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The RAPS Adoption Process

Adoption Day is a very happy time at the RAPS Animal Shelter! Finding forever homes for the animals in our care is our ultimate goal.

Of course, caring for animals while they are waiting for that special day takes up most of our time. And not all animals find forever homes. The RAPS Cat Sanctuary is the place where hundreds of cats who are unlikely to find forever families live out their lives surrounded by other cats, all soaking up the caring affection of our small staff and scores of volunteers.

RAPS-AdoptionProcess-CAT-060917-WEBSome people have asked how our adoption process works. While it is a great triumph when we find a forever home for one of our animals, it is a fairly simple process. The infographic accompanying this post tells it like it is: Animal comes to us, receives medical exam and treatment, we observe their behaviour, enter all the info into our state-of-the-art shelter management software, let the animal acclimate for a week or two, then place them in the adoption stream. Through social media, Petfinder, the RAPS website or visiting the Shelter, potential adopters see someone they might want to make part of their family and apply to adopt. The Shelter manager reviews the application, does due diligence and then approves or declines the application.

Since finding forever homes for animals is so important to us, people sometimes ask, “What reasons do you have to reject an application for adoption?”

Finding a forever home is important. But it is not as important as finding the right forever home.

RAPS-CC-InfographicHere are some examples that we might discover during due diligence that could lead to a rejected adoption application …

Inappropriate fit. A household with active kids may not be a good fit for a shy, reserved cat. During the intake process, staff observe animals’ personalities and get a good idea of what kind of family would be a good match. An applicant whose work keeps them out of the house for 10 hours a day but is looking to adopt a puppy will set off some alarms for us.

History. If an animal is surrendered because the family has a new baby, we may delve a bit deeper into whether an alternative home with toddlers is an OK match. It may be, but it may not. We try to judge every case on its merits. If an animal comes to us because it didn’t get along with another animal in their last home, we’ll look at animal housemates very closely.

Our policies. Animal and human safety is our priority. The lifespan of an outdoor cat can be a fraction that of an indoor cat – not just because of the obvious danger of cars, but because diseases they can contract through interacting with other cats and wild animals. RAPS only adopts cats to people who commit to keeping their feline companion indoors (or outdoors on harness or in a safe, six-sided enclosure). We will not adopt cats to people who intend to declaw the animal. We do not adopt to applicants who will employ punishment or other non-positive reinforcements in training.

Animal experience. We want to match animals with people in a way that makes everyone happy and safe. A first-time dog owner adopting a large breed reactive dog or a first-time cat owner applying for a semi-feral or cat with a very “strong” personality might lead us to discuss alternatives.

Commitment. We call it a “forever home” because we hope the animal will spend the rest of its life with its new family. Potential adopters who are not sure if their next home will accept animals, or who plan on moving far away without likelihood of transporting the animal, will raise our concerns. We need a strong commitment for the future of the animals we adopt out.

There are other factors we consider in adoption process, but this is intended to give an overview of how it works! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the shelter at 604-275-2036 or email us at info@rapsbc.com.

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