Posted by: secondchancehumanesociety | August 17, 2010

Commit to Giving Your Pet a Forever Home

Malory Favors Forever

My name is Malory and I am a homeless kitten here at Second Chance Humane Society waiting for my chance to be adopted into a forever home.  We like to refer to our adoptive homes as forever homes, but there certainly is no guarantee of that.  The shelter staff do a fabulous job during the “adoption interview” to make sure that we are properly matched to the right family.   For instance, they educate adopters that if they are gone from home for long stretches of time and like to come home and plop on the couch that a young Lab puppy may be a bad idea for them but an elderly cat may be a better fit. 

Despite these attempts I do see pets, who thought they were going into the “happily ever after” when they left the shelter with their new family in tow, return dejected and defeated.  Sometimes it is soon after the adoption while other times it is months or even years later.  (Fortunately Second Chance does have a policy that if for any reason the adopter is no longer able to care for their adopted pet that they are returned to Second Chance so that another home can be secured for that pet.) 

Reasons for returns vary, from pet behavioral issues to changes in circumstances in the lives of the adopters, but often they can result from adopter’s expectations being set too high.  It is important to recognize that there will always be an adjustment period – for pet and family – and that this time period can vary from pet to household.  Allowing new pets time to adapt to the new environment, routines, family members etc. is critical to this “honeymoon” phase.

To support this transition Second Chance has a policy that works proactively in supporting new adoptive families in working through unforeseen issues.  Second Chance makes follow up phone calls 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months post adoption to make sure things are going ok.  Often times if there are issues that have evolved which the staff can work with the adoptive parents to address before they become unmanageable and the pet is returned to the shelter.

Additionally, the Shelter staff offer supportive services to pet parents whether they have adopted from Second Chance or not.  If you have concerns or issues with your pets that you are unsure how to manage, or are beginning to think that you are losing patience with and considering relinquishing your pet – call the Second Chance Helpline at 626.2273.  The staff can assist you through general behavioral techniques or through referrals to additional resources.  I urge you to not ignore issues of concern until the point when it is no longer feasible to address them.  Prevention does work if applied in a timely manner.

In closing I urge all readers to remember this:  please consider your pets as family members.  Typically if someone in your family is acting out it is often in response to something that can be corrected, and avoiding it only escalates the situation.  As a young kitten I am hoping that my new adopter is prepared for a lifetime commitment.  In return I commit to returning the love and affection I am provided and repaying kindness with affection and companionship.

Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance, Volunteer & Foster Care, or other Programs.  Visit our shelter pets online: www.secondchancehumanesociety.org.  Direct Pet Column questions to:  kelly@secondchancehumanesociety.orgPhoto by Real Life Photographs.

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