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Baby steps. Rather, puppy steps. Lots of them. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Baby steps. Rather, puppy steps. Lots of them.
We haven't added any new rescues to the house in a while. We're not actively looking, but there sometimes there are signs.

Or in this case, a Facebook posting.

Oh God. How could you not at least look? He's a purebred Lab, abandoned by a breeder because of a minor defect on his penis.  It can be fixed (as can he), but he can't be shown, so it's off to Rescueland.  And the final fatal attraction? His name is Nike. Our longtime neighbor had a longtime cat by that name.

We haven't talked much about it, and looking over the process I saw that, among other things, we'd need to provide vet references and be sure all our current brood was up to date on everything, but I sent in a form yesterday to at least see if he was still available and what the process would be....

and here's where it got a little uncomfortable.

All of our prior animals have been rescues of one kind or another: two (the first and most recent) from friend or co-worker, one from a crazy cat lady, a couple via the SPCA Whisker Wagon, our now-oldest cat from a Second Chance rescue group, our first dog from a pound, and the other from a kind-hearted woman who I actually formed a non-profit for to help in her effort rescuing puppies from the nearby rez.

For all, the process was meet-and-greet, live-and-learn.  Except the first time, they all knew that the potential adoptee was going into a home with an existing dynamic of grownups and children of various species and dispositions. We met each, and as needed introduced them to their new "sibs" with care, always with the understanding that it might not work out. Fortunately, it always did.

This one will not be like that.  Here's what they sent me after I sent off the form (which I could not copy and they did not return), and is the part I'm having some issues with. After disclosing an adoption fee and the group's intention to do thorough due-diligence on us, they get to this:

Once we have matched a dog with an applicant, we ask the applicant to review said dog on our website. If the interest is there, we would give the applicant the foster family's phone number to call and ask more questions about the dog. At this point, we set up a home visit and begin contacting references.  If everything works out, we then set up a time for the adopter to come to the foster's home for the adoption to take place. We frown upon allowing potential adopters 'visit' with a dog prior to making up their mind if they want to adopt it or not. An adopter should be able to gather enough information to know whether or not they are interested without actually meeting the dog. IF upon going to the foster family's home for the adoption, the adopter does not feel comfortable with the dog, the adoption will be cancelled at that time and the potential adopter will be dropped from our pending adoptions listings.

I know there is a lot of mistrust out there- that puppy mills and researchers and generally bad parents have abused the good intentions of rescuers and they have to be diligent. I also know that the fosterers of these animals- we know at least a few, some of whom are reading this- do an amazing job of preparing pets for their forever homes and don't need to be burdened with tire-kickers.  That all said, though: we've done this eight times ourselves, and have been part of the kids doing it three times themselves.  We know each dog and cat has a distinct personality, and likelihood to react to those around him or her.  Is a sight-unseen commitment, punishable by the drop of the banhammer if the fit's not right, something we want to get into?

This is my first go with an established dog rescue group; Ebony's rescuer was pretty on-the-fly when we went out to Gowanda to meet her and choose her from a litter.  Maybe these kinds of rules are standard, and probably they're necessary to keep the bad people and looky-loos from getting involved.  So I invite comment on whether I'm being too sensitive about their concerns.  It may not even happen, but I would hate to lose a future opportunity just because someone put not enough thought, or just as possibly too much thought, into trying to control the adoption process.
5 comments or Leave a comment
siercia From: siercia Date: October 5th, 2015 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
That might be the weirdest adoption stipulation I have ever heard. Most rescues are insistent that potential adopters meet the animal before they'll make a final decision - which makes sense, because I am sure they want a chance to observe how the adopters actually interact with the specific animal before releasing them, but also because they understand that there is an element of chemistry in this kind of match, just like there is for friendship or dating.

I feel like their not allowing you to meet the dog first is a red flag. It may be coming from a place of trying to diminish disruption in the foster family's lives, but it's still weird.

However, with that said, if you want to go after this specific dog, I would say go for it. If you decide it's not a match, and subsequently get smacked with the banhammer, you'll know not to bother with them in the future.
platypus From: platypus Date: October 5th, 2015 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. I understand waiting till people are fairly serious before setting up a meeting, but how can you possibly commit (which is what they seem to want) before you've even met the critter? You click or you don't. The dog seems to like you or doesn't. Going through the entire vetting (so to speak) process before doing a 'chemistry test' between you and the potential adoptee seems like a waste of resources.

All my rescue adoptions were from rescues that were partnered with local pet shops, so I got to go to the pet shop, see half a dozen cats, and fall in love with the one who wanted to make friends. Their background checks were a little weak, actually -- I had no pets and was frantically trying to secure a lease when I adopted Moly, so I didn't have a landlord or a vet for them to consult, and it just sort of never came up (we had a 20-minute phone chat about the cats I'd had in my youth, basically). If I hadn't randomly met Moly, I wouldn't have known how special she was.

I don't know how normal your situation is with dog rescues. I can totally understand doing some pre-screening before troubling the fosterer with a visit, but this is a lifelong commitment. You don't just want Dog (Quantity, 1), you want a good fit. It seems a bit like showing up to the altar based on your dating profile.

That said, that's one adorable puppy, and I hope things work out if it's meant to be.
warriorsavant From: warriorsavant Date: October 5th, 2015 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
These folks seem bizarre. WWC does animal rescue, and it's always semi-informal, but meet-and-greet are expected.
weebleswobble From: weebleswobble Date: October 6th, 2015 02:59 am (UTC) (Link)
that seems strange to me. excessive.

maybe they're expecting to be bombarded in applications because he's a purebred and they want to weed out as many possible people as they can in one fell swoop with that ridiculous statement?
greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: October 10th, 2015 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was easier to get married than adopt a dog who's on a kill list? And people ask why I don't have pets...
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