Monday, July 23, 2007

The New Dog...

We have a new dog.

I guess like everything else in life, the way we find a dog has been changed forever by the Internet. So we looked at dogs online at the websites of various animal shelters and humane societies in our general area.

The experience was frustrating and a little disheartening. We discovered that many of the organizations didn't update their listings often enough. We'd
  • Find a dog we were interested in

  • Email the group

  • Receive an email back that had been automatically generated and had an application form attached

  • And fill out the form and send it in

Three or four days later we'd get an email asking for some other information, or telling us the dog had already been adopted, or telling us that the dog had been moved to some other shelter/organization for reasons that were never made clear.

The worst locations had websites so out of date that they included contact phone numbers for volunteers who no longer worked for the shelter or humane society.

Our new dog, Wild ThangWe dealt with one county humane society where a woman told us they had the dog we'd seen online and that we could apply for it, but the animal might be shipped on to another adoption agency even if we wanted it. We found that confusing and, frankly, insulting. The same agency had a person who kept telling us that we couldn't expect better communication or service considering that she was really just a volunteer. When being a volunteer becomes an excuse for shoddy work or unprofessional behavior, in my mind it's time to stop volunteering....

In the couple of months that we spent looking for our new pet, we went inside five or six animal shelters and a couple of pet stores. Most, sadly, were run down concrete structures that smelled of dog piss, hidden on a back road.

We found our new pet online. The shelter, in Greeneville, Tennessee, had a phone number (not just an email address). We contacted them on July 18 and asked a few questions, then made the 120-mile trip down to see our new pet and decided to take her. The shelter had indoor/outdoor lots with chain link fence, a manicured lawn and picnic area, and a nice office. The people were warm and friendly.

Her name when she came to the Greene County Humane Society was Macy. She answers to that, but I call her Wild Thang most of the time.

One of the biggest advantages of the shelter in Greenville was that Macy had already been spade and had her shots. All we had to do was reimburse those costs and then take our new pet. Many of the shelters don't carry out those procedures until after someone adopts the pet, and that creates a waiting period and a requirement that the new owner make the trip to the shelter twice.

So far we really enjoy Macy. More about her later...

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