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Animal shelters don’t give animals to just anybody / Delfi  221 

[2009 09 05]

Not everybody can adopt an animal from a shelter. It may sound surprising and weird in these difficult economic times when animal shelters are out of capacity. However, volunteers are very careful when it comes to giving their animals away.

Eugenijus, Utena animal shelter employee, said that the biggest concern of any shelter is to find good loving owners for their animals. “Utena is a small town, we basically know everybody here and we would not allow certain people to adopt our animals. We know that animals would be neglected in those homes,” he said. According to Eugenijus, shelter’s goal is to find the best homes for their animals, therefore they never rush adoptions and take necessary steps to assure that animals will be safe and loved by their new owners.

“SOS animals” volunteer Goda Kromelyte thinks that it’s quite easy to decide if a potential owner is going to take good care of an animal. “It’s important to ask specific questions, for example, about living conditions. If a person rents an apartment, we find out if he/she is allowed to keep pets there. We know our animals’ characters very well and we can tell if specific living conditions would be good for them. We always give advice to people and help them decide which animal would be best for them,” said G. Kromelyte.

Blacklist of pet owners

“There is a blacklist of people who have a history of animal abuse or neglect and many shelters use it in their practice. Animal care organizations usually report names of people who can’t be trusted,” – said Vesta Auskalniene, the head of the animal shelter “Lese”. This organization lets people adopt younger animals under one condition – they need to be spayed or neutered. “A person signs an agreement where he/she pledges to spay or neuter the animal before it is 6 months old. Adult animals are spayed or neutered before they get adopted. If a person refuses to do so, we keep the animal,” she said.

Animal shelters would never let a minor adopt an animal. A person is required to show an ID. “Many animals are brought to our shelter because people or their children have lost interest in them,” said “SOS animals” volunteer Goda. Therefore shelter volunteers always find out who an animal is going to live with and what people’s future plans are and if they could affect their pet in any way.

Tabby – low-class

Sometimes an adopted animal is brought back to the shelter for a few reasons. “Things happen, some animals don’t get along or an animal doesn’t get accustomed to the new owner,” said V. Auskalniene. “It’s understandable and we always try to call and find out how things are going, if an animal has adapted to the new environment yet. Sometimes an animal just doesn’t feel right in a new home and in such cases we let people pick another animal,” said G. Kromelyte.

However, if an animal is returned not for serious reasons, for example, slight illness, volunteers already know that that person can’t take good care of the animal. “We want our animals to find the best homes and loving, caring owners for life. Unfortunately, there are people who think that a tabby is a low-class cat or who think that all the animals in our shelter are ugly. Most likely, even the cutest animal would become ugly in a week to such people,” G. Kromelyte said.


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