|All About Pets
Shelters differ when adopting a dog
I just adopted a dog. It’s the first time I didn’t just find my next pet at my shelter. Because I was pretty specific in what I was looking for (a golden retriever or an Australian shepherd), I reached out to other shelters and rescue groups and had my friends and family looking out for me. It took quite a while to find the right dog, but I think people should hold out if they want something specific, and I learned a lot along the way.
Being on the other side of the adoption process was a real eye-opener for me. I experienced everything from the most lenient to the most grueling (almost insulting) process. My sister noticed a stray in a Los Angeles City Shelter and said she would be willing to adopt him for me because he was becoming available the next day. I called to see what their process was and was told, “Whoever shows up at 8:30 a.m. with the money gets him.”
I asked if there was an application that needed to be filled out?
Do they require the whole family to meet the dog? Can you bring your dog for an introduction? And the answer to each question was the same. “Whoever shows up at 8:30 a.m. with the money gets him.”
I asked what happens if more than one person shows up in the morning, how do they choose and was told they go to a closed bid process. Nothing about who could provide the most appropriate home for the dog, no information about whether the dog was good with cats, kids, etc. Wow!
It went from that extreme to the other. I checked in with a local golden retriever rescue group. A person I know had recently adopted a dog from them and told me their process: fill out a nine-page application, have a home interview, wait for them to find a dog they think will work for you (expect a year or more wait), and pay a $400 adoption fee. She did all this to adopt a dog they know is shy and will need some work. Crazy!
It certainly showed me the range out there and how it appears to the public. The Rohnert Park Animal Shelter is somewhere in-between.
Our goal is to help with the matchmaking process so the dog finds a home where she/he can be successful and to help people find animals that will fit into their homes and lives without a tremendous amount of work so everyone is happy and the match lasts for a lifetime. We spend the time temperament testing our animals to learn as much about them as possible. We ask the whole family at least take the time to come in and meet a dog (not required for a cat or other small animal) and insist on dog-to-dog introductions to make sure they get along.
It’s best to introduce dogs on a neutral territory anyway. And our adoption fee is comparatively modest at just $95 – with specials, like this weekend, when all our dogs will be available for just $25.
My sister volunteers at a rescue group in the Los Angeles area, and they transferred in a golden stray from an outlying municipal shelter.
He is a great dog and, so far, has been worth the 14-hour round trip drive, five-page application and long adoption process, not to mention the $250-plus price tag. It really firmed up my resolve to show appreciation to everyone who comes to our shelter.
Meet the Bunny, the second Saturday of each month (next one is Sept. 8), 1-5 p.m. at the shelter.
Meet our adorable adoptable rabbits and have your care questions answered by our knowledgeable volunteers. Bring your bunny for a free nail trim and shop our Bunny Boutique for fresh hay, fun toys and fabulous deals on supplies.
• Teams are now forming to walk in our third annual Mutt Strut – round up some friends or co-workers to form a team and help raise funds for the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. Sponsored by the Animal Shelter League of RP, the event will be on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the RP Community Center. Register at their Web site: www.animalshelterleaguerp.org.
The first 300 registered walkers that meet the minimum $50 in pledges will get goodie bags and more. There will be prizes for the top fundraisers.
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.