Should Shelters Run Background Checks on Potential Adopters?

Where would we be without our furry friends? Most people love their pets and do everything they can to ensure that their beloved companions are well-taken care of and loved.

Unfortunately, not everyone feels that way. Some people want nothing more than to harm or neglect an animal. And where do they go to get these animals? At their local pet store or animal shelter. That has led many shelters to begin mandating background checks on potential adopters before placing an animal in a home.

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According to research…

It has been long understood that children who abuse animals often grow up to be adults who have a history of criminal behavior and violence (Understanding the Link Between Violence to Animals and People).

That’s why background checks are so important before a pet adoption is finalized. These checks can include an examination of the potential adopter’s criminal and driving records, employment and residential verification, and even their credit report (JDP Verification and Reference Check Services).

Once the shelter receives the background check of a potential adopter back, they can be sure that the individual has no known history of abuse. This should alleviate most concerns about the home the animal will be placed in. Alternately, if the background check turns something up, you’ve just saved that animal from potential misery.

Who is this person?

The last thing a shelter or pet store wants is to place an animal in a dangerous situation. After all, dogs and cats can not speak for themselves. They depend on humans to be their voice.

Without a background check, shelters have no idea who the person is who is taking the animal home. With so many pets around the country being given up because they could not adequately be taken care of, why should they be placed in a situation that is equal to or worse than their previous one?

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Finding a middle ground

While background checks have as their goal the protection of the animal being adopted, which is the goal of everyone who works at an animal shelter or pet store, the requirements can sometimes be too harsh.

When the requirements are excessively strict, a shelter runs the risk of denying a good home to an animal who needs one. A common ground must be found in terms of adoption requirements and the nature of applying to adopt. The Mobile SPCA adoption policy is a good example of a reasonable set of requirements.

Requiring background checks before an animal adopted will require more work for staff at animal shelters and pet stores, but they help ensure that pets will be placed in loving homes where they will be cared for, loved, and safe.

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