If you want to pretty much guarantee that you will not be going home with a dog from an animal shelter, saying any combination of the following should do the trick. (Note: These are all things BusyBee has been told or overheard while volunteering at the shelter)
1. “I love dogs. In fact, my dogs have had had several litters”
Bragging about the multiple accidental litters your intact dogs have had the past few years is really uncouth in a shelter. Know thy audience.
2. “Who around here does cropping and docking?”
Yeah…..I’ve been asked this about adult dogs before. Asking about docking and cropping an adult dog certainly raises some red flags about your intentions, humanity, and common sense.
3. “I’m looking for a guard dog.”
We want all of our dogs to be loving members of a family. Keeping your dog tied outside on a chain is not something we will allow our dogs to do. If you insist on having a guard dog, find somewhere else to get a dog. We will not knowingly adopt out a dog into that kind of situation.
4. “Is it alright if I let my kid go in the kennel and tug on the dog’s tails and ears to see how it responds?”
Ummm…no. Seriously. Just….no.
5. “Is there anyway you can send this dog home without being neutered?”
All dogs coming out of our shelter will be spayed or neutered. Deal with it. And if you don’t like that, adopt elsewhere. We don’t make exceptions.
6. “I know it says not to touch the animals, but I figured it wasn’t a big deal”
See those signs on each kennel door that say “Please do not touch the dogs”? Yeah, that means you. Please do not place hands, fingers, toes, or noses through the kennel doors. Seriously. And don’t think I don’t see you doing so when I turn my back for a second.
7. “Look, this dog freaks out when I put my hat on and stare at him. Wanna see?”
It is not funny or cute to knowingly freak out a dog, most of which are already stressed out by being in the shelter in the first place. Shoving your face in theirs, staring them down, or laughing at them as they bark is really uncool. If you notice that a dog is scared or reactive towards you, kindly step away.
8. “Our last three dogs didn’t work out because they were too much work.”
Oh sure, let’s give you a 4th dog that will be returned as soon as you realize that it too pees, poops, and requires exercise. Dogs take work, and we’re pretty sure at this point you are unwilling to put the effort in to any dog, so you certainly aren’t going to take one of ours just to dump it back in the shelter a few weeks later.
9. “That adoption fee is too much. Can I strike a bargain?”
Please do not try to haggle with us over adoption fees. The adoption fee that we ask doesn’t even begin to cover what we spend on each dog. We neuter/spay, groom, deworm, heartworm test, vaccinate, microchip, treat injuries and illness, buy quality dog food, bowls, tags, collars, leashes, heartworm and flea preventative, crates and anything else we need. Also, if you can’t afford, or aren’t willing to pay the $150 to adopt a dog, I have serious doubts you can afford a dog in the long run.
10. “I can’t wait to surprise my girlfriend with a puppy!”
No, you may not get a dog as a gift for someone. Seriously, worst idea ever. Don’t even ask us. Do you know how many dogs get returned when the recipient of the gift is either not prepared to deal with the dog, allergic, or just unwilling to keep it? Dogs are commitments, not a substitute for having forgotten to get flowers on your way home from work.