Rescue Journal

the adoption issue part 2

Carol  ·  Feb. 17, 2018

so what do you do if you get 20 applications for the same 2 year old border collie and none of them feel like they are the right one for that dog?
do you pick the one that seems closest, and hope for the best?
or do you say no to all and hope the right match will come?

that's a tough one. if you need to get animals adopted so you can take in more...maybe you do ask the dog to settle for less.
maybe you take a chance?
maybe you re-think your criteria and adjust your expectations?
or maybe not. I don't know.

for me personally..adoption is not the end game. I set up saints as a sanctuary meaning if the animals do not find homes...they have a nice and comfortable home here where they can stay.

I am desperate to find stella a great home. not because I don't like stella, I actually love her, a lot.
but she is taking up the entranceway space and I want zander to have that space and he can't have it because stella has parked her butt in there.

I know stella is not good with other dogs, and I don't 100% trust her with cats. I don't think she is a good match for a home with small kids or a home who works all day either because she suffers from anxiety and has a minor bite history if she feels cornered when she is anxious. she is far too active for an elderly or disabled person and she is a huge barker which puts condo's and townhouses out too.
so which of these things do I cross off her not to do list?
for me it is none.
if 20 of the wrong homes apply for her, then it becomes 20 no's.
no one is going to be happy if the wrong animal goes into the wrong home.

I am not saying I have to like everybody..i have adopted animals into homes where the personalities of the people rub me the wrong way, and they are not anyone I would miss not ever seeing again. the home and the family and the lifestyle matched the animals needs and I knew they would be well loved and cared for. people have different relationships with their animals than they do with other people. as long as they are dedicated, truthful, will provide an appropriate home where the animal will be loved and receive proper medical care and the animal's emotional and physical needs will be a high priority...I don't need to be BBF's with the new home. but conversely just to be honest..i have also said no to staff, volunteers, friends and family if I feel the animal needs something different than that particular home. its not just a good needs to be the right home.

also as an aside... in adopting to folks where our personalities don't match....I do have to be able to work with that home in case there are issues or the animal needs help in the future.
so what do I do if what seems to be the perfect home for the animal but I know there is no way I can work together with the family in the future if needed?
that is a hard one too. I have gone thru this a couple of times over the past couple of decades and those animals are beyond my safety net if the families decide not to adhere to the contract and to re-home on their own.
I am learning to say no here too. to me our safety net is critical so our animals never find themselves in a horrible situation without our ability to help them again.

finding homes for homeless animals is not about taking undue risks and chances..these animals have already suffered thru the unhappy consequences of this. most did not get here having had perfect lives in the perfect homes...most got here because their lives sucked in some significant way.
almost all animals who come here find a reasonable amount of happiness and a great deal of security, predictability, comfort and concern where the animals come first. and for most of them settling for maybe a little bit less than perfect here, is far better than settling for a lot less of perfect out in the human world...where they don't come first, where they actually keep sliding farther and farther down the priority list in a home that never really suited them to begin with.

now sometimes I really don't have all the answers and sometimes I really am unsure if this is the right home for the animaol or not. and sometimes I will take a chance, I will take the risk but ONLY if I am 100% convinced that not only will this family put this animal's needs and happiness to the forefront BUT will also be 100% willing to return the animal to us if we have made a mistake in meeting both the family's and the animal's needs.

every adoption failure lands at my feet. my failure hurts them.
so I guess what I am saying in both of these posts is...fielding adoptions is a huge affects the animal's life forever.
I am sorry there are hoops for humans to jump thru and I am sorry sometimes there are hurt feelings when the answer is no.
but all of us in rescue truly are doing the very best that we can for these animals we have dedicated our lives to...we want them to find that perfect for them home.
we struggle thru the decision making, we struggle thru the same process as potential homes. sometimes the right YES!! match is there before us and sometimes for whatever reason, the answer is no.



I can't remember why I talked you out of him either but I bet ted was eternally grateful to me!


I remember having my heart set on adopting a SAINTS beagle with a snaggle tooth...but, Carol, you talked me out of adopting that dog. I'm not sure of the reasons but I trusted your judgement (whether it was about me or about the dog). I ended up with Ted who was truly meant to be my furry friend for the three short years I had him. I thank my lucky stars that you said No to snaggletooth and yes to Ted. It truly was a perfect match.


I've read and re read this post a few times now, it is a great eye opener. All of the animals at saints are very lucky to call saints home, whether it be a few months or a lifetime despite the unhappy priors that led them through our door

Carol Atkinson

I agree completely. In my case the adoption coordinator liked us so much that she overlooked the specifics of my application and numerous phone conversations about what would work and not work for us in our home environment. I don't blame her. We were her best applicants in that we had previous experience with a rescue dog and we were responsible and nurturing pet owners. After a brief trial, we realized that it was not a good match. The story has a happy ending after the original rescue group coordinated with a rescue group in our area and the dog was subsequently adopted by a trainer who was better equipped to work with the dog's issues. We were happy to be part of the process to find this beautiful dog
her forever home and we are hoping that one day we will find the right dog for us. I thank you for
all you do. It takes tremendous heart and dedication.