My family decided it was time to bring a second dog into the family. We thought that adopting a dog would be the way to go since we could easily find many dogs up for adoption on many different websites. We expected a "process" and committed ourselves to do whatever it took to bring a new dog to our loving family.
The process wasn't simple and, in our opinion, counteracts what the whole thing is about. This account is from my perspective so please understand that there are two sides to every story. I'm not attempting to dissuade anyone from Adopting. I still believe it to be a noble cause. I'm not retaliating against the Houston Beagle and Hound Rescue either. I know they've done some excellent work. This isn't an attack on them.
I am showing the public the truth about what they can expect from the "process."
First off, you submit an application. This is a simple application that merely shows the Rescue who you are. Occupation, the type of home, the family make-up are all covered.
After the application is submitted, you begin to deal with someone from the Rescue. After I sent my first introductory email, this is the response from who later I discovered was a Board member and Executive Director:
"our biggest fears in adopting out a beagle is them getting loose. If you're in the area, we do a personal home visit. Since you are out of the area, we would request pictures of your fence line. But if you would be moving around, that would be a concern. Email me back with the above info and we'll go from there. On the surface, this looks like it could be a very good fit for Sophie but we want to be very sure."
I have no issues with this response. I'm glad the rescue takes the time to find a safe home for their Beagles. I replied with pictures of my large backyard, tall fence, and inquired about ways to improve the back yard security in case there was something I wasn't aware of.
The next question was about kids. The Rescue was concerned about kids leaving doors open. We responded with the fact that our kids were both teenagers and very responsible. That seemed to be okay so we moved on to the next topic: Shots.
This part may have been bypassed easily for most pet owners, but for us, it turned into a nightmare. I will say that it is likely a great sticking point for adoption services since it shows the rescue how much you care for the health of your dog. This could apply to a dog you had prior; or like us, the dog you have currently.
The original shot records we had for our dog existed in another location a few hours away. The Rescue called to check on the shots and quickly discovered the pet records were under a different name. My wife and I just married about a year ago. A simple oversight. We got that corrected and the initial shot records were verified. At some point there after, my wife had used a mobile vet to get our current dog her shots. In the end, we could not find the records for the updated shots. A huge failure of ours, but a reality since we had moved after our marriage and documents had been stored somewhere we couldn't find them. I know what you're thinking. Who wouldn't be suspicious?
In an effort to do the right thing (even at the discomfort of our dog) we agreed that we would take our pet in for shots to get them current. This of course would raise an eyebrow with the person deciding our fate, but I think I might also point out that the$250 I was about to pay for the adoption might just indicate that I'm willing to take on the responsibility of pet ownership. Most people I know wouldn't pay $250 so they can starve and abuse their family dog.
I'm not sure if this was okay or not with the adoption agency because I mentioned my wife was being treated for Cancer. I did this to explain why my frustrated wife sent an email that wasn't exactly cheery. My wife was tired and I stood up for her. I wasn't expecting sympathy or special treatment. I just explained in my response why it occurred. That was the second strike against us.
In the end, the Rescue decided we could not handle a dog while my wife was in Cancer treatment.
Here's the deal. I'm not upset that I had to answer questions in an effort to place the Beagle in a good home. I'm not upset that I had to take pictures of my back yard and I'm not upset that a Rescue would question my integrity about shot records.
I am upset because it's not up to a Rescue to tell me that my Family isn't qualified to adopt a dog because my wife is receiving Cancer treatment. By the way, my wife held her 40+ hour a week job during chemo and radiation. This was during a time when I wasn't married to her or even around. The family did fine. Our current dog was well cared for. We all take up for one another and as a part of the family, no one gets neglected! Houston Beagle and Hound Rescue: Who are you to decide what's best for my family? I not only disagree with your decision, I think that you are likely turning MANY qualified families away and not even realizing it. I would also argue that the joy of having a sweet and loving Beagle around might just help matters. But that's another story I'll never get to tell.
I'm frustrated that I know my home is a good and healthy home. I know we're a loving family and deserve to bring that loving Beagle into our family. Unfortunately, the sad thing is that one person can decide it all for you. You as the customer have no recourse; no one to complain to. No one to review the case and see if it's fair to both parties-the family and the dog to be rescued.
I understand that a rescue is looking out for the dog just as a family would be scrutinized adopting a child. But at what cost? I'm now of the opinion that these Rescues are so focused on looking for a reason to not allow you to adopt that they actually miss out on great opportunities TO ADOPT. It's a shame really.
I hope your experience is better than mine. The sad thing is, if I was a horrible pet owner, I can find a puppy on Craig's List and have it in my home today with little to no background check at all. I hope my experience was just a fluke. You should be prepared for rejection. HOUSTON BEAGLE AND HOUND RESCUE INC. is too picky, too stringent, and this is preventing dogs from going to a good home.
How would I fix this?
I'd advise getting someone else on board that can review each case to make sure the Rescue isn't being too cautious. Maybe implement a test phase where the owner agrees to do weekly reports. Or how about giving someone the benefit of the doubt on occasion?
This is a sad day and a bad way of doing business. If the intent is to find a family that fits your perfect image, you will likely fall short every time. You could have more successes on your site if you could only see that your expectations are way too stringent.
-Concerned that dogs are missing out on good homes.
We adopted 05/2011 and was totally pleased! The foster parents and volunteers did a great job steering this adoption for a perfect match with our perfect Beagle. Paper work was simple and the phone calls during the transition were easy and at ease for both parties!
My experience with Houston Beagle Rescue began October 5, 2010. My 9 year old Beagle, Mode't, had passed away suddenly on September 16. I was devastated. Our family had often said when she was gone, we wouldn't get another pet. Well, one day while I was online, something led me to the rescue site. While looking at the adoptable pets, I saw one that said 'Tipper-survivor'. I read her story and saw how sad she was and KNEW she was for me. I knew we could heal each other. On October 7, I filled out the online application. She was in my home on Sunday, 10/10/10. I have stayed in touch with Tip's foster mom, Elizabeth. I send her pictures and cute stories. I have no complaints about the rescue organization. They are a great group and my hope is to become more involved. I have fostered for them once. It didn't turn out well as the little one had Parvo and I haven't been able to -- or brave enough -- to try it again. I currently do my best to keep up their Facebook page though. It's a start!