Calgary Humane Society - U R dum

Perhaps this should be in the pit, but I just can’t muster enough bile to make it worth my while. Also, there’s a good chance that at some point it will contain kitty pictures and I think those are frowned on in the pit.

This past weekend my boyfriend and I took his mother to the Cochrane Humane Society and the Calgary Humane Society to choose a cat. While we were at the Calgary Humane Society (CHS) the BF met a super cool cat named Taz that he fell in love with. Taz is 12 years old and was an owner surrender - the BF and I both spent some quality time with him and we decided that we should adopt him. Taz will live at my house (BF is 90% moved in now) and be a good companion for Schatzi, the 18 year old cat that I recently acquired.

BF went in on Sunday to complete the adoption procedures - we filled out the household questionnaire and he took it with him - it asks about the household, and other animals and children and whatnot. We were totally honest and indicated that my dog is not fixed. Now, before anyone starts a debate about fixing dogs, let me state up front that I know the benefits of getting a dog fixed. I’ve consulted with Voltaire’s vet, and while he would prefer that I get him fixed, he agrees that in my particular circumstance it’s not mandatory. Voltaire is never exposed to other dogs unattended - we don’t go to puppy parks or off leash areas, and I live in a condo - if he manages to get out of the condo into the wild blue yonder it means that he’s leapt of the balcony and is going to have far more pressing concerns than gettin’ some - namely the full body cast that he’s going to require.

Anyhow, we indicated that Voltaire is not fixed, but Schatzi the cat is. The CHS told BF that he wasn’t allowed to adopt Taz because Voltaire isn’t fixed. Now, I’m not a biologist, but I think I can state with reasonable certainty that my male dog is not going to get a fixed male cat pregnant. Fine sez the CHS, but we think all animals should be fixed. Great, however I’ve discussed the issue with my vet and he agrees that in my particular case it’s not necessary. Tough shit, says CHS, no cat for you.

We discuss the issue and CHS says that if I book an appointment for Voltaire to be neutered, and pay for it up front, we can adopt the cat. Fine - we indicate that we’ll do this, and please put Taz on an overnight hold. They agree that they will. I contact my vet. I book the appointment. BF stops by and puts in a deposit for the surgery. We return to the CHS yesterday.

Well, Taz has not been put on hold. Why? Because CHS assumed that there’s no way in hell that we would return for him. So, CHS was prepared to hold up the adoption of a 12 year old cat because my dog isn’t fixed. I don’t know how much folks know about HS adoptions, but take my word for it when I say that 12 year old ANYTHINGS don’t exactly fly off the shelves. There’s a substantial reduction in the adoption fee for an older animal for just this reason. So, CHS was prepared to have an animal put to sleep, rather than sending it to a home with an un-fixed dog.

That is dumb. Look, I get the point - I understand why CHS has policies about such things; however, I also think that when it comes to adopting out animals they should have the foresight to look at individual circumstances in order to place the most animals. My home is an excellent place for an elderly cat to live out his retirement years. He’ll get tones of attention, he has a fellow elderly cat to grouse about young whipper-snapper kittens with, and he’ll have a dog to pick on with the other cat. We’re talking cat nirvana here. But because my dog still has boy bits, CHS isn’t interested.

So, I contacted my vet. I made the appointment for Voltaire. BF placed a deposit (FWIW, the vet’s office staff were shocked that CHS would require such a thing. “But they’re different SPECIES!?!?!?!” were the gal’s exact words I think.) We got the receipt, went in and picked up Taz last night. He’s now in his new home, living it up, lying on the uber fluffy kitty pillow that BF purchased for him, playing with the variety of kitty toys that I purchased for him, and generally enjoying life much more than he was at the shelter, for sure. And guess what? Tomorrow I’ll most likely cancel Voltaire’s appointment and use the deposit for his next check up instead. I’m pretty confident that the CHS does not have the staff necessary to do spot checks on the state of my dog’s balls.

So CHS, you are dumb. You were willing to hold up the adoption of an unpopular animal into a good home because of policy. You were unwilling to consider the particular circumstances and instead forced BF and I to jump through a bunch of hoops which are useless anyway. Had we lied on the form to begin with, we would have avoided this whole mess and you would be none the wiser. Instead we had to lie later and involve my vet’s office, which I’m not particularly happy about. There is the possibility that I’ll still get my dog fixed - I’ve been thinking about it. However, I really think that the decision should be mine and my vet’s, and not yours - an entity that has never met my dog, assessed his living conditions, or assessed the home that Taz will have in my home balled dog or no balled dog.

So, there you go. I have no doubt that many people will be unimpressed with my “rant” because my dog has balls. However, before you jump down my throat please remember that there is now a senior kitty living in a good home where he will be spoiled rotten, rather than in a crappy shelter where he would most likely wind up put to sleep.

That is all.

Ahem, as promised:



I don’t yet have any pics of Taz to upload - we got home late last night. :slight_smile:

That sucks Alice. I think in this case, a look at your particular circumstances was in order. Glad Taz is in his new home now.

That puppy looks absolutely wasted. :smiley:

Whoever made that rule should be fixed.

No doubt. I think he must have been into Schatzi’s cat nip. :slight_smile:

Cool on you for adopting an older cat (two of them)! And the Humane Society was out of line, I think. In dealing with rescue societies I could tell plenty of stories about people more interested in berating potential adopters rather than finding a home for animals. So, I feel your pain.

But, I have to ask, why don’t you want to neuter your dog?I can see putting it off, because it isn’t strictly necessary in your circumstances, but now that you’ve done the legwork, why not have it done?

Many animal shelters and pet adoption groups have inflexible policies that make little sense when applied universally. I say this as a volunteer with the Pet Adoption League, which (unfortunately) is as pigheaded as the others. Our group has a questionnaire which asks questions such as “Will the cat be kept indoors at all times?” If the answer is “no,” the cat will not be permitted to go home with that person, regardless of the circumstances. One prospective cat adopter who pleaded for an exception had an outdoor play area designed as a dog-run. It was totally fenced, around and above, so that animals could not leave unless they dug their way out. She answered truthfully that the cat would not be kept indoors at all times. She was rejected, and the cat is still waiting for a home.

Another local animal adoption group once had a “special needs” three-legged black Lab that had had cancer surgery. The dog had to take an oral chemotherapy agent which was rather expensive. Needless to say, this dog (a neutered male) was going to be hard to place. My husband and I wanted to adopt him. We already had a black Lab, and we thought the two of them would get along famously. However, the adoption group had a policy that forbade the presence of any unneutered pets in the household. Our black Lab was a pedigreed female, and at the time we were thinking that at some point we might want to breed her. The adoption group was horrified at the idea of anyone deliberately breeding a dog. We were denied the privilege of adopting the amputee cancer patient dog (who, of course, was neutered and incapable of breeding) because we owned a dog whose reproductive system was still functional.

We later learned that the cancer dog had been euthanized because nobody would adopt him.

Well, to be honest I probably will. I just feel that in my circumstances it’s unnecessary surgery and I don’t want to expose my dog to the risks of a general anesthetic unless it’s absolutely necessary, ya know? Further, he doesn’t have any of the behaviour problems often associated with balled dogs - really, he’s a peach and I think he would like to keep his balls. So there you go. I’m thinking about purchasing a house (as opposed to a condo) sometime in the fairly near future (next 2 years or so) and at that time Voltaire will HAVE to be done so it’s not that I’m against the procedure in general. I just resent being forced for such a silly reason.

Exactly. It’s this sort of thing that really makes my blood boil. And frankly I resent being forced to lie about the state of my dogs nads because of a stupid, inflexable policy. I HATE lying, but in this circumstance I did and I don’t feel bad or guilty at all. Well, I’m unhappy that I had to lie to my vet’s office, but I’m not sorry about lying to the CHS at all.

Yeah, I agree, that’s pretty dumb. Now make with the Taz pics, lady! :wink:

Yikes! Tough crowd! :wink:

As soon as I get home I’ll attempt to get some “Kitty at Play” pictures of Taz. He’s all black and has a very elegant look about him, I think. :slight_smile:

I did a similar rant - we were in the market for a puppy.

There are two problems -

a) my yard was not yet fenced. We were waiting to see what kind of puppy before we invested in a fence. We ended up with an invisible fence, which rescue agency didn’t like, but which seems to be working great and for us, is the best option - we have a small back yard, cannot fence the front yard with a real fence, and because the front yard is larger, that’s the yard we use. Doesn’t seem fair to let a dog out back when his people hang out front.

b) I answered honestly to a question “under what circumstances would you return the dog to us.” - If he’s agressive, he’s going - I have kids and an agressive dog isn’t staying in my house.

Well, that was too honest. So we ended up with a dog from a different rescue agency - who didn’t care that we didn’t have a fence and said “of course you’d return an aggressive dog. We are so happy you are willing to adopt this dog.”

Some rescue agency seem to be more interested in finding the perfect home for the animals in their care than finding decent homes in quantity and being able to rescue more animals.

I agree. And to be honest, I think that:

a) a lot of the CHS staff are jaded by their work and
b) they conflate the dropper-offers with the picker-uppers

Most of the adoption staff were rather unfriendly and cold. One of the cats the BF’s mom wanted to look at was super freaked out. Rather than saying “This particular cat is a bit stressed right now.” the staff member hauled the cat out of it’s kitty pen and was then indignant when mom was uninterested in spending time with a biting, hissing cat with it’s claws bared. We overheard idiot-staff member saying “Whiskers (or whatever) was too nervous for them.” with disdain thick in her voice. Listen honey, not wanting to get clawed by an angry cat doesn’t make us bad people, ok?

The Cochrane HS staff were much nicer - I’m not sure if because it’s a smaller shelter so they get less drop offs, or a small town so everyone knows everyone, or what. I will say that the store staff at CHS were very nice and friendly, so I really think the adoption staff are just bitter and twisted.

I would cancel the neuter on pricipals.

It’s stuff like this that makes me say don’t support the local human society. They turn away people that find strays, because the quota of five cats is used up for the month. They have articles in the paper pleading for adoptions, becuase they have over 150 cats. They have policies like the one you stated, and make it extremely hard to adapt a pet. We then get stories about animal shelters in the state that have filthy conditions. We also have had multiple instances last year of animal shelter people caught with large numbers of cats and dogs in houses deep in fecal matter. The county told the local shelter they weren’t getting the licience fees for pets, because of their policies. The shelter sued and lost. I was glad to see that, because the money would have went to a place that refused animals and kept hundreds, yet had a zillion resrictions on adoption.

Personally I love the “kill shelters are EVVVIIILLLL!” line of reasoning that often goes along with “no, you can’t have this dog because you don’t live on five acres and have someone home all day to feed it organic dog food” and “oh, I’m sorry, we can’t take Grandma’s cat that she has to give up because she is going into a nursing home, we don’t have any foster homes right now” like those three conditions are completely independant and have nothing to do with one another.

Ahem. Still waiting for Taz pics. ::impatient foot tapping::

I know, I suck. Problem is that Taz is still in seclusion in case he has kitty cough or something - I don’t want Schatzi to get infected with anything. However, every time I go in to hang out with Tax Voltaire and Schatzi bark and meow rather loudly at the door, causing Taz to get all excited, resulting in crap-a-rific pictures.

This weekend I think I’ll sedate the other two* and snap some pics. :smiley:

*No, not really

I volunteered with the Calgary Humane Society eons ago, and I stopped because they were kind of dickish (after working with the cats for a while, they finally saw fit to teach me how to deal with upset cats. That would have been useful information to have right from the start, I figured. I got the impression they really didn’t care about their volunteers at all.) I see they haven’t changed much since then.

I’m no supporter of lying, either, but sometimes bureaucracies sort of force you into it.