Typical Shelter Phone Scenario

by Ada Brann, © 1996

This is an article, written by Ada Brann in 1996 (when she was Rescue Chair for SCBDFC) and used with her express permission , giving an example of a conversation between the Rescue person and the Pound.
I am re-printing the material exactly as Ada wrote it, adding only some formatting to make it easier to read.



by Ada Brann, © 1996

Rescue worker :
Hello, Rescue 9-1-1, what is your emergency? [I don't answer the phone like this, tho I should - ha!]

Shelter staff person :
This is ABC Animal Shelter. We have a male Bouvier who will be released tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m.

Oh, dear. Where did he come from?

He was picked up as a stray in San Dimas, near Woodley and Van Buren. He's pretty matted and stinky.

How long have you had him? How old is he?

Since thursday afternoon. He's an adult.

Has anyone called for him?

Nope, no one at all.

Have you checked to see if he has a microchip or tattoo?

Has nothing, not even a collar, no tags, nothing. Looks like he's been living on the street for months, he doesn't appear to be underweight tho.

Really. I'm surprised. What's his personality like? Has anyone felt his body structure thru all the mats? Sometimes it's just an illusion.

He seems distant, he's not mean or anything, he hasn't growled or snapped since he's been here and he's been with a German Shepherd, they just ignore each other.

Well, see if you can get someone to feel thru his mats while we're talking. Maybe they can look at his teeth and guess his age while they're at it, and might as well see if he's been neutered.

Sigh... hold on. Okay, the health tech is looking him over right now. He seems like a really nice dog, are they always this big? This guy is huge!

Yeh, they're a large breed. What color is his coat? Does he have short pointy ears that stand straight up and a little stubby tail?

He's black. Well, he has some white hairs here and there, but mostly black from what I can tell. His ears aren't pointy at all, they hang down like a beagle's. But his tail is a stub tho. Is he still a Bouvier?

Sounds like it. Can you give me his impound number and which kennel he's in? I also need your hours and directions. Also, has anyone shown interest in wanting to adopt him?


Can you place a phone "hold" on him until we get there?

Yeh, but only if you come down today to fill out paperwork. I'll pull the card and put Bouvier Rescue on it. The tech says he hasn't been neutered and you're right, she said he's a walking skeleton, she guesses he's about 4-5 years old.

Poor guy. What will the adoption fee be?

Well, you have to come down and fill out the paperwork, he'll be released at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, then we have to get him neutered which will be the next day, then you can pick him up two days from today. The total fees will be $66.65.

Okay, well (sigh), you're down in San Dimas and I'm up in Palmdale. Can you fax me the paperwork?


Well, can we fill it out over the phone and you go ahead and schedule him for his neutering and we'll take care of everything when I pick him up in two days?

No we can't do that, you have to do the paperwork in person.

Alright. Well, we have a few other rescues which we are fostering right now, one eats thru chainlink and has to be constantly monitored. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to get you into trouble, I know you have your rules to follow... Hey, do you think maybe your supervisor could give me a little slack this time?

Hold on, I'll check..... yeh, she says we can do it all on Friday when you come to get the dog, she already took the card from me.

Fantastic! You open at 8am and I will be there Friday before you open the doors. Now I have one last thing to discuss, it is very important to me.

What's that?

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for calling me. Some shelters may have our number but they don't always call. I think you're doing one heckuva job there and want you to know how much it means to me, you've been so helpful, I can't tell you how nice it is to work with someone who cares about the animals. You know, some shelters don't even seem to care what happenes to them, it's really sad.

Oh well, I'm just doing my job, blah blah blah.

See you Friday. Oh wait, just one more thing. You said he was really stinky, okay trick question: how bad is he really? Reason I'm asking is I'm going to be in a hatchback and he'll have to ride in the back without a crate. I'm kinda paranoid about kooties.

He's pretty bad! (laughing)

Do you ever hose down or bathe any of the ones in really bad shape before they're neutered?

Well, sometimes, it depends on how swamped we are.

Do you think you could ask the vet's assistant or someone else if they could wash him down just a little? Otherwise, we won't be able to bathe him for two weeks due to the neutering.

Oh yeh that's right! Yeh, we'll go ahead and do that, we use a flea & tick shampoo, I don't think he has any but just to be sure you know.

Has anyone told you lately what a saint you are? I really appreciate it.

No problem, see you Friday. I'll be working that morning, maybe you'll have a minute or two to tell me more about these Bouviers, this guy is really scary looking but he does seem like a mellow dog.

It's a deal, although I feel like *I* came out ahead of the game! For a minute there, I thought you were going to make me bring you lunch or something. Oh wait, what's your supervisor's name in case you're busy when I get there?

It's Sheila Smith. [joke joke joke, end of conversation.]


hopefully I didn't leave anything out. Ada Brann


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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 1996 by Ada Brann posted 8/2/03
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