Thursday, December 2, 2010

Adoption Events are stressful

Adoption events are stressful for pretty much everyone involved. The volunteers are stressed out from getting up early, loading their vehicles with crates and supplies and foster pets, traveling to adoption events, unloading everything, taking care of their fosters in a stressful environment, interacting with the public, and then at the end of the day, once again loading their vehicles and traveling home where they have to unload all over again. This is difficult to do week after week. It is all worth it when a foster pet is adopted, but sometimes weeks or months go by with no adoptions.

Adoption events are stressful for potential adopters too. They go to these events, meet many, many different animals all needing a home, and are often trying to decided in the space of minutes or hours whether a dog or cat will be the right fit for the rest of their life. It's especially hard to do considering that the animals at the adoption event are generally more stressed than anyone else, so it's hard to get an idea of what they are truly like.

But adoption events are the worst for the foster pets. They're taken to a strange place surrounded by strange dogs or cats, and are constantly bombarded by the noise and excitement going on around them. People are constantly coming and going, stopping to pet and greet the animals. Strange dogs are barking or coming up to greet them as well. Often the foster animals are placed into an unfamiliar crate and left alone while their foster parent goes off to talk to a potential adopter or take care of other chores. It's understandable that so many pictures of animals taken at adoption events show them looking nervous or fearful.

To give you a small idea of what it's like, please watch the following video. This is Ziggy in his crate during a recent adoption event. Although he can't hear the noise going on around him, the fact that he is deaf makes him more vulnerable to someone coming up behind him and surprising him. Also, this is in the middle of the day so the stress has been mounting, and he's been placed into a crate while I go off and take pictures of other pets. When I return to him, I open the crate door and put the camera in his face to take a video to show people how stressed he gets.

On second thought, this may not be such a good example after all. Let me change the above statement. For some pets, adoption events are not at all stressful. They find a place to relax, find a good chewy, and close their eyes to block out the world around them as they focus their full attention on the joy of chewies. They easily ignore all sounds, all other pets, and even the camera in their face as they chew. Adoption events are some of their favorite places to go!


Anonymous said...

Oh, Ziggy! You're ALWAYS the exception to the rule!

I remember I was pretty stressed out the first and only time I went to an adoption fair. I had NEVER in my whole life seen that many goings-on. I'm just lucky that mom and dad came to that one so I didn't have to go to any others. I still get kinda stressy going back into that store cuz it reminds me of the first time I was there. I'm sure glad that Ziggy takes it all in his own Ziggy way!

Wiggles & Wags,

Erika said...

And this is why I love Ziggy so much. How is it that nobody has scooped up this handsome boy yet? Are you telling people lies just to keep him? lol

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

Yeah, um, I don't think Ziggy is a very good example of a stressed out dog! But definately one that should be home, forever!

H Ski said...

I love the way he closes his eyes. I can't believe nobody has adopted him yet. He is so great. I wish I had the room and could take him in.

Two Pitties in the City said...

I never think of it being stressful for the dogs; though Ziggy looks like he's having a good time. I joke that Miss M was angry when I adopted her because she loved getting so much attention at events.

Kari in WeHo said...

I think the events are stressful if they feed off the stress of others around them. Or if there are TOO many animals because that can cause tension


Kristine said...

I can only imagine the stress levels and energy pinging around such an event. A necessary evil to be sure.

How awesome for Ziggy that none of that affects him at all. Perhaps because he knows he's not going any where?

Pamela said...

That video is so adorable I can't believe you didn't have a line of people waiting to adopt Ziggy!