Lifetime Commitment

Before you adopt that adorable, fuzzy, little ball of energy from the shelter, you need to ask yourself one question first.

Are you willing to take care of this living creature for the rest of their life?

If not, please, please, don’t adopt.  Get a fish.  Or better yet, buy a plant.  Preferable an artificial one.

Volunteering at The Marshmallow Foundation, I get to witness first hand so many wonderful success stories of our animals going to loving homes.  And I also experience the heartbreak of an owner surrender.

Yes, there are those elderly folks that get moved into nursing homes and their family is unwilling to take care of Fido or Fluffy.  I’m not talking about those; I’m talking about the ones that bring an animal back they adopted 24, 48, or 72 hours before from us.  In the last couple of months, here’s what I’ve experienced:

  • I’m bringing this cat back after having her less than 24 hours because she wanted to sleep with me and I couldn’t sleep all night.  She was too affectionate.  And I want my money back.
  • This cat fights with my other cat too much.  Did I separate them for up to two weeks to ensure a successful acclimation?  No, why would I?  Yes, I know you told me to.  Come get her.  I live two hours away and I’m too lazy to bring her back myself.
  • This dog that you just spayed that I adopted yesterday has a break in her stitches.  You didn’t tell me that I’d have to pay for medical care.  You can have her back, but when you fix her all up and can guarantee that she’s healthy and won’t ever have an issue again, I’d like to re-adopt her.  Oh, and I want my money back.
  • I found this dog, and really like her and want to keep her, but she has some sort of skin issue, so you can have her.  (It was mange, and very cheap to treat).

A kitten can live more than 20 years.  And a dog more than 15.  Are you prepared to spend thousands of dollars for an unexpected injury or illness?  Can you afford the healthy food that will extend the animal’s life?  Are you ready for old age, when incontinence can become an issue?  And finally, will you be prepared to hold that animal in your arms as they take their last breath on this earth?  If you answer no to any of these questions, please don’t adopt.  My fellow volunteers and shelter workers thank you.