Jul 15, 2014 - Shelter & Rescue    1 Comment

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect…

You’ve seen those cute “You Don’t Have to be Perfect to Be a Perfect Parent” PSAs from AdoptUSKids, right?

If you have, and if you are like us, you immediately re-imagined them from the angle of  pet adoption.

We are all fallible; there is no such thing as a “perfect pet owner,” but we do believe there are more than enough perfect matches out there, more than enough perfect homes available for all adoptable pets.

Coming from this belief, the question becomes: how can rescues and shelters screen potential owners to maximize chances of that “perfect match?” Where is that ideal middle ground between the extremes of insulting, arbitrary reasons not to allow adoptions, and shipping animals hundreds of miles, then simply handing them off to strangers in a parking lot?

Our hats are off to all who strive to find that balance, to all who understand that great homes come in many different varieties — or to steal a line from those PSAs, that understand “you don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect pet owner.”

Potential adopters have been turned down due to age, but there are now forward-thinking programs that match seniors with pets

Hopeful adopters have been turned down due to age, but there are now several forward-thinking programs that match seniors with pets

1 Comment

  • I guess we all have criteria that will come under question from others who may have a different perspective.

    My priority for homes is security, stability, and safety. I have a small toy breed so safety is a primary concern. A fenced yard or exercise area is important for exercise and elimination, but the age of the dog and the owner may work better with piddle pads or a tie out at the door. I also want a stable home environment.

    For the past 20 years, I have found that the prospective owners most likely to to live in a stable household that also provides safety along with the financial security to provide for a pet for the long term is actually the older applicant who is nearing retirement or is retired.

    I have had more than one single person who seems to suddenly have a shift in their lives that means they can no longer care for a dog, so I take it back. In each case, the person talked the talk of a life time commitment to a dog that did not play out in reality. It just seems that people who have not made a commitment to another person may not be a reliable person to make a lifetime commitment to a dog either.

    Senior citizens are likely to understand that life has twists and turns and are more willing to make accomodation for their dog – even in finding a retirement home that will allow a toy dog.

    In all my 30 years of breeding a litter each year, it has been my owner with age and experience raising a family under their belt who have made the best owners. Many have returned for a second or third dog over the years. Only one passed away and had arrangements in her will to have her dog returned by her two adult and unmarried children. They dumped the 9 year old dog at a vet clinic to either be euthanized or find a good home. I learned of the owner’s death when she did not respond to an email, so I contacted her veterinarian from her application who advised me of the name of her new vet. I contacted the vet, sent the microchip number with the claim that the dog should have been returned to me as per contract. I sent a crate and arranged shipping to the airport. She instantly remembered me and will live out her days with me.

    I admit that the conclusions related to age and commitment to other people surprised even me.; nevertheless, while fences are a simple security measure to ask about, it seems that the inner personality trait to adapt and maintain a close personal bond with another is not indicated by the superficial. It is the person who can care about another, provide for, comfort, and be a true companion to another who makes the best owner.

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