Prospective pet owners receive vetting during adoption events

Posted at: 04/30/2013 5:49 PM
Updated at: 04/30/2013 6:07 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

This weekend’s Cinco de Chihuahuas event in Albuquerque raises a big question about the discount pet adopt-a-thons thrown by the city’s Animal Welfare Department. The city is moving more dogs and cats into new homes, but are those homes good for the animals?

Here’s the deal: On Sunday, May 5 – Cinco de Mayo – adopt an adult chihuahua for $25, and get a non-chihuahua “amigo” dog for $10 off the regular adoption fee.

Hundreds of dogs in the shelters will find new homes. They’re all spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. They’ve been screened for behavior issues.

The trouble is - the owners need screening too.

Prospective pet owner get ID, criminal background and animal welfare record checks. They must answer lots of questions about pet expectations and household situations.

“I like the process, I really do,’ said Traci Kirchner, who was adopting a Beagle-cross puppy. “I think it’s very helpful to them. They need to know who the dog is going to. They don’t want the dog to come back because that’s more work for them. I like the process a lot, actually.”

There are a lot of hoops for prospective dog and cat owners to jump through, but it’s not just limited to answering questions on the official form and checking boxes.

“I tell everyone, volunteers and staff, that if you have a bad feeling about an adoption, just say no and we’ll back you up,” said Animal Welfare director Barbara Bruin. “Sometimes a kennel worker won’t sign off on the adoption card.”

The goal: A good pet in a good home with good owners.

Cinco de Chihuahuas is Sunday, May 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the East Side and West Side shelters.