LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – You hear “adopt, don’t shop” a lot and adopting an animal is often cheaper than buying one.

In many cases, it is even free when adoption fees are waived or sponsored, but what FOX5 discovered is that people are likely to come into shelters when they aren’t paying a fee and take the animal home for a trial run.

Inside the Henderson Animal Shelter, it is loud and clear that many dogs are waiting for their forever home. Danielle Harney, the Animal Control Administrator, said there are many days when the shelter is full.

“Some days, it comes really close. We can close the day with one or two dog kennels and some open cat kennels and we will have a good day of adoptions and we will have some breathing room again,” Harney said.

To make room inside the shelter, they often waive fees for adopters, but they are realizing that can backfire.

“We tend to see an increase on those animals that are returned,” Corissa Babbitt, the senior kennel attendant said.

While FOX5 was at the shelter, we met a 6-year-old pit bull named Atheena who is their longest resident.

According to Babbit, Atheena came in last October and has been adopted out, but her adopters returned her because she did not match their lifestyle.

“It crushes a piece of you,” Babbitt said.

FOX5 asked Babbitt how the shelter vets a family to know they are walking away with the right dog.

“We do educate people, ask questions, have you had animals before, tell me about your life and lifestyle,” Babbitt said.

It is Babbitt’s job to lead families to the right dog, but she said folks will often just want whichever dog is the cutest or coolest and then realize it is not a match.

“They are adopted, they go home and they start to get that relief, its quiet, and then all of a sudden they are back in this noise in the stress,” Babbitt said.

Babbitt tells FOX5 when they come back into the shelter, it stresses the animals out so much that it often changes their personality, and in extreme situations it can lead to euthanasia.

Babbitt said it is important to do your research on the breed and then take the time to get to know the dog at the shelter.

This is because at the end of the day, these animals should not be used for a free test run, instead with a wagging tail they should be running off to their forever home.

They emphasize that it is important to bring the whole family in, including children, both with two legs or four legs, to meet a potential dog at the shelter.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *