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Why I have never adopted a cat from the PA Pound aka: The Kitten N*zi

Original post made by Palo Parent on Nov 14, 2009

Has anyone else noticed that there is a very dysfunctional air about the Palo Alto Animal Pound? So many times we have gone there to adopt a cat or kitten but have been rebuffed by the staff for this or that. Two instances over the years, we selected a cat with all parties approving only to receive a phone call later that day the cat need a different environment with either more cats around or less and we are told that it's a no go, no discussion, just a voicemail. I mean, what's up with that? They even recently used to have little red signs that they pinned on every other cage called "Solo Cat" which apparently meant that this cat had to be alone, I mean, come on!

So today we went there to replace the 18 year old cat that passed on from old age a few weeks ago, and yes, we got that one from the old Santa Clara pound 18 years ago after being turned down at the PA pound even way back then. I asked the volunteer lady in one of the socialization cages if we could come into the cage to visit with the cats. She stated that no, that the policy was that we could not go in unless we could assure them that we were going to adopt a cat that day??? Did I miss something when I read Heller's Catch 22? How would one decide upon a cat if they could not get to know them first? Perhaps we were supposed to just read their resumes and references before making a selection as no interviews are allowed?
So, long story short, we did what we have always done over the years and we drove down to the Humane Society Santa Clara (new facility) and looked for cats there. They had very wide open and welcoming environment where we could go into several large socialization rooms and interact with dozen of cats at one time before making our decision. My question: what the heck is wrong with the Palo Alto Pound? That brings me to the explanation of the subject line of this post. There was a running gag on Seinfeld TV series about the Soup Nazi who would cut you off mid sentence unless you ordered in the specific unwritten way, no ands, ifs or buts, NO SOUP FOR YOU! So that's now our running gag about the PA Pound, NO CATS FOR YOU!

Comments (10)

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 14, 2009 at 8:50 pm

There are cats and kittens for adoption on weekends at the pet shop in the Charleston Shopping Center.

Posted by kitty lover, a resident of Community Center
on Nov 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Absolutely the best place to adopt a cat: the Nine Lives Foundation in Redwood City. It's a no-kill shelter with HUNDREDS of wonderful kitties. Web Link .

Posted by Susan, a resident of Community Center
on Nov 15, 2009 at 4:30 am

Years ago, my husband and I saw a wonderful cat we wanted to adopt at Palo Alto Animal Services. After filling out forms and undergoing an extensive interview, we were told our application was denied. The reason? We both worked out of the house full-time and would not be able to provide enough love and attention to the cat. We ultimately did manage to successfully adopt four cats (obviously not through Palo Alto Animal Services), and they all lived long, happy lives. And with lots of love and attention too!

Posted by Savings like this will add up ...., a resident of Community Center
on Nov 15, 2009 at 6:35 am

Perfect place to save on services expenses. The pound should be a County service - why is it a City service.
I am not interested in paying ridiculous pension benefits for this service!

Posted by pacatowner, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2009 at 10:26 am

I adopted a cat from the Palo Alto animal shelter about a year ago. I had never been there before. First I went to where all the cats were held, and a volunteer lady told me about some of the cats. She did a wonderful job. I selected the cat I wanted (this cat did not tolerate the other cats and that was clear by her behavior). Then the vet came and I had a few questions and they were answered. I appreciated all the info I was getting on this cat. All in all they impressed me as caring people, including the volunteers, and the volunteer receptionist who first greets you as you walk in.

Having said that, it did surprise me that the form I filled out was so detailed. I assume they want to screen out people who might not be good to their cats. But maybe they are over-doing the screening process. A friend of mine tried to adopt a cat from them at about the same time, but she was told since her husband smokes (he has to go outdoors to do so) they weren't sure about it. So she felt discouraged and went elsewhere and adopted two cats with no problems at all.

The main impression I had was very positive and thank goodness that there are good hearted staff and volunteers who do such wonderful work there.

Posted by TJ, a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 15, 2009 at 10:43 am

"Perfect place to save on services expenses. The pound should be a County service - why is it a City service?" Neighboring cities pay Palo Alto for Animal services, so the cost is shared amongst several cities.

Posted by Savings like this will add up ...., a resident of Community Center
on Nov 15, 2009 at 3:40 pm


["Perfect place to save on services expenses. The pound should be a County service - why is it a City service?" Neighboring cities pay Palo Alto for Animal services, so the cost is shared amongst several cities.]

NOPE!! The neighboring cities do NOT PAY for 5 star pension benefits of Palo Alto City employees.

Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Nov 15, 2009 at 8:46 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by CatMom, a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 1:34 am

Not enough love and attention during the day? Do you know what my cat does all day? He sleeps and sleeps and sleeps and if I wake him for some love and attention he will just stretch, purr and go find a quieter spot to sleep some more. They are not dogs.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:30 am

There is another side to this which I think is a little more serious. If the shelter is refusing so many potential owners because they are not "suitable", what is happening to these potential pets? Are they being euthanised because a "suitable" home is not being found for them? I would think that a loving home where both adults work, or perhaps where a few cigarettes are smoked each day would be a much more fitting life than being euthanised? Or, are there so many "ideal, perfect" owners lining up to adopt these animals that the shelter can actually justify its policy of "only perfect homes".

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