The following information will help you get a better idea of the Motley Zoo adoption process- which is similar to most foster based rescues.
Click any question below to be directed to the response.
This page is frequently undergoing changes.
Our rescue organization is virtual. We are volunteer run by individuals in the Greater Seattle and Eastside areas, coming together via email and appointments to adopt out animals.
Although most foster based rescue have no need for a facility, we do also happen to have one- the Studio, where we run a dog daycare, Rock Star Treatment Dog Daycare, in Redmond, WA.
But please note: this facility is not for the rescue/ adoption process and is NOT a shelter.
Adoptable dogs are not there, unless attending daycare, on random occasion.
As well, occasionally we may have adoptable cats who live there in the cat lounge until adoption. Cats also stay in partnering pet stores (acting as foster homes) within the community. There may be cats in foster homes who have yet to be debuted publicly too.
The bottom line is: OUR ANIMALS ARE NOT IN ONE LOCATION YOU CAN VISIT. Adopting is by approved application/ appointment only.
OUR ANIMALS ARE NOT IN ONE LOCATION YOU CAN VISIT. Adopting is by approved application/ appointment only.
None are available for casual, in person meetings (with the exception of some cats as described above or animals at our regular adoption events).
The our animals rely on private, volunteer, foster families to house them. They live at home, like one of these families, until ready for adoption.
In order to get one of those animals ready to meet you, it requires screening, a lot of coordination, and cannot be done same day.
As volunteers, we cannot ask fosters to entertain general inquiries for meetings. We all already work around the clock- and beyond their normal lives of family, work and school, fosters already work hard to bring animals to vet appointments, daycare, training and adoption events. They do A LOT!
To reduce the strain on our fosters, applicants must qualify through our process, first, before a meeting can be arranged…really, even before we can confirm an animal is available or not. This is because things change so quickly, we really cannot consider you a serious candidate- until you get approved.
The Studio is a 6,000 sqaure foot facility in Redmond, WA. The dog daycare is a service based, fundraising program for the rescue- where we watch dogs from all walks of life, during business hours- and is a separate operation from the rescue in terms of structure and staff.
Although these parts work together to save the lives of animals and enrich the lives of pets and people, the daycare staff do not have answers to your rescue queries.
The best way we can explain this is in an analogy:
You don’t stop by Expedia’s corporate offices in Bellevue to get a plane ticket for your trip- you do that online. Actually, you’ve probably have never been to Expedia corporate at all (unless specifically invited)- even if you use Expedia regularly for trips.
The same goes for the adoption process: you do the application and communication online, then you are invited to the Studio when approved, for an adoption meeting. But otherwise, you wouldn’t/ shouldn’t go tho the daycare, seeking answers to adoption related questions.
The general understanding with foster based organization is that:
You cannot find an animal TODAY and get it TODAY. It is impossible based on the structure of this kind of organization.
Foster based means we do not have a shelter with rows of kennels awaiting animals or visitors. There is nowhere the public can come to “just look at” the animals for adoption.
Most foster based rescues exist virtually- including ours– through a network of volunteers and foster homes, all working over the internet to coordinate adoptions.
This includes a “casual” meeting of viewing animals online- not in person- before applying.
This is the most current, up to date information available because this populated by our official, “timekeeping” database of animals.
If an animal is online, it is still officially available. However this could change at any moment as the applications are processed, adopters selected and meetings arranged.
Just know that the pet you pick to pursue may not be the one you end up with- but it will be the first step on the journey to finding the one who is a great match in the end.
Who are the foster families?
They also entirely volunteer- therefore have limitations of what they can and will do for us.
Animals live with them as one of the family, until a permanent home is found.
Their limitations are what defines that of our organization: we can only take in the kinds and numbers of animals for which we have foster homes experienced, ready and waiting.
Therefore, at any given time, we are limited by different variables on which animals we can take in. This is part of why we cannot take in every animal we’re asked to take- nor can we tell you as a rule, what those factors are either.
The factors are human- therefore constantly changing and not written in stone. If you have figured out how to nail people down to machine-like perfection, please tell us your trick!
When and where are the adoption events?
Adoption events are held approximately twice monthly at various stores and locations throughout the community.
This is an opportunity to meet animals casually, without the obligation of applying first. However, all interested parties who want to adopt after an adoption event, must still go through the process- which is not done that same day.
Yes. All applicants go through the same application process. This includes friends, family- and even rock stars and celebrities.
Everyone one completes the same application process to go home with an animal- there are no exceptions.
You cannot speed this process up or demand we do things your way, to your satisfaction. Actually trying to do so, will jeopardize your chance of getting an animal, because your satisfaction is not the mission of our charity.
Any other method of request or submission (snail mail, drop off, fax) will slow down the adoption process, but we do have other methods for those not technologically savvy or who do not use online payment methods.
Please ask if you cannot apply online- please do not get angry and assume we do not care about adopting to those with such limitations. Please, just ask nicely.
Here are the steps of the process:
inquire—> get app from auto-responder or email response
fill out app—> pay $5 application fee—> attach pics and por—> submit the form
review begins—> we contact vet, landlord and check references
we inquire for more info if necessary—> review is completed
applicant is notified of approval and status of specific animal or next choice—> meeting is set
There is no way to bypass this process.
We are not responsible for missing information or the expediency of vet, landlord and other references.
Any delay which appears to “cost” you the animal you want, is just a step towards finding YOUR animal. It happens; it’s most often out of our control- and yet, you will still end up with the right pet! If only everything so “hard” could end up so right?!
I applied with a different shelter, can I use that application?
An application for a different rescue or shelter, unfortunately will not work for ours.
An application becomes part of a legal contract when an adoption is completed, so it is very critical each rescue/ different type of charitable structure has the information and forms they specifically deem necessary to cover their legal responsibilities.
You don’t have to spend “so much time” doing many applications- just slow down and work with one, so this process can be a lot less frenetic for you.
How long does the adoption process take?
The application process is varied based on many facotrs.
The REVIEW process takes approximately 3-5 days from the time you return the information to us- although the animal you are interested in, may or may not be ready for ADOPTION in that same time frame.
We work as quickly and efficiently as we can to process applications, though in times of high volume, holidays or with other unforeseen issues that come up in our volunteer’s lives, things may require more time.
In all, you can be assured we WANT animals to go home as quickly as possible, so we can save another waiting. We certainly want to save as many animals as possible- but to do so with quality and integrity, we must also balance this with time.
Please note as well, if we fail to be speedy or excel at something, it’s likely because we don’t have enough volunteers to get the work done faster.
No one aspires to give what is perceived as “poor service”- but in this day and age when you can order your $5 widget online and get it within hours, the concept of “good service” is quite skewed.
Please remember we are volunteers, not paid employees- and we are adopting out animals, not selling widgets.
Your expectations of service may simply be unrealistic for the nature of a volunteer run charity doing the work of animal rescue.
If our service is a frustration of yours, consider volunteering to help improve the process.
Considering being the change you want to see rather than complaining about it.
What information do you need for the application?
We must have all parts of your application to begin a review:
-pictures of your home and “proof of residence” (a piece of mail (not handwritten), showing your address)
-nonrefundable processing fee of $5.
We cannot begin the review process until we have those pieces.
During the review process we require responses from vets, landlords and other references too. If you fail to provide this in its entirety, you will slow down your process.
We will ask for your information, but imagine that if we have 2 apps for the same animal- one is done and the other is not, we will congratulate the applicant with the completed app, before we inquire with the other.
We don’t have enough time in the day for everything we need to do as it is. Even with more volunteers, or staff, it would still be hard to keep up with the demands placed on our reputable rescue.
Therefore, we need to make every moment count. Part of this means ensuring EVERYTHING we do, yields a positive result for the animals.
We ask for a non-refundable, $5 fee, so that our time spent reviewing applications- no matter the outcome- yields a small, positive win for the animals.
We believe this fee, although negligible, helps people become more invested in the process with us- ensuring more applications will yield adoptions than won’t. People who have paid for something, usually want to see it through.
This $5 however does not guarantee an adoption. It is a FEE, NOT A DONATION.
The fee is for us to look at your application- not for the application to become a successful adoption. However, again, as we are mutually invested once the fee is paid, the chance for success is higher.
This fee is nonrefundable because no matter what happens as a result, this cost us time away from the animals- even in hopes of finding them homes…this is how charity works: you do good when paying the fee to support the animals- but beyond a good feeling, you may receive else nothing in the end…and for that we’re sorry- but you should be glad your $5 helped save a life.
“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes
You just might find you get what you need!”- The Rolling Stones
What are you looking for in an adopter?
Quite simply, the right match in a family that will love that animal like family.
Our goal is to match you with the animal that is right for you- which may or may not be the animal you are first interested in. Please understand that your preferences may not be your needs- but what never changes, is that the animals need us to find that match…not the first person who comes along.
Please trust our efforts. Through our extensive experience of placing more than 2,300 animals, we are skilled with our methods and have very few returns for unsuitable pairings.
This process is about the animals and what is best for them first- and about what you need as an adopter, as a result of serving the animals’ needs as our priority.
Naturally, this is where things get tricky, and people can get hurt or offended unnecessarily.
If we do deem an animal not to be a good match for you, this is not personal by any means and we are trying to spare you heartbreak. We are also trying to spare the animals situation, which could cost them their life…neither is anything to be upset about.
Trust in the matching process and you will be happy in the end. Period.
Can you tell me where I am in the process?
This is a hard answer to give. This is a process of moving parts and extremely hard to define or explain.
First off, we cannot even consider responding to anyone who does not have a completed application. We can’t- because you are not in line at all without an application. Just as you could see an item on the shelf at a store, you cannot lay claim to it until you’re in line at the checkout.
This is where we try to spend our time: with people who have committed to being customers. Those who have paid the $5 and are in the process already…but that also doesn’t mean we can answer all your questions, specifically- until the process is done.
There is no clear “line” at all. It is not as though one app comes in and gets reviewed and told yes or no and we move onto the next. That would be really impersonal and not what we’re trying to do with “making- matches”. Each app that comes in gets reviewed- while others are still coming in. It’s less about who’s first and more about who’s right for the pet.
Here’s the best way we can think of to describe this: We are sommeliers, and you are waiting on a suggestion for a paring with your meal…only with many more moving parts that change every few minutes. You however trust the sommelier to give you good advice- after all that’s why he or she is there at the fancy restaurant (that required reservations), to help you.
Let us help you find the right pet in a similar way. You might wait for your reservation date (to adopt), but you signed up for the personal, gourmet food and experience- not fast food. Both would fill your belly, but you do not have the same expectations of a fancy restaurant that you do of a fast food place.
What if the animal I wanted gets adopted?
If you do not get to adopt your first choice in a pet, do not despair, as it only means YOUR pet is still out there looking for you- and the only way you won’t find them, is if you stop looking! So just remember, you WILL go home with your perfect pet and will forget all about the animals that didn’t work out, when that happens.
Please exercise patience if you are still awaiting a match. Finding the best animal for you and your family can take time. Feel free to keep in touch and see if there are any new options and we will keep your application on file and actively seek animals that match your needs.