Rescue Journal

i want to take this a bit further...

Carol  ·  Jul. 23, 2012

i actually want to help folks understand somethings about doing animal adoptions cuz lord knows, i have had enough returned failed adoptions myself over the years and i have taken in other rescues failed adoptions as well when a few would not take back their previous animals.

the pre-screen application can only ask certain things and it utterly depends on the insight and bottom line honesty of the person filling it out. they can neglect to tell you that their last three cats all disappeared and never came home one night..they could forget to tell you that they euthanized their 6 yr old dog because it had diabetes and they could not deal wih that. they might leave out that cat that sprayed in the house and they gave away to a GREAT barn home started to spray because they forgot to neuter.

they do not have to disclose that the creditors are calling and meeting the monthly rent is a problem, or dad has anger issues and there is a lot of yelling and slamming of doors going on in the house. they don't have to tell you that they are struggling with health issues or battling depression. it is really none of our business if they chose to do drugs or drink or party big time on the weekends or they go on a lot of vacations or work frequently out of town. they certainy won't tell you that they are too cheap to go to the vets, so either the animal gets better by itself or suddenly it may be dead.

when folks come here looking to adopt an animal..they put their best foot forward and leave any skeletons they may have... out of sight, at home in the closet.

you absolutely have to be aware of the possibility of all of that.

and then you have the homes without any major issues who have decided they want a certain new pet...say like... tina. really nice folks..clean and healthy lifestyle, beautiful house, good steady income, kind and generous. BUT..they both work fulltime, their three pre-teens are in hockey, soccor and dance..and tina's past life and current life here has always been with someone around 24 hours a day. how well do you think she would cope? but they want tina...they love her so much...she is so cute and tiny and they have such a wonderful home. yes they do but for is not the right wonderful home.

when i tell them they can't have her, they are going to be disappointed and hurt (and mybe even angry) because i must think they are not good enough. they won't hear the reasons i give them...they stopped listening when i said no.

and then there is odie...saints is absolutely the very wrong place for this dog...and i am totally aware of it too. in the right home for him, odie would be a truly great what am i looking for him? a home with no other dogs and also no little kids. a place that can afford his medical care and has the experience and the patience to deal comfortably with him. so real nice young man comes along and thinks odie is the perfect dog for him...but he lives in a condo, he is gone 10 hours a day for work so for 10 hours odie is screaming and bugging the neighbors and no one is around to watch him if his bloodsugars drop too low. do i send the dog out anyway? i know saints is not ideal for him and this guy is a super nice and responsible young man and it gets odie the pain in the ass out of my house so should i hope for the best and let him go?

i don't think so.

we don't do them any favors by picking the wrong homes for them...all we do is add more instability and uncertainty to their lives which have already been filled with problems and issues. saints is not the perfect place for tina and odie but it is stable, it is reliable, it is kind and understanding and patient and it bends itself to the best of our ability to meet their needs as best as we can, every moment of every day....without excuses and without exception. so while they are homeless and waiting, they can always count on that.

i think folks do not always understand what i mean by finding them the right home. i don't mean i am looking for nice people who live in nice homes...i am looking for people who when the animal comes into their home..the animal fits comfortably into their life style and they fit well with the animal's needs and if everyone is content and happy and fits well together..then all should be forever well for both and i will never be needed again....yay!



I love my Nudge! So glad she is here even though she seemed fine at SAINTS too. A successful perfect fit. A big YAY!


?????...please re-read the posting...i was talking about unneutered spraying family cats....not ferals. ferals are a different kettle of fish.

D Gibson

Ouch! Quite a slap down on the great barn comment. I must apologize. When I told you that story I had assumed as you were in rescue that you'd be experienced with semi feral cats. Adult male cats who had lived outside their entire lives and need a safe home outside to roam and hunt, not be locked up in a house, or one room of a sanctuary. While it may be our dream for all cats to sleep on pillows on our sofas, it's not necessarily theirs. Barn Cat Rescue here in North Texas does an excellent job of placing those cats in a place safer than a feral colony, but still meeting their needs to be semi wild. And there is nothing immoral, incompetent, or irresponsible with fulfilling the need of that type of cat.


ahh sarah honey...lots of really smart people doubt...they mull it around in their heads and really they are waiting til their head and heart says...ok i am ready..i can finally do this...i can really commit to this now.

choosing to be reponsible for another life and all that entails is huge! yay for you for being realistic and wantig to ensure that you can it well.

caylee and lisa and have all seen the same side of this as i do...once we see it..we finally get it..nothing about any of this is simple or easy.


My mother was a 40 year volunteer for a low cost spay and nueter society. I grew up I suppose being educated for what i do now. I never thought it would be pigs as i had 6 cats, three dogs and horse when i started this. I am now 55 years old and the hardest thing about rescue is dealing with the human aspect whether it be volunteers, potential adoptors, supporters and those want to help and have 100 suggestions of how i should/could do it. Lisa your so right when you say 'stick around ' and see why we do it this way and gain a little experience first. We live breath rescue work and even our freinds are co rescuers , our outings are normally fundraisers. We are faced with a 1000 stories a year and become a pretty good judge of charactor really fast. We also have learned to do tasks quckly and as effecicntly as possible as we are the ones doing it when every one goes home. There is no 'going home" for us. we are always on the job. When our people start to task us with question on our decisions about placement it just creates more stress as we try to explain without getting our people pissed off at us. They may never understand as there not sitting in our seat and haven't had our life experinces to draw from. And bottom line is we are the ones who must live with our decisions and we already have enough weight to bare so we need our people to stand behind us , to support us as with everything else we are trying to do for the animals- we will fall down without it.


Very well said. It is too bad that people do not always think this way when they are on the other side adopting an animal. Yes, the animal may be right for you, but are you right for the animal? It is so important. I have had many animals that I loved but did not adopt because I could not give them exactly what they needed in a home, even though it would have been a great one. When I find an animal that will be right for me and I can give them all they need and more then I make the commitment. :)


I find the hardest part for us is that we often run into the eager or gung ho volunteer that thinks we should be placing the animals to people who *want one* just becasue we have so many. In the small animal world, there will always be too many and just because there is a home *wanting one* doesn't mean it is a good home.
I can't tell you how many volunteers have gotten po'd at this fact but they aren't the ones who have to ake back and deal with the animal that is returned from the home that *wanted one*.
They don't see the result of the home that *wanted* one and now don't.
If you don't give the animal the best chance at a good home and just give it to the first home who says they want one, then you are not doing a good job.
It's frustrating but more often than not volunteers have to understand that things are done the way they are for a the jets, stick around awhile, learn and then one will actually see why things are done the way they are.
In the end, I end up being *the bitch* and people leave but sadly the animals never stop coming ;-)
So from one bitch to another, I hear ya!!! ;-)


Then there's people like me... I think I could give Odie (or a dog like Odie) an excellent home. No kids, no plan for kids; no other animals, lots of land: but I second-guess it. I work 3/12s in the ED, he works 4/10s (but could take a dog to work). I'm just scared to commit to a dog because - what do you do if you're away for awhile and he or she needs you to be there? Do you ever see people who just doubt themselves when they could be great pet "owners"? Just curious :)