Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Adopters

I think one of the biggest mistakes animal rescue organizations make is treating every potential adopter with suspicion. I believe in the goodness of people.

I don't believe in "The Adoption Application", where potential adopters fill out a questionaire. I mean...most of us have fudged on our employment applications, rental or mortgage applications, so I don't hold a lot of credence in the Adoption Application. I think talking to people is the way to find out what kind of adopter they're going to be. The losers usually reveal themselves pretty quickly.

I know it's shocking, but there are some potential adopters that leave messages for me that I won't even call back. Let me give you a few examples of those calls - they always start with:
  1. " wanna buy a baby kitten for my girlfriend..."
  2. "I want to pick up a kitten today...where are you located?"
  3. "How much does it cost to buy a cat?"
  4. "I'm looking for a cat to catch mice in my apartment."
  5. "I'm interested in and want to know if the adoption fee includes the declawing.

Truthfully...I'd call back #5 just to give her information about declawing. It won't do any good - she'll be more worried about her furniture - but I'll feel better about doing it.

It's always extra fun when I speak with a potential adopter with whom I really connect. Those are adopters that send me pictures of the cats in their new home and Christmas cards. We have one awesome adopter that sends us a donation when it's her cat's birthday! They're the kind of folks that makes you glad you went through all the trouble.

It took me a long time to figure out that I didn't have to like every adopter personally. They just have to be great cat parents. They don't have to be my best friend. I've tried to relay that to the foster parents, but it's a tough concept - especially after you've loved and cared for your foster cat for months. You WANT to really love the adopter! Believe me - I understand!

I remember I had a foster cat that I really loved. She was SO sweet! A family came forward and wanted to adopt her. The wife was very nice, their son was very nice....then there was the husband. I still cringe. He was such a wienie. He loved the cat and was gentle with her. But he was the kind of guy that I would have hated to have as a neighbour. It was a successful adoption and the cat has lived happily ever after for the past 4 years. Do dah. Do dah.

The bottom line is: I'm grateful for every successful adoption. I'm grateful for all the wonderful people that I've met who have adopted our wonderful kitties.

I certainly don't have all the answers. Amen.

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