I wanted to start a new thread in order to get my point across, instead of getting lost in a 3 page thread.
Just recently our organization has started listing on Petfinder, it seemed like a WONDERFUL way to get our rescues adopted faster and into better homes. Within hours of our first listing we were being bombarded with e-mails about our dogs, but those e-mails were all going to the wrong foster parents! Even though at the bottom of every listing it says: For information on this animal, please e-mail "so n so" and the name was clickable, went straight to the e-mail box. It took 3 days to straighten all that out.
On 2-10 I got my first e-mail about Savanna, and was asked to hold her for 2 days so they could think about it. No problem. During the holding period I got another e-mail asking if she was still available, when I responded that she was on hold, and if it fell through I would contact them, the woman decided to go over my head and contacted another member of the AWN!!!!! Of course it did her no good, but it was the fact that she just could not wait to see if Savanna would be adopted or not. Once Savanna's adoption fell through I e-mailed her to inform her, she responded the following day that she was still interested (one of the many days I work at the thrift store and was not home) when I didn't get right back to her, she once again contacts another member of the AWN to complain that I have not responded! I do have a life, I volunteer 3 days a week at our thrift store, where I work my behind off, all by myself! I sort, hang, iron, tag, and price clothes....I accept donations, bag toys, run the register, and clean up after customers who think I get paid to pick things up off the floor.
When I get home I have 7 dogs to let outside, feed, water, and play with. I do 4 loads of dog bedding laundry every day! I also have to sweep the floors, mop up after they've tracked mud into the house, and then I need to cook dinner for my family. By the time dinner is finished my children are ready for their baths, and to start getting ready for bed. Finally at 10 pm I can sit down and check my e-mails and start the long process of sending out adoption applications, and sorting through potential adopters. I get 3-4 e-mails a day per dog....about 15 in total, I have to write down the names, e-mail addy's, and phone numbers for each person inquiring about that particular animal, I then have to respond to each e-mail, and if you are third in line, well I am sorry, it is a first come first serve opperation...the two people in front of you either have to fail in the application process or decide not to take the animal.
All the while my inbox is filling up with adoption inquirees, and my voice mail box is being jammed with "I'm calling about "so n so" please call me back."
<B>I meant people being denied due to things like; income, work schedule (if they have a plan to let the dog out), lack of yard, children under 5 (EVERY CHILD and family is different--but some rescues have a flat DISCRIMINATION policy towards children). I have also noticed many purebred rescues only adopt in their immediate area. I still think, give nearly every one a chance and then maybe do a brief 6 and 12 month follow up. I repeat myself saying, when rescues deny families the do NOT stop them from getting a pet, they just stop an animal from being rescued</B>
Ali, I have to respond to some of your remarks about "discrimination". You are right, every family and child is different......the president of the AWN about flipped her lid when I brought Oliver into the house, she said my kids would break his legs and step on him......Oliver is still alive, has never been stepped on, and his legs are still intact. Only because I have NEVER left Oliver and the kids alone unsupervised, when I leave the room, he is either caged, or comes with me. We adopted a puppy out to a family who had a child (under 5). The mom walked out of the room to answer the phone, leaving puppy and child alone....it took 3 minutes for that child to grab hold of the puppy's leg and rip it out of the socket. It was an accident, but I'm sorry we don't want that to happen more than once. Shelters don't know as much about their dogs as rescues (who have foster families) do. I know how each one of my fosters does with children, dogs, and cats. I have denied familes with small children from adopting Savanna because she is protective over her food. I have taught my children that when a dog eats it is to be left alone. Savanna has never bitten anyone, and gets better and better with her food every day, but I refuse to take the chance that a parent would assume it was cute for their child to go over and stick their head in the bowl while any dog (or Savanna) was eating.
It does not stop them from "rescueing" or adopting, it may stop them from getting that particular animal, but they can go elsewhere to adopt, or adopt another dog that better suits them. I just denied a woman (who works 8+ hours a day) who wanted another dog of mine, I did direct her to another foster we have that would better adjust to her living situation. She will be adopting that dog instead. I refuse to give everyone a chance, Ali you are a breeder, do you sell your dogs to any tom, rick, or harry that calls or e-mails you? I certainly hope not. My rescues have already been through enough, some of them have almost died due to neglect, why in the worl would I just hand them out to anyone? My goal is to find them a forever home where they will be taken care of and loved. I'm sorry if you don't understand, or agree with that. Not every organization can do a follow up in 6-12 months, by that time it could be too late anyways.....it only takes 3 weeks without food/water for a dog to die of starvation. I'm already swammped, and to have to drive around checking on every adopted dog isn't feasable.
Sorry my rant got so long, but maybe people wanting to adopt will be able to understand what VOLUNTEERS go through. They don't get paid to sit and watch their e-mail box, so give them a break.
Good post! This "issue" has certaintanly generated a lot of interest, from freedom/restriction of speech to discrimnation/protection of the animals.
I'm glad to see that you posted the issues along with your background (it allows others to know it isn't simply opinion based). I have learned a lot being the "newbee" on this sight and have done recent research along with providing information from my own volunteer/ownership experience. Keep up your good works (they are appreciated) and truly God Bless with everyone's efforts.
Sing it from the roof tops girl.... People just don't see the whole picture. They just think of themselves. Too bad we can't post something like this on our rescue sites. The lives of a foster mom (Rescuer).
I have one foster right now. I can only do one at a time.
Whoever said you can't buy happiness, must have never owned a dog!!!!!!!!!!!
excellent post blackbean. And that lady that went over your head - that would have been enough for me to deny her right there. When they are that impatient in getting a dog what makes anyone think they will be any different with the dog?
What some of my potential adopters don't realize is that I have a life outside of rescuing....I too have children, a house to clean, and a VERY hungry husband when he gets home from work lol. Sometimes they assume that it's easy peaches to take care of so many animals......it is far from easy....there are days when I ask myself "what was I thinking?" I just mopped the floors yesterday, and I already have paw print smudges all over the wood :) It poured last night, so after the dogs went out to potty this morning I had 28 little paws to wipe clean before letting them inside.....try doing that while everyones excited to get inside to eat....I got more mud on my robe than on the towel I was wipeing them with.
I've had families get upset that I won't call them (if it's long distance) instead I ask them to call me. I refuse to pay the charges to have a conversation that may not lead to an adoption...instead they get all the information they need out of me, when they hear something they don't like they change their minds....and then I'm stuck with a sky high phone bill. I pay enough out of my own pocket, you want the dog...get a phone card and call ME!
I had a woman last week who had some puppies in need of a home, since we don't have room to take them, I offered to list them on petfinder for her....made arrangements for her to bring the puppies into the store (I was going to go out of my way to be there with a camera) so Saturday rolls around, I sit at the store ALL day waiting...does she show up? NOPE...doesn't even call to let me know she won't be there! You know what I'm going to tell her if she calls again....well lets just say it won't be very nice lol.
whoever said it was very right, some people only think about themselves, it's all about I want it and I want it now. Noone considers the person who puts their life on hold for an innocent animal.
Aww Beck you know how much I respect you....excellent post. The things you listed are why I don't foster at the moment. I truly admire those who do it. Y'all are special people. Bless you!
By the way..I agree with the person who said they would say no to the woman who attempted to go over your head. It would scare me to give an animal to someone who is in such a hurry...especially my sweet little Savanna...love that little girl!