Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Sad Pool of "Potentials"

(Picture Left: Male Chow mix. To some people an automatic rejection because........!!)

We have suddenly gone from frigid cold and snow to almost spring-like, balmy temperatures in New York.

One would think that the more pleasant weather might help spur dog adoption inquiries, but, so far, that is not happening. -- Or, at least not quality calls for adoption.

I did get a couple of inquiries yesterday.

But, while seemingly on a mission to adopt a dog, one woman mostly called to rail against another rescue organization.

"I just had a very bad experience with another rescue!" the young woman complained.

"Oh? What was the problem?" I asked.

"Well, I went to see a small poodle they had in a foster home. I told the foster person that I was interested in seeing the dog again and in potentially adopting, but that I could not adopt until after the 15th of the month. But, I just found out yesterday that they adopted to the dog to someone else! The foster person never told me they were showing the dog to other people! Shouldn't he have told me that?"

"Well, not necessarily. I am sure he assumed that you already knew that. If the dog is advertised for adoption, then obviously that notice goes out to everyone."

"But, I could have provided such a wonderful home for the dog! Why would they give the dog to someone else?"

"Well, assuming the other person had the same qualifications as you, the goal of any rescue group or shelter is to move animals as quickly as possible in order to save other animals. Most shelters and rescues are not going to 'hold' animals until someone is ready to adopt. We have animals dying every day of the week in shelters and on streets. We are under a lot of pressure to rescue. In order to do that, we need to place adoptable animals we already have in order to create the room to take in others."

"But, the foster person didn't tell me any of that! I think there was an obligation to tell me the dog could be adopted by someone else."

"Look, Ma'am, if you walked into Bide-a-Wee or any other shelter to look at animals for adoption, THEY presume you are ready to adopt AT THE TIME. No shelter or rescue is going to say, 'Yes, we will hold the animal until you are ready to take home!' They have no guarantee you will ever come back to adopt. Meanwhile, small, friendly dogs are very much in demand. Of course they will adopt out immediately if they have opportunity to do so. This isn't a tea party, you know. It's serious business!"

"Well, I think they were wrong not to tell me these things," the woman further lamented.

"No, Ma'am, you were in error to be looking at dogs now when you are not in position to adopt until later. From that standpoint, you are wasting your time as well as the shelter's or rescue's. No shelter or rescue is in position to guarantee what animals they will have two or ten weeks from now! The best time to look at animals for adoption is when you are actually READY to bring one home!"

I don't think the woman was truly convinced of the error of her ways as opposed to the rescue group she was dealing with. While I agree that every shelter and rescue should ideally inform those hesitant to adopt immediately (for whatever reason) of the animal's potential to be adopted by someone else and that animals are not usually "held" for someone, this reality should be already be known and presumed by potential adopters.

As said, animal rescue and adoptions is not a tea party.

But, if I thought that particular call was a bit silly and time wasting, I was not at all prepared for the one that came a short time later:

"I am looking for a female Chow to adopt," the woman told me.

Now, normally I am very eager to hear from potential Chow adopters, as this is the breed we most frequently deal with in our rescue. But, something about the caller struck me as just a bit "off." For some reason, I was not to eager to tell her of the Chows and Chow mixes we have. Instead, I asked her some questions.

"Why specifically do you want a female Chow as opposed to a male?" I asked. "Male dogs can be very devoted and loving, certainly every bit as much as a female."

"Because I don't like the way the genitals hang down in the males!" the woman replied.


For a moment, I was stunned. But, I proceeded in the conversation anyway.

"But, surely you know, Ma'am that we neuter any dogs before adoption!" (And then, trying to make light of the issue) "You know most guys don't like to neuter male dogs because the dogs don't have balls anymore," I joked. "But, of course the dogs still have a penis."

"Well, that's what I meant!" the woman moaned. "They still have a penis!"

What could one say at this point? I was either dealing with a total moron or a woman who hated the entire male population whether on two legs or four.

"You know, Ma'am I don't think we have anything further to discuss."

The woman then hung up on me.

Maybe I am wrong to "judge" people like this.

Perhaps the second woman might actually provide a decent home for a female Chow one day.

Then again, one would have to wonder what this person would do should the female dog's tummy ever "hang" or sag one day.

Sometimes I think, its a really sad pool of "potential adopters" we have to try and work with. -- PCA


1 comment:

amby111 said...

The pool of potential adopters is sad indeed, Patty. A few months ago I had a woman inquire about adopting a black cat; I was thrilled, because as you know, black cats are even more difficult to place than cats with other coloring. We had a very sweet black kitten named Homer in foster care, but after meeting Homer the woman informed me that he was just "too black." I'm not sure what that means, but I was disgusted that she had wasted my and the foster parent's time and had rejected Homer for such a silly reason. Luckily, we were eventually able to find a wonderful home for Homer and another kitten with someone who didn't care what colors the kittens were. Unfortunately, those kinds of adopters are few and far between.