this are the reasons that rescues are so careful to make placements.  

I have to say, when I saw this article about this woman, who, last I heard was in jail with a $5,300 bond, I became angry and wanted the same thing to happen to her.

The rescues help these dogs by pulling them out of kill shelters, owner surrenders, or situations like this in which a dog needs help. They do not want the dog to end up in an abusive situation. It breaks my heart that this poor helpless dog was being attacked by something as big as Godzilla next to it. That must take courage to beat a defenseless dog. 

Next time you feel it is hard to adopt from a rescue, please understand they are the dogs advocate and want nothing more than that dog to have a home it deserves. No dog deserves the home where it is abused.

Would you like to rescue a friend in need? See animals for adoption at Pinellas County Animal Services or, right here in town, Get Rescued in Gulfport.

Lynda April 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Thanks, Shelly, for bringing up a really hard issue for rescue groups and adopting families. I have attended a number of seminars on how to increase adoptions and keep pets safe, most of which stress the point that rescue groups can appear overly judgmental to potential adopting families. However, after investing so much time and energy into animals who are rescued (bottle feeding 2 week old kittens every 2 to 4 hours for weeks or living with a foster dog for two years), it can be hard to let them go to homes that are not like ours or like our ideas about the ideal home. I hope you get some comments from people who have adopted through a rigorous process as well as some who tell why they felt rejected by the rescue group. After years of volunteering, I sure don't feel I found some magic formula which helped me match the home to the pet. Since the group I volunteered with offered life-time return, we followed our adopted cats for years as well as registering their micro-chips to us. Some of the most caring homes turned out to be the unlikely ones; in other cases our intuition proved correct and the cat came back to us. I love that your group offers home trials because both family and pet get time to adjust. Thanks again for your column.
Shelly Maslak April 24, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Thank you Lynda. You are right, there is no magical formula, because if there was, I would own it! Thank you for what you do with the cats. I would like to know if people had a good experience with a rescue. There have been some potential homes that seemed perfect, but after the trials we realize that it was not a good fit. That is one benefit of the trials!
Paul Ray April 25, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I welcome the background checks and such, but the intrusion should stop before the shelter claims you need to have the pet go to their designated vet. This happened to us before and I walked away. I have a mobile vet and not interested in changing to another vet. In addition to all this, I think a registry for animal abusers would be a good idea, although I generally oppose intrusions by this already over reaching government, to protect animals from sick and cruel owners would be a great idea.
Lynda April 25, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Although a list of animal abusers would be helpful for rescue groups, It is hard for an Animal Abuse registry to be accurate and up to date. Some of the smaller groups in the state I came from did share info informally about hoarders and known abusers, but state laws are generally not very tough on animal abuse and only the worst offenders get publicity. Since nearly all people who abuse animals, also abuse people, information on those convicted of domestic abuse is often helpful and easier to obtain. Still, as many "puppies in prison" programs show, with supervision, animals can be a force for positive change in many lives. Tough call for rescue groups to make.
Cherlene Willis April 25, 2012 at 11:31 PM
I really appreciate you all sharing your concerns, questions and personal stories! This is what Patch is all about - conversation in our community! - Cherlene

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