County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?
By Judith Gallenson
I recently tried to foster/adopt a dog from one of the rescue groups in Santa Barbara County. It turns out none of them will accept an adopter who doesn't have a fenced back yard. Well, not quite.
They'll let you take one (maybe) if you don't have a yard at all! How does this make sense? It seems you're not suitable unless you have a fenced yard (no specific requirements there, such as size, height, whether there's hardwire under the dirt to avoid digging out or in), just a fenced yard.
Evidently, there are other equally difficult hurdles to jump over to take care of one of our many homeless dogs. People who run shelters want your money, but not you! It's expensive to adopt--$250, and these poor animals are caged for many months because no one can meet their criteria. I have the suspicion that they consider these animals THEIRS, and don't really want anyone to adopt/foster in case you're just not up to snuff, or just prefer to take your sponsorship money.
Is it better to leave them in cages with occasional walks for the dogs and caged the rest of the day? And, I've seen nobody playing with the cats in their visiting rooms. Because of some supposed respiratory infection in the cat shelter, no adopters are allowed to touch or take a cat out of its cage for the 2 months I've been visiting. I have sponsored 4 cats without ever being able to touch them. Who is going to take a cat who has been quarantined and not allowed social contact for weeks? I don't like the people who run the cat rescue here--they really just want your money for sponsorship and allow no bonding with the animal you sponsor.
This is the kind of behavior that makes people resort to adopting privately, although none of us prefer this. I understand being careful to adopt out animals to loving homes, but where in the world did they come from in the first place? Probably not a loving home!
On the fencing issue, how many apartment dwellers in NYC have fenced yards? NONE! Yet they get dogs. It's ridiculous, and if I decide I want a dog, I will get one privately. I have 2 inside cats from Sonoma County, but I built an outside catio, have a large yard, but is not fenced completely. They are not allowed outside. Give me a break and start doing your jobs by stopping the ludicrous regulations you impose!