Friday, December 26, 2008

Sure, make this adoption a little more difficult

We've been trying to find a suitable dog to fill the hole left by Felanie. I have been taking my time, and I've had very high expectations: small adult female pit bull-type that is social and dog-friendly. That in itself narrows my options considerably.

And yet, no one seems particularly eager to rehome their adoptable dogs. To date, not a single local rescue group has bothered to respond to my general inquiries about adoption. I can't even seem to get in touch with them when I want to meet a dog they have posted on Petfinder. So I guess rescue groups are out.

That leaves shelters. And out of the six shelters in our area, two require meet-and-greets, which are guaranteed to go badly because of Dozer. No exceptions—I asked. So those are out. Three others do not require meet-and-greets, but refuse to do home visits (which might actually work for Dozer). If I adopt from any of these three, then, I'm going to have to make an on-the-spot decision.

Only one shelter does home visits. Not only that, but they allow overnights / trial runs! Perfect, right? Sure, if they had a dog there that met my criteria... but they don't.

Meanwhile, my visit to one shelter (one that recommends but does not require a meet-and-greet) netted a very promising dog that seemed to fit my criteria fairly well. I asked about the adoption process. When I explained my situation (meet-and-greet will not be a good idea) the lady helping me proceeded to advise me to look elsewhere for a shelter that would do a home visit! Yes, she was encouraging me to go away.

I ventured to suggest a trial period. The lady stared at me as if I had just fallen out of the ceiling. Then she said, "No. Once you adopt, the dog is yours permanently. You really should do a meet-and-greet. Just today we had several animals returned because they aren't getting along with the other critters in the house."

Okay, I just explained why a meet-and-greet won't work. But wait a sec. You won't do a trial period or an overnight. But it's okay for people to return the animals they adopt. Isn't that sort of the same thing? And wouldn't a trial prevent those much-lamented returns? At the very least, a trial run means one dog not sitting in a kennel going nuts, one dog not "taking up space," one dog weasling its way into a prospective adopter's heart.

I am utterly stumped. As much as I hate making a psuedo-commitment, the shelter system here has put me against a wall. How the heck am I supposed to adopt a suitable dog when nobody shows the least bit of interest in working with me (the exception being the lone shelter that allows overnights, but has no dogs that show potential)?

While our shelters refuse to help potential adopters (or treat them like loonies, which is something I keep running into whenever I ask a real question), and cling to their either-or philosophy ("either you take it home for keeps or you don't take it home at all"), all these dogs are being put to sleep.

I don't know why this is so difficult. Grr.


Mia said...

How frustrating - why does it have to be so difficult when like you said so many are waiting and dying to go home?
At the org I work for in Chicago we do only Foster to Adopt for three weeks so if it doesn't work out no harm no foul. But they absolutely require a meet-n-greet at the center with your current dog(s)...

You are welcome to come meet Mia (pitty girl we are rehoming ourselves) anytime! ;)

I believe the right dog will find you and Dozer...

Good luck!

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Amazing how places cling to rules even when they interfere with their stated mission ...

daisydog said...

that is nuts! When I adopted Daisy from a rescue that mainly has pits, they required a home visit, which included the meet and greet since I have other dogs. Anyone who really understands dogs, any breed, knows that they always act differently in their own environment. I would show them all the work you have done for pit bul advocacy! let them know that thinking outside the box is they way to get thier dogs adopted. How sad for you and all those dogs.

forsythia said...

Sorry to hear of these hassles, when you know that there are so many dogs that need a loving home.

Sarah, Jackson and Patrick said...

This is partly why we bought new. Adoptions have such high standards and strict rules, they make it next to impossible to adopt. It's even harder for us as we live in an apartment - so although our dogs are walked regularly and taken to where they can run (be it secluded areas for Jack, or the populated park for PAtrick) we would fail the fenced back yard question every time.