June is national adopt a pet month.
In some places, they simply focus on pushing cat adoptions. That is because there are so many stray cats that the shelters are constantly overflowing with them. There are just not enough resources to take care of all of them.
Yet shelters require you to jump through so many hoops to adopt a pet.
I get it. I honestly do. They want to make sure that the family taking the animal is going to be their forever family that will love them and take care of them. I get that they want to check their vet records, and talk to the them about the adoption.
What I don’t understand is why some shelters make it so much more complicated.
When we adopted Jasper, we jumped through so many hoops. We spoke with three local shelters that refused to let us even look at any of their dogs because we had kids. Now, I know that this is a common occurrence (some shelters will not adopt to anyone with kids under 5 in the home), but answer me this — why do they list that the pet is good with kids if they wont let a family with kids adopt them?!
After being incredibly frustrated with our local options, we searched Pet Finder, and found Jasper. Then the paperwork started. I filled out tons of paperwork, talked to multiple people on the phone and through email, had to put them in contact with my vet, and I even had to provide character references. It took us just about a month to get everything to go through and then to arrange for his transportation up here.
As Jasper has been with us for almost a year, I have been reflecting on our journey to get him, and the first few months of his life here with us.
It also got me thinking about a few of the new shelters that I have found locally.
These shelters only offer cats for adoption, and after seeing the same cats in there month after month, I wondered about their adoption policies. Jay asked when he went in to buy our cat food last week (this one happens to be at a small healthy pet store) and I was surprised by a few of their adoption stipulations.
The standard adoption takes 10-14 day and consists of a small booklet sized application, three random phone calls to your home by three separate employees, a copy of all your current animals vet records, your vets phone number, and the possibility of a home visit. Now this is not what really surprised me about the application, as most of these requirements are pretty typical. What did surprise me was what she told Jay next :: that they would not approve the adoption unless the applicant could prove that their current cats went to the vet for a yearly physical for each year that you have had them (specifically a visit in which they were not sick and did not need any vaccinations).
This brought me up short.
I have had cats my entire life, and after checking with my mom, I confirmed that none of them have ever been for a yearly physical. Furthermore, my vet has never told me that my cats need a yearly physical (because I would’ve brought them if this was something that they needed) and I am planning on asking them about it when I go to buy more of Otis’s special food.
Have you ever heard of a yearly physical for a cat? Does your pet get one?
I guess I am just frustrated.
I am frustrated by the overwhelming amount of animals that don’t have homes, and the fact that it can be so complicated to adopt one. While we were looking for a dog, Jay and I talked about the fact that so many people must get discouraged when trying to adopt a pet, and that it is no wonder puppy mills are still big businesses. We continued searching and ended up finding our perfect dog, but I would be lying if I said that it was a very easy search. It took us almost 4 months from the time we started looking to when we finally brought him home.
I am a firm supporter of animal adoption, and always encourage others interested in a pet to go that route. I even agree with the fact that perspective pet parents should go through some form of an adoption process. I just feel that the process should be universal and a little less complicated in some instances.
What are your thoughts on pet adoption? Have you ever adopted an animal? What was your experience like?