When I was looking for a beagle recently, I was checking Petfinder, PetHarbor and a few other sites day and night. I wasn’t limiting myself to facilities within reasonable driving distance either. I really wanted to help a beagle who needed a home and I figured that a municipal shelter was probably the way to go. But every single beagle I inquired on at a public shelter had already been adopted and the facility had failed to update its online listings. Or so they said. Assuming no one was fabricating an adoption story, because “We already killed that dog and haven’t bothered to take down the listing” isn’t going to go over as smoothly, the issue is still troublesome. Was my experience an outlier or fairly common? I got to wondering:
How many other pets listed online at these facilities are also unavailable for adoption?
How many pets are sitting at these places with no online listings at all because no one is making it a priority to keep the listings current?
When these shelters get behind on listing animals in need, do they also postpone killing, regardless of whether the mandatory holding period has expired in order to give owners a chance to see their lost pets online and adopters a chance to fall in love with the pet’s photo?
What would John Q. Public think if all the shelter pets he inquired about were already adopted and the listings weren’t current? (One possibility of what he might think: Shelters apparently adopt pets out so quickly that it’s impossible to even keep accurate listings online. I guess there isn’t any problem as far as shelter pets needing homes. I may as well go to another source for a pet.)
Have any readers had similar – or totally different – experiences when looking for a pet via shelter listings online?
Does your local shelter keep its online listings current?