The S.O. and I risked our lives making a left hand turn on hwy 93 and thought we would pay a visit to the homeless dogs being housed at the Missoula Humane Society shelter today. in the past, we used to visit and play with the dogs that are waiting for new homes. our third rescue dog died last year and we are now ready to adopt another dog for our family. when we entered the building a very sour person standing behind the reception desk told us that we could not go into the shelter and see the dogs. she said we needed to select a dog from their online site first and then someone would allow us to visit with the poor animal one at a time. we didn’t have all day. the S.O. works on saturday afternoon and i work weekdays so this is the only tiny window we have to check the dogs out.
she said that visitors and potential owners can no longer walk in and see the dogs first so that we can select potential companions. what kind of craziness is this?
first of all, i cannot tell how a dog behaves by viewing them online. i do not pick out dogs based on their looks. i pick out a dog who acts the way i want them to act: alert, playful, not too barky. friendly without too much aggression. how do you ascertain which dog is right for you or your family if you can’t see how they act when you walk in to the room where they are caged?
what is wrong with this outfit. not only is the policy hurtful to visitors and potential owners/rescuers of these animals, i doubt if the dogs like it either. in years past i have always walked back in the kennels to visit with dogs and walk them just to give them some momentary companionship. even if the right dog is not there that day, at least i felt good about giving some animals a little time outside their little cages.
i have yet to see a dog that does not like to see me. what is wrong with the missoula humane society? have they lost their minds. putting up impediments to those of us who want to give abandoned dogs a good home is assinine. the woman behind the counter was rude, condescending and did not even attempt to smile as she gave us her dictates. needless to say, we left and will not return until the people running this shelter get some common sense and allow people to visit with the dogs so that we can choose a companion for our families in person rather than picking one out online.
i would strongly suggest that the board of directors of this shelter take a good look at this policy and discuss how the public feels when presented with it at the door.
failing that, the board or the executive director should at least get someone up front who smiles and acts polite and friendly while attempting to explain this ridiculous policy to incredulous potential rescuers instead of alienating us.
frankly i do not understand how anyone makes the argument that picking out dogs online is a sane policy when we are already there. how the hell are we supposed to pick out a dog without seeing it in person. it is basic animal chemistry to touch and see and hear other animals. i can’t do that online.