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Nasty attitudes from rescue group

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a little story about a small rescue group here locally...

First off, let me say that this rescue group has not central 'shelter' they are a foster run group. They list only an email address in order to contact them. No number, no website, no information about meeting them at Petsmart on Saturday to see adoptable animals, NOTHING. Just an email.

Secondly, I am a reasonable, respectful, and animal-loving person. I frequently pick up strays and pay to have them checked and cared for by a vet, etc. My pets are extremely happy and some of the best animals you'll probably ever meet. They are my babies.

I contacted them by email last week, asking about a pair of brother kittens up for adoption. They never got back to me, but I saw they took down one of the brothers' listings on Petfinder. I emailed them again, saying that I had sent a previous email and got no response and would like to know how to adopt one of the brothers, get an application, etc. I received an email telling me they had both been adopted just recently, (within the past few days).

I was upset, not because they had adopted out an animal, (that's great), but because it seemed like they had completely ignored my inquiry. I sent an emailing telling them that I felt that way, and then gradually got progressively nastier responses, including that I am not an acceptable home for pets and that they were going to forward my emails and 'animal loving attitude' to all the local shelters as well as saying I was disregarding of other people.

I am not at all disregarding of the work they do as a group...I'm sure it's hard, considering I do a bit of the same on a smaller level. HOWEVER, they should list alternative ways to be contacted if they can't get back to people, otherwise it looks like you've been ignored or overlooked, and that's NEVER a good feeling.

Apparently they care more about sharing who shouldn't own animals than placing animals. I can't tell you how upset this makes me...I have no idea how to deal with other local shelters now, when turning in volunteer applications and such...Just a disappointing situation all around.

Has anyone else had this kind of experience?
post #2 of 10
From what you've described, I agree that you should have received an e-mail response much sooner than you did. And it's understandable to be a bit peeved about the delay. If e-mail is the only means of contacting them, and the only way for them to take the first step towards placing an animal in a forever home, nothing is going to happen unless they get back to prospective adopters, and no one benefits.

But my perception is that these foster organizations are often just "run" by a small number of people (and sometimes it's actually just one person) doing this sort of thing in their spare time. Which, depending on many factors (work schedules, family issues, etc.), can sometimes mean that certain things get pushed aside temporarily. Should responding to e-mails be one of those things? As I mentioned above, I say no. But, at least in this case, it did.

I also can't help but feel that, because you were inquiring about animals who were already adopted out, your e-mail --- unbeknownst to you at the time --- may have been perceived as being of far less importance to them than it ordinarily would. They might have figured that it would be easier to ignore your e-mail because you were asking for something which they could not provide. Obviously this is a very short-sighted approach, because you might also have been interested in cats that they have available, say, 2 months from now. But sometimes people focus so much on the present and don't concern themselves with the future.

And then once the unpleasant e-mails started going back and forth, things likely escalated out of proportion. Which doesn't mean that you were wrong for letting them know why you were dissatisfied with them. They simply chose to get defensive. Mind you, I don't know how you phrased things so I don't know exactly how inappropriate their reaction was.

There are always going to be good people and bad people, good groups and bad groups, whether it's with animal rescue or some other cause. I wouldn't worry too much about their e-mail forwarding threats or anything like that, because realistically, chances are it's not going to happen. And I wouldn't let this experience turn you off entirely to rescue groups. Sometimes things like this just happen.
post #3 of 10
Originally Posted by RobertM View Post
. And I wouldn't let this experience turn you off entirely to rescue groups. Sometimes things like this just happen.
I agree! Defintely don't let it stop you from what you love
It's unfortunate they, and others, act that way toward potential homes and volunteers. Like Robert said, they usually don't think about it from the other person's perspective, just their own and that is not a good thing. We are humans and we react as humans...and as much as we want to help the animals out it is so hard when we feel hurt ,mad or angered when treated like that! I understand that rescues are VERY busy, have limited time and are usually mostly run by volunteers but that still is not an excuse for poor customer service. They could have so much more help and more animals adopted out if they answered timely and treated people in a friendlier way.

I had a very similar experience with a local rescue. I had emailed them about my interest in volunteering. After 2 weeks when I hadn't heard a response I called them, more than once, and was told to leave a message as the volunteer coordinator was busy. Well after SIX weeks of waiting I finally heard back! I was still interested so she set me up to volunteer. Well the first day I go in was a disaster. Nobody knew I was coming and my name wasn't on the list, then nobody told me what to do to help. They just said to start walking dogs, playing with kitties and cleaning cages, but didn't give me any more information. So I started doing what they said. Next thing I know, I am getting in trouble for everything I am doing, apparently I wasn't doing it properly, or was walking dogs that had already been walked, etc. This is also in front of everyone who was there to look at animals, so I felt really dumb.

Basically I never went back there, and got very discouraged to help anywhere else! It is interesting, though, that over a year later they contact me about kittens I had for sale. I ended up fostering my own kittens through them! Now I work with them regularly as a foster mom, and am trying to have them take in my orphaned kitties I have now too
post #4 of 10
I completely understand how you feel but you are right that rescue/fostering is a tough task for anyone to take on. We don't know what their situation is or why they didn't respond but there may be a very good reason for it. I would just give them the benefit of the doubt. Assume they deserve it for the good work they do.

Good luck. I hope you find a pair of kittens soon. Also, I hope you consider adopting adults. They are harder to find homes for and kittens become adults in the blink of an eye anyway.
post #5 of 10
I did have a weird experience with a rescue organization. They had mostly abused cats that were seized or brought there by a concerned citizen. They were extremely possessive of the cats. They acted like they didn't want you to adopt any of them. One in particular was super friendly and cute as a button. She was a torti with a load of personality.
They did everything in their power to turn us off from her. We left with a weird feeling about them. We ended up at the Humane Society and then to get my boys we ended up at a fabulous rescue organization. We asked around about the weird vibe at the first place and evidently it had that reputation.
Sometimes you get people with absolutely no people skills volunteering and because these places are sometimes desperate they take anyone.
I hope you find a pair of littermates soon.
post #6 of 10
Not all rescue groups are created equally, that is for sure. The bengal rescue groups I'm in contact with are excellent and go way beyond the call of duty, with no compensation other than knowing what they have done is above reproach.

However, my wife and I wanted to adopt a min-pin. So, instead of seeking out a breeder, I looked at several rescue groups who had many older min-pins listed as available.

I put several sincere inquiries in and got zero response. Not even a kiss-off, we don't like your kind.

I'm sure one of those little dogs would have had a nice sweet life with us, but whatever..........guess I'll look for one at a breeder's site. At least with the breeders, I know they are looking to place their puppies, so they WILL respond to an inquiry.
post #7 of 10
Yes, unfortunately, it does happen. We had a cat-only rescue here in town run by some women who really, really needed some lessons in human interpersonal communication. Many of us began to refer to them as "the cat nazis", not because they were mean to the cats, but to potential adopters.
post #8 of 10
The thing that is sad is all of these animals need homes and so many animals need rescuing.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the responses...I did find another shelter with an older kitten, (she's seven months), and it seems to be going well. The shelter I adopted her from is one I do occasional volunteering for and I've always liked how they treated people...Then again, they have their issues as well, .

An adult cat or senior is probably a while down the road for me...Considering the kittens I have now, I'll have to find a special adult to put up with the 'ornery' factor!
post #10 of 10
You make a good point about energy levels. My cats are all around the same age. Mary the oldest is 18 months older. It works because she still likes to play. I saw so many older cats who need homes and when my boys are more settled I would adopt a few older older cats. Until then they would only annoy a calm older cat.
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