Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saying No to an Adoption

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, it just doesn't mean that other people have to agree with it.  Here at the SPCA, we get frequent calls asking for financial assistance for pets from things as simple as routine shots all the way to major surgery.  We also investigate situations where people are not providing necessary veterinary care and the animal's are suffering.  So having this knowledge makes it difficult for me to say yes to an adoption when people can't afford to pay the adoption fee.  I had a situation recently and this is the background.

A couple walked into my office and wanted a discount on an adoption because he was on a fixed income.  I began a dialogue with this man wherein he stated that he can afford to take care of his animals.  He has a relationship with an area veterinarian if any problems arose.  He could indeed pay for the adoption but that would leave him without any funds until the following month. 

In checking our past records he has brought in two of his animals.  One was a found dog that he brought in because he couldn't afford a second dog.  (OK I can understand that)  The second animal he brought in was a four year old poodle that he had euthanized for health reasons.  His explanation was that the dog had an undescended testicle, it could turn out he had cancer, and they couldn't afford a $1,500 bill.  Why he didn't just turn it over to us rather than have it euthanized-I don't know.

The veterinarian's side of the story is that the dog never had routine vaccinations, had ear infections that the man wanted to buy medicine for without seeing the veterinarian, was recently brought in for urinary frequency.  A urinalysis revealed no problems.  So they recommended an x-ray for further diagnosis.  This particular vet does not have x-ray equipment and so the owner had to go to another vet. 

The owner's side of the story was very different. They heard $$$ because the diagnosis was unknown.  Rather than start with a simple x-ray (Maybe $150)  they chose euthanasia of a four year old dog.

In questioning them about how they could afford veterinary care if something happened, the owner insisted that they could afford it.  But when the reality of their financial situation confronted them, the couple still insisted that they could afford another dog.

Then to top it off, they already have a cat and the previous cat they had was hit by a car and died.  The more I heard, the less I liked hearing.

I said no.  I'm not comfortable adopting to them.  I actually recommended that instead of living pay check to pay check that they should save up their money for the adoption and put an extra $500 in the bank for emergencies.  Somehow they didn't like my idea.  The sad truth is that I'm sure they will get another dog somewhere.  I just hope it lives longer than four years.

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