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First time working adoptions - Advice from vetrans?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I've recently become involved with the local SPCA, mainly through their pet therapy program, but i am now going to start helping with sattelite adoptions. This is where we bring pets from the shelter to local PetSmarts and can adopt them out from here, or atleast get people interested.

Generally there are about 6-8 cat cages and the cats stay a week at a time, and as a general rule get adopted out and never come back to the shelter (we are in a very good area for adoptions). Dogs however we bring down 2 at a time for the day, and they don't leave the petsmart, interested individuals can come back at the end of the day to the SPCA and adopt the dog.

Basically we give out surveys and based on the answer will lead our discussion with individuals to see if they are suitable owners. Some immediate redflags are people looking for hunting/guard dogs. People who will cage/leave their dog outside/in the garage and for this we can reccomend a home inspection before they adopt which they generally fail. Other indicators are how much they plan to spend a year - on average we say $1000/year.

For the cats they can be adopted out on the spot, and apparently you have to have a REALLY good reason to say no. You can discourage, but not outwardly deny. However again there are some tells, for instance its illegal for people to keep cats outside here, you can be charged $500...... However we can't have an opinion on declawing, although I will inform people of possible reprocussions......

Any advice on what to look for? What to ask? how to encourage or discourage?? anything woul dbe appreciated, thanks!
post #2 of 17
Maybe you can make up a little handout page about de-clawing, with website addresses and other resources to prevent improper scratching. Also something about proper cat nutrition, and how to introduce a new cat to existing cats in the home. And something about fixing litterbox issues. I think those are probably the main problems that cat owners need help with.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
We do give them information on introducing cats, about health and URI's. The cats come micro-chipped, fixed (or with a fixing date if they are too young) as well as $500 medicla insurance good for 6 weeks.
post #4 of 17
I've never been involved with formal adoptions, but last summer, my 12yo grandson helped get the cats some badly needed attention - the toy breed dogs were getting all the audience, so I suggested to my grandson that he "play" with the cats. A really nice foster dad loaned him a "teaser" and when the cats responded to a kid, of course, all the other kids & younger couples wanted to join in the fun & before we left, 2 applications were being filled out - one for a girl about my grandson's age and the other, a young couple in their 20's So, if you have any young folks who can get the cats animated or can cuddle them, and show the kitties' potential
Sending mega prayers and vibes for success in your efforts, and protection vibes so that the kitties are placed happily
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme View Post
I've never been involved with formal adoptions, but last summer, my 12yo grandson helped get the cats some badly needed attention - the toy breed dogs were getting all the audience, so I suggested to my grandson that he "play" with the cats. A really nice foster dad loaned him a "teaser" and when the cats responded to a kid, of course, all the other kids & younger couples wanted to join in the fun & before we left, 2 applications were being filled out - one for a girl about my grandson's age and the other, a young couple in their 20's So, if you have any young folks who can get the cats animated or can cuddle them, and show the kitties' potential
Sending mega prayers and vibes for success in your efforts, and protection vibes so that the kitties are placed happily
ohhhh that's a really good idea! Especially since most of them are cats and I don't think people realize how playful that even older cats can be!!! I'll bring (or probably buy since I'm at petsmart) some simple teaser toys! Thanks for the advice and vibes!
post #6 of 17
My hints
they want an outdoor cat The laws there are no roaming, they can go out in a garden but try telling a cat where the boundary is I know from experience that people will tell you they know the cat can go in the garden. So this is what I have on hand
- a vet bill from a recent incoming surrender showing the cost of flea treatment and deworming totalling almost $200 including an office visit as well as the shelters handouts on the dangers: cars, coyotes, other cats that are FIV / FIP / Fleuk positive. If it gets bad, I have a few photos I took of cats we were rescuing from animal control and show them to the person asking if they want their cat there when AC picks it up. We however do have a contract stating that the cat has to be indoors and I will generally deny someone on the spot, but if it is a quiet day I will try and educate them.


Declawing we do not have a policy on it but let people know that it is not recommended, that many vets will not do it and that most vets will not declaw once the cat is a certain weight. We usually have some declawed cats so steer them towards the declaws. Keep an eye on what they still have at the shelter and let them know that there is an already declawed cat there.

Talk to them about why they are getting a cat, the majority of the cats we have returned to the shelter for not working out are ones adopted from satallite adoptions. People just see the cat and think OMG cute.

It is an SPCA and needs to stick to government guidelines so try not to handout anything that isn't okayed by the executive. If it is the one I am thinking of, they have a lot of enemies right now so be prepared for people just to insult you for being part of it.

My main questions
- will the cat be indoor, will it have run of the house or be locked in an area?
- do you have other pets, if so what kinds
- if you have previous pets, what did they die of? Many people will say indoor only but have had a few pets run over by cars, they tell you what you want to hear but will look for sympathy about their pet's passing.
- young children visiting / living in the home? (some cats are not the nicest of cats)

With the amount, our healthcare is all done so we only expect people to say $500 for a cat even though we personally all spend more.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmunsie View Post
ohhhh that's a really good idea! Especially since most of them are cats and I don't think people realize how playful that even older cats can be!!! I'll bring (or probably buy since I'm at petsmart) some simple teaser toys! Thanks for the advice and vibes!
When we were in petsmart they usually gave us some toys too
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks icklemiss!!! that's great advice! I'm excited to do it, and a bit nervous.

I'm mostly worried about the people coming in and adopting a cat unprepared just because it's there! but I'm assuming if they are IN petsmart they probably have experience with pets....... We really aren't allowed to deny everything, so the most important thing is the conversation....

Most of the things you told me about, we have a survey that will answer all those questions that is meant to lead your conversation with them.....
post #9 of 17
I've seen adoptions at the shelter I knew were never going to work, and sure enough, the cat/kitten is back in a few days.

However, I try to have some knowledge of the cats, how they behave, how they came to be at the shelter, etc. And if the animal is suitable, I try to get it into their hands. Holding a purring kitten can do wonders for your sales pitch!

(Just as an aside, do you know how many kids have never held a kitten, never felt a kitten's sandpaper tongue, and never heard a cat purr?)
post #10 of 17
Yeah, make them handle the animal definitely - a big red flag to me is people who decide off our website from a tiny photo and description and dont want to see the rest of the cats

mrblanche, we encourage our volunteers to let us know if they know something about the animal when doing an adoption, especially if they think it wont work out with a person. It is so harmful to the animal to be seen as returned as more people think something must be wrong with it so we would rather they dont go out at all.
post #11 of 17
How did it go? I was going to pop by as we closed at 3 but by the time I finished telling all the afternoon volunteers where one of our 'special' cats went it was almost 4
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
It went REALLY well. The dog I brought went home with an amazing family, which was awesome because we almost never get dogs out at satellite adoptions, but this family truly was perfect. I only sent one cat home with someone, there was a 7 year old surrender, big orange guy I really wanted to see find a home, but everyone wanted the young cats *sigh*.

In anycase it was a good experience and I will be continuing at the satellite adoptions!
post #13 of 17
Good to hear that re: your experience. That's how I got hooked, helping with satellite adoptions. I loved getting to know the kitties and talking about them with potential adopters.

And TCS has done me a world of good as far as enlightenment and education. I can answer questions much more effectively regarding cat behavior, care, etc.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
Good to hear that re: your experience. That's how I got hooked, helping with satellite adoptions. I loved getting to know the kitties and talking about them with potential adopters.

And TCS has done me a world of good as far as enlightenment and education. I can answer questions much more effectively regarding cat behavior, care, etc.
I was excellent at talking about the cats but USELESS at helping with the dog, and advice Luckily he was a super sweet and calm dog, and the people who adopted him had an 8 year old St. Bernard so knew LOADS about dogs!!!
post #15 of 17
I hope I am not working next time and can pop by - I was there last night and didn't even think to go look and see if there were kitties. The display in that PetSmart is kind of out of the way
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
I hope I am not working next time and can pop by - I was there last night and didn't even think to go look and see if there were kitties. The display in that PetSmart is kind of out of the way
I'll let you know the next time I'm there. When we come we generally have a table set up so it's more noticable, especially when we have a dog! That always attracts attention. I probably won't be back in the burlington petsmart until the end of the month. I have a lot of pet therapy this month so I won't be doing very much adoptions.
post #17 of 17
You guys only do every second month there right?

My adoption weekends are the 18-19 and May 2-3 so if it isn't one of them, let me know and I will come by
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