Opinion > Star Guests
Dog Adoption Debacle Garnishes Gobs of Response
By Patti Pfeiffer
It wasn't unexpected. I knew the topic would generate response. I just didn't anticipate they'd arrive in my inbox so soon. The thudding of thrown newspapers was still sounding in North Texas neighborhoods when emails began arriving. And it was Sunday.
People are passionate about pets. No wonder my recent column describing the irresponsible, shoddy dog adoption process at the Flower Mound Humane Society -- which left me not only dogless but my heart chewed to pieces -- generated passionate replies. My application was completed. I'd was waiting days to hear back. I'd been vetted more thoroughly than the President. I was eager to welcome a new canine kiddo home. Time mattered not. Then to my shock and dismay, I discovered "our" new pet was adopted out from underneath us, by someone who walked in off of the street during an "adoption event" at a pet store a week after our application had been submitted.
I predicted North Texas humane society board members, volunteers and supporters from across the Metroplex would cram my inbox with scathing comments, excuse-filled emails and finger-pointing replies. Wrong! All correspondence came from those having experienced similar situations.
From Plano, Donna wrote, "I read your article today an am furious with the way you and your husband were treated. The same entities that interview, inspect your home and backgrounds cannot pick up the phone or e-mail to identify the status of your new family member? The application process is a joke. It's harder to adopt a pet than a child? I've adopted years ago in Dallas and clearly the process has not changed. Now, I understand that these groups are made up of volunteers. But, if you're going to volunteer, than complete the process and do it right. Clearly, it is and has been a broken, desperate system. A new one is needed and needed NOW. I do not want to purchase a pet from a pet store. They force your hand. I'd love to help you in any way that I can! Signed, 'Been there in Plano.'"
Another reader wrote, "I wanted to let you know that my husband and I had a similar situation with the SPCA in Lewisville. We found a cat we wanted to adopt and I didn't even receive a response to my online application for four days. We ended up going to the city of Lewisville Animal Shelter and found a beautiful tabby who had been at the shelter for over two months. The shelter staff was very knowledgeable and helpful with information about the animals' personalities. They even gave us coupons for rabies vaccination and a free bag of Science Diet cat food. I will be going back to them for my next pet. The shelter was very surprising well run and not a scary place like I thought it would be. Thanks again for your column and bringing attention to the fact that something is just not quite right about the SPCA's application and adoption process."
For adoption alternatives, Sue suggested the website dogsindanger.com which lists dogs and their dates to be put down, and shared she'd seen whole litters of puppies posted on the site.
And from Flower Mound, Ralph stated he and his wife "often read your contributions to The Leader and muse about the stories you tell. This particular one article last Sunday is heart-wrenching because a couple who were apparently destined to be united with that 'perfect dog' were treated so badly by a group that calls themselves a Humane Society. More like Inhumane Society, judging by their lack of manners and outright disrespect to people in the community. Who makes the rules for this group? Who do they answer to? There has to be something that can be done to change the way they interact with the public so that other deserving and obviously caring people with a long history of animal care like Annette and her husband, are not mistreated. Just a note that you may want to pass along, since I sense you are an animal lover yourself. There are wonderful groups out there who are always looking for homes for abandoned dogs and cats. We personally recommend STARS and HART, acronyms for two local groups who rescue dogs from shelters, pounds, or whom have been abandoned or given up by their owners. They both have their own websites. We hope that folks will look to these groups of wonderful animal lovers before making a pet store purchase. There are too many dogs out there in need of a good loving home and caring attention.
Patti Pfeiffer is a columnist for Star Local News, freelance writer and author. She can be reached at email@example.com
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