Up for Discussion: Should animal welfare organizations permit adoptions to individuals with unaltered pets in their homes?

7432634-calico-cat-behind-cage-doorHere is the scenario:

A spayed cat is in a county shelter and is at the top of the urgent list. There is an interested adopter whose references are excellent, the home visit evaluation is positive. There is every indication that the adopter would provide a loving forever home. The adopter currently has a purebred companion dog that is unaltered and is very honest about their desire to have a litter of puppies.

It is up to you to approve or deny the adoption. What would you do and why?


14 thoughts on “Up for Discussion: Should animal welfare organizations permit adoptions to individuals with unaltered pets in their homes?

  1. I don’t have to like that they are wanting a litter of puppies and would try to educate but the fact is a neutered cat will die if not allowed to be placed into this home. As long as the home is safe, the animal I am going to place is altered, I am not going to let my thoughts on what is right or wrong to be the cause of this cat dying.


  2. As a rescuer, I would NOT adopt a pet to this home…we don’t need to add anymore dogs to the already huge list of adoptable dogs available…


    1. In our scenario, the animal being adopted out is already spayed so not clear on how we would be adding dogs to the list of adoptables available?


    2. So, just to clarify, you would kill the cat (who is already altered, and therefore unable to procreate) because the adopter was going to breed their dog? Doesn’t seem fair to the cat.


  3. I don’t think there is a stock answer. Each case should be decided after careful evaluation. I would prefer that the dog owner not breed his dog and would tell him why, but he didn’t get the dog from us, so we don’t get to insist on not breeding.


  4. I hate that someone would let this cat die due to this issue. If the person is responsible in their breeding of their pet, whether I agree or not with it. As I do prefer to rescue animals, it is not my job to judge him. As long as he is not a puppy mill, is responsible and honest. People do love show dogs, and keeping them intact for that is appearantly important, although I do not understand it. While that is not what I prefer, it doesn’t make them an unloving or unscrupolous home. Judge the person on their character, and how their dog seems to be loved and cared for. Do not let this cat die.


  5. I would say Yes, and allow the woman to adopt the cat. The cat is fixed, no need to worry about that. She provides a good home to her other pets and is not running a puppy mill. Give her information about all of the homeless dogs up for adoption, including purebred dogs, and the facts about all of the dogs that are PTS because of overcrowdingl The cat would be saved, and the woman would be making an educated decision about breeding her dog.


  6. For this scenario the potential adopters view is that they very carefully selected their dog for health, temperament and breed, adore her and are planning for her to have a litter because they would like to keep one of her offspring and have family and friends who would also like one of her pups. The adopter has politely listened to your attempts to educate and change their mind, but have made it quite clear that they are going to allow the dog to have a litter. After that they are undecided if they will have her spayed.


  7. Would your answer vary based on the type of organization? (private rescue vs public shelter) assume if the rescue approves the adoption, they will have an opening for the cat on death row.


  8. I am unclear as to why people are saying that its okaying this person to breed there dog?! I mean this is real life not fictional and excuse me for being the sarcastic person i am but we will not end up with cat-dog by doing so. I do believe this person should reconsider. But the cat deserves a chance and if thry take care of their dog and all else checks out i do not see harm. I saw someone else post that they dont have to agree with them but they didnt lie and they are saving a cat when they could have bought a kitten from a breeder.


  9. Shelters, (rescue and otherwise) are OVERFLOWING with cats. I would TRADE them the cat in agreement with spay/neuter the dog. I would volunteer my time with that couple in educating them anyway I could to get them to understand that we don’t need anymore puppies. This way, we make FRIENDS with the couple, they are educated and we hopefully prevent. Prevention is the cure.


  10. I suspect the primary reason that so many animal rescue groups will not approve adoptions to homes where there are unaltered pets is the mistaken belief that there are more homeless animals than there are available adoptive homes.
    The fact is there is no evidence which supports this idea and an abundance of research which proves that by increasing the percentage of people who obtain their pets through adoption-by just a few percentage points-we can end the killing of healthy and treatable homeless dogs and cats.
    There are approximately 75 million dogs and 88 million cats in American households. Most people procure their pets from breeders, friends, neighbors, pet stores, the Internet, or other sources. Currently only 20 percent of Americans adopt their pets from shelters or rescue groups.
    If every rescue group and shelter was willing to reevaluate their adoption policies and find a way to say yes to even a few more adoptions each year a no-kill nation would be within our reach.


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