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Humane Society choosy in finding homes for animals

Published: Thursday, Oct. 14 2010 1:00 a.m. MDT

Ally Major of West Jordan is seen here with Baca, a cat she adopted three years ago from the Humane Society of Utah.

Sarah Roberts, KSL

WEST JORDAN — Ally Major adopted her black and white cat, Baca, three years ago from the Humane Society of Utah.

For her birthday this year, Major and her husband went back to find another cat and fell in love with a brown and white kitten.

"She was three months old, super cute," Major said. But after two interviews with staff at the Humane Society, her two-page application required for adoption of the kitten was denied.

"It was just shocking to hear that you can't have this cat, especially when there are hundreds of cats that will be euthanized if they don't get homes," said Major.

Despite the Humane Society's numerous pleas for good homes, it is not uncommon for an adoption request to get denied.

"We want to do adoptions but we want to make sure they go to the home that is the right fit for them," said Carl Arky, director of communications for the Humane Society of Utah, which found homes for nearly 8,000 cats and dogs last year.

The Humane Society rejected Major's application because the interview process revealed she intended for the cat to go outside, like Baca often does.

The staff told Major she had picked a cat that was not allowed outdoors.

"She said, nope, you can't have the cat, he could get run over, naming all these horrible things, making me feel like I'm a bad cat owner. It kind of put a sour taste in my mouth, wanting to do a good deed and then having my hand slapped because I let my cat outside," said Major.

Major put the cat back in the cage and left in tears.

"We're always sad and sorry if someone comes away with feeling like they had a bad experience. That's not what we want to have happen," Arky said.

He explained the application process informs the Humane Society of the kind of home an adopter can provide. In Major's case, the kitten had been living in a foster home where the family spent two months nursing the cat back to health with bottle feedings every three hours. The Humane Society said it respected the wishes of the foster family and the type of home they wanted for the cat.

"This was a family that said to us, 'We want this cat indoors. We've invested too much time, too much effort into this cat to take the risks we feel exist outdoors for a cat,'" Arky said.

Arky said the information is not posted on the kennel and it is only through the application process that the Humane Society can determine if the home is right for the animal.

The brown and white cat Major wanted to adopt found a home a few days later with another family.

Major opened her home to a new friend for Baca. She found Bella, a gray kitten, on KSL.com.

e-mail: aforester@desnews.com

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