County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

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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!

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a-1511409592 Oct 19, 2017 09:06 AM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

Gosh, it's tough reading comments made by people quick to judge folks they know nothing about. I suspect most people working at these shelters are volunteers, even those in management positions. Like any of us they have their shortcomings and short fuses but to expect them to be better than us is ridiculous. I wonder how many treated the folks behind the counter with a touch of contempt and expected the royal treatment in return. I'm not saying you did but it makes me wonder why people wouldn't treat you with the same respect you would treat them with (or contempt). From their stand point they probably see many adoptees returned because there wasn't adequate accommodations or maybe they were questionable... like rowdy children, rowdy pets already in residence etc. YOU might feel you are a perfect host to adopt a pet but an outsider might disagree with you. Getting into a fight about it is nothing but Trumpism at its worst.

ginger1 Oct 18, 2017 10:14 AM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

A little balance here. We adopted two kittens from ASAP a couple of months ago and everything went quite well. We and our dog were "screened" by pretty knowledgable volunteer staff. The dog's pet cat had recently died (old age) was lonely and depressed and ASAP wanted assure that she would get along with a new cat. That is not, BTW, always the case: some dogs attach to one cat and do not tolerate others. I was quite clear that when the kittens were old/mature enough to be indoor/outdoor cats, and properly vaccinated, that would be the case. They "required" that we not let them outside until they were at least 6 months old and rabies vaccinated. I did not find that to be unreasonable. Resqcats would not hear of the cat being outdoors under any conditions. ASAP's visitor and sanitation protocols are quite appropriate. The very fact that they had to impose greater restrictions for a few weeks to prevent the spread of a potentially lethal upper respiratory infection speaks well to their mission. The adoption fee is a non-issue. The value of the veterinary care received far exceeds those costs. I'd just say "thank you" to the volunteer doctors and ASAP staff for their good work.

a-1511409592 Oct 18, 2017 09:36 AM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

I too have rescued cats from ASAP as well as the Humane Soc in the past have not had a problem until last week. Went to adopt a new cat (my wonderful pet died a month ago) from ASAP and like said rude, questions on why my cat died, did he go to the vet etc. (of course he did).Found ResQcat in Santa Barbara. (resqcats,org) and they have mature cats as well as kittens for adoption. Many are showcased at the Monticeto Pet shop on the Mesa. Or go to their Facebook page.

Bug Girl Oct 18, 2017 08:50 AM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

I'm not actually too confident in the abilities of DAWG to screen people for getting dogs either, especially after what happened last year. The $250 adoption fee didn't stop that 2 year old chihuahua from being abused to death and buried in a yard by Kyle Barbre. (This was in the news and on edhat, remember?) I'm not sure how they should change their system to allow more dogs to loving homes while properly screening out the monsters, but what they're currently doing isn't working, and more people are seeking dogs from other non-local shelters (and breeders) and out of state rescues because somehow that's easier than in SBC.

Pebblehill Oct 17, 2017 08:51 PM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

I understand your frustration but I believe that the folks at DAWG have the experience to know what rules they need to set in order to ensure that they have the least amount of issue with dogs that get adopted out. Because almost ALL of the people that work there are volunteers, they likely don't have the staff to follow-up and therefore can't make exceptions for particular homes that might actually be safe but not follow their rules about fencing. As for ASAP, the fact that they were trying to prevent the spread of the outbreak and this made it inconvenient for you is sort of ridiculous to complain about. It's a huge issue when that many cats get sick. I myself just had to wait for 2 solid months to adopt the cat I had my eye on before getting the ok to come in and actually visit with him due to this same issue.

a-1511409592 Oct 17, 2017 04:35 PM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

Oh and I should follow up (I posted about my horrible experience at ASAP), she called us about a week later and apologized. Cat was still up for adoption, and she said we could take another cat if we wanted. We were like, keep your cat lady!

a-1511409592 Oct 17, 2017 04:34 PM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

I had a horrible experience at ASAP. Went to adopt a cat, have always adopted cats there, and somehow they got some weird idea that it was going to be a "barn cat", when we don't have a barn at all (I think my bf's daughter made some comment about good mouser cats or something and they got suspicious,). I went through the whole process, the volunteers were nice and checked my background out thoroughly, filled out all the paperwork, etc. and this horrible woman who I guess gives the final OK refused to let me take the cat saying it was going to be a barn cat!!! I felt like I was in an insane asylum no matter what I said, even pointing out I had adopted before, she insisted. I said, so you'd rather let the cat live in a cage than go to a wonderful home, she didn't care.And the cat had been there awhile, I think she just liked the cat alot and didn't want to let him go. I wish the donors and county would investigate ASAP. I'll never adopt there again.

d8vanilla Oct 17, 2017 03:49 PM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

I had a horrible experience at the cat trailer. I went in, washed my hands, held on to the paper towel, because 2 women were talking and blocked the trash can. I started walking around, then was stopped by a woman that might have been in charge, and she starts harshly lecturing me about washing my hands and NOT touching the cats because there was something going around..... I was still holding the paper towel from washing my hands, and held it up to show her I had washed my hands and was just there looking. She wouldn't let me pass, and once I did, she followed me and was giving me dirty looks the entire time.... I've sponsored cats in the past, but that experience was sooo awful, that I've stopped sponsoring. In fact, I've never gone back there again, and it's been a few years! ps- there was a couple college-aged kids there holding cats, and that woman ignored them!!!

a-1511409592 Oct 19, 2017 09:22 AM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

D8... why didn't you just approach the couple talking by the trash bin with a courteous "excuse me" and avoid the whole personal affront issue altogether? You clearly were triggered by their interference and responded as a victim to anyone who didn't treat you with the expected deference. There is a saying in recovery circles: beware of pointing fingers as there are 3 pointing back at you. Your little tiff is not going to hurt the woman in the least but it will hurt the animals you intended to give assistance to.

a-1511409592 Oct 19, 2017 08:41 AM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

"Ignorant people like you are the reason so many of us do what we do (volunteer in a shelter taking care of animals)." That's pretty low. Try not being such a snob.

a-1511409592 Oct 18, 2017 10:40 PM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

You need to spend some time volunteering at a shelter so you understand just what it's like to have to hold an animal in your arms when it's dying from a contagious disease that has been spread by people like yourself who don't have a clue. Spend hundreds of hours, not getting paid, but because you love cats, dogs, bunnies, etc. volunteering your time at a shelter, scooping up poop, diarrhea, vomit, etc. . Instead of complaining about not wanting to follow simple rules and procedures that protect the animals in a shelter who are already stressed about having to be in a cage, which lowers their immune system, try and educate yourself about our rules. Ignorant people like you are the reason so many of us do what we do (volunteer in a shelter taking care of animals).

a-1511409592 Oct 17, 2017 12:06 PM
County Animal Adoptions Too Strict?

A law was signed this week by Guv Moonbeam that will require that all dogs sold in pet stores start in Jan. 1 2019 must be "rescue" dogs (cats and rabbits too). Like that is going to help reduce the number of pits and yo Quito Taco Bells.

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