Wednesday, November 5

Just Answering a Question

Someone emailed to ask why we didn't adopt a dog from a local shelter. That was a very valid question, and there is a very valid answer to it.

Mr. Husband and I actually do strongly believe that animals should be rescued first and foremost. In fact, we have adopted together in the past. Waaaaay back in the day, we adopted an older Lhasa Apso named Rocky. Only when we adopted him, we had no idea he was a Lhasa Apso. He was so badly matted and so dirty that we assumed he was a true mutt. We learned otherwise when we first took him to the vet.

Over the years, there have been other examples of us adopting, and that lasted right up until Jasmine. We did purchase her, in part because we had fallen in love with the breed thanks to Rocky, and in part because of this guy:



That is Powder, our oldest furbaby. Powder is a special sort of guy who is REALLY allergic to vaccinations. We're talking the kind of allergic where his face puffs up to 4x its normal size, he gets hives everywhere, he vomits, and as an extra-special bonus, his throat swells up until he can't breath. And, yes, we did learn that lesson the hard way. While dead broke in college. Good times. Anyway, we could go to great lengths to figure out which vaccination actually causes his problems and try to control it, or we could follow the simplest course of action and just not get his shots. We choose to not get his shots. He's not allowed outside (the photo is of him on our second story deck which he can't get off no matter how hard he tries), so we feel that withholding shots is less of a health risk for him than getting shots would be. Interestingly enough, our vet agrees with this strategy.

Anyway, before we found Jasmine, I had called a few dog shelters. Repeatedly I was told that we would need to provide vaccination records for our cats. Repeatedly I was told that there is no valid excuse for not vaccinating your cat. Repeatedly I was told to go to hell because no way were we eligible to adopt a dog. And no thank you, we do not need to see a note from your vet because FORGET IT.

While I genuinely do understand the need for such rules, that experience was enough for me to become totally disenfranchised with the main local shelters. Sure they do fantastic work, but I just couldn't get their attention long enough for them to see that really we aren't horrible people for not vaccinating our cat. No, in fact we are saving his life by not vaccinating our cat.

And that is why we bought Cody instead of trying to find a shelter dog. I'd have to say that considering how much he and Alexis adore one another, it was a good decision.

30 comments:

  1. Well, that works for me. Although I have to admit, I never even thought to question it. You guys seem like a perfect match for Cody, which is what counts!

    Loooove Alexis and her kissy face!

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  2. Some one e-mailed you this question? This is the part of blogging I hate. Really it's no ones business why you do what you do. Sigh. Love the shot though, and once again I'm thinking we need a puppy. Crazy me.

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  3. I think those people at the shelters are a little too over the top when it comes to adopting a pet.

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  4. dont EVEN talk to me about the -- ahem -- interesting people who wont give you a dog unless you meet impossible criteria.

    i could tell you stories....

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  5. I've had three bad experiences with adopting dogs from shelters, and it breaks my heart because I truly do believe in saving the poor dogs who have been left and abandoned.

    But at the same time, the people running the show sometimes lie.

    And it can really be a true heartbreak.

    So when we're finally decide to get another puppy, I will be buying one from a reputable breeder so at least I know what I'm getting myself into.

    And that makes me sad.

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  6. That pic is too stinking cute- love the kissy face!

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  7. anglophilefootballfanatic.com8:23 AM

    You know something else SSB? Most shelters won't allow you to adopt with children under 8 for liability reasons. And, I agree. Sometimes shelters are doing themselves a disservice with their inflexibility.

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  8. You don't have to explain to me why you went with a purebred. I donate financially every month to the ASPCA, and up until the bulldogs, I always had strays or giveaways. I may be in love with purebreds now, though. That isn't to say I wouldn't adopt from a shelter. If I had a bigger home, I'd probably have more dogs. It all boils down to what's right for you.

    And may I say - POOR KITTY!!! (I have 3 cats also...)

    Peace - D

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  9. No matter what, you know that your little Cody has a happy home. It might not necessarily be "saving" a dog, but really, it is.

    I've only ever gotten dogs that were "free" from a farm or dropped off in front of our house (and this is in my childhood, since I'm not getting a dog here until the last child is potty-trained:). It really is criminal what people will do with unwanted pets. But in those cases, we believed those pups were meant for us. It would be a little unusual for someone to drop off puppies in front of a townhouse in the middle of the city;). So, unless someone leaves a dog on my doorstep, it will be a few years before we get one of our own.

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  10. Hence my post on the problems of the great American institution of The Humane Society. It's a good cause gone political.

    Someone seriously needs to inform the HSA that they're not doing the animals as big a favor as they think they are. They need to go back to adoptiong pets to good families.

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  11. The picture pretty much sums it up. It looks like a perfect match!

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  12. My first dog of my own, I got from a guy who was moving and couldn't keep him any more. He was a poor underfed 9 month old beagle/boxer mix (so the previous owner told me), and I drove an hour each way in the pouring down rain (in the dark nonetheless) to pick him up. If I hadn't, he would have been taken to the Humane Society, and who knows what would have happened to him then? My other dog (who turns out to be a purebred beagle), was gotten from a kill shelter in West Virginia the day before he was scheduled to be put to sleep. Cost? $75 + a neuter (which I was going to do any way). Some really REALLY kind guy drove all the way from Ravenna, OH to West Virginia to save him for me!

    I'd say those 2 stories more than make up for you buying your pets ;-). (and if you didn't buy them, what would have happened to them? Pet store/breeder animals need love too!)

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  13. Yeah, shelters/rescues are a bit too rigid for my taste too. They REALLY don’t like me (well, except maybe one, but that’s because I do free labor for them even AFTER they rejected me with a “you are an unsuitable home for any dog”). And I’m at a point where I wouldn’t want to get a rescue anyway. Too much uncertainty (like with breed—we were told the Hound was something else. Something I was prepared for. She wasn’t.) and too much dealing with problems others have created (like poor Kerrygirl).
    I’m buying all dogs from here on in from responsible breeders. It’ll just involve me having to take long roadtrips to go get the dog.

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  14. You are so sweet as to explain your reasoning.

    And that picture? So stinking cute.

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  15. It is very nice of you to even explain yourself, which I don't feel is necessary. Why can't people get dogs where they want to? I think rescuing animals is awesome too, but it is really none of anyone's business. IMO
    Our humane society is super strict. It requires three references, a waiting period, and a huge fee. It is both good and bad I think.

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  16. Rescuing animals from shelters is a great thing, but you're right, it can be a difficult process! In some shelters they make it almost as complicated as adopting a child, with people coming to your home for "home studies" and background checks being done and everything else... plus, I've heard they can actually come and take the pet back sometimes!!! Plus, to me, animals everywhere do exist and need homes, even if you're buying them from a pet store or a private breeder. We got most of our dogs from shelters, but my sister got her youngest dog from a person whose dog had had puppies and advertised it on Craigslist. And we really felt like we were RESCUING that dog, when we went to the place the dog came from! So... whatever works for you, right?

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  17. I am all for adopting from the local rescue agency, but we have been there, done that - with a very bad turn out . . . they flat-out lied to us about the dog's history and about why he was in the shelter to begin with! Having to return that dog because we had exhausted all of our resources (and a whole lot of money) trying to deal with his 'issues' was one of the hardest things I have ever done. As long as you aren't buying from a puppy mill or supporting some sort of illegal breeding program, I don't see any problem with getting a dog the way you did. He is too cute!

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  18. I got turned off to our local shelter, when I had a litter of puppies I could not find homes for, I called about bringing them to the shelter. They asked me to keep them and feed them and take care of them until they could find homes for them. It could take up to a year to find them homes. Excuse me, after a year of loving them I would not be able to let them go. I did end up finding homes for all of them. And we have gotten a couple of dogs from other shelters. Mutts are the best.

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  19. Poor kitty, sorry you ALL had to learn that lesson the hard way.

    Cody & Alexis are just SO cute together!!

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  20. What a great picture of the two "little ones". Sweet...

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  21. That is a gorgeous cat! You really think they would stop to listen, but I do believe you made a very good decision. :)

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  22. I adopted my kitty, solid white btw, from a local humane society. When people say that the dogs and cats you resuce are the best ever, they were totally talking about my cat. He does now live with my aunt, though, because we found out a little over a year ago that Alyssa is allergic.

    I think you made the right decision. You're right, some shelters would rather euthanize an animal than give them to a good home. Sometimes you can't follow the rules.

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  23. we, too, were the victims of shelter discrimination... Our circumstances were different but we were so annoyed. We told the shelter that they are always complaining that people aren't coming forward but they make it difficult...

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  24. Well, good for you. We have a little mix breed dog that we got from a shelter years ago that we all adore. And I've also had pure breds that we loved just as much.

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  25. How silly of them! I love the picture!

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  26. It is because of stupid rules and requirements like that that we got our pups from a little puppy rescue in Fayette county. They get all sorts of flack for not being as formal as the big, government-run shelters, but they have 1 requirement, you love the dog. And we do. We were engaged, but in grad school, and regular shelters wouldn't let college students adopt.

    Cody is adorable. It looks like Alexis has a pal for life. Kudos.

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  27. Another things animal shelters insist on for adopting cats is that you sign or pledge you will not let the cat outside. I cannot pledge this and I will not lie. I understand the reasons, but both my cats are indoor-outdoor cats. I live at the end of a quiet deadend street that borders on a wooded park area. My cats are not in danger of being run over. They have their shots. They wear bells to alert wildlife of their presence. I only let them out when I'm home. They're both older and primarily like to sit on the deck. None of this matters to the adoption officials, I'm just a BAD cat owner. Sigh.

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  28. I certainly understand that those shelters want to make sure that people provide a good home and all. But really, some of them make it so damn hard to adopt the pets that it's just much easier to buy a pet. Especially with some rescue dogs. My friend Maggie just got one but it took MONTHS and SEVERAL HOME INSPECTIONS FROM THE SHELTER. It's ridiculous. I mean don't they WANT the animals adopted out?

    *gets of soap box*

    Cody is totally hawt.

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  29. There are always valid reasons for rules. There are also ALWAYS valid reasons for people to listen to valid explanations of why some rules simply cannot be followed. I HATE LEGALISTS! They make this world so much more difficult than it has to be! Good for you for making the effort, though.

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  30. I"m with leanne on this one!

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