As a volunteer at Animal Humane, I believe that one of the big impediments to getting many dogs adopted is the lack of information on them. We can't even tell prospective adopters whether or not a dog is house trained or destructive....the most basic of information. Never mind any other significant details about the animal.
Boomer is a great example of a dog who looked unruly and unmanageable in the shelter. I never would have fostered him if it wasn't a do or die situation. Even so, I could only take him once he finally submitted to my alpha, Roo. I could not have taken him wo that submission. In my home, I cannot tell you what a good wonderful boy he is. He does nothing wrong. He tries so hard to fit in. He is a delight. He is totally transformed from what I saw in the shelter at the meet & greet. We have even already done off-leash hiking !! Of course, I have an active lifestyle w my dogs, and I am able to match up w his inherent energy level, but any active family could do for him.
If Boomer were in the shelter as he was, he would be a very difficult boy to adopt out. However, if there was adequate information as to how he really is, then his chances would improve immensely IMHO.
The Fair Chance idea was something that I just came up with mostly from thinking about Boomer's situation & what a tragedy it would have been if he were put down after only a few days in a shelter. I am sure the basic idea can be improved upon in many respects, but my primary point, is that every healthy adoptable dog that is taken into a shelter, even a kill shelter, should have a fair and reasonable chance to be re-homed prior to being put down for any reason other than health.
My Fair Chance idea was intended for Animal Humane, where I volunteer. It would be great if it has any merit & could be expanded elsewhere. If an owner does not wish to be wait listed, they can always go to a city shelter. However, I believe many owners would be willing to be wait listed if they knew with certainty that their dogs would have a fair & realistic chance to be re-homed. Many turn ins these days are also for financial reasons, and as mentioned, financial aid can be given in those situations until such time as their was room in the shelter. Those owners would certainly not mind being wait listed. And again, wait listing would only be for times when the shelter is full.
As to the financial aspects, I believe that there are many donors who do not give to Animal Humane because they are a kill shelter & route their donations elsewhere. I have to think that if marketed properly a Fair Chance program would easily pay for itself, though I really do not think that my suggestions would be very expensive. AH has many drives for specific programs and projects, this could just be one more.
My bottom line is that I believe that every dog taken into even kill shelters should first have a Fair Chance. There is no reason that that cannot be so. Whether my ideas are establishing the best parameters for that concept is secondary. For example, maybe if City Shelters adopted the concept then maybe the time line might have to be changed due to their volume of intakes, but even 30, 45, or 60 days would be an improvement and would make a difference for many animals.
But the point remains, is that animals taken into a shelter for only a few days, that nobody knows anything about, should first get some kind of a reasonable chance. If prospective adopters knew Boomer, as I now know Boomer, he would be an easy out for a shelter.
In theory, I wish all shelters were no-kills, but I know that that is an impossibility at this time.
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