Misled by the Meriden Humane Society
by Susan R. - Posted Fri August 19, 2011 @ 12:00 PM
On August 4, 2011, my husband and I, along with our two young nieces went to the Meriden Humane Society to adopt a dog. My husband has wanted a dog for a very long time, but we needed to find one who would be a good fit for our home as we have a 4-year-old cat and our nieces and nephew are around our house often. We started by reviewing the shelter's large book of pets available for adoption. Each animal photo is accompanied by a description of the dog, his/her temperament and a warning if the dog cannot be around other dogs, cats, children or other environments.
We came across a listing for a Dogo Argentinium by the name of Casper. His listing carried no such warnings mentioned earlier, and was said to be of excellent temperament. We were told by a volunteer that he had been in a family that had to move and was forced to leave him behind in the care of the humane society. We asked to meet him and in the presence of the volunteer, Jenn, we played with him, walked him a bit and got to know him. We met the director of the humane society, who was excited that we were interested in Casper. We filled out an application, which included references and the name of our cat's veteranarian. We were told that our application would be reviewed and that a home visit would be scheduled to be sure that our environment would be suitable for Casper. In addition, Jenn advised us that because we already own a cat, Casper would be part of a "cat interaction," whereby he would be placed in a room with cats who are also residing in the shelter to gauge his reactions to them.
The next day, August 5, we returned to the shelter again with our nieces. We brought a rope toy, a blanket and some training treats. We spent a significant amount of time bonding with Casper and we were told by Jenn that he had done well in the cat interaction, showing no aggression and allowing the cats to be near him. When we left, we took the blanket so we could allow the cat to become accustomed to Casper's scent. Later that same afternoon, we received a call from Jenn, who stated that she wanted to conduct the home visit that day. We agreed to this and Jenn arrived at our home with her mother that afternoon. During the home visit, Jenn advised us that we had a wonderful home and neighborhood for Casper, that our cat looked very nice and healthy and that our vet had given them very satisfactory information. She advised us that she would write a very positive report and that the director would contact us within 2-3 days with her decision, which Jenn was sure would be in our favor.
On Sunday, August 7, we returned to the shelter to visit with Casper. A volunteer (not Jenn) welcomed us and said she would send the director out to speak with us. The director never came outside. We didn't think much of this and returned Casper to the volunteer when we were ready to leave.
On Tuesday, August 9, when we hadn't yet received a phone call from the director, my husband called the humane society and left a voicemail requesting a callback. No callback was received.
On Thursday, August 11, after receiving still no response, my husband left another voicemail at the humane society. He then called an alternate number he had been given, not realizing that it was Jenn's personal cell phone number. She answered and was extremely surprised that we hadn't yet been contacted by the director. She stated that she couldn't understand why it would be taking so long, but that she would speak with the director and have her call us. No callback was ever received.
On Friday, August 12 (a full week since the home visit), we sent an email to the humane society, explaining the situation and requesting a call or a return email. No call or return email ever took place.
On Saturday, August 13, we visited the humane society in person, to find that there was an adoption event taking place. We asked one of the volunteers if we could speak with the director, and she got on a walkie talkie to let her know we were there. The director never came out to see us. We instead spoke with another woman who stated that she worked with the director. We spoke with her about the situation. She said she couldn't help us due to the event that was currently taking place; that the humane society was closed for business. She wrote down mine and my husband's phone number and said she would call us the next day. As we were leaving the humane society, we saw the director, who purposely turned from us and ignored us.
On Sunday, August 14, we received a call from a young volunteer that we had never before worked with. She stated that she was sorry, but it had been decided that Casper didn't do well with cats and we would not be allowed to adopt him. Upon trying to ask her why this was not told to us before, and in fact, why we had been told exactly the opposite, she had no answers.
I do not know the real and true reason that we were not allowed to adopt Casper. Were we lied to from the beginning, or at the end? We are very disappointed in this outcome, as we had bonded with Casper and had begun preparing our home for his arrival based on the positive information we had received from the director on our first visit and from Jenn before, during and after our home visit.
My husband and I would like a truthful explanation for this adoption gone wrong. We are loving and responsible pet owners and we support shelter adoptions; but we feel we were misled, ignored in the hope that we would go away, and then lied to in an attempt to make us go away. We hope that Casper and all the animals at this shelter go to loving homes. We will be going elsewhere to open ours to a needy animal.