Monday, October 29, 2007

Puppies! You want what?!


I must admit that my experience with shelters is somewhat limited. Usually, when I find myself in need of a Pet; I simply travel to my nearest Humane Society and find one that suits or perhaps a friend (or a friend of a friend) knows of a lovely animal that they are trying to place in a loving home.


However, after our last pet debacle - which I won't go into at this time; the Master and I decided that we wanted to adopt a puppy this go-round.


So I hopped online - the Internet being the best place to find real live things after all - and came across a shelter in our area that actually had purebred boxer pups available.


Now, I believe that puppy farms are detestable and love the feeling of moral certitude that comes from rescuing an otherwise unwanted dog. (Not that the puppies are unwanted - indeed competition is fierce. It's only after they have grown for a year or two that they generally become unwanted.)


The pups are expensive; though much less than I'd guess the going rate for a purebred puppy from a reputable breeder would be. I really don't have any problems with the expense of puppy ownership nor do I have any qualms about putting a deposit down to hold a puppy pending placement.


What I do take issue with is this - while I am assuming the risk of taking a rescued dog, be it puppy or full grown, and I am paying for the privilege - it seems a bit much to ask that I put a *non-refundable* deposit of 1/2 the adoption price without the benefit of meeting the dog, viewing their current living quarters, or having any idea of their treatment in their foster home.


Perhaps, if this was a shelter that we had worked with previously or if I personally knew the shelter management, or maybe even if I knew someone who had worked with this shelter with good results; I might feel somewhat differently.


But to ask someone to pay for a pet that they are not guaranteed to receive (pending home review, references check, and suitability review) and have not yet met or seen from someone that they don't know - seems to be... arrogant.


It could be that I am simply out-of-touch with the way things are done at some of the shelters these days. But isn't the whole goal here to make sure the pet will be with a family that will love and take care of him or her? It makes me wonder how many perfectly good homes are turned-off by the myriads of hoops; personal, financial, and schedule; that they make a prospective adoptive family jump through.


I've heard that pet adoption from a shelter can be as daunting as child adoption. I don't believe that. But I am beginning to get irritated by the holier-than-thou attitude that is inferred by the "placement" process of today's shelters.


Abuse of any living being is despicable - particularly (in my biased view) of living mammals. I don't condone it and I think the penalties should be harsh for such treatment.


Yet I find myself wondering how it is that not only did I volunteer to have a complete stranger come into my home to judge my lifestyle and living arrangements but I have to PAY for that judgement.


It seems to me that we've got this the wrong way around. If you love animals so much that you're willing to run a shelter to prevent the wholesale slaughter of strays and abused pets - then upon deeming me "worthy" of pet ownership, you should be paying me for taking the animal out of your upkeep and into my own. After all, I am now the one responsible for feeding, healthcare, and all liability issues of the pet.


(And yes, I know these people have to make a living too. But seriously NON-REFUNDABLE is a term that I don't think should exist.)


Mattbear said...

Well, at least she relented and said we could put the deposit down after we see the puppies.

mungsprout said...

We go to Homeward Pets in Woodinville. They are good folks. No inspection required :)