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Shelter Questionaires

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I was looking at a website for the Humane Society and they had animals for adoption posted. The excuse most owners give for giving up their pets:

1- Can't keep.(Why? Is he too troublesome, bark alot, dig, etc)
2- Moving.
3- Allergies
4- Too Active for children
5- Too many pets
6- Landlord problems
There may be others, but here are some that I have seen. If I was an owner or director of the shetler, I would make sure that when a family adopts a pet, it will be a lifetime commitment. Is it possible to see if you have allergies before adopting a pet? Or check the family's lifestyle. Do they work a lot and are away from home? Is the pet going to be alone most of the time. A good screening will help. I've seen at other shetlers how they do matching. They match the pet with the owner. Most people when they tell me they want to adopt a pet, I always ask if they are emotionally, physically, and financially ready to have a dog or cat? If they will be too busy, fish, birds, and other small animals should make a much better pet. Dogs and cats need lots of attention and love. If a dog is a mixed breed, the humans should try and do a research on one of the dog's ancestors or the other if they can. I think maybe the next time an owner decided to turn in their animals they should just come up with the excuse, "I just don't want him anymore!" and final.

Anyone who works at a shelter, please tell me if you screen thorougly and how its done.
post #2 of 10
I've never worked for a shelter, but I did work with a rescue group a few years ago. I don't remember all our questions, but some of the things we asked:

Who is your vet?

We would then call the vet for a reference. We would make sure spay/neuter and vaccinations were always done and updated.

Have any animals died in your care? What was the cause?

This was to try to weed out any who had animals die of neglect, preventable diseases, etc. Very often they wouldn't come out and say it, but you could tell by how they would tapdance around the question that something fishy had happened.

Do you have a spouse or roommate(s)?

If the answer was yes, we would require that they come back with the other person(s) to make sure the entire adult household is aware a pet is coming.

Do you have young children?

Again, if yes, we would require them to come back with the children to see how they interact with the kitty.

These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
post #3 of 10
I adopted my cat, Midnight, (now deceased) from a no-kill shelter almost fourteen years ago. I thought the screening process was very good. The lady who ran the shelter asked some questions to determine whether or not I would be a good owner and a good match for Midnight. I was asked about previous pets, my lifestyle and why I wanted to adopt. I had to be planing to provide a home for Midnight for the rest of her life. I was also told that if something unforseen happened, and I couldn't keep Midnight after all, that I should return her and they would find another suitable owner. After Midnight's adoption, the lady checked back with me several times to make sure everything was going well. I'm sure there was more than that, but I don't remember anymore.

Midnight spent the rest of her life with me, we had many wonderful years together, and I have so many happy memories of her now.
post #4 of 10
When I adopted Merlin from Hobocat (they rescue cats from the wild and adopt out those cats and any kittens they have), I had to fill out a full adoption form. I was not allowed to take him that day - I had to think about it for a day. They asked if he was going to be indoor or outdoor. The types of screens on the windows. Kids. If anyone was home during the day. Vets name. Other pets. They asked many more questions as well. They also wanted proof of spay/neuter mailed to them when done. They reserved the right to come and visit to make sure he was ok. They made us promise that if for some reason we couldn't keep him then we give him back to them. They called 2 times within a year to make sure everything was ok. I loved adopted from them because they really seem to care!
post #5 of 10
I think most shelters have some sort of screening. They are pretty rigid about who is taking the animal.

What concerns me more is a pet store where you can buy a pet. I bought Sunshine from a discount pet store, she stole my heart when I walked in. I didn't even go there with the intention of buying a cat, but my son saw her, and I just had to have her. Anyway, I literally picked her out, told them I wanted her, paid and left. All in a matter of 10 minutes. They didn't even take my name, or ask if I had other animals. And after I had her, I found out she was pregnant. When I asked them why they didn't tell me, they didn't give an explanation, but they offered to take the kittens at 8 weeks old so they could sell them! Yeah, right!!!!!!!!!!! No way, no how.
They were so irresponsible, it was unbelievable. I am glad I "rescued" her from there, but it scares me to think what sort of homes the others kitties and puppies got.

Unfortunately I don't think there will ever be any mandates to protect shelter or pet store animals. You just have to trust your instinct.
post #6 of 10
Daniela - you are so right about the Pet Store thing! When we got Trent at the mall (he chose us, and we just couldn't leave him there!) all it required was the money to pay for him. All they had was mixed breed kittens, and they told us that the cuter they were, the more expensive they were. Who is the judge of that? I thought Trent was the most adorable thing in the store, but he was the cheapest kitten.

We got Trent in the beginning of October, and one of the workers there told us that they wouldn't be carrying black kittens after they sold Trent and another little guy for a while. They said it was amazing what people would do to black kittens around Halloween. Can you believe it? They knew that people bought the kittens to torture them and still sell them without any screening of any kind!!
post #7 of 10
We have an application process also. We ask many of the same questions already mentioned, like how many pets do you have, and who your vet is. We make sure (thru the vet) that all current pets are neutered, and vaxed. We call the landlord to make sure it is okay. They can't have given up a pet to a shelter in their adult life, and we want to know what has happened to all pets they have had. Granted, there is no way to be sure if they are telling the truth on a lot of these things, so we also keep a "No-no" file of anyone who ever was investigated for neglect or abuse, anyone who ever mentioned getting a pet and breeding it, everyone who has surrendered an animal to us, etc.
We still have a high percentage of returns (high to me, anyway). This is because people don't realize that a shelter is not a cheap pet store. It does not occur to them that while many of the animals are there because they were owned by irresponsible people, some of them have serious behavior issues. We have one beautiful long-haired white cat (so cuddly!!) who has just been returned for the second time because she doesn't adjust well (she hides). Now we warned both adopting parties that this would be the case, and that it would probably take her a good month to come out of hiding, and they said they understood. But she's back AGAIN.
Most people think all cats (or dogs, or whatever) are the same inside, so all they have to do it choose an outside they like, and they're all set. A big problem is that even if the people are perfectly acceptable, they choose a cat (or dog) who is incompatible with their lifestyle, or patience level.
The second problem is this: people lie. They lie about how much time they have, how much patience they have, how much space they have. They also lie about why they bring animals back. I bet that 60% of people who say they are allergic to their animal have never so much as sneezed in its presence. It is just that they are ashamed to say whatever their reason really is (they don't care enough).
And that is hard to screen for.
post #8 of 10
When my husband and I adopted our two kitties from the Humane Society 3 months ago, they did a thurough screening. They asked us what pets that we had before and how many and if any died and so on...they also asked us why we wanted kittens and they had to call our condo association to verify that we could have pets. We also had to tell them how much we thought food, shots, vet visits, etc. would cost a year and stuff like that. They also said that it was mandatory that they be spayed and nuetered before we could take them home and that it was up to us if we wanted to declaw them, but they didn't recommend it.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Do you volunteer or have a paying job at the shelter where you work? See, we have shetlers here. But I am familiar with three. One is the Humane Society, another belongs to the city, and then there is a no-kill shelter called Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. The Humane Soceity takes in mostly volunteers(I would probably start volunteering after I finish schooling and working full time.). I don't like the city shelters because they euthenize quickly. Best Friends is down south. I think is a two or three hour drive. I really want to work at a shelter though.
post #10 of 10
I would love to volunteer at a shelter someday. I love animals and I think that it would make my life happier to help out at someplace like that. I'm glad that most shelters have such strict screening policies because it saves alot of animals from being put into bad homes or from being given back.
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