Adopt A Pet: West Suburban Humane Society

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West Suburban Humane Society
1901 Ogden Avenue
Downers Grove

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  • Rob Grillos

    Horrible experience, they broke our hearts.

    They claim to educate potential adopters about how to properly treat their pets, but they don’t. Instead they judge you for not knowing everything, and then blacklist you for getting an answer wrong on their ‘no wrong answers’ form.

    We are trying to adopt a cat. We checked the ‘outdoors’ checkbox on their ‘no wrong answers’ form because we have a fenced in back yard and we were open to taking in a rescue cat that was used to having access to the outdoors and would/could not adjust to being an indoor only cat. We had no intentions of taking an indoor cat and making it an outdoor cat, and we don’t want to let our cat out, but we were being open and flexible to give the best possible home to a rescue cat in need; I know that people with apartments/etc can’t provide a fenced in back yard to their animals so we thought we were doing good to offer that for any cat we looked at.

    Apparently, checking that checkbox is an instant denial and blacklist from ever adopting from WSHS. The problem is, they didn’t bother to tell us that until days later. When we filled out the form and handed it to the person showing us the cats, they reviewed it (and saw that we checked the outdoor checkbox) but they still showed us the cats to adopt. When we found a cat that we fell in love with, and asked to reserve it, they reviewed our sheet a second time to make sure the cat was a fit, and they still did not say anything about being denied for the checkbox. We got a call the next morning (Wednesday, when they’re closed) saying that they need to ask us about something on our form. I called back a few hours layer saying I was available, but never got the call back. We went through all of Thanksgiving with the expectation that we were going to get the cat, and there was just some questions that needed to be clarified (we’re good pet owners, I’ve had cats for 30 years of my life, and cared for pets of some kind for my entire life).

    Friday we got the call in the morning, from someone that was rather rude about it, that outright told us our adoption was denied because we checked that checkbox. She didn’t care why we checked it, or care about the fact that we had no intention of letting this cat outside, she just told us that we should ‘know better’ than to let cats outside, and that we were blacklisted for life from adopting there. Their web site says that they educate people on how to be good cat owners, but nobody there was interested in educating us about not letting our cats outside, and instead was very rude and essentially degraded and insulted me for thinking that some cats are fine outside.

    20-30 years ago when I was growing up, it was commonly accepted that cats went outside. Most of our cats went outside and nobody seemed to have a problem with it. Our vets didn’t mind, the shelters we had gotten some of them from didn’t mind, nobody minded 20 years ago. I can understand the increased concern about it and that many places don’t want their cats to be let outside, but every other place we’ve looked that has that concern tells you upfront about it, and gives at least some education on it.

    WSHS refused to let us adopt one of their rescue cats into a loving forever home. They’ve essentially taken the stance that since we are not perfect and fully knowledgeable to what is expected for caring for a cat in this day and age, we are worthless and can’t ever be educated. The person I spoke to took the opposite stance on education; she outright said that educating people on not letting their cats outdoors doesn’t work and rather than educate people, as they claim, they simply blacklist anyone that comes to them without a PHD in cat ownership.

    • Gloria Rendon

      You are not supposed to let cats out because of the threat that cats pose to the wild animals. If they are declawed, the cats can never go out. They can’t protect themselves. I am sorry that volunteer was rude to you. I have only had extremely positive experiences with WSHS.