Questionable shelter practices?
I just feel the need to put this to a wider community and get some perspective. Apologies in advance for the length.
Some background - there are only 3 shelters in the town I live, two are completely not-for-profit and no-kill. The other is the RSPCA. Oh and there are the council pounds as well, but this one particular shelter takes many of the animals on from there.
So this one shelter is where we got our two boys from. I have never adopted an animal before and I didn't really know much about the process. I had contacted them via Facebook earlier to ask if I could bring some donations when we came to look at the kittens. We spent about an hour in the kitten room by ourselves, before the lady came to see how we were going. We had all but decided on the two boys, but I had said before we got there that we wouldn't decide straight away and would think on it for a week and come back when we were sure.
I was expecting some sort of interview so they could determine if we were suitable, but the lady said we could take them right away, and she would give us a discount on the adoption fee if we took them both that day. So we agreed, went for some lunch and came back. Filled out the paperwork, bought a carrier from them and were on our way.
Anyway, fast forward. I am friends with the shelter on Facebook and often see posts about how many animals they have rehomed in however many months. Last one was about 94 in 5 months. Which is obviously a great achievement, but after our experience I started wondering how many others get the same "you can take him home today!" service.
Last night, a story particularly bothered me. They are advertising a 12 week old kitten for adoption, and said she has a heartbreaking story. The family who had adopted her (along with her brother) didn't like the fact that they played too much, and so returned the girl to the shelter. This is horrible. A few comments on the post expressed this, saying the family is ignorant, that playful kittens are happy and healthy. The shelter commented back that "some people don't like it when they play with their kids, you'd be surprised at the reasons...". Someone said that they should have been made to give the brother back as well. To which the shelter responded that one cat with a home is better than two without.
I am still upset about it this morning. I understand the struggles that shelters face, with money and resources and space, and having animals that don't find homes for ages, that there may be some desperation to rehome. But this story and our own (a small number out of the 94) make me thing they don't do interviews with everyone, or anyone at all. She did tell me they can sort of tell about a person, especially if they have been in contact prior (like we had). But I wonder how many other animals go to unsuitable homes.
What do others think? If anyone works at a shelter, I'd be really appreciative of your input.