Reply: Well, for only two cents, your post is the bargain of the century!
First, to answer your question, yes, we are called from the pound if any of our adopted animals gets dropped off. All animals rescued by us are microchipped and thus, identified to us.
In fact, about six months ago, a Chow mix named, "Melanie" who we adopted out five years ago, was abandoned at Animal Control as a so-called "bite case."
When informed from the shelter, I looked up the record of Melanie and called her adopter.
Previously, I had adopted Melanie to a single man. But, the man had since married and the couple had a baby who was then ten-months-old and crawling around.
Apparently, the baby climbed on the dog one day and was patting the dog's ear (which was sensitive due to an infection). Melanie whipped her head around and apparently hit the baby, causing a minor bruise. (The dog did NOT bite!) The baby was fine and required no medical attention, but the wife insisted on "getting rid of the dog."
Not a happy scenario of course, but what was I to do? I can't advise someone to get a divorce!
Anyway, the fact that Melanie was erroneously turned in as a "bite case" actually turned out to be fortunate. Law requires all bite case animals to be "held" for ten days for observation of possible rabies (a joke in New York City, but law nonetheless.) The ten day holding period allowed me enough time to photograph Melanie, advertise her and find an emergency foster home.
Even more fortunate, the young Manhattan couple who fostered Melanie, later adopted her.
She really was and is a lovely dog.
However, were such incident to occur today, I doubt I would be so "fortunate."
Fosters (emergency or otherwise) are extremely tough to find in New York City during the summer as so many people travel for vacations.
As noted many times previously, Euthanasia Stats at city shelters skyrocket during the summer. -- Double for dogs and more than triple for cats and kittens compared to winter months.
In any event, you make an excellent point about removing the "take back anytime" clause in our adoption contract. While I believe it important to guarantee return if an adoption fails, it is neither practical nor even possible to take back animals years after an adoption and the animal is at or near the end point of his/her life.
That is especially true in today's terrible economic crunch.
But, more to your point, yes, I believe you are correct in citing that people who know there is always an "out" may not be apt to truly and wholeheartedly commit to an animal.
"Hell, if the dog/cat gets old, infirm or I just don't want to deal with him/her anymore, I can just call the adoption agency to come get her/him!"
Unfortunately, I think that's exactly what the adopters of Daisy, the (now) 12-year-old Cocker Spaniel expected.
I am still waiting for "John" to email me updated pictures of Daisy.
I have a feeling I will be waiting a long, long time...... -- PCA