Saturday, March 7, 2009

Why all the complaints about home visits?

It is always a little aggravating to hear people talk about how annoying avian rescues are. I understand some can seem a little over the top. Perhaps they don't allow you to have more than 2 birds, you can't have any children, you can't have other animals, you must already have a bird (which makes sense at first, but when you realize they would have to buy a bird to qualify, well, then it doesn't, does it?) etc. Yes, those rules can be a bit frustrating to most people. They are there to help get the parrots the best home possible, but they definitely limit the number of homes available, to put it one way. However, some people really seem unable to see that you do have to have some sort of process beyond a contract if you want to adopt out a bird safely every time.

Home visits are one of the things that are complained about by "potential adopters" most frequently. I do not quite get that. How else is the rescue to know you are sincere? I think home visits are a great way for the adopter to get advice on bird care, even if they already know "everything", and it is, of course, a wonderful way to meet other bird lovers! For the rescue, it is a vital way to tell if you described yourself correctly (ie, when you said, " I do not have any major parrot dangers in my house and have a large cage for the amazon I am adopting" they expect to see a home that does not have glade plug-ins, air fresheners, running ceiling fans where the cage will be, and a 18" by 18" cage) and that you were not outright lying about the bird mill you are running in your basement. They can also see how any birds you already have are kept, just to see that they have large enough cages, plenty of toys and stimulation, healthy diets, and look happy and healthy. Obviously, you may be the "lucky one" that has their home evaluated by a person that only likes things done their way. Still, that does not mean home visits should be done away with.

To me, someone that puts up a fuss about having a home visit done is extremely suspicious. I realize many of them are simply picky about who comes through their home, perhaps they are type A, but how do I know that? Everyone is just a person off the internet until I know what they say is true. All agree there are spammers on Craigslist, but there are scammers at rescues, too, that has been, unfortunately, proven many, many times.

I had people contact me about Schroeder that sounded very nice, however, they did not want a home visit. I was told how they had x number of horses, lots of vets, and many other birds that were very well taken care of. Perhaps that and all else they told me was true, how am I to know? When talking to me on the phone, they repeatedly said they really did not want a home visit, saying how they just didn't want strange people coming to their home. I understand that completely, and was trying to make them feel better, telling them how the adoption process works. But when they asked if we could "just meet in a parking lot or something" to give them Schroeder, I knew there was no way this would work. There was no way I was handing Schroeder over in a parking lot to someone that seemed definitely to have something to hide.

Schroeder was later adopted by a wonderful family, that not only had a home visist, but went out of the way to get everything perfect for him. Needless to say, he is extremely happy there!

Many people that complain, however, go on and on about how they take wonderful care of all their animals, their birds are extremely happy, much happier than any at the rescue, and they "don't need anybody coming in, inspecting to see if we are good enough!" If you are as good as you say, what have you got to hide?

If these people had to see all the horrible things that can happen to a parrot placed in the wrong home, I would hope they wouldn't complain quite so much.

Just remember this, anyone worried about home visits - rescues are not looking to see how recently you mopped your floor, really! Everyone wants the best for the bird, that is all.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Great post! I've done a few home visits for the rescue where I volunteer and they've all been pleasant experiences -- time for the potential adopter to ask more questions about the bird, talk about parrots, training, etc.

As long as a person hasn't misrepresented their situation earlier in the process, the home visit hasn't posed any problems. No one's doing a white glove inspection!