I am writing in hopes of gaining the attention of our community’s humane society and to assist others who may have experienced what my mother has. First off, I feel the Human Society does a wonderful job at protecting animals and finding them appropriate homes. I also feel that their process decreases the chances of pets finding their forever homes.
My mother has been searching for a dog and found Molly, a beautiful 2 year old female Saint Bernard on the Humane Society’s website and quickly jumped at the chance to meet her. She found Molly gentle with a great temperament and quickly fell in love. My mother had no idea that attempting to adopt Molly would be a long and painful journey.
She left Molly to give herself time to think through the decision of adopting Molly and after not being able to get the beautiful canine out of her mind, decided she wanted to adopt.
She informed the Humane Society that she would like to adopt Molly and was told that Molly needs a home free of children and other pets because Molly had bit another dog and was a liability. My mother advised that her children were all grown up and that she had no other pets in her home so she filled out the application. She was quickly told by the woman managing the desk that there must be a lot of dogs running around since my mother lived in a trailer. My mother was hurt by this response and did not think her home should reflect her ability to be a kind and loving owner to Molly. My mother is single, semi-retired, and not in need of a big home. She advised the Humane Society employee that there were in fact, no dogs “running around” and that she would like to hand in her application.
At the end of the next week, my mother still hadn’t heard anything regarding Molly and contacted the Humane Society. She was told that a home visit would need to be conducted to ensure my mother was an adequate candidate and that the Humane Society would be in contact with her to schedule the visit. Many thoughts ran through mom’s mind – do all individuals who adopt pets have home visits conducted? Was it because Molly was “high risk”? Was she being judged based on where she lived? Regardless my mother agreed and was informed that someone would be in touch with her to schedule the visit.
Although I can appreciate how busy and time consuming it is to run such an organization, the Humane Society did not contact my mother. My mother again contacted the Humane Society and was told that, understandably, they were busy. My mother being patient and understanding agreed to continue to wait and was finally, in time able to have the home visit conducted.
During the home visit, the main area of the home was briefly looked at, and then time was spent in the yard. My mother advised the Humane Society employee that she will be having a fully enclosed fence installed in the spring but that in the meantime, she would ensure she was with Molly when she brought her outside. She was advised that there were now two more applicants that were interested in adopting Molly and that home visits needed to be conducted with these families.
My mother was quite upset as no mention of other visits had previously been mentioned, and she had been attempting for weeks to adopt Molly. She agreed that she would wait for the Humane Society to contact her after the home visits were conducted.
Again, after a week with no response, my mother contacted the Humane Society. She was quickly informed that she was not a satisfactory candidate for Molly as her yard was not adequate due to Molly’s “issues”. My poor mother is and was devastated. She cried to me sharing that she knows her yard isn’t the biggest but she really does plan on installing a fence, and asking why they have been so unhelpful, non-transparent, and making her jump through hoops for nothing.
In the midst of it all, I was able to get in touch with a friend of the previous owner of Molly who shared pictures of Molly with the owner’s 2 year old son. I shared that the Humane Society informed me that Molly was a stray and that the owners couldn’t afford to get her out, as well as that because of her being “vicious”, Molly wasn’t allowed to be in a home with children. I was informed that their 2 year old son ended up being allergic to Molly so the returned her to the breeder, who in turn brought Molly to the Humane Society. She also informed me that Molly was good with other dogs and absolutely loved kids.
Now I ask, is my mother’s small, unfenced yard as bad as Molly sitting in a kennel barley bigger than her for months when there is a willing and kind hearted person such as my mother willing to take her? I ask, is it fair for the Humane Society to keep people in the dark for weeks while they anxiously wait to hear about a potential new family member?
I also ask that the Humane Society recognize and acknowledge the people within their community who keep their organization running and treat them with enough respect to make them aware of their processes and decisions.
Lastly, I ask that they take another look at the situation with kindness and give my mother the opportunity to adopt this beautiful Saint Bernard as I know she would have a happy and healthy life.
– Dana chalifoux