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'AITA for telling the lady at the pet shelter that she is actively hurting adoption chances?'

'AITA for telling the lady at the pet shelter that she is actively hurting adoption chances?'


"AITA for telling the lady at the pet shelter that she is actively hurting adoption chances?"

I (24F) have been trying to adopt a cat for a while from this local shelter. I'm not new to owning cats; I've always been surrounded by them growing up so when I moved away from my family home; I knew I wasn't going to be taking the cats with me because they had bonded to my parents, the house, the dog, and they were technically my dad's babies so that would just be cruel to seperate them.

I moved a couple hours from home to be closer to the college I'm attending and I am really homesick. Like many, I deal with anxiety and depression and it feels very heavy lately, even with my partner living with me. I always feel better when I'm around animals and my partner and I are big cat lovers, so we decided to look at a shelter that specializes in senior cats for one to adopt.

I never get any positive answer back,, so I decided to go in person and ask the lady in charge of accepting or refusing applications if there was something more I could add to the applications in the future that would higher my chances of being accepted since the shelter is at max capacity, but we keep getting rejected.

She pointed to the part on the form that asked; "What would make you give up a pet?" And said my answer was the problem. My answer was; "The only reason I would ever give up a pet is if I were to die and nobody in out of my friends or family could take it in. I would never voluntarily give up my pet."

I was confused by what the problem was to that question and she answered that I am not responsible enough if I don't have an immediate backup person to take the pet if I die.

I was baffled because I have my partner and my parents who would take my pet in if I died and in this scenario; I painted an extreme situation to say; I would never willingly give a pet away.

I explained this to the lady and pointed out that that she was being a little nitpicky on this one, but she insisted that if I was a good candidate; I would have a better plan than let my family or friends house the cat in a case of death.

I was feeling really upset by the way she was speaking to me and the attitude so I told her; "You know, if you weren't being so unreasonable, maybe the shelter wouldn't be so packed right now.

Yes animals need good homes and it should be monitored; but you are actively harming the chances of them being adopted into homes. They are already in the later stages of life, don't they deserve to live as many days possible in a warm home instead of a cage?"

This is what may have made me an asshole because the lady started crying and called her coworker over to escort us out; telling her coworker that we said she was making sure the cats died alone. I wasn't intending to make her feel that way, I was just trying to point out a flaw in the choice processes.

The shelter lady said we were not welcome to adopt as we are AH's. I'm uncertain and feel really confused by it all. My fiance says that they are extremely fishy and I shouldn't let their dramatics get to me. So AITA?


I've been getting some people asking; the first part of the form has emergency contacts for people that would take the cat in case of emergencies. That is why it is written the way it was. My adoption application included Vet references and an official letter from the company I rent with signed and stamped that they would not be changing any pet policies and that cats could be kept in the building.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

C_Majuscula said:

NTA. No one - not pet owners, not parents - has a 100% locked-in, no-fail plan for when they die. They have preferences, they may have what they think is a solid plan, but no guarantees. That shelter is way too picky; hopefully there are others in your area you can adopt from.

PinkHairAnalyst said:

NTA. In the rescue industry, we call people like that pet hoarders (some rescues and shelters just REFUSE to adopt out because of stuff like this even though the home is perfectly good). As such, no home is ever good enough for them and the pets linger. Your fiancé is correct that it is fishy. It is very fishy.

You called them out on the hoarding problem. You are absolutely 100% correct to do so and you should. By going about things this way, they’re actively preventing the animals from finding homes. That’s straight facts. It’s the same thing with classist questions on adoption applications.

I volunteer at a shelter, and this one you’re mentioning has so many red flags. Most shelters and rescues have a Board of Directors as well as an Owner. If you want to, I’d track one of them down and send an email. The BOD controls all and is above the shelter director you dealt with in hierarchy sake. So is the owner. I suggest the county pound/animal control.

BadBandit1970 said:

NTA. Find another rescue. Let's say that you did put someone's name down as a guardian in the event of your untimely demise, who's to guarantee that that person will still be able to take care of the cat?

There is no guarantee. Honestly, I'd probably send an email to the shelter director and let them know that she is actively hampering people's attempts at adopting.

batclub3 said:

NTA! GRRRR this drives me nuts in rescue. Please note, with a small shelter. I currently have 150+ cats and 50 some dogs in our system. And our director and I have gone head to head a few times over her reluctance to adopt out.

The big change occurred when I asked her who in her mind would be best suited for my home (looking for a dog) and she couldn't come up with any. So I adopted from our county animal control... and cue shocked Pikachu face. Her own vet called her out on her ridiculousness. I have since adopted a dog from the rescue I'm with.

Don't get me wrong. Some caution is warranted. It SUCKS getting animals back especially after just a couple of days because 'it's too much.' Cool. Cool. You didn't even give the pet a chance. But that person you spoke with needs to not be in that position.

We just held a Caturday event. I'm in charge of cats. Straight up told my team, if a prior adopter comes in and wants a cat that day, kitty going home. If it's someone I or my team knows and can vouch for them... kitty going home.

If it's someone we don't know at all, there's enough of us here to pull and process an app quickly. And they were all on board with this. Did I tell the director that was my plan....ehhhhhhh..... We average one adoption a month for cats. 5 cats found great homes in one day. So it worked.

friendlily said:

NTA. I know I'm going against the tide of other comments but I think that was an unnecessary answer you put on the form. You didn't even say you had backup family that could take it in if you were to pass. Just say you have never and would never surrender a pet and all the pets you've had have lived out their lives with you. The end.

I understand how gatekeepy, condescending and rude some of those shelter people can be - I've experienced it myself - but it would have served you better to explain what would happen if you passed and asked if you could talk about adopting.

Now you're banned, so you didn't get a good outcome and neither did the cats. Essentially this is a case of you might have been right but sometimes right doesn't get us what we want.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice?

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