how the adoption process is changing

You. Guys. I am so full of gratitude today. As of the last hour, we had raised more than $2,100 to buy beds for dogs. Right now, that’s about 21 beds. That’s 21 dogs who will get to sleep on a comfortable bed and not the concrete floor. If you no idea what I’m talking about, my 30th birthday is around the corner and I have a big birthday wish. I’m exploding with excitement but there’s something else that has piqued my interest, One Tail at a Time started doing “open conversation” adoptions.

I was listening to the Raise the Woof podcast by Sarah Lauch, founder of Live Like Roo Foundation, who was interviewing Heather Owen, founder of OTAT. On the episode, Sarah asked Heather what the best advice she ever received was and Heather’s response really had me thinking. She said that sometimes you have to put your personal opinions aside and simply listen. Can I get an amen? I mean, in today’s world, I think everyone could use that advice but who am I…

The ASPCA published a study indicating that removing barriers to adoption (home checks, vet referrals, landlord checks, etc.) had no impact on the success of adoption or the care that animal received. In fact, the retention rate in this particular study was 97%. With 1.2 animals euthanized each year because they can’t find homes, this new approach might just make a huge difference. If the adoption process becomes easier and less intimidating, more people might consider adopting their next pet.

A lot of people can get scared off by the adoption process. Generally, you must first fill out an application, which can be lengthy, overwhelming, and full of tough questions. After that, you could have a phone interview followed an in-person interview with the organization. Once approved, some organizations require a home check before the animal is yours. Perhaps you can see why people would avoid the process all-together and with a simple click of a button, they buy a pet online. Now, we all don’t need to hear my thoughts on that, so I’ll quickly move on. In summary, there’s a big debate in the rescue world regarding the adoption process and if it’s too difficult for most people.

Heather went on to explain that OTAT had a much more rigorous adoption process, but after finding no science-based evidence, OTAT decided to change their approach. Now, the idea is to simply have a conversation with potential adopters and help them find their best match. Not only does the adoption process become more palpable, the rescue can spend their time, energy, and resources doing other work. Time that was previously used to call landlords, coordinate house visits, and bring the pets to the house, can now be spent on other tasks.

The debate will continue to happen within the rescue community, and I do believe most organizations are doing what’s right by their animals. I also think Heather’s advice is spot on and we should all look in the mirror and challenge ourselves and our beliefs. If we can all distance ourselves a bit and listen to scientific-based evidence, we can do better by our animals (and like probably the world, but I digress).

What do you think about the adoption process? was it hard or easy for you? Did it keep you from adopting? Let me know in the comments below!


Frosty – Oh, you want a little Westie senior pup that’s got a little spring in his step? Meet Frosty! This little guy has been at OTAT for far too long and is ready for his forever home. He came to OTAT terrified but has since come out of his shell and enjoys the good life. To see all of Frosty’s best traits, click here.

Ann Perkins – This sweet puppy has found her forever home. I know, she’s the cutest and you missed out. But don’t worry, check out the other dogs looking for their forever homes here.


I have been on a blue/white kick lately and when I spotted this dress on the sales rack at Anthropologie, I obviously had to have it. It’s currently sold out but you can get on the waitlist for a restock of the same dress in navy here. I’ve also linked similar dresses below.

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2 thoughts on “how the adoption process is changing”

  1. So I’m in the thick of it right now, and the the application process makes me a little ragey (several missed pups who were adopted mid process). Also, the biggest thing that all my references say they get asked about is that we’ve never owned a dog in our home and we don’t currently have a dog. I grew up with dogs, living with them until my late twenties, but that isn’t enough for a lot of the agencies. After all this, I definitely understand why people buy dogs. 🙁

    1. Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that! It’s funny that you have to have owned a dog to get a dog (scratches head). Let me know if I can help at all, there are plenty of rescues here in Chicago that might be able to point me/you in a right direction. Keep it up though, I know you’ll find your baby and I can’t wait to meet him/her!!

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