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Monday, September 21, 2009

Do we adopt to homes with young children?

Today our hours went back to normal with a full staff working the entire day. What this means to me is that we get to mix it up a little bit more when it comes to cleaning. Rather than focusing on either dogs, cats, or rabbits we basically get to do it all. I started out taking care of the East side dogs and then moved on to the cattery.

Being off for two days I was surprised at some of the new faces that made it into the kennels. We had two new spaniel puppy mixes as well as a little shepherd mix. All three were incredibly cute but unfortunately didn't have the best bladder control. Luckily it was confined to only a few kennels and I was able to get it all cleaned pretty quickly. Once I finished bringing up the dogs and getting them fed I headed over to the cattery where it only took about fifteen minutes to change the litter boxes, take care of the special feedings, and sweep. Good thing too, because it was now time to open.

It didn't seem like there were many showings today but the ones that I had not only took a lot of time, they also took a lot of energy and patience. My first showing was with a mother and her three very young children. They initially wanted to see a small chihuahua because their larger dog was getting on in age. I explained our policies and decided to still show them the dog. Not to my surprise the kids were literally bouncing of the walls. I felt so horrible for this scared little dog that really had no idea what was going on. By the end of the showing I think I was ready to pull my hair our and told the woman that this dog might not be the best fit. She understood and went in to details about how the kids aren't always at the home but I told her to be patient and make sure she didn't rush into an adoption. I have to be honest I'm not sure that we have ever had a dog that would be good for this family. Not to say that they aren't great dog owners, I just think that for a stressed out shelter dog going into a household like this might create some bad situations.

Of course my next two showings weren't as crazy as the first but they too included young children in the household. These families however were more open to suggestions and breed types when it came to adding a new pet to the family. One family was pretty much first time pet owners that was looking for that perfect fit and did nothing but ask questions. In the end we really didn't have anything for her but she said she would be willing to wait for their new addition. Hopefully it works out.

My last showing was with a couple and their two infant twins. Now typically we don't adopt to families with very young children, there are just two many ifs in that situation. However this family had adopted their previous dog from us and had spent six months waiting for the right one, they said they would expect the same thing this time around. Hearing that I know that they have the right mentality going into this process. At least we can give it a try in order to find a right dog for this loving home.

The rest of the day sped by with the shelter sending a few dogs out to an event to get some more publicity. The last dog we decided to send out was Bogey, our special needs lupus dog. Of course before we sent him out we had to lather on the sun tan lotion and even put a hat on him to protect him from the sun. Hopefully the right person saw him with his adopt me bandana on and will come into the shelter very soon.

I didn't partake in any adoptions today but I did learn a thing or two. I understand why we tend to veer away from adopting out to families with very young children but I also feel that you have to take them on a case by case basis. Hopefully we can find these young families the right additions and make sure that it is the best thing for both the dog and the family. Thanks for reading everyone and if you aren't following us please do, the more people that sign up the more we will grow and spread the word about the importance of adopting animals from shelters.

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