jake went home yesterday. it is always such a great thing when one of our guys finds their permanent home..esp. one of the cats. finding homes for any animal..esp. a seniors, esp. cats....it is not easy.
dawn took over as adoption coordinator a few months ago. and she is doing a great job. she is getting the inquiries, making the initial contact, doing the pre-adopt applications, the telephone interviews, arranging the meet and greets and doing the home checks. it is a lot of work. it requires a real time and energy investment that many times doesn't lead to anything at all.
for the past couple of years, i was dropping the ball. i wasn't willing to invest that much into something that mostly just fizzled out somewhere along in the process. i was only willing to invest in the solid gold and already past proven committed homes....i didn't have time to follow the process to find new ones or follow thru with the ones who might or might not be who we were looking for.
people have complained that in general...the process in adopting from rescues is far too difficult. there are too many hoops to jump thru, too many time and energy investments required of potential adoptors. rescues actually require adopters to be patient, to be flexible, to be committed in following thru. rescues actually require adopters to participate in the process to ensure that the animal's long term needs are the focus at all times.
potentials drop out of the process at various stages along the way...it might be at the initial application stage. they get frustrated cuz before they put in the time and effort into the process, they want to engage in a bunch of back and forth question and answer sessions and we just can't. there are too many looky-lou's or totally inappropriate homes out there sucking up volunteer time.
the process itself is actually a rescue adoption tool.
so most of us have made it a rule that we don't engage in discussions about any particular animal until the application is back in our hands. an unwillingness to fill out the application is a good indication that there is a problem with either follow thru, committment or simply having patience....all of which are required in a good adoptive home.
then the back and forth emails, telephone conversations begin..this is when the potential adoptor learns more about the animal and we learn more about them. and more drop away along this side of the adoption process road.
finally references are checked, home visits are done as required...we don't do home checks on everyone. some come with references that we know and trust. very few if any drop off at this point...we already know they are committed and can provide a good home or we wouldn't have gotten this far.
and finally there is the meet and greets and one of two things happen here. either it is an instant go on both of our sides... or there are question marks floating around in the air. i send the question marks back home again to think on it and to figure things out. it could be because they have some prior committments, like trips or whatever coming up...or it could be because they might actually when they met everyone, be drawn to someone else..or it could be that until they actually got here, met the animals, spoke with me...the reality of senior rescue was just sinking in.
and this is where the rest of the potentials usually fall out.
once they leave here, the ball is in their court. i figure if they truly and deeply want one of our guys...they will move mountains. i am not too interested in what mountains they have to move..i just figure if that deep connection/committment has been made..the potentials will do pretty much anything to get their newly loved one home asap.
i move many mountains to get our animals safely to us. i don't dink around looking for the exact right moment, waiting til it is 100% convenient..once i commit to them..i want them here as soon as we safely can. so i move those mountains quickly and efficiently and get them out of our way because there is now an animal i care deeply about waiting for me.
my expectations when the animal leaves here is the same...that with this decision to actually adopt...they just became incredibly important and a very high priority in their new families lives.
rescues are not looking for passive homes we are all looking for passionate homes. that is what the rescue adoption process hopefully helps us to find. passive homes may one day give up on an animal...passionate homes may one day do the same. but when a passionate home gives up, it is because no real or imaginery stone was left unturned.
jack is coming back today...he has been gone for three years. jack is coming back amidst broken and weeping hearts because this time, for real....there are no stones left to unturn. big hugs to jack and his family on this very sad day. not even the rescue process, not even 100% committed and passionate homes can always withstand the things that life throws our way.
the rescue adoption process is a tool. it is not an absolute certainty..but it is the best tool right now that we have...and we need every possible tool we can find to do the best that we can.
the next time you hear someone frustratedly complain about the rescue adoption process..maybe just tell them, that in their very complaining and feeling frustrated by a process designed to ensure as best as we can; permanent and really great, committed homes..they probably wouldn't make the final cut anyway...they will eventually drop away alongside of the rescue process road.