Written by Annika Hugosson, APS Volunteer, Rescue & Foster Manager
Not every dog or cat is ready for her forever home upon entering our shelter. With thousands of animals coming through our doors each year, we may encounter unique behavioral quirks and perplexing medical diagnoses that are difficult to remedy in a shelter environment. And while the majority of our population is dogs and cats—we receive other species, too.
We have accommodated fish and turtles who were abandoned when their families moved away. We have received a chinchilla who doesn’t enjoy handling. We have welcomed stray ferrets, Quaker parrots, and domestic rabbits that have been released to the wild despite having spent their lives in captivity. We recently marveled at the beauty of three rainbow lorikeets who were surrendered to us; these are parrots native to Australia who prefer to feed on fruit, pollen, and nectar.
So, who do you call when you have an angry chinchilla, a petrified bunny, or an FIV+ cat? A stereotypically anxious German Shepherd? Or, a rainbow lorikeet who needs some nectar? We call on any number of placement partners—501c3 organizations who may be breed-specific, species-specific, or well-suited to work on certain behavior modifications.
Part of my job is networking and working creatively to know which partners prefer particular pets. Even within breed-specific organizations, some organizations take mixes, other require specific phenotypic traits, like rear dew claws. It’s my responsibility to work quickly and efficiently to find the best possible placement for the animal, as an intermediary to her forever home.
With help from Julie, Julie’s Behavior Team of volunteers, and our dog techs, I am able to provide placement partners with a compelling snapshot of a dog’s behavior. Our cat techs are a wealth of information about any of the cats they’ve gotten to know through their daily socializations. Through our medical team, we can deliver important medical information to help a partner scout a suitable foster home, and we can provide veterinary services upon request to facilitate the transfer. Our medical staff also captures information about our pocket pets and their respective personalities.
Coordinating with placement partners requires interdepartmental efforts, creative networking strategies, and efficient planning to ensure APS’ animals begin the next phase of their lives happy and healthy. Every placement is a step toward achieving our organization’s vision: that there are no displaced or unwanted pets.
Adoption, Placement and Return To Owner Numbers
44 Return to Owner
45 Return to Owner
*Pictured is Miss Piggy, a dog Annika is currently working on placing with one of our partners.