On this episode of the Chat with the Experts podcast, we talk with Hannah Bennett of the Humane Society of Indianapolis about the pet adoption process.
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that by the time I was finished with the final conversation, I was in tears.
When I complained about the horrible treatment via private message on their
Facebook page, the picture at the bottom of this email shows the response I
received. I feel bad for the animals here. If they treat humans this way, I can
only imagine how the animals are treated. Hopefully they take this as a
learning lesson and hire individuals who are compassionate and genuinely care
about their jobs and how they impact the community. Do they not realize
that we were trying to do a good thing by adopting from a rescue? We
could have very well bought Meanwhile, we have an over-abundance of
animals in the rescue and adoption community that are not being placed in
loving, caring homes because of people like
the rescue community a bad name. The process was terrible.
I filled out an application in my name, stated
that the dog would be a surprise gift for my mother (who lives with me at my
home), and submitted it along with the information on our veterinarian for our
pets, as well as the veterinarian for my mom’s previous dog that lives with my
step-dad. I was very forthcoming in my information – and the first person
I spoke with at the shelter explained they were looking for someone with Beagle
owning experience, and that we sounded like a good fit and the adoption
coordinator would be in touch with me. She was well aware that this pet
would be a gift/surprise for my mother (living in my
home), and never indicated that would be a problem. What I did not
put on the application, however, was my husband’s name. So when
P to P called me demanding to know who
taken by surprise. I asked how she got his name and why she needs to
know. She proceeded to tell me that when she checked the county records
to make sure that I did own the home I lived in (as I stated on my
application), she found that my name was not on the records. I told her
he is my husband, and it was his house prior to us being together. I felt
a little violated, but figured it was part of the process and chalked it up as
a security measure. She continued to ask questions about my home, about
my mother, about our animals, where we work, how long we work there, how much
time we spend out of the home and what we did in our extra time, etc.
Some of the questions were appropriate, some were not. Not once in the
conversation did she indicate that adopting the dog as a gift for my mother
would be a problem. The phone call left me feeling upset and skeptical of
the business/process, but I really wanted this dog for my mom. When
called me a second time, she advised that she would not be letting me adopt the
dog unless she talked to my mom. I reiterated that it was supposed
to be a surprise, and that regardless of whether we were giving it to my mom or
not, the dog was coming home with me, to my house, to live. I also
explained to her that they had known all along that it would be a
surprise She started becoming very agitated and wouldn’t let me
talk when I tried telling here that while we really want a dog, I have been
less than impressed with the unpleasant experience so far. She
interrupted me and said “It doesn’t matter, I’m going to go ahead and deny your
application!” and then hung up on me. We live in a 3,600 sq. ft. home in
Battle Ground, WA on 10 acres. We have adopted a few other animals, have
rescued and re-homed a few animals, have two dogs and two cats and the perfect
farm life for a new puppy. And we were denied!! WHY? Who
knows. Yet this rescue claims that they are “doing the best they can to
find loving, caring homes for their animals.” What on earth gave this
lady the indication that we are not a loving, caring home? All she was
interested in was finding something “wrong” with us.
It has been a rough year. My grandmother
(her mother) passed away in April, and it has been very h****** all of us,
especially my mom. This dog was perfect for two reasons: 1.
It was a beagle, which is what my mom’s current dog is (her current dog old and
has hip problems, and is being cared for by my step-dad in
2. She has been talking about how bad she wants a puppy. What
started out as an exciting adventure to find a new companion for my mom turned
out to be a terribly unpleasant experience that left me wondering how they are
helping these dogs if they can’t even treat people with respect and
dignity. Below is a conversation via private message on Facebook with the
company, letting them know I was less than pleased with the treatment I
received, and that I would be happy to let the community know exactly how this
“rescue” treats people who are trying to do a good thing by adopting vs. buying
from a breeder or pet store. Also, please see the response I received
from the ASPCA (below the picture).
Please help bring awareness to the community by
asking them to do their research prior to adopting a pet. IF a “rescue”
can treat humans this way, who knows how they treat their animals.
Thank you for reaching out
to the ASPCA regarding your experience with a local rescue organization when
you and your family were trying to adopt a pet. I am so sorry that you have
endured such trouble for doing such a noble thing as adopting from your local
shelter or foster based adoption agency. Although the ASPCA is a national
organization, we have no chapters or affiliates. All SPCA's and humane
organizations are independent groups and follow their own missions and protocols
based on the decisions of their Board of Directors. They are all
standalone organizations and are responsible for their own adoption events and
I can tell you that
research demonstrates that animals adopted through what we call the “open
adoption” process do not get returned to shelters at any higher rate than those
that use more restricted procedures. The ASPCA supports the Open Adoption
process because it enables shelters and rescues to get more animals out of
their shelters and foster homes alive and enables them to build a relationship
with the adopter. Research also shows that when you deny an adoption for
reasons of land-lord checks, vet checks, fence checks, etc…that person gets an
animal usually the same day and now you have a pet owner with no information
about vaccinations, health or spay/neuter not to mention proper training and
I understand that some
limited admission shelters and rescue organizations may have more time and
leeway when doing adoptions and applaud them for their dedication but most
shelters do not really have that luxury as they must constantly make room for
homeless animals on a daily bases. I am including a link to our website for
professionals ASPCA PRO , where you can read more about the process and the research
Please visit : http://www.aspcapro.org
saving more lives. I have been in animal welfare for over 40 years and
have seen many changes over the years as shelters try to save animal
lives. Three of my adult children live in Southern California so I can
relate to your story. One of my daughters who had done rescue her entire
life was turned down by 7 rescue groups because she worked, was in college and
lived in an apartment. Needless to say, she got a puppy who is now over
11 years old and has been loved and adored her whole life. The dog has
her own Facebook page! It was their loss at making a fabulous adoption
match. The irony is that she is a ‘radio personality’ and has millions of
listeners in the country. You can imagine what she had to say about those
rescue organizations……. Your Mother and I are probably close to the same age and
I am still working for the animals, traveling all over the country and adopted
a rescued dog from a puppy mill bust several years ago. On top of that my
yard is not fenced in…….So they would have denied me, as well. I actually
provide training across the nation to grassroots groups and animal shelters to
try to help them overcome this type of inquisition narrative that alienates
prospective pet owners.
You might consider
following up with the members of the Board of Directors with a copy to the
local news media and Letters to the Editor sharing your experience and the fact
that they may want to reevaluate their policies on adoptions. There are
numerous webinars that their membership could take free online to learn more
about Open Adoption and the Myths of some of the reasons some people are denied
Most shelters and rescues are
independent so I hope that this difficult experience does not prevent you from
giving another shelter or rescue a
add to your pet family. I hope the group you contacted continues to help
you find that perfect pet for your Mother.
Thank you for caring and for
everything you are doing to aid your Mother.
If I can provide any additional
information or answer any questions please feel free to contact me.
Community Initiatives Director
After 14 years of being a loyal friend and companion
The people at
Had it not been for a neighbor who fought to release the jaws(and he is one big guy), I would have been hurt badly and my dog would be dead. My dog suffered severe puncture wounds and I had several bites on my fingers and legs. We were a bloddy mess!
I was taken to the hospital as was my dog. Both of us were put on meds and have recovered physically. The trauma has been incredible and even my neighbors children who watched their dad save my dog are terrified as well am I.
I met with the owner who apologized and said she didn't realize it was 3/4 pit bull or as old as it was. She was glad that
I live in a crowded suburb but quiet. It has kids, dogs, cats and lots of opportunity for a wild dog to attack. The rescue should consider where these dogs are being sold and starting new homes! However, a vicious dog should not be online and ready to go anywhere. That dog is vicious!
One of my friends wrote to the rescue about my being attacked. They replied that the dog will not die over the human negligence shown.
My dog was on a leash, so they must mean the woman who owned the dog. Taking responsibility should be theirs as well.
Knowing that the dog attacked me and is in quaranteen and then writing up a paragraph omitting its history so they can adopt it again??
The police saw me afterwards and my dog and said they would have shot it. This dog set out to
This is not my opinion, but facts. My opinion about dogs and euthanasia are vastly different after three weeks of healing!
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