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Old 11-13-2011, 11:47 PM
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Default Petfinder is going to cause some issues

So I follow the facebook page of the dog rescue we adopted Tucker from (PAWS New England) and they've been recently informed by petfinder that there is going to be a change in how they list their dogs.

Anyone who lives in New England and tries to adopt a dog quickly finds that many, in fact I'd say the majority, of dogs on petfinder for the area are not actually in new england. They are usually in a southern state lots of MO and TN dogs. PAWS has a few dogs up here in foster homes but the vast majority of their dogs are in the states they were found in down south (they pull their dogs from a high kill shelter in TN). After you adopt the dog they get brought up on a truck and you take them home. This is how we got Tucker, he was being fostered in TN. Usually you get your dog a week or so after you are approved, the price is already figured into their adoption fee, it was really simple. Anyone who watched the mini-series "Last Chance Highway" would know what sort of thing I'm talking about.

But petfinder has received complaints from people who don't like dogs showing up on their searches if they are not in the actual state/area that they typed in even though these dogs would be transported to them and are in fact intended to be transported to them (these dogs are posted in New England for a reason, they get adopted much faster). I do understand the frustration to an extent, we were not aware Tucker was in TN until we filled out his adoption papers and heard back from the foster because it was not made evident in his description, so for someone who wanted to meet the dog before adoption this would have been very frustrating and perhaps a serious emotional let down. I understand that.

PAWS, and I'm sure other rescues in the same situation, have asked that they still allow their southern dogs to show up in new england searches but just make them have to list the current state location in the dog's name/title so that people who want to meet the dog prior to adopting will know not to click on them. Petfinder has rejected this idea, not sure why. So PAWS and other rescues have already had to go and change the locations on all the dogs. This means 57 PAWS dogs, all of which can EASILY be brought up north and were in fact intended to be brought up north will not show up on our searches. The dogs that are up north are scattered in RI, MA, and NY. Previously all PAWS dogs showed up as being in RI.

There are rescues up here that don't have a single dog in new england but adopt nearly all of their dogs to new england residents, their adoption rates are going to plummet and they will not be able to pull nearly as many dogs from the high kill shelters where they acquire them. I feel that petfinder is going against what they stand for by doing this, they are going to make it harder for dogs to get adopted.


So I'm writing this in hopes that those of you who agree could maybe send an e-mail to petfinder about the issue and see if we can get them to change their mind. It's sad to think of how many dogs won't get homes because of this, I wouldn't have Tucker that's for sure. I have no problems with them asking for the real locations of the dogs to be more obvious, in parentheses after the name of the dog or something, but to forbid them from being listed at all is only going to harm the animals.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:46 AM
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WHY would they do that!?? I'm in Mississippi, and we send a ton of our dogs to New England. If the rescue we work with follows these new rules, we're going to be back to square one with how many puppies we euthanize

We started regularly sending puppies to this rescue every two weeks. I can't imagine how this is going to hurt us.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:02 AM
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That totally sucks. I wouldn't have Charlie if not for the same kinda of transport (not sure which, but she's originally from TN). Most of the dogs that get transported to out local shelter have a line of people outside waiting to adopt them.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:13 AM
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Honestly, petfinder has been this way for a VERY long time. They have no control how you search, it's not like they know what area you are looking for a dog in. If a dog doesn't show up right where you are, it posts the closest one. I understand your frusturation, really but it's not petfinder's fault. Is the rescue even on Petfinder?

Why not search for shelters and rescues that they have listed in the state? Much easier to search if you ask me.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:54 AM
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How does petfinder know the physical location of the dog? All they need to know is where the shelter is, no?

Quote:
Honestly, petfinder has been this way for a VERY long time. They have no control how you search, it's not like they know what area you are looking for a dog in. If a dog doesn't show up right where you are, it posts the closest one. I understand your frusturation, really but it's not petfinder's fault. Is the rescue even on Petfinder?

Why not search for shelters and rescues that they have listed in the state? Much easier to search if you ask me.
I think you're misunderstanding the situation, or I'm having a major brain freeze on the post. The RI shelter and their dogs show up first for people with RI zips, like they all do, but the dogs are physically located in the south (but owned by the RI shelter).

The northeast has a fairly substantial lack of appealing dogs. You'll rarely see puppies or small breeds, and sometimes few all together. Parts of the south are still killing 8 week old puppies though.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:44 AM
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I'm not sure I clearly understand which situation this is referring to, so bear with me. Once you'd been approved for Tucker - was he officially yours and paid for before he came up? Or did you express an interest, he got transported, and then you made a decision?

I'm not a fan of the blind adoptions I see some rescues doing. The rescue I am familiar with and got Meg from does a ton of southern transports (Meg is from WV originally), but the dogs come up here, are evaluated, and then put up for adoption. Given the huge number of dogs I see come up who are nothing like their descriptions from the southern shelters (and I'm not just talking things like size - dog aggression, human aggression, resource guarding, unhealthy), I would never commit to taking a dog before it was up here. I think it is setting people up to have bad experiences with rescue dogs, and to think that rescues will be dishonest to get dogs adopted.

I see nothing wrong with a rescue listing dogs who are scheduled to be transported, with a notation that "This dog is currently located in xxx and will be available for adoption on xx/xx/xx". I have an issue with "Look at the picture of this poor sad puppy, and commit right now before you or I have met it!"
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:36 AM
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We adopted Tucker completely before we met him. While I'm sure it doesn't work out for some, it does work out for MANY. So long as people know they are adopting a dog without meeting it first, it's their choice. I just remember when we were looking for a dog, SO MANY of them were still down south, so I just feel this means all of those dogs are going to take forever to get adopted now. I know a few shelters that do what you describe, bring dogs up from the south to a shelter facility and they get adopted from there. That's what the shelter I volunteered for did. So yeah, they would not be affected. But a lot of them don't have a shelter to put them in up here so they get adopted first and then shipped directly to new owners. If owners want to take that risk then why say no. When we got Tucker there was an enormous amount of people there doing the same thing.


Quote:
Honestly, petfinder has been this way for a VERY long time. They have no control how you search, it's not like they know what area you are looking for a dog in. If a dog doesn't show up right where you are, it posts the closest one. I understand your frusturation, really but it's not petfinder's fault. Is the rescue even on Petfinder?

Why not search for shelters and rescues that they have listed in the state? Much easier to search if you ask me.
PAWS does not have a physical location up here, one of the owners of the business lives in RI and therefore the shelter location on petfinder is RI and ALL of the dogs used to show up as being there when in fact they were not. Petfinder has asked this be changed so that the dogs not in new england (even though they are available for adoption to new england residents) are not listed as being there.

And yes, this is the rescue on petfinder:
http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/RI77.html

You can see how their dogs (not on the page, those are still in the kill shelter, you have to click the link to "see adoptable pets") are now listed as being in different states. All the ones listed as being in TN or MO would not show up on a search I did typing in my state as MA. So I would never know I could adopt them. Not sure if that makes it any clearer.


Quote:
How does petfinder know the physical location of the dog? All they need to know is where the shelter is, no?
This all came up from user complaints, so I assume that would continue to occur.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:01 AM
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I realize it does work out for many, and that people (at least in theory) go in knowing the risk. I'm still not a fan of it. Like I said, I think it sets the dogs, people, and rescues up for failure.

I'm not sure I think Petfinder should put an end to it; requiring that the profile list the exact current location of the dog might be enough for me to be satisfied.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
I realize it does work out for many, and that people (at least in theory) go in knowing the risk. I'm still not a fan of it. Like I said, I think it sets the dogs, people, and rescues up for failure.
We adopted Tipper without meeting her first. I will probably not be doing that again for a VERY long time though. I think that kind of situation works out best if it's going to be an only dog. Then you only have to worry about meshing the personalities of humans and dog, not humans, dog, and current family dogs. I agree with you entirely on one hand, but on the other I see why shelters/rescues are doing it.

As to the original topic: I hope Petfinder changes their requirements - I don't see why it would be an issue if the shelters/rescues stated clearly and concisely that the dog is currently located out of state, but will be in state soon.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
I realize it does work out for many, and that people (at least in theory) go in knowing the risk. I'm still not a fan of it. Like I said, I think it sets the dogs, people, and rescues up for failure.

I'm not sure I think Petfinder should put an end to it; requiring that the profile list the exact current location of the dog might be enough for me to be satisfied.
The rescue I volunteered with for a while did sight unseen adoptions, but it was VERY well organized with few complaints. Dogs were pulled from the shelter in North Carolina by a volunteer who held them for 2 weeks in her home as a kind of quarantine/evaluation. She'd already evaluated them in the shelter, and was getting additional info in her home. She gave them their immunizations and identified any other medical needs that may have been missed in the shelter setting.

The dogs were then transported up to DC once there was a foster home or adopter lined up. The only shelters within an hour of here are run by the city/county--all rescue work is done strictly from foster homes. It makes it hard to say all dogs should be brought up first, because sometimes someone wants a dog and there's no foster home available to monitor it first.

When someone wanted a dog that hadn't been brought up to foster yet, the dog was always adopted on a "trial" basis. They had 2-4 weeks (I forget how long) to make sure the dog was a good fit for their family. If they decide it isn't, we'd scramble to find a foster for it and would refund their adoption fees.

If they had other dogs or pets or small children, the adoption was always started as a trial, even if they'd met the dog first.

We had a very low return rate, so either people in DC are stubborn, stupid, or the process is working pretty well.
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