Over the years, we have had a lot of feedback on our adoption process. As you might expect, many of our approved adopters have praised how thorough and thoughtful our process is while those who are declined sometimes tell us they think our process is too invasive. Sometimes the people we decline ask us if we’d rather have our cats staying in a cage than going to a home.
We put a great deal of thought and energy into our adoption process. Every application our Application Review Team decides to approve is still a risk. Much of the time our team has to make the final decision from the gut more than from facts since there’s only so much information they can gather to make that decision. The team needs to feel confident that each one of our beloved rescued cats and kittens is going to a home that will ensure the cat’s health and well-being for its lifetime, which can be 15 to 20 years for many of them.
You can love your pet very much but if you haven’t provided consistent vet care over the entire course of the pet’s life, the Application Review Team will consider that when making the decision. Providing annual wellness checks and keeping vaccinations updated annually is one of the best ways to show your pet that you love him.
Why We Put So Much Into the Adoption Process
While we certainly want our adopters to be happy, the way we see it, our clients are actually the animals and we are their voice. The decision to approve an adopter weighs extremely heavily on us every time so we take it very seriously. Especially for those of us who both foster and process applications, when you have raised a kitten from the time it was only two days old, you ask yourself if you would trust this person to properly care for this baby you raised.
Yesterday, I had the displeasure of getting a glimpse into the one horrible task our Cat Tales president has to handle each day—listening to the calls that come in on our hotline. One call she sent me was a woman saying she found a cat in box next to a dumpster. Another was a man who said, “Yeah, I have some kittens here I want to get rid of and I’m wondering if you can help me with that.” He’s certainly not the first to use the term “get rid of” and he won’t be the last. We work so tirelessly to help save kittens. Our fosters face many sleepless nights and deal with anguishing heartache when a kitten doesn’t make it. We cannot fathom using such a term as “get rid of” when speaking about these precious babies.
Each year, no matter how careful we try to be with our adoption process, a few kitties end up being returned to us. Every volunteer in the organization has their heart broken each time a kitty is returned. We are angry, disappointed, frustrated, and sad every time. The person who handled that cat’s application feels horrible guilt that they didn’t see something during the application process to identify that the person should not have been approved. But, again, each adoption has some risk.
So, if you’re considering applying to adopt from Cat Tales, we hope that you will be one of the people who appreciates the great care we put into selecting adopters for our beloved kitties. If you think that our application questions are in some way intrusive, that’s fine, we just aren’t the right fit for you and we will wish you well in your search for a pet. If you apply and we decline your application, we hope that you will respect our reason for declining and maybe even take the time to learn a little something about whatever that reason is. Our knowledge-base is vaster than the typical person since we are involved in rescue. Most people do better as they learn more and we understand that and always take it into consideration. But, at the end of the day, our goal will always be to find the best possible home for each kitty.
No, we would not prefer that our kitties be in a cage than in a home. And, luckily, most of our kitties are in our free-roaming Adoption Center or in foster homes. But, we would rather them have to stay in a cage for an extra month if it means they will end up in a great home with an adopter we feel confident will provide not just love but also great care to them for the rest of their lives.