Find a Good Home
Part of our mission is to re-home our sheltered dogs and cats, and PCHS is committed to providing good “matches” for them.
It is sad to see wonderful animals waiting in cages, but it is also important that a new owner be a responsible guardian. In fact, the Humane Society of the United States has asked member humane societies, like Paws & Claws, to establish criteria that help ensure the placement of companions into quality long-term homes. As a result, PCHS has implemented guidelines for placement, taking recommendations set forth by many organizations, including HSUS, the ASPCA, and North Shore Animal League. We want our community to understand these guidelines and our adoption process.
Every animal in our care is evaluated to determine any placement restrictions. For example, a cat may be too shy to be in an active home, or a dog might need a fenced yard due to a tendency to run. Before viewing the animals, visitors receive a policy statement, complete a preliminary information sheet, and chat with a shelter representative, so that the best-suited animals are shown. Potential adopters are encouraged to spend time with several candidate companions before making a decision, and we encourage the involvement of the entire family. When ready, the potential adopter completes a questionnaire that tells us more about their home situation and lets us know how they have cared for previous pets. An adoption counselor reviews the information in conjunction with the animal’s history and talks with the prospective owner about adopting.
Except in rare circumstances, the animal will not go home on the same day, although it can be reserved! Even at Adoption Day events, the adopter is given time to reconsider their decision to add a new member to their family, and the counselor is given an opportunity to do any background checks necessary. Throughout the process, potential adopters may be redirected to animals we feel will better fit their situation, and every effort is made to match the home to an appropriate animal. When a match is a good one, the adopter then completes an adoption contract, receives health records, and takes home a new best friend.
There are situations where it is appropriate to discourage someone from taking on an animal’s care at the current time, and sometimes an applicant is interested in an animal we cannot confidently place with him. In those cases, we do reserve the right to refuse the adoption. We work to make this a friendly process with open communication, even with denials; unfortunately, there may be times when potential adopters feel uncomfortable. We hope people understand that PCHS wants to place every animal successfully. Our members can support humane placements by reminding people who may be disappointed by a refusal that PCHS has the best interest of the animal in mind. Our intent is not to offend but to facilitate a “match made in heaven.”