I have to do what to adopt a pet?

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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?

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  1. 1
    julieann r says:

    I’ve given up on shelters for this very reason. They whine and complain because they have to put so many animals down, they have no money or resources to feed and care for all these animals, etc, etc. They think a normal person wanting a cat is going to fill out a 20 page application, subject themselves to being criticized and looked down on, and pay an arm and a leg just to MAYBE get a cat. I think it’s a load of crap and a case of good intentions gone awry. So, shelters, how’s this working out for you….or more importantly….for the animals that are caged awaiting a home that you won’t ever let them get to so they can just be killed weeks later.

    I am so disgusted by shelters and the Humane Society. We’ve been rejected more times than I can count because we don’t intend on putting our dogs in a pen. Now, let me tell you…..we live in the middle of nowhere in a county with no leash laws. We have thousands of acres around us of pure, unadulterated forest….a dog’s dream. But these people want me to shove the dog in a 12×12 kennel……no way.

    After years of trying to get a dog that fit our needs from shelters we gave up and looked in the paper, online, etc. We found some perfect dogs locally being given away from someone whose dog had an unexpected litter of puppies. Our cat….we found him as a kitten in a dumpster and he’s been the best cat we’ve ever had.

    I have never heard of the requirement for a yearly check-up on cats, maybe just a booster rabies vaccine, but that’s it. I feel your pain….I really do.
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    • 1.1
      Jessie says:

      It really is so frustrating. And I feel the exact same way — It blows my mind that they would rather put the animals down then find them a home.

      We do not crate our dog either, nor do we keep him in a kennel when he is outside. He runs around with us out there, and has been taught to stay in the yard. Thankfully, the organization that we got him from did not ask about it, but I know when my mom adopted her two dogs they stipulated that she had to fence in her yard if she wanted them.

      At least I am not the only one that has never heard of the yearly check-up for cats! It makes me wonder what vet they deal with… And the saddest thing is that this particular shelter sends around a monthly newsletter featuring the same cats over and over again… you would think they would realize that maybe it is their crazy stipulations that are making it too difficult for the cats to find homes.

      The whole thing just makes me frustrated and sad. We would love to add more animals to our home, but it is so discouraging to be turned down over and over again, and it really makes me so sad for all the animals that just want a home (and love) but may never get it.

  2. 2
    Grace says:

    I completely agree! They whine and beg for people to come and adopt, but when you inquire about their pets you get interrogated. Our Animal Control puts them down after so many days, so I guess they would rather euthanize and animal then let it go to a family that would love it. The last pet that I adopted I found on craigslist. It’s ridiculous!
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    • 2.1
      Jessie says:

      That is terrible about your Animal Control. It is so sad that they would rather euthanize them then find them a home. Jay loves Craigs List… and got his dads dog from there a few years ago.

  3. 3
    Charlotte R says:

    This is so sad that the shelter is this bad that they are turning people away in this way. Our local animal shelter does an incredible job, and are great to work with (I foster dogs with a rescue that pulls from there). Very reasonable fees without crazy stipulations, and a network of dedicated volunteers that do their best to get the word out about the available animals.

    • 3.1
      Jessie says:

      You are very lucky to have such an amazing shelter locally! And so are the animals :) I think that more people in general would adopt if all shelters made it just a little bit easier. I know that more than once when we were searching for Jasper, Jay wanted to just give up with the adoption route. I refused, and while he does see the benefits of it, he was very frustrated.

      On a separate note : We were just talking about fostering animals! Both cats and dogs when we get a larger home with a bit more land. I do have to ask — do you find that you want to keep them all? I think that I would have a hard time letting them go.

  4. 4
    Zene says:

    Our shelter is great too. Their prices are VERY reasonable! $56 for cats! We got our former Manx there he was so sweet. I hate to say it but we only take our cats in when they need it. I would never take our 4 cats in each year! That cost would be outrageous!

    • 4.1
      Jessie says:

      You are lucky to have a great shelter! And $56 is very reasonable. We only take our cats in when they need it also. They are indoor cats so they get into much less, and really don’t need to go all that often.

  5. 5
    Christina says:

    Ugh.. we have had to jump through hoops too. Matter of fact, our youngest (and only now) Kitty – our vet literally fought for us to adopt from a shelter because we had a cat who didn’t get his vaccinations because he had vaccine related cancer, but the shelter insisted he HAD to be vaccinated. No way, no how that was going to happen.We have a wonderful vet who fought for us and we did get the kitten. She was a special needs, sick Kitty that had been there for months too. Flash forward a few years, we lost both our dog and older cat to cancer in a few months time… our remaining Kitty isn’t liking being an only pet and we are again jumping through hoops to adopt/rescue another Kitty because we have little kids and a Kitty who doesn’t ‘

  6. 6
    Christina says:

    Oops.. who doesn’t see the vet unless necessary under the vets orders! She has had 2 severe reactions to shots.. so he said no more (and with our history with VAS that was ok with me!). Plus, with her other illness she gets very sick anytime she get stressed.. which is any time she leaves the house. Even with our great standing and a vet who will vouch for us (that we are following HIS orders) we had a rescue refuse to let us adopt an older cat. So we still have one lonely Kitty for now. The vet does have his eyes /ears open for us.

    • 6.1
      Jessie says:

      I hope that you end up finding another kitty. It is crazy that the rescue is putting up such a fuss about it, especially considering your vet is vouching for you!